It’s Not Scarlett Johansson’s Fault

Scott Alden wonders why so many people think it’s Scarlett Johansson’s fault that her private, nude pictures were leaked.

The Internet is all bent out of shape today over what could be considered the Holy Grail of leaked nude photos: Scarlett Johansson. It’s the same story as countless times before—celeb takes naked pics of self, celeb’s phone/computer/computer gets hacked, everyone in the entire world sees celeb naked, everyone blames the celeb.

The reactions to the ScarJo leak have so far been no different.

“We expected her to be a little smarter than this!” declared a clearly disappointed Perez Hiton.

Gizmodo ran the pics with the words “You Asked For It” covering Johansson’s breasts.

Maybe it’s just me, but this sounds an awful lot like blaming a rape victim for “dressing too slutty” or “being in the wrong part of town.”

Scarlett Johansson took private photos of herself which were stolen by hacker and people think that “she should have known better” is a fair reaction? How about we blame the guy who stole the pictures and put them on the Internet? You know, the person who committed the crime instead of the person who “invited” it by doing nothing but expressing her sexuality in a way that she has every right to—famous or not.

Here’s the bottom line: it doesn’t matter if she knew she was being targeted. It doesn’t matter how many other famous women have been victims of hacking before her. It doesn’t matter how much more careful she could have been. Celebrities have the right to take naked pictures of themselves for their private use. In fact, everyone does. And they have the right to share them with people they trust as part of a totally healthy sexual relationship, even if it increases their risk of exposure.

It’s not Scarlett Johansson’s fault that their are naked pictures of her on the Internet. The only who should be shamed here is the hacker.

This post originally appeared on

Scott Alden is a staff writer at HowAboutWe. He spends the majority of his time thinking about dating, writing about dating and, sometimes, actually dating. He lives in New York City.

—Photo AP


Some more posts from HowAboutWe:

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  1. I’d like to comment on the opening blurb for itself.

    The blurb/review suggests that you can sign up for free and have dates. You can’t. It’s another of those business models like that teases you into thinking this but the reality is that but you and the recipient must have both upgraded in order to have a conversation to get that date going in the first place. Result? :insert sound of crickets chirping:

    The site is dysfunctional, just like

  2. Thank you for a much needed display of critical thinking in a world where people have none.

    And to all the people who say “nobody cares” BS. It was all over and people kvetched about it non-stop, he’s simply setting it straight. It’s not even about SJ in this article (unlike the articles that revealed it had had happened) but actually about ethics and the law.

    Spend some time on the internet and you’ll realize that everyone is obsessed with three things:

    Sex, the activity and the opposite
    Being attractive

    Why should Scarlett be any different? Condemn the asshole that stole from her.

  3. I found this article thought provoking…upon hearing scarlet’s nude photos had leaked onto the internet my first thought was to see them before they were gone. In the following days, however, I did hear a fair few people regurgitate Perez’s mentality of ‘she should have been more careful’. I didn’t even think about how this could be compared to rape culture until this article, but the responses to this article sort of surprised me.
    In my opinion, any time anyone documents something personal – be it in a nude photograph on their phone or a personal diary or anything, they know the risks they are taking. A person has many reasons for feeling the need to store private information outside of their head, and those reasons are their own and they will most likely take great care to guard this information. Anyone who takes this information and shares it with anyone else without this person’s consent is doing something wrong. So, plain and simple, siding with the criminal (or maybe even downloading pictures of an individual without their consent…) is morally the wrong thing to do. Are we going to do it anyway? probably…and because we don’t personally know Scarlett Johanssen, it’s probably not that big a deal right?
    I think it kind of is. Because if we didn’t want this to happen to a friend or sister or brother, why are we condoning the action itself? Since she’s a celebrity, we are not personally linked to the situation. So for some reason we think its ok to blame her for not being careful. Is this the attitude we want to be practicing on a regular basis? Isn’t it somewhat similar to how we respond to rape culture?
    Furthermore, it also astounds me that we seem to think it’s our business to determine how Scarlett is responding to the situation. I’m not really sure what the woman thinks about the whole thing, i don’t really care because I don’t know her, but how we are responding to how she SHOULD respond is interesting. Does it make us more comfortable to think she should be embarrassed about it? I haven’t actually looked, but I don’t really know whether or not she’s really ‘playing the victim’ about the situation or not. But yes, saying what she should have done or how she should feel about it, or saying that if she didn’t want the pictures stolen she shouldn’t have taken them in the first place is still ignoring the fact that she did not choose to release them.

  4. I have no sympathy for people who don’t protect themselves.
    A criminal does’nt care about your rights.

  5. I have no idea, who is Mr. Scott Alden of, and also the name ‘Scarlett Johansson’ is not really well known to me – one of these many American celebrities I suppose – and about her nude pictures who really cares?

    There are millions of nude pictures of women on the internet for free download.

    I wonder why this rubbish is published in the GoodMenProject.

  6. The comments below this story just confirm what the author was saying. “Good Men Project” … what a joke.
    My favorite begins: “Of COURSE it’s Scarlett Johansson’s fault. She shouldn’t have taken the pictures. PERIOD.” And ends: “That said, the Scarlett Johansson pictures were quite impressive, I must say.” 90% of men, in a nutshell.

    • The Wet One says:

      So you’re saying that “I agree it isn’t her fault” (what I wrote right above your post) = “Of COURSE it’s Scarlett Johansson’s fault” and that men should never ever state or let on in any way that they enjoy the look a woman? I just want to make sure that I understand you Nicole.

