There is a free speech element to the latest celebrity sex-scandal. John Terry sought a ‘super-injunction’ against publishing details of his affair, that also prevented the media from reporting the fact of the injunction itself. On the Index on Censorship blog, Padraig Reidy asks whether the lifting of this injunction by Justice Tugendhat could signal the end of the ‘super-injunction’ as an effective tool in the lawyer’s arsenal. The #Trafigura affair showed how such injunctions can be circumvented by beligerent members of society.
As an aside, I think ‘super-injunction’ is a misnomer. Surely an injunction that prevents discussion of itself should be a ‘meta-injunction’ or maybe an ‘auto-injunction’? Responses from linguists would be welcome.
Why the outrage?
The opprobrium directed at John Terry mirrors that experienced by Tiger Woods, who last month was exposed as having a penchant for sex with strippers and lap-dancers. In both cases, the chat has centred around the sponsorship deals the men have secured with various brands, and the inevitable loss of these contracts once their philandering has been exposed. The logic is that these sportsmen are paid because they represent wholesome family values. When it becomes known that they do not, actually, live up to those values, their worth as the face of the brand is diminished.
How does this compare to the glamourous film stars, predominantly but not exclusively female, who are paid to advertise beauty products? We all know that when they appear in display adverts, they are heavily photoshopped. Their smooth skin, supple necks and firms thighs are actually complete lies. Why no outrage and heamoraging of sponsorship deals, when Heat magazine reveals they have saggy bits?