Far too many female celebrities still have to deal with hackers threatening to leak their private photos, but some women are starting to fight back. In June, Bella Thorne shared her own topless photo to thwart an attempted leak, tweeting, “I took my power back.” And most recently, when someone tried to extort comedian Whitney Cummings over a topless photo, she took matters into her own hands and posted it.
On August 12th, Cummings tweeted that in an April Instagram story, she had accidentally posted (and later deleted) a photo showing her nipple. She shared that some people had taken screenshots of the image and were trying to blackmail her with it. But Cummings would not let herself be bullied, and she posted the picture herself before anyone else could.
She also shared a screenshot of the attempted extortionist’s threat.
1) In April I accidentally posted an insta story that showed nipple. Once I realized, I deleted. The people who took screen grabs are trying to get money from me, some said they have offers to sell them, some are asking for money to not post the photo.— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) August 12, 2019
2)They all must think I’m way more famous than I am, but they also must think I’m way more easily intimidated than I am. If anyone is gonna make money or likes off my nipple, it’s gonna be me. So here it all is, you foolish dorks. pic.twitter.com/cet4YEXVyG— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) August 12, 2019
In a series of follow-up tweets, Cummings wrote that she was not going to name the people trying to blackmail her because “some of them might be dumb kids.” She also shared some powerful words about women in the public eye.
When a woman in the public eye is extorted, we have to spend time, money and energy dealing with it, hiring lawyers and security experts, and living with a pit in our stomach about when and how we will be humiliated. Y’all can have my nipple, but not my time or money anymore.— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) August 12, 2019
Other comedians and writers chimed in with messages of support for her.
Omg— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) August 12, 2019
1) did someone hack your phone and then try to extort you?? That’s terrifying.
2) perfect nipple stunning can
I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. ❤️— Rhea Seehorn (@rheaseehorn) August 12, 2019
Legend— Ronald Funches (@RonFunches) August 12, 2019
you're the best— samantha irby (@wordscience) August 12, 2019
You are awesome Whitney!!! 💪🏾— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 12, 2019
Chris D’Elia, who co-starred with Cummings in the NBC sitcom Whitney, shared his own embarrassing photo with the actress to lift her spirits.
What Cummings did is a badass way to take control of her own narrative, but no one should ever have to deal with threats like this. It’s infuriating to think that many women have to live with the fear that their photos will be leaked. We’re sending love to Cummings today.