Gabrielle Union is taking a stand: for herself and the other female celebrities who were targeted and victimized in the criminal celebrity nude photo hack. She's not happy with how the media and the public responded to the matter — and she's setting the record straight with some Grade-A real talk.
Speaking with Cosmopolitan's editor-in-chief Joanna Coles at the Fun Fearless Life conference in New York City on Sunday, the actress shot out at both the handling of the criminal act by the media in addition to her outrage over the response in the public.
"Over a hundred women were targeted — if these women weren't celebrities, there would be much more outrage," Union posited during the conversation. "But because we're female celebrities [the response was] 'we weren't good victims and we enjoyed it, all PR is good PR.' That's what they say."
It's certainly an interesting bit of hypocrisy, the idea that because someone is in the public eye, they're more public property than person — one that likely holds up when you consider the response Union herself experienced after her own photos were made public. "'At least you look good! Thank god you were working out!'" was the response Union found most irksome, she remarked. And above all else, "That's not the point. 'I looked attractive while a crime was being committed?' It's a crime."
And while she understands why she's encountered such responses — "People panic when something bad happens and are trying to lighten the mood" — it ultimately only "makes it worse, ... and now I know you looked. Everyone has the choice of not clicking."
"The day after my wedding, we were all sitting around, rehashing the best day of my life, and I get a text from my team that there's an article that over 100 female celebrities had been targeted." It was three weeks later when Union's own photos were leaked.
"In the moment, I froze. I was mortified, terrified. ... I just didn't know what to do. I felt I had given so much of myself, but I had saved a little bit for myself and for my husband, and they had taken that from me," the actress stated.
In response, Union has contacted the FBI, but she's not set to let the narrative play out as it has thus far — particularly in the case where misguided folks blame the victims of the criminal proceedings. "I didn't do anything wrong — no matter what people describe to me, 'It's your fault, you're stupid to take nude photos, that's what happens when you're a celebrity' — all this nonsense, ... they're criminals."
Speaking truthfully on the matter, Union asserted something we can all get behind, and that is "What you do with your own body is your choice. Period. There's no gray matter there. And when someone takes your choice away and your power away over your own body, it's a crime. Period.
By calling it a "hacking scandal," Union asserts, we're only lessening the reality of what has happened and "making it more palatable for mass consumption, but it's a crime."
"You'd hope they'd care as much about you as you do about the new iPhone 6," Union stated before ending on a call to action. "Anything you do on your phone, ... anyone can get access to it at anytime if they want it. We have to, as consumers, ask that our data be protected, and the companies we give our money to are equally as invested in our privacy as we are."
Perhaps equally as telling was her off-handed quip: "When the paparazzi says it's messed up, [it's messed up]!" To which we say preach, girl. Preach.