It was a cover page unlike any other. 35 women, in black dresses, posed as a cover for New York Magazine. These are the faces of alleged victims of sexual assault from comedian Bill Cosby.
The New York magazine blew the internet and social media as fast as they could upload the cover on Sunday night. According to New York Times, the magazine?s website went offline early Monday morning and stayed dark until about noon, thwarting what had been extraordinary traffic.
The photographs were taken by Amanda Demme, with articles from Noreen Malone. New York Times shared that it examined the women?s accusations in the context of the evolving attitude in the country toward the reporting of rape accusations. Their only intention was publicly reveal the vast number of women that Bill Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted.
?I believe that there will be power in the number ? and that was always our theory ? that to see all these women and their stories side by side, one would have a greater sense of the magnitude of the story,? Adam Moss, the magazine?s editor in chief, told the New York Times in a phone interview.
One account was from Kathy McKee saying:
?Bill had been a friend. I had had dinner with his wife on one or two different occasions, I had worked with him, I had known him for many, many years, and he never made a pass at me. So when this happened to me, I was really, really shocked. I just couldn?t understand what was wrong with him. Had he lost his mind? When I came out of the bathroom, he said to me, ?Okay, come on, let?s go. They?re waiting for us.? He was behaving like a person that I had never met before in my life.??
The website consisted of individual stories of their experiences with Bill Cosby, with photos and videos of their interview. One notable victim was Janice Dickinson, an American model and talent agent.
And what had been the most surprising reaction was that of the empty chair, a symbolism for the women that Cosby allegedly assaulted but did not want to come forward. Readers went to social media to share their comments on the cover page creating the #TheEmpthyChair hashtag.
One notable twitter account was that of Elon James White, publisher of ThisWeekInBlackness.com. Random twitter users shared their experience to him via direct message of being sexually assaulted then he tweets their message without showing their names.
A user tweeted: ?Cannot tell you how grateful I am for the #TheEmptyChair hashtag. People lose decades of themselves to that fight. Nearly lost myself to it.?
?Many Empty Chairs exist by force not by choice..,? another twitter user wrote.
According to BBC.com, since the story?s publication, more than 23,000 have mentioned #TheEmptyChair. The hashtag took on a more special role, discussing the larger problem of unreported sexual assaults all over the world.