Comedian and writer Whitney Cummings got the upper hand on scammers trying to extort her, sharing the topless photo that they were threatening to share if she didn’t pay them money, Yahoo Entertainment reports.
It seems that back in April, the former Roseanne showrunner accidentally posted a topless picture on Instagram. In a tweet, she said that she realized her mistake and deleted it. However, nothing that’s ever posted on the internet is gone forever, as there’s a whole cottage industry devoted to taking screenshots of celebrities’ and politicians’ social media posts, so there will be a record of them in case the original user deletes them.
Sure enough, some enterprising Instagram users took screenshots of Whitney’s semi-nude pic, and then, as Whitney describes it, tried to turn it around and get money from her. She then explains that she was contacted by people claiming to be in possession of the photo, who threatened to publish it if she didn’t pay up.
“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,” she wrote.
Not one to let scammers get the upper hand, Whitney instead decided to head them off at the pass and post the topless photo herself, which you can see in this tweet. She even took the time to draw a circle around the body part in question.
She also kept a sense of humor about the whole thing, writing that the would-be scammers “all must think I’m way more famous than I am.” She also said that the scammers must think she’s more easily intimidated than she is.
Joking aside, Whitney did touch upon a serious issue: that some corners of the internet try to exploit and/or shame celebrity women over their bodies. Whitney tweeted that she’s having none of it.
“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.”
She also took the high road in not turning the attempted extortion attempt right back on the would-be extorters. She tweeted that she wasn’t going to name names because some of them could very well be “dumb kids.” She said that she doesn’t want the stupid ideas she had as a kid following her around the rest of her life, so she’s not going to do the same to the would-be scammers.