After photo agency Magnum Photos was blamed of taking photographs showing sexual exploitation of minors, photographer David Alan Harvey has been suspended. A report said that the decision was arrived at after Magnum’s board voted for his suspension unanimously.
“A specific allegation has been made in confidence over the past few days relating to the personal conduct of David Alan Harvey. Such behaviour would represent a breach of [Magnum’s] code of conduct. A formal investigation is being carried out and David Alan Harvey’s membership has been suspended whilst this process takes place. Magnum is committed to a safe work environment and we will fairly and thoroughly investigate allegations of improper conduct by photographers or staff,” a statement read.
Last week Magnum was complicated in controversy over some of Harvey’s images in its archive, dating to the late 1980s, documenting sex workers in Thailand.On the basis of the tagging of some of the images, including suggestions that those pictured were potentially minors, critics alleged that some pictures depicted sexually exploited children.The Guardian understands that in his contacts with the agency since the controversy blew up, Harvey has denied that is what his pictures show. The Guardian has contacted Harvey for comment on both issues.
The allegation of harassment comes as the still largely male-dominated world of professional photography has been struggling to get to grips with complaints levelled at leading agencies and prominent photographers. The website had shut down temporarily in order to re-examine the contents of the archive. “We sincerely apologise that the Magnum Pro website is temporarily down. We are doing some essential upgrade work over the weekend and hope to have it back on Monday. Thank you for supporting us.”
We sincerely apologise that the Magnum Pro website is temporarily down. We are doing some essential upgrade work over the weekend and hope to have it back on Monday. Thank you for supporting us.
— Magnum Photos (@MagnumPhotos) August 14, 2020