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Internet Rallies Behind New York Meteorologist Fired for Being a Victim of Revenge Porn

Erick Adame in 2021 out in the cold reporting the weather. Image: Specturm News NY1.

Those in the New York area might have noticed their local weekday morning meteorologist disappear in early September 2022. The 15-year, award-winning Spectrum News NY1 star Erick Adame was fired from his position after years of service after someone sent nude images of him to his employer, mother, and possibly more people, unauthorized. In the state of New York, it is a criminal and civil offense to even threaten to share these images without consent. Yes, Adame was the victim of revenge pornography, yet as it goes in most cases, he is the one punished.

The story about the firing broke when The Daily Beast obtained court documents showing Adame and his lawyer, Jeremy Klausner, are trying to find out the real name of the person(s) who linked the images. These images were screenshot as early as winter 2021, when Adame frequented an adult cam community.

Adame’s response

I’m not sure if it’s a legal team helping him with this or if he really believes it, but Adame’s statement on social media is very hard to read. While, rightfully, Adame stands firm in not being ashamed about his sexuality as a sex-positive gay man, and is very optimistic in his tone about being proud of his career, he also simultaneously references this incident as something he did wrong.

Unless there are details we don’t know, like this being done at the office or something clearly crossing a legal line, there’s nothing he has to apologize for. The network likely invoked a morality clause for (whatever they deem) “inappropriate” behavior, but that doesn’t mean they should have. Adame didn’t choose to have the imagery shared, so what about his actions was wrong? In this case, the behavior is … having sex with consenting adults? By that measure, they don’t have a network.

This might have happened regardless of his sexuality, but it’s worth noting that sexual expression among LGBTQ+ people is still taboo (especially for men and trans people) as it was only recently decriminalized (in most instances) in 2003. The recent opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas in Dobbs signaled he’s open to striking down these protections. Adame’s firing comes just two years after five anchorwomen left NY1 after settling an age and gender discrimination lawsuit with the station’s parent company, Charter Communications.

The internet and a local politician speaks up

While sharing and distributing pornography (including images) has a long history, revenge porn really exploded in the 2010s. A 2016 study found that millions of Americans have been threatened with or been victims of revenge porn, and the perpetrators are equal among men and women. Women and people in the LGBTQ+ community have a higher risk of being victims of these crimes.

Despite the network’s failure to stand by its employee, many online and across various social media platforms are demanding Adame get his job back. This chorus includes fellow New York residents, journalists, and former gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon. I’m not even a resident of the state, but I hope that if he doesn’t get his job back and more, he finds work somewhere fulfilling and where having adult consensual sex off the job isn’t a fireable offense.

(via The Daily Beast, image: Spectrum News NY1)

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(she/her) Award-winning digital artist and blogger with an interest in art, politics, identity, and history—especially when they all come together. This Texan balances book-buying blurs with liberal Libby use.