      As a man who’s trying to be good (or at least a wee bit better), I just want to make sure that I understand your view Nicole.

      Thanks for helping me out and have a great day!

      • She’s referring to Johann’s comment.

        • The Wet One says:

          Read her comment again. I don’t think that “The comments [underlined for emphasis] below this story just confirm what the author was saying. “Good Men Project” … what a joke,” means what you think it means boo. Maybe I’m wrong. If so, could you kindly point out my error. Thanks.

          • I stand by my comment. Yes, I admit I liked looking at the picture (I’m a man- sue me), but bottom line, if she hadn’t taken the photos, they could not have gotten hacked. Yes, you’d like to think people could respect other people’s privacy, but you all know as well as I do that the real world isn’t like that. People, for the most part, suck.

            Bottom line, she shouldn’t have taken the photos. P-E-R-I-O-D.

  7. The Wet One says:

    This is why I will never ever take nude pics of myself or any woman in my life. It’s just a bad idea.

    I agree it isn’t her fault, but if she hadn’t taken them, they wouldn’t exist to be spread. Sadly, we don’t live in a world where you can do what you want without having others take advantage of you.

    And on that note, I bring you this, which brought tears to my eyes because it was so damned funny!

    Personally, I don’t quite get it because the photos aren’t all that sexy, but the reaction (overreaction?) that is being mocked because it’s SO TRUE!!!

  8. Folks who say you shouldn’t take the nude pics at all because you might be hacked… I assume you send absolutely nothing private or confidential through email (at work or home) or through text? You must not bank online or shop online either. All of these things leave you vulnerable; so if we’re saying that people are responsible for crimes committed against them when they are vulnerable, don’t complain if you’re mugged or carjacked at night- you should be inside the minute the sun sets. Identity theft? YOUR fault for leaving your personal information VULNERABLE to someone. This is silly and ridiculous.

  9. Of COURSE it’s Scarlett Johansson’s fault. She shouldn’t have taken the pictures. PERIOD.

    I get so tired of people- famous or not- that take nude pictures of themselves (or have them taken) and/or make sex tapes and then play the victim when they go public. Hey, I am all for women being naked and sharing that nakedness with the world. But let’s face facts: A, people that take nude pictures of themselves WANT people to see them, and 2, the surest way to keep said nude pictures from getting “hacked” or “leaked” (HUGE air quotes there) is to NOT TAKE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. It’s that simple. Either don’t take them or else don’t pretend to be the victim when they go public.

    That said, the Scarlett Johansson pictures were quite impressive, I must say.

  10. Mervyn Kaufman says:

    Excuse me, but isn’t this the same Scarlett Johansson who was said to have given Benicio Del Toro a blowjob in an elevator in a Beverly Hills office building? If not, I’ve misjudged her; if so, then my sense is that she’s inwardly pleased that her nudeness is getting so much attention.

    You know, celebs are usually coached—by agents, by publicists—on how to conduct themselves so their private lives do stay private. Anyone who encourages or allows photos of themselves in the altogether to be taken are just begging to be hacked.

  11. I’m sure she cares, and YES! it is NOT her fault

  12. midwestmatt says:

    Actors and actresses are nude in films all the time. Had she been a Disney star, or this had been some Kardashian like tape, then I’d be surprised but this is a non issue.

    The only thing people need to be discussing is how awful she looks in the photo and that’s the only thing she needs to be embarrassed about.

    Scarlett, please take better, private nude photos next time with a higher resolution camera. And then send them directly to me.

  13. Oh my God, FINALLY.

    I’ve been seeing comments all over the place, on all kinds of websites, either blaming Ms. Johansson for the hacks, shaming her for taking nude photographs of herself, or celebrating the leaking of these photographs like they’re some sort of gift from above. None of these people called out the act for what it was: a crime and an invasion of privacy.

    This is the first article I’ve seen that actually blamed the right person. Thank you.

  14. Nobody’s blaming Scarlett Johansson. Mainly because nobody cares all that much. Except Scott Alden (whoever he is), and this writer.

    But, he’s right in that It’s not her fault someone hacked her phone. But, she didn’t seem to care much whether they got out or not since she made them so easy to get to, storing them on a cell phone, which is easily lost, stolen, or hacked.

    • Of course it’s not her fault that her pictures were stolen, but to store your sensitive private data on a mobile phone is careless and stupid.

      If you have an expensive car and you park it in a busy street – windows open and key inside – you should not be surprised if it’s stolen within a few minutes. Thieves are everywhere. Same with mobile phones, hand bags or other items.

      Of course nobody has the ‘right’ to steal, but such talk is worthless, as it will not help you to get your property back.

      It is better to think about how to prevent a crime against you.

      About victim blaming – regarding stolen cars or burglary in your home – insurance companies are highly reluctant to pay for your loss if they find out your car or your home was not properly locked.
      This is called negligence.

  15. ….I don’t think anyone really cares…

    This isn’t 1998, we’re not in high school. This has become so routine that the concept of celebrity modesty has gone pretty much extinct. 

    Btw Gizmodo engaging in “Slut Shaming” is a blatant attempt at giving this non issue some kind semblance of cultural relevance. 

    “It’s not Scarlett Johansson’s fault that their are naked pictures of her on the Internet. The only who should be shamed here is the hacker.”

    (Pause for shameful snickering)


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