Los Angeles photographer Tyler Shields has stirred up a bit of controversy with his latest photo shoot involving Glee star Heather Morris.
In Shields’ recent series, Morris sports a raging black eye with an iron as a prop. Specifically, one photograph shows Morris in a 50s-era polka-dotted dress, her hands tied up with the iron cord, and what appears to be a man’s hand holding onto the iron.
It didn’t take long for many people to accuse Shields of promoting and even glamorizing domestic violence. Survivors of domestic abuse flooded his blog with comments of how offensive the photos were. Shields has even received death threats.
The executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Rita Smith, called out her concern over the photos, as well, stating that there is nothing sexy or beautiful about violence. Smith argued that had Shields gone about the photos differently, he could have brought awareness to an already misunderstood issue rather than appearing to seek a certain appeal for domestic abuse.
In defense of his photos, Shields sought to assure critics that his intention was not to promote domestic violence. In order to restore the confidence of those offended, Shields will place three photos up for auction, with a starting bid of $100,000. All the proceeds will be donated to Glamour magazine’s campaign supporting domestic violence awareness, entitled “Tell Somebody.” Shields will also auction two more signed photos from the series in which 30 percent of the profits will be donated to the “Tell Somebody” campaign.
Related Resource: Salon, “Do a ‘Glee’ star’s photos glamorize domestic abuse?” Sept. 6, 2011