Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner Take on Paparazzi

Halle Berry and Jennifer GarnerOn 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. 

Garner stated:

“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.”

Halle Berry

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.

**RESTRICTIONS APPLY**Ben Affleck carries baby Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck as Jennifer Garner collects their eldest daughter Violet from School

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?” 

Email: realtalkdebate2012@gmail.com

Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

7 responses to “Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner Take on Paparazzi”

  1. ronarruejo says :

    I haven’t read the text of the bill yet, but I do think that minors/children should be protected, or at the very least, have more protections afforded to them than is currently on the books. When they turn 18, that’s a different story.

    The counterargument that they won’t be able to get a story with high concentrations of children does not hold that much water for me. I’d think it’d be fairly obvious of the difference between just taking a picture of that celebrity’s child and one in which a celebrity’s child just happens to be geographically or topically close to then becoming part of the story, but not the main point.

    On a finer point, the fine increase should definitely happen no matter what else. If there is indeed harassment, there must be more punitive damages that will serve more as a deterrent because they would have already gotten the money from posting those pics. Maybe a limit of $100,000 would not be so far-fetched.

  2. Nancy says :

    I think Ms. Garner & Ms. Berry are correct. In the past 20 years with magazines like People, Us & other tabloid mags, are paying huge amounts to the paparazzi for the best shot to sell magazines. I don’t think the average person cares that Ms. Berry is taking her children to school. So now the paparazzi have all become cut throat in taking pictures. Yes there should be a free zone from the children & the paparazzi.

  3. JF Owen says :

    I agree that the children of celebrities should be protected. But I have a small issue with a law that focuses on the needs of a few, even if they try to open it up a bit by tying it to a “parent’s occupation”. Why not frame the law so that it’s illegal to take a photo for profit of ANY child without the specific consent of the parent. Since the goal of virtually all paparazzi is to sell the photos to someone, that would pretty much take children out of their line of fire. At the same time it would protect the children of less famous people from being exploited in any number of ways.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      The bill itself focuses more so on eliminating harassment. It wouldn’t prevent them from taking photos. I personally think a step further should be made.

      There should be a bill to protect all kids. Paparazzi though hound after children of celebrities. This other stipulation should be in another bill at a federal level.

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