The man who is to become the next digital economy and society commissioner for the EU in November has refused to apologise for calling celebrities “dumb” for taking nude pictures that were leaked later on.
Gunther Oettinger received criticism for comments such as “Stupidity is something you can only partly save people from.”
He was speaking at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, about the leak of nude pictures featuring more than 80 female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna and Kate Upton. During the meeting he had said:
“The fact that recently there have been an increasing number of public lamentations about nude photos of celebrities who took selfies- I just can’t believe it. If someone is dumb enough as a celebrity to take a nude photo of themselves and put it online, they surely can’t expect us to protect them.”
MEP Juila Reda, who represents the Pirate Party said: “The statement is unbelievable.”
“The person applying to be in charge of shoring up trust in the internet so that Europeans do more business online, just blamed people whose personal data was accessed and spread without authorisation.
“By making a mockery of what he should recognize as a serious problem and by doing it in this aloof and insulting tone, Gunther Oettinger is seriously calling into question whether he is qualified for the job of shaping our digital society for the next five years.”
When asked by the BBC if he wished to apologise or explain his comments, Mr Oettinger’s spokeswoman said “No.”