Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner Take on Paparazzi
On Tuesday, celebrities Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner appeared at a legislative hearing in California to urge passage of a bill that would increase penalties against paparazzi that “harass” the children of celebrities. They argue that the paparazzi can take as many pictures of them as they like, despite their chagrin, but when it comes to their children they should exhibit restraint in the best interest of the child.
“I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, lawbreaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are all day every day to continue traumatizing my kids.”
The bill focuses on people who target children based on their parents’ occupation. In the 1990’s, a similar bill was passed to protect the children of health clinic workers from harassment from anti-abortion protesters. The basis of that bill aided in the origination of the celebrity bill.
Some news organizations have argued that the bill would hinder their “news-gathering abilities.” They argue that the bill will inadvertently become problematic when breaking news stories center around schools or other areas with high concentrations of children. The bill would increase penalties for harassment from a maximum of six months in jail to a maximum of one year, and increase the potential fine for doing so to $10,000, from the current $1,000.
Celebrity harassment from paparazzi is nothing new. Almost a year ago, a paparazzi member photographed a topless Kate Middleton while she vacationed in a “secluded” residence. America’s celebrity-crazed, hunger has only perpetuated the rage over celebrity photos. As people continue to purchase magazines with salacious stories and private photos, paparazzi members will continue to skim around the law in the hopes of cashing in on society’s obsession.
Celebrities cannot complain their photos are constantly being taken. It is a part of their fame. However, harassing their children is not warranted and should be outlawed. The children of celebrities did not ask for this notoriety and should be protected by state law.
Berry and Garner said during the hearing that they understand and reluctantly consent to pictures of themselves being taken. They are only asking that photographers stay clear of them when in the presence of their children. Personally I don’t think the bill does enough. I think paparazzi should not be allowed to take photos of the children. The photos could potentially become a security liability. There are many crazy people out there that could decide to kidnap one of these children.
Additionally, I think there should be a fifteen foot clearance when taking pictures. Crowding around the celebrity as they enter a vehicle is reckless and dangerous. There have been instances of accidents caused from distracted photographers. I think it is fair that the celebrity’s picture is taken. I just don’t think they should be allowed to photograph the child. Photographers should still have a personal responsibility to not endanger the populace.
What do you think?
Does this just come with the “territory?”
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate