A day late on this, for which I apologize. But let’s set the right and wrong aside while we marvel at the participants. In the red corner, Bella Thorne. Is she an actress? A musician? Model? I’m not sure honestly. That’s one of those names I’ve read everywhere on the internet, but which I never felt the need to investigate. I’m sure she’s talented. Tremendous name too. Sharp! Makes you think of that crown Jesus had. Also rhymes with porn, which is where you expect to find that name. That’s no shot at Bella (another name you expect to find in porn); it’s simply an observation about the ubiquity of the name “Thorne” in pornography. That’s all. Easy does it.
In the blue corner, Whoopi Goldberg. Another great name. I’ve fallen out of touch with her current work, but when I was a kid, we rented Eddie—a movie wherein Whoopi, a diehard Knicks fan, wins the head coaching position. Problem is, the Knicks are terrible. Incredibly, this movie has remained plausible for 23 years. Talk about staying power.
Throughout The View’s 22 seasons, the program has only occasionally come under fire for “attacking” women. Perhaps the most noteworthy case was Behar/Collins v. Miss America/Nurses, where hosts Joy Behar and Elisabeth Collins poked fun at registered nurse and Miss America 2016 contestant Kelley Johnson for her monologue, for which she wore a stethoscope and scrubs.
I stand with Behar/Collins.
When anyone on The View provokes a backlash from women, it’s something to behold. Imagine if Deadspin wrote a “guess that ass” blog and their 13 readers sent angry owls with letters calling for the heads of whatever board of lemonade stand investors are keeping the Baleen whale oil lamps lit over there? The mind reels. I’m not certain I’ve done that correctly, but I refuse to re-draw the illustration. You get it.
On logic alone, Whoopi Goldberg is 90% correct. If her point is that you can’t be surprised, as a celebrity, when your nudes get hacked and leaked, she is absolutely right. How many times have we seen it? Spooky Ghost, Celeb Jihad… these are internet names I’ve heard more than “Bella Thorne.”
Then Whoopi said, “If you’re famous… you don’t take nude photos of yourself… you don’t get to do that.” That’s wrong. You absolutely have the right to take naked pictures of yourself, to send them to whomever you want. Obviously. But for a celebrity to play the surprised victim of a nude leak is ridiculous. Over 1 million instagram followers + nudes in the cloud = leak, every single day of the week. How can you expect anything different? Are you appealing to the moral compass of iPhone hackers? They’re criminals. Hackers gonna hack. Captain Phillips wasn’t shocked when the pirates took him. We didn’t see him posting crying Instagram stories saying “I just want to steer my boat because I love my boat and I feel sexy on my boat and I can only imagine all the kids with boats committing suicide when someone tries to board their boat.”
This isn’t about whether or not women/girls should take nudes. It’s about whether famous people can reasonably expect the same right to privacy that normal civilians enjoy. And the answer, forever, has been no. That’s what it means to be famous. That’s what it means to have TMZ follow you around. I’m not saying that should be the way, I’m saying that is the way. This is the current environment and you can only control it to a certain extent. If you want to limit what the public sees of you, you have to wear disguises, downgrade to a Nokia Brick, and adhere to the counsel of a hyper-vigilant publicist.
In sum, Whoopi is mostly right, Bella doesn’t deserve to have her nudes leaked, but nobody should be surprised when it happens.
PS- if this blog sounds like mansplaining, I hereby apply all the lessons above to male celebrities as well. There. Equalsplaining. Also known as explaining.