As we reported earlier today, Caitlin Stasey called out Good Weekend magazine and commissioning editor Ben Naparstek, after he allegedly assumed that she would be okay with posing nude for a feature interview/photoshoot.
The actress says that the photoshoot was “go go go”, until she said she did not want to pose nude – at which point the magazine cancelled, citing ‘downsizing’ as the reason.
PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke to Caitlin, to get the full story of what happened, and ask why she decided to call them out so publicly:
Could you describe exactly what happened, in your own words?
Good Weekend reached out to my publicist just after the launch of Herself.com, in January.
After a lot of back and forth, pressing deadlines & insistence on their part, we managed to organise an interview with a journalist. They flew [the journalist] up to Toronto specifically for the piece ([who is] a perfect & faultless person, by the way) and the interview went really well. Good Weekend then of course had to schedule a shoot asap so as to be able to print the article in their next edition at the time.
They then sent me the mood board, [and] I was surprised and mildly offended. I told them I wasn’t going to pose nude for them; Ben’s team were told he had run the theme past my team, he hadn’t, he’d assumed because I’d posed nude for my website that I’d be more than happy to pose nude for them. Although if that were the case why wouldn’t he ask me initially before proceeding with the lengthy interview?
We had a few exchanges, more mood boards [were] sent. I chose a look and asked for a specific style, [then] they organised the shoot for the coming Saturday then a few days before. They cancelled, and said they would just use existing artwork (THEIR suggestion, not ours) and then the whole thing just faded away.
They were full steam ahead, go go go, until I refused to pose naked. They’ve blamed downsizing repeatedly, but downsizing wasn’t as issue prior to this ordeal.
Not that you need to, but will you release the whole email exchange?
I’ve released all the relevant emails.
Have you experienced stuff like this before with the Australian media? Do you think this is indicative of a much deeper issue within the media?
I have and I haven’t. No one has outright asked me to pose nude, but I know many wish I would. The issue is one of consent and context, both of which were disregarded by Ben and the team at Good Weekend. He’s acted like an entitled frat boy who can’t understand why a woman won’t sleep with him, simply because she’s slept with other people. That’s the crux of the issue, assuming a woman is available to you and your agenda purely because you desire it.
How do you feel about the reaction of “but she has a nude website, what’s the difference?!” How would you explain the difference between these two situations to someone who can’t see the difference?
As above. [Also], Herself is a heart project, something I deeply believe in, a non-profit platform to negate the hyper-sexualization of the female form. Good Weekend sought to take advantage of the liberation I experienced, and to turn it into a profit margin for themselves.
Also, at the end of the day, I don’t need a fucking excuse; where and when I choose to be naked is my business alone. I don’t need to justify my reasons, but saying there’s no difference is tantamount to assaulting someone based on the fact that they’ve been sexually active in the past. It’s the asshole who won’t stop hounding a woman because she’s wearing a short skirt.
Recently Clementine Ford shared the names and images of men who sent her threats online, after the recent nude photo leak that happened in Adelaide. Why do you believe that calling people out on their sexism and misogyny is a good thing?
Because they don’t deserve anonymity! You don’t get to treat women in this horrific manner and not be held accountable. We constantly attempt to bring people to justice for things far less egregious than this, yet when it pertains to women’s safety we throw our hands up and blame the victims.
Fair enough, too. Finally, how’s your incredible website Herself going?
It’s great, we have over 4000 emails of willing participants and our view count is in excess of 9 million. Not only that but I have countless messages from women of all backgrounds who have found comfort there.
Caitlin founded the website Herself.com, which is a dedicated online feminist safe space that stands up to the sexualisation of women’s bodies without their permission. It discusses a wide range of feminist issues including, (but not limited to), rape culture, consent, body confidence, body autonomy and dismantling the patriarchal standards set upon women.
We asked Naparstek for a statement his side of the story – he sent us the same clinical, template response as was given to other Aussie media outlets:
“I totally understood and respected Caitlin’s decision not to pursue our shoot, which would have been a classy shoot with a leading American fashion photographer in line with the beautiful artistic imagery she’d published of herself on Herself.Com, which she’d just launched.
We decided not to pursue the shoot when her agent offered us access to existing portraits instead. But with the Herself.Com peg no longer as strong, we chose to delay the profile until later in the year so it could be tied to the new seasons of her series Please Like Me and Reign.”
Caitlin mentioned this statement in her most recent tweets, saying that Naparstek was lying in the statement:
Dude, this a multi pronged catastrophe of cover ups/bullshit/lies on your part. This is simply ONE of the errors you’ve made @BenNaparstek
— caitlin stasey (@caitlinstasey) July 16, 2015
— caitlin stasey (@caitlinstasey) July 16, 2015
In essence: you fucked with the wrong person, Good Weekend. BYE FELIPE.
Image: Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images