Michael Roberts (pictured, probably pointing to something refined and beautiful) was the fashion and style director on Vanity Fair's creepy Miley Cyrus shoot. And instead of letting the fiasco die out quietly, he spoke out to WWD to reveal the real reason behind the outcry: sour grapes, and a bunch of American clods with an insufficient sense of sophistication! Europeans aren't like that, he'll have you know:
"I'm European. I come from London, I lived in Paris, and I just find it extraordinary that this has been blown up like this," he told WWD...
"The whole kiddie porn prurient angle seems to be worryingly sour grapes from other magazines that didn't get a picture like this...teenagers can be seen on TV and in the cinema in the most prurient ways, and then a photograph which is for all intents and purposes innocent is blown out of portion and condemned as some ridiculous apotheosis. It's a joke to me. But it's not a joke because I don't find it funny. I find it offensive. I'm deemed as being party to some kind of subversive picture of this girl, that she was cajoled. That we literally manhandled her into stripping is completely not true."
We bestow a cookie upon Mr. Roberts for his valiant effort not to "literally manhandle" Miley Cyrus into stripping. Make that the apotheosis of a cookie.
"This is a girl caught up in a gigantic enterprise where many people's fortunes are riding on her future. If it was fine then, I don't see why suddenly it's not fine."
Roberts suggested one rationale for the change of heart: "Maybe Vanity Fair is a far too sophisticated media outlet for her. Maybe she's better off in those teen magazines. We don't do cheesy teen pictures. We do chic pictures and pictures that are beautiful portraits by probably the leading portrait photographer of our age."
Well then. America stands corrected.
[Bonus great Roberts quote from last year: 'The thing about Vanity Fair is that they always want the stars naked,' he says. 'But I'm trying to persuade them to put the clothes on.' Ha. For more on Roberts' general bitchiness, see here]