A Vice magazine photo shoot which depicts models posing as famous female writers who have committed suicide at the time of their deaths is causing a firestorm of controversy.
Authors Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf, who both ended their own lives, are featured along with Dorothy Parker, historian Iris Chang, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and poet Elise Cowen.
The magazine removed the offending images from its website and in its place, wrote a statement apologizing for the editors' decision for running the fashion spread; a spread, titled "Last Words," which credited the clothes and accessories (Issa, Morgenthal Frederics, Jenni Kayne) the models were wearing.
"'Last Words' is a fashion spread featuring models reenacting the suicides of female authors who tragically ended their own lives. It is part of our 2013 Fiction Issue, one that is entirely dedicated to female writers, photographers, illustrators, painters, and other contributors.
The fashion spreads in VICE Magazine are always unconventional and approached with an art editorial point-of-view rather than a typical fashion photo-editorial one. Our main goal is to create artful images, with the fashion message following, rather than leading.
'Last Words' was created in this tradition and focused on the demise of a set of writers whose lives we very much wish weren’t cut tragically short, especially at their own hands. We will no longer display “Last Words” on our website and apologize to anyone who was hurt or offended."
On the website's Facebook comments, which were subsequently removed, readers expressed their feelings on the hot topic which ranged from outraged to indifferent.
"Wow... I'm all for art, fashion and photography, but this has got to be the worst marketing scheme EVER! ...How tacky and exploitive. Boo! :(" said reader Jessi Leigh Kroy. Reader Valerie Bravo Woodruff agreed, saying "Glorifying suicides of famous writers to sell your crappy line of clothes is a new LOW. You ALL should be ashamed of yourselves."
The fashion shoot also caused many people to share their thoughts on Twitter.
Check out the Twitter reactions: