Paparazzi Policy Speech
Being a celebrity means putting up with people wanting to take pictures with you and signing your autograph all the time. Everyone understands its in the job description to be followed and stared at. But when does a person taking a harmless picture cross the line into harassment? Yes its sad to think that these people don’t get any privacy anymore, but what most of us need to worry about is that it could affect us next. Paparazzi have gotten more wild and out of control over the years and if we don’t do anything about it now, it will only get worse.
SLIDESHOW First we will go over exactly what the problem with the paparazzi is; such as how they are hired for magazines and abuse their power as a means to stalk individuals, not only celebrities but also professional athletes. Then we will find out the causes of the problem, and what effects they have had on the public, such as the laws that are currently in use but not working, and the injuries that innocent bystanders are getting because of the crazy paparazzi.Lastly, we will discover a solution for this dangerous situation, in which we will advertise high restrictions and greater punishments to any paparazzo who doesn’t obey these laws. Lets begin by discovering exactly why the paps are dangerous. By not making enough restrictions for the paparazzi, we are basically encouraging them to continue to put our safety at risk. Paparazzi are described as freelance photographers who aggressively pursue celebrities to take candid pictures, which they plan to sell to magazines and tabloids for profit.According to an article in Suite 101 on August 7, 2008 written by Rachel Oliva, the term paparazzi actually comes from “paparazzo” which is italian for buzzing mosquito.
You can definitly see the similarities. Paparazzi are infamous for car chases, causing disruptions and many other tactics to try and get rises out of the celebrities they are stalking. They have no consideration or care for the people they put in danger in order for them to get the perfect picture. Sadly, magazines pay huge sums of money for these pictures.Another article from Suite 101 written by Tara Gilbert on October 18, 2007 speculated that a picture of a celeb with no make up on can go for more than $10,000. Therefore, a fine of a mere $500 for running a red light is well worth getting the picture. Not only is this happening in the US, but in every country that celebs visit, you can count on a swarm of paparazzi being there.
Especially in India, which is notorious for its terrible drivers, paparazzi are only making the conditions worse. Athletes are also being victimized by the aggressive photographers.Imagine a professional football or baseball player with a huge game the next day, The last thing they need to worry about is being harassed and photographed, which only adds to the stress in their life. In relation to us, we also have to worry about the paparazzi here in Malibu. Since we live in a place where many celebrities have chosen to live, we get to tell cool stories to our friends about seeing adam sandler in Malibu Yo. However we also have to worry about the photographers hiding behind bushes and jumping out into the street hoping to catch the stars in surprise.And driving down PCH we are very likely to get in an accident with a reckless paparazzo and a frantic celebrity.
David Halbfinger from the New York Times described in his article on June 9 2005 Some tactics that Paparazzi use to get the perfect picture, including using several vehicles to “box in” a celebrity’s car, run the stars off the road, or chase them at a high speed. They recklessly put pedestrians, other drivers and even themselves at risk. Celebrities themselves are speaking out about the paparazzi as well.According to the same New York Times article, Reese Witherspoon, Famous for her role on Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama, said a paparazzi actually tried to ram the back of her car, which they had never done before. The most famous of paparazzi- caused deaths was Princess Diana of Wales, who was killed in a high speed car chase trying to lose several paprazzi. SLIDESHOW An investigation was completed on April 7 2008 and in the Huffington Post, author Robert Barr concluded the fault was given to Princess Di’s driver and the pursuing paparazzi for reckless behavior equal to manslaughter.Robert Barr goes on to say that nine of the paparazzi involved were charged with manslaughter, but the charges were thrown out in 2002.
Only three photographers were convicted of invasion of privacy and fined exactly one euro in 2006. One euro? Really? If paparazzi can get away with killing one of the most respected women in the world and only have to pay one Euro, then something needs to be changed in our system. Now that we have found out exactly why the paparazzi are dangerous, Lets continue on to the causes of this problem.This problem exists because we as a community have allowed the paparazzi to take advantage of our lax laws. In the same article that Tara Gilbert wrote in 2007, she wrote that the paparazzi justify their tactics by using the 1st amendment Free speech excuse as their failsafe way of saying they are just doing their jobs. The laws that are in place now include one from 1999 that protects celebrities privacy in a minimal way, saying that pictures taken illegally from when paparazzi have trespassed can not be sold for profit. Hollywood.
om author Ken wok describes the law as needing to be updated. This law doesn’t say anything about car chases, doesn’t protect the bystanders who are getting involved when the paparazzi get too angsty and doesn’t put a boundary on how aggressive they can be. Although there are those few celebrities who use the paparazzi as a way to get more publicity and continue to be relevant, there are far more who are fighting back against them. Literally. According to Darrell Hartman’s June 7 2010 article in Vanity Fair, Sean Penn found a paparazzi in his hotel room nd proceeded to dangle the guy out his hotel room window by his heels. Kanye West smashed a paparazzos camera after they harassed him in an airport. And hugh grant threw a tub of baked beans at the paparazzi after they had followed him in london.
He also karate kicked another pap in New York. Now that have gone over the problems and the causes, we can try to find solutions. Luckily, Governor Schwarzenegger was already thinking about this problem a month ago.Patrick McGreevy wrote an article in the Los Angeles Times on October 1, 2010 saying that the governor signed a bill that cracks down on photographers who drive recklessly in pursuit of celebrities or block sidewalks. It Includes possible jail time of a year. The bill also has greater punishments of the photographers who break trespassing laws and those who recklessly flout traffic ordinances. It charges over $5000 to any photographer who interferes with anyones car, not just a celebrities.
However any photographers means newspaper journalists or television cameras are included too.By increasing the fee, hopefully paparazzi will be less likely to be aggressive and endanger peoples safety. While this bill is great, I suggest taking it even farther. Forcing the magazines to lower their rates for pictures of celebrities will make paparazzi think twice about the repercussions of driving recklessly. Andrew Blankstein of Century City news wrote in an article on October 1 2010, that explained how the value of celebrity photos tends to increase the franticness of paparazzi behavior. By taking away the reward’s value, gambling with reckless driving may seem like its not worth it.Combined with the new bill that increases their punishments, the paparazzi will be forced to the conclusion that the risk of getting caught isn’t worth the money they would get from a magazine.
And lastly the one thing that all of us can do easily, is if we ever see a celebrity being harassed by paparazzi, we can call the authorities. Most paparazzi get charges against them dropped because no witnesses come forward. With the extra punishments involved, these paparazzi will have to risk jail, or simply abide by the law. In conclusion, paparazzi are dangerous to celebs and innocent bystanders alike.Dubner states in his 2009 article that “when you are famous, your every move is of interest to someone, and consequently of value to someone else. ” The bill that the governor signed last month will raise the punishments for paparazzi who break the law, and by forcing the magazines to lower the price of celebrity pictures by more than 80%, the payoff wont be as great for the photographers, hopefully discouraging them from doing anything illegal to get the pictures. These things combined can help celebrities, athletes, and normal people alike stay safe when paparazzis are around.