Last evening, I was stopped in my virtual tracks as my eyes clocked in on the latest cover of New York Magazine.
The cover, nevermore appropriate in a sobering black and white photograph, displays 35 accusers of Bill Cosby (out of an alleged 46). All 35 women, who range in age from mid 20’s to 80’s are sitting stoically, hands on laps with an impactful gaze staring forward. The last empty chair suggests the possibility of additional women who have yet to come forward. The ones still afraid to have their faces shown. The caption, tastefully understated on the bottom right corner reads, Cosby: THE WOMEN An Unwelcome Sisterhood.
It’s sobering. It’s impactful and painfully sad.
I perused through many of these ladies personal accounts and listened to six of them tell their stories via taped interviews—all of which broke my heart. Iconic 1970’s ‘blonde ditzy’ actress turned lawyer Louisa Moritz’s story is so graphic, her delivery of the account is so wounded, so passively helpless—it reeks of a sinister Hollywood male entitlement that infuriates.
The irrevocable damage is seen all over her face and heard in the tenor of her speech.
Another woman Barbara Bowman recounts a two-year nightmare where she was forced to be Cosby’s sex slave. She was repeatedly and viciously attacked, likening her inability to escape to that of a kidnap victim despite having free rein.
I never thought I would hear 70-year-old elderly women have to publicly use such explicit sexual language in describing their accounts, but I’m proud of them for releasing their truth. I stand with them all in solidarity. How brave they all are.
The last empty chair suggesting the possibility of additional women who have yet to come forward. The ones still afraid to have their faces shown.
I was excited to wake up this am to see the full impact the late breaking cover would have had on the collective zeitgeist, but to my shock I noticed the New York Magazine website was down. I wasn’t sure if it was a traffic overload snafu or if something more nefarious was at play? Who was trying to silence these heroic women?!
I quickly learned it was the workings of a hacker named Threat King who was able to keep the site inaccessible for 9 hours beginning at 2.30 am. The odd lunacy of it all, is that said hacker didn’t even see the Cosby cover and didn’t do it as a revolt against the women. His reasoning for the take down was because cause he “hates New York“?! And what more emblematic of New York than the magazine which bears its name? I’m just glad this maniacal kook blacked out a website and nothing more.
ThreatKing first claimed responsibility for the attack under the Twitter handle @Vikingdom2016. The hacking group Vikingdom garnered some attention earlier this year by claiming attacks on some random government websites, including maine.gov for a few hours.
As of 11:40 am the NY Magazine site is back up and running. A great thing, considering the social impact this cover is having and the ability for everyone to have access to it online.
I can’t underscore more how important, how historically monumental it will prove to be for decades to come.
Humbled by their bravery + honesty,
Update: As of 1:40 pm I notice that the New York Magazine website is once again down. Will follow-up. *Perhaps we should all return exclusively to PRINT MEDIA?!?! Can people hijack a printing press?
Update: NY Magazine nymag.com is up and running as of 2:10 pm.