A celebrity photographer has been accused of misconduct and predatory behaviour by an LA-based model.
When model Sunnaya shared screenshots of the photographer’s inappropriate messages on Instagram, the social media site removed the images because they considered them to be ‘bullying’ and going against the site’s ‘community guidelines’.
Photographer Marcus Hyde is well-known for shooting such celebrities as Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. According to reports, he recently posted a call for models to get in touch with him on his Instagram account.
View this post on Instagram
#Kanye w/ @KimKardashian at @MarcusHyde’s #GirlsOnFilm book release party wearing a #Yeezy tee & jewelry, and @rialtojeanproject jeans. #KimKardashian wore a @fannieschiavoni skirt and @Dior x @badgalriri shades.(photo: @thedroolingtree) #upscalehype #kanyewest #kimkardashian #marcushyde #yeezyseason #rialtojeanproject #fannieschiavoni #rihanna #dior
Sunnaya, a model and interior design student, responded to Hyde’s message in hope of modelling in a shoot for him. Hyde, however, responded saying she’d have to send him nude photos first so he could see if she was ‘worth it’. The photographer also said if Sunnaya wasn’t willing to do a nude shoot for free, she could pay him $2,000 for a non-nude shoot.
The model decided to post screenshots of Hyde’s highly inappropriate messages on social media, including a screenshot of his reply which told her to ‘suck a fat big dick’.
— Sunnaya (@thedevilsoftly) July 22, 2019
Shortly after Sunnaya shared the messages, Instagram took the action to remove them from the site as they went against ‘community guidelines’, and could be seen as ‘bullying or harassment’. They also warned Sunnaya her Instagram account could be deleted entirely.
However, the news about Hyde still spread, and soon more stories about the photographer started to emerge. As Sunnaya told BuzzFeed News: ‘I had no idea it would receive this much attention, [but] I’m thankful that it did because so many girls dm’d me sharing their stories.’
As Sunnaya’s story went viral, celebrities who had also done shoots with Hyde spoke out about the situation.
While Ariana Grande did not mention Hyde by name, she posted this message on Instagram:
Dear models/artists in LA/anywhere,
I have just read some shocking and really heartbreaking stories. I hate that this is a conversation. But. Please do not shoot with photographers who make you uncomfortable or make you feel like you need to take your clothing off if you don’t want to. If you want to, sick. But if you don’t, please don’t. If they tell you you have to pay more money if you’re clothed that’s fucked and I’m sorry that has happened to you. I promise there are so many respectful, nice, talented photographers out there.
While Kim Kardashian, who reportedly donated $25,000 to help cover Hyde’s medical bills after a car crash, according to People, also shared a message on social media following Sunnaya’s story.
I have been reading all of the messages and stories from women regarding inappropriate and inexcusable behavior of a photographer that I have worked with in the past. My own experiences have always been professional, and I am deeply shocked, saddened and disappointed to learn that other women have had very different experiences. I stand in full support of every woman’s right to not be harassed, asked or pressured to do anything they are not comfortable with. We cannot allow this type of behavior to go unnoticed and I applaud those who speak out.
Sunnaya’s story was shared by a fashion industry-focused Instagram account called Diet Prada, who posted a screenshot of Hyde’s apparent call for models, and his messages with Sunnaya, to their 1.4 million followers.
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Gross @marcushyde . @kimkardashian @arianagrande , come get your boy and teach him some decency. Last night, Los Angeles model and interior design student @sunnnaya replied to the celebrity photographer’s Instagram story seeking models for a shoot. What transpired in their DM was nothing short of the typical predatory douchebaggery you’d expect via shady Instagram “castings” by slimy dudes. With her followers backing her up and sharing her post, Hyde had a simple reply: “suck a fat big dick”. That’s sure to get you points with the ladies, Marcus. • #marcushyde #kimkardashian #kendalljenner #khloekardashian #arianagrande #photographer #celebrity #casting #model #shady #gross #kuwtk #wiwt #ootd #film #digital #camera #celeb #behindthescenes #dietprada
After receiving numerous messages from others who have reportedly had similar experiences with Hyde, Sunnaya says she is keen to keep the pressure and attention on the allegations against him.
She told BuzzFeed News:
What was most shocking about [this whole experience] is how many other girls had even worse experiences with him. My heart goes out to them and I want to make sure he will not be able to do it again.
Since the story broke, Hyde made his social media private, and has not yet addressed the allegations or responded to requests for comment.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.