World Cup 2018: Getty Images deletes female gallery of 'sexiest fans' after heavy criticism

Greg Evans
Wednesday 27 June 2018 08:30

Ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there had been fears that the tournament would be dogged by problems off the pitch.

Although there haven't exactly been widespread reports of human rights violations, there have still been multiple examples of homophobia and misogyny on the streets of Russia.

On the terraces, the atmosphere has mostly been positive, but the old cliche of cameras cutting to attractive women in the stands whenever there is a break in play is still unfortunately present.

There is no ruling against this, but for female football fans, this representation that they should all look like supermodels is inaccurate and misleading.

Prior to the start of the World Cup, a photography campaign was launched by the female football collective This Fan Girl to help change the online perception of female football fans from around the world.

In a complete contrast to this, Getty Images - one of the world's leading stock photo agencies - published a galley named 'World Cup 2018: The Hottest Fans'.

Picture: Getty Images(Getty Images)

It featured around 30 images of what is perceived as traditionally beautiful women and, furthermore, it didn't feature a single man.

The catchline also read: "Talk about a knock-out round..."

Getty's decision to publish the gallery has been widely condemned on social media by female and male football fans alike.

In a statement given to indy100, Emma Townley, a spokeswoman for This Fan Girl said:

This list from Getty that has come out today is so disappointing. They are the biggest media-selling agency in the world, they are the go-to for brands, advertisers and journalists.

They need to do better, because of their size and influence they have a huge responsibility to not perpetuate the toxic male primacy that exists in football. I was going to tiptoe around this but we're so bored of this narrative.

We set up This Fan Girl to fight exactly this, clearly, the problem is still fairly deep rooted and we desperately need balance. 

Football has come on leaps and bounds - the addition of Eni Aluko and Alex Scott to the World Cup commentary team is great, but then there's Jason Cundy's comments and Julieth Gonzalez Theran getting groped on camera whilst she was doing a live broadcast.

We started off buzzing about the progress but every day there is more and more stuff that shows just how much This Fan Girl is needed, how much our campaign to shift the focus to be more representative is needed. 

Following the backlash, Getty deleted the tweet and the gallery, and replaced the page with an apology to those that were offended.

The statement reads:

Earlier, we published a piece, 'World Cup 2018: The Sexiest Fans,' that did not meet our editorial standards.

We regret the error and have removed the piece. There are many interesting stories to tell about the World Cup and we acknowledge this was not one of them.

In an additional statement Getty's chief executive, Dawn Airey told Channel 4 News.

[The gallery] was not appropriate or in any way consistent with our company values or beliefs.

We hold a deep belief in the power of visuals to incite change and shift attitudes and we have done and will continue to do, much work to promote and create a more evolved and positive depiction of women.

HT Channel 4

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