The “Weinstein effect” and an official statement from Condé Nast

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With a massive list of magazines to their name, Condé Nast has their fingers in just about every lifestyle, luxury, and culture industry in the country.

Their Traveler magazine, for one, has given Minnesota favorable ratings more than a few times, like when they listed Minneapolis as one of their top 10 travel destinations in the world for NYE last year. Just saying. We would still care even if they hadn’t mentioned, just probably not quite as much…

What is being called the “Weinstein effect” has caused some major waves across industries on tangentially connected to the original scandal. No longer are the stories staying just “stories” and rumors as they come to light, and caused what feels like the collapse of assaulting, abusive, aggressive men in power operating without repercussion.

The “Weinstein effect” across multiple industries

More than 20 high-profile men have been called out since the Weinstein story first broke on October 5th. One of the most notable is photographer Terry Richardson. Notable because, yes, he’s a famous photographer and he’s a famous photographer of famous and beautiful women. But also because these allegations, of course, are nothing new. This is just the first time (at least on this grand of a scale) that something is being done about it.

The Weinstein effect, and an official statement from Conde Naste

Condé Nast publications have used Richardson for countless shoots over the years. They’re now distancing itself from the photographer and, hopefully, the scandal in general.

Here is the official statement from Condé Nast and Condé Nast International, released 10/27:


“Condé Nast is deeply concerned by the recently surfaced allegations of sexual harassment in our industry. There are no excuses for this type of behavior; it is completely unacceptable. The company expects all employees, freelance contributors and others that Condé Nast retains to act appropriately and with the utmost personal and professional respect for each other, when working on behalf of the company and its brands, advertisers, and clients.

All employees, freelancers and independent contractors must understand the company’s expectations of appropriate behavior and treatment of others. Condé Nast also expects the agencies that represent hired talent to develop, circulate and reinforce with their clients what is and is not acceptable behavior in interacting with others, with particular emphasis on protecting people who are in vulnerable positions in their professional relationships.

Condé Nast is committed to working with our colleagues and partners to help find solutions to the problem of all types of harassment in our industry. The company calls upon other like-minded publishers, relevant trade organizations and talent representatives to join us in this effort. To that end, we will be reaching out to the major agencies with whom the company does business to put such a program in motion.”

Bob Sauerberg, CEO of Condé Nast and Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman and CEO of Condé Nast International


Of course, everyone/anyone connected in any way to this scandal is doing their best to distance themselves from it. Minnesota Senator Al Franken, for one, is donating campaign dollars he got from Weinstein to the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center.

Turning a negative into a positive, you could say.

Is this enough? Is it enough that the person goes down, or that more oversight is enacted? As we discussed in Catcalling in the Twin Cities and Catcalling in the Twin Cities, part II: Gender and inequality, is it more important that the culture be addressed; the conditions that allowed these things to happen in the first place?

If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, Condé Nast’s attempts at rectifying the situation, and taking action against it happening in the future, could at least be, if nothing else, the first step towards tangible change in our culture.

I guess we’ll see.

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