An Open Letter to Scarlett Johansson

Dear Ms. Johansson,

I’m writing to you in regards to the despicable thing that happened to you recently on reddit. It seems that some garbage nightmare of a person stole your personal photos, and then a number of horrible human beings decided to exploit you and share them with hundreds of thousands of people online.

I’m sorry.

I’m a member of that community, and I wish I had done more. I wish I had been able to protect you from further victimization. I wish that the reddit admins had taken a stand and removed your photos. I wish that the reddit community had come to your defense and removed (downvoted) those photos, and the incredibly cruel and often dangerously sexist remarks in those threads.

You seem like an incredibly intelligent person, so I think you already know this but I want to make it clear that I know you bear absolutely none of the blame for what has happened to you. Everyone has a right to privacy. It seems terrible that the reddit community that had so valued personal privacy and human rights has now turned on you because you dared to be a beautiful woman.

I have no idea why the reddit admins haven’t removed those photos. I wish they had, but I don’t know if it would help. I hope that you’re able to find and prosecute anyone who was involved in the theft and distribution of your stolen property.

With sorrow in my heart, and disgust for the community I once called my own,


This entry was posted in Feminism, Images, Reddit, Sex, Victim Blaming and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to An Open Letter to Scarlett Johansson

  1. Emily says:

    As a redditor, I too feel disgust in the recent trends that are emerging in the community.

  2. Realist says:

    I honestly didn’t think people could have so much faith and trust in their fellow humans as to put compromising information in tangible locations. Not to defend anyone of anything, I just say to let this be a lesson learned, and don’t be ignorant enough as to record (be it text, pictures, or video) anything that you wouldn’t want anyone else to view.

  3. Pingback: An Open Letter to Scarlett Johansson (via Something Feministy) « Observation Station

  4. Declan says:

    I could not agree more. Some of the people on reddit don’t even realize how big of a deal this could be to someone and how dangerous their attitudes towards these matters are.

  5. Eric says:

    Um, it’s a butt. She’s not ashamed of it, and been willing to show it on camera before. More importantly: it’s a butt. Hers is especially nice, but everyone’s got one. That you reach this level of hysterical slobbering… over a butt… is really sad.

    P.S. It’s a butt.

    • Kita says:

      Someone being dismissive of a woman’s agency on my internets!?! I’m totes shocked.

    • Meg says:

      Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, where private pictures are leaked and posted and (I assume, since I’ve been avoiding Reddit these days) upvoted and wanked over. Sometimes celebs, sometimes not.

  6. Kip says:

    Reddit is not the centre of the universe! The pictures were leaked elsewhere. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  7. s.wolf. says:

    I wasn’t even aware of what happened, as I was out in the real world for most of yesterday and today (Tues-Weds.) I’m afraid to look at what happened, and I’m afraid of the aftermath. Reddit really really disappoints me sometimes.

    I’m sorry, Scarlett. ForeverAlones (a good chunk of the Reddit demographic) are really not the “nice guys,” they claim to be. This just proves it. I hope they’re friendzoned forever.

  8. Agreed, agreed, agreed. All the slut-shaming and victim-blaming is disgusting. I’m so pissed off that people keep acting like the photos are some sort of blessing from above, when Ms. Johansson never intended for them to be shared with the general public. And to “Eric,” yes, it’s a butt. So? These were private photos, and as such are different from a portrayal in a TV show or movie. The hacker invaded her privacy. Period.

    I know it’s still early, but this is only the second article I’ve found calling people out on their victim-blaming. Thank you.

  9. Patricia Bee says:

    No one is acknowledging the fact that almost all young women trying to make it in the US film industry have nude photos taken of themselves because they are pressured to do so. Johansson has already appeared nude on the cover of Vanity Fair.

    Though reddit has many female members, let’s not forget that it is primarily male, and those males are primarily of the age which produces high testosterone levels. Nude photos of female celebs about whom they’ve had wet dreams are like crack cocaine to them. I’m not excusing their behavior, but it’s a fool’s errand to have expected anything better of them. This is just another example of how anonymity on the Internet allows many of its users to exhibit their true colors without having to pay a price for bad behavior, and I’m afraid we are stuck with its down sides as well as the good.

    • Dee says:

      So, because she once appeared nude, it is perfectly all right to hack into her phone and take private nude photographs of her without her consent and then make them public for millions of people to fap over?

      • Eric says:

        > So, because she once appeared nude, it is perfectly all right to hack into her phone

        (1) Someoning hacking into your computer and stealing information is a serious fucking crime, regardless of what’s taken.
        (2) Having your naked butt shown to the world, when you just finished posting a picture of your naked butt on the cover of a major magazine, is just not a big deal.

        You’re confusing the two, as is the author of this article. You’re even rolling a third issue in there (some men masturbate to pictures of Scarlett), despite it being entirely irrelevant.

        • Narwhal says:

          Bravo Sir, you have put the whole issue succinctly here, by counterpointing the two arguments of the ethical side of the hacking incident and the ethical side of re-posting nudity. Much needed clarity indeed. The Reddit narwhals will thank you.

        • Kita says:

          You’re the one that seems a bit confused, my friend. Dee is not the author of this article, I am.

          re: (2) So, you get to decide what is and isn’t a “big deal”? Awesome, I heard someone else was The Decider. Are we also now assuming that there’s no difference between private pictures and pictures taking by a professional photographer for publication? You’re making quite a leap there, my friend.

          And no, the “fapping” jokes on reddit make it totally relevant.

  10. Johnny_B says:

    I saw those pictures. They show her butt and one boob. Not saying invasion of privacy is ok, but posts like the OP strike me as just a little over-the-top. Despicable thing? Garbage nightmare? Horrible human beings? You might wanna get a sense of perspective here.

  11. Doug says:

    It’s not her fault? She’s the one who took the photos in the first place. If you don’t want nude pictures of yourself to go online, don’t take nude pictures!

  12. Amie says:

    Yeah, that is it, blame the victim! If you don’t want your money stolen, don’t make any!!!

    • Doug says:

      No, if you don’t want your money stolen, don’t give people a chance to steal it. You don’t carry around large sums of cash, you put it in a bank. Why is it normal to take pictures of yourself naked? Especially if you’re a celebrity and don’t wanna ruin your image…

      It’s her fault for taking the pictures on a digital device, especially nowadays. No digital material that is connected to the internet is truly safe from hackers.

      • diverkat says:

        LOL your privilege and victim blaming. That shit’s as old as gneiss.

        Let’s use your analogy here. I suppose if I put my money in a bank, that’s the most well-protected place! Also 401Ks and property are good ways of making sure no one ever steals your assets. Banks never steal money from people, right?


        • Doug says:

          Savings account = your money grows or stays the same, it doesn’t go down, and is protected by FDIC.

          If I was famous and had an image to uphold, I wouldn’t take naked pictures, period. Even if I did, I would take them with a Polaroid, or some kind of non-digital device, not connected to the internet. Scarlett made a mistake, and hopefully she learned from it.

          In some cases, people blame the victim, and it’s wrong. In this case, she should have known better. In my opinion, I believe she may have made it a little too easy for the hackers, and notice, the pictures weren’t all that risque. Like they say, no publicity is bad publicity. I personally wasn’t that interested in her until these photos were released.

      • Kita says:

        Again, you seem to be not doing the research. It’s still victim blaming, my friend.

  13. diverkat says:

    On topic, well written letter, Kita.

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