Celebrities are coming to the defence of Hollywood victims of a mass hacking of stars' private images that have been posted and viewed online.
"The way in which you share your body must be a CHOICE. Support these women and do not look at these pictures,' tweeted 28-year-old Girls creator Lena Dunham.
Online accounts of celebrities, including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton, were hacked, leading to the posting of their nude photographs and some videos online.
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Dunham, who also stars in the HBO show, wrote a string of tweets. Joining her in publicly denouncing the hacker were stars including Canadian comedian/actor Seth Rogen, Emma Watson and Raising Hope actor Lucas Neff.
Seriously, do not forget that the person who stole these pictures and leaked them is not a hacker: they're a sex offender.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) September 1, 2014
Posting pics hacked from someone's cell phone is really no different than selling stolen merchandise.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) August 31, 2014
Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) September 1, 2014
Stealing someone's naked photos is the same as tearing someone's clothes off in public. It's sexual assault.— Lucas Neff (@RealLucasNeff) September 1, 2014
Lawrence, a three-time Oscar nominee who won for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, and Upton contacted authorities after the images began appearing Sunday.
Naked images purporting to be of other female stars were also posted, although the authenticity of many couldn't be confirmed. The source of the leak was unclear.
Ricky Gervais tweeted a comment partially blaming female celebrities for having taken the photos in the first place. It received so much negative backlash that the comedian, who has nearly six million followers, deleted it.
"Celebrities, make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer," the tweet read.
"This is a flagrant violation of privacy," Lawrence's publicist, Liz Mahoney, wrote in a statement. "The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence."
How widespread the hacking of celebrity photos was is not immediately clear. Some of the images were quickly denounced as fakes.
U.S Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, singer Ariana Grande and Nickelodeon actor Victoria Justice were among those saying leaked photos of them were not real.
the fake photos of me are crazy!! was trying to rise above it all, and not give "the creator" the time of day.. BUT.. pic.twitter.com/hceQcOxYkJ— McKayla Maroney (@McKaylaMaroney) September 1, 2014
but forreal tho whoever thought those were actually me...... love u but I'm praying for u 😭😂— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) September 2, 2014
These so called nudes of me are FAKE people. Let me nip this in the bud right now. *pun intended*— Victoria Justice (@VictoriaJustice) August 31, 2014
Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton originally posted the hacked nude photos of Justice and Lawrence, but later took them down and issued an apology.
At work we often have to make quick decisions. I made a really bad one today and then made it worse. I feel awful and am truly sorry.— Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton) August 31, 2014
On mobile? Read the tweet here.