Magnum Suspends David Alan Harvey for One Year Following Investigation

Magnum Suspends David Alan Harvey for One Year Following Investigation

Magnum Photos has suspended photographer David Alan Harvey for one year following an investigation into an historical accusation.

Harvey was temporarily suspended in August when the accusation was first made, pending an investigation. Today, a statement posted on the Magnum website explains that the investigation was carried out “by an independent investigator, Magnum’s board, with the assistance of outside legal counsel” and has “concluded that the behaviour represented a breach of its code of conduct and by-laws.”

Magnum has refused requests to publish its code of conduct, explaining that it is a confidential Human Resources document.

Magnum also declined to say who acted as the independent investigator or who provided the outside legal counsel.

According to Magnum, the investigation into Harvey’s behavior and his subsequent suspension “affirms Magnum’s ongoing commitment to create a culture of dignity and respect, free of inappropriate conduct within the organisation and among the photographic community.”

Conditions are attached to Harvey's reinstatement, and the photographer "has been asked to engage willingly in sensitivity and anti-harassment training among other requirements."

The statement also explains that Magnum has set up a hotline with Safecall so that anyone with concerns over the conduct of Magnum staff can pass them directly to Magnum’s senior staff anonymously.

In a separate issue, Harvey’s work was removed from Magnum’s website in August after it emerged that a body of work entitled “THAILAND. Bangkok Prostitutes” featured explicit images of what may be children. Magnum’s president, Olivia Arthur, issued a statement on August 14 explaining that it would conduct an “in-depth internal review — with outside guidance —  to make sure that we fully understand the implications of the work in the archive, both in terms of imagery and context.”

When asked who has been appointed to give the outside guidance, whether law enforcement was being consulted, and if there was a timeframe for its completion, Magnum responded only by saying that the investigation is ongoing.

If you have information about the conduct of a photographer or an organization and wish to discuss it in confidence, you can email

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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Isn't it the job of the police to investigate if sombody has broken the law? If he has broken some law then sombody at Magnum should have reported him.

This smells of Kangaroo Court wokery.


Not too long ago I would have classified this as alarmist, but now I agree: « we are sleepwalking into totalitarian systems ». Maybe not hard totalitarian, maybe it’s soft totalitarian, totalitarian nevertheless

This has nothing to do with whether Mr. Harvey broke the law. This is a business decision.

No, it is pandering to the current puritanical furore that seems to be trying to censor what they do not like and which wants to present a distorted picture of the world.

I read somewhere that there is a move to censor old and new reportage of Africa that does to show that continent in a good light. It is touched upon in this article

Businesses are allowed to pander to whoever they believe is good for their business. many corporates have standards of ethics that have nothing to do with the law.

There will be a sharp drop in social commentary photography of African situations.

Edit: Will this new trend stop African politicians holding out their traditional begging bowls, and how will it affect people who really do need a lot of help to get by? Although there are indeed many very good stories to tell in Africa there are also too many people who go to bed hungry through no fault of their own.

Here we go again... Andy is back at work

DAH has always had a womanizing reputation. He is also very involved in educating and mentoring upcoming photographers. $10 says he flirted heavily with a sensitive 20-something up-and-comer and she threw a fit.

What is he accused of?

nothing illegal... the accusations are under wraps.