PAPARAZZI: When is too much just too much?

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Should restrictions be passed in order to prevent the extent to which paparazzi can hound celebrities?

No, paparazzi should be allowed to continue their harassment unmitigated
4
9%
Yes, I believe privacy is a basic right that should be fully enforced
40
91%
 
Total votes: 44

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perago sententia
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PAPARAZZI: When is too much just too much?

Postby perago sententia » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:57 am UTC

This post is motivated by the recent flurry of news articles about Australian actress, Naomi Watts, her new child, and husband Liev Schreiber being subject to an apparently vicious swarm of paparazzi in a Greek restaurant, during which things deteriorated to the point of shoving and threats. On the YouTube video of the event, "Schreiber, who has a foot injury, looks like a lion trying to protect his cub from hungry jackals." (Quote from NineMSN news article)

Now I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the word "paparazzi" in the media, my brain immediately switches it with the word "parasite", and my pulse starts racing. Every time I hear of a favourite singer or actor beating in vain at thousands of flashbulbs eating away at their retinas, the muscles in my hands visibly twitch.

So why is nothing being done? While gossip-column readers and YouTube consumers thrive on reports of celebrities driven by paparazzi to the point of brawling, surely there is a violation of common privacy in action?

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Postby mister k » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:57 am UTC

Mmm, I think some peoples hunger for celebrity culture is a litle disturbing. Living their life through other people. The amount of intrusiveness is disturbing, and I don't buy that the public has a right to know. I think a lot of what is done should consitute as harrasment.

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Postby Phenriz » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:00 pm UTC

The real question is do i care?

Such is the price to pay for bombarding me and the rest of the public who couldn't care less about their (celebrities) unimportant lives.
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Postby Invisible_Insane » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:52 pm UTC

I'm with Phreniz.

Besides, when you make the decision to go into a given line of work, there are going to be some occupational hazards. Some people get carpal tunnels, some people just won't be able to maintain the privacy levels they were accustomed to. Suck it up.
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Postby perago sententia » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:58 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote:The real question is do i care?


The real question here has already been asked, amigo. You must be looking for a different thread.

If you dont care, don't speak. Otherwise we have a bit of a conundrum on our hands.

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Postby davef » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:25 pm UTC

Invisible_Insane wrote:I'm with Phreniz.

Besides, when you make the decision to go into a given line of work, there are going to be some occupational hazards. Some people get carpal tunnels, some people just won't be able to maintain the privacy levels they were accustomed to. Suck it up.


I don't agree with this at all. Since when is having other people constantly prying into your family life, constantly prying into what you do when you're not working, considered an occupational hazard? I'm a musician because I love playing music. An occupational hazard is having people criticise and pick apart my work. That much I can accept. As far as having a meal in a restaurant with my family goes, no-one has the right to know about that except those I tell about it.

Excusing the hounding of celebrities with the line that 'they're in the public eye, they should just accept it' is bullshit. Their work is public, their lives are private.
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Postby Phenriz » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:54 pm UTC

perago sententia wrote:
Phenriz wrote:The real question is do i care?


The real question here has already been asked, amigo. You must be looking for a different thread.

If you dont care, don't speak. Otherwise we have a bit of a conundrum on our hands.


My problem is i was too vague, as with your average person why should i care about people who put a bullseye on themselves then complain about the fact that they're a target for such activity?

@davef: If celebrities weren't mass marketing themselves, i'd be one to agree Dave, however as it stands a good majority of "celebs" that complain about the paparazzi also whore themselves out to marketing firms. Actors who think they can sing, singers who think they can act, Politicians who think they can write. It's no different than myspace whores, people put as much of their personal stuff out there to get attention, attention brings celebrities money. The paparazzi is a consequence of that mindset.

If you try to sell personal details about yourself for profit, then complain when someone else tries to do the same thing then i have no sympathy.


With that said, i don't agree with alot of the paparazzi's tactics nor their "ethics", as i personally wouldn't do what they do myself.
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Postby davef » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:18 pm UTC

There's a difference between whoring yourself out for profit a la Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton etc, and doing your work while trying to maintain a healthy degree of privacy a la Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Johnny Depp, etc.

Other people seem to decide that 'famous' = 'has voluntarily given up their right to privacy'. This is rarely the case.
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Postby 3.14159265... » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:15 pm UTC

Everyone should have as much privacy as I do.

If they can take pictures of you, good for them.

Some papparazi go crazy true. Thats not the harrasment most celebrities hate though. Celebrities hate them bieng caught in the nude, or looking ugly.

If someone can take those photos, and someone else will buy them. Good for them.
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Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:09 pm UTC

So why is nothing being done? While gossip-column readers and YouTube consumers thrive on reports of celebrities driven by paparazzi to the point of brawling, surely there is a violation of common privacy in action?


I dunno. I figure they should be like marketing people and lawyers who advertise"Injured? Call me!" - that is, there should be a hunting season for them. You know, the kind where you have to pay a couple grand to get a license, sure.. and you're limited to one kill. But it'd be worth it.

Anyway, the problem isn't me, the problem is the media in general and the struggle to get (for lack of a better term) ratings. Readership, hits, whatever it is that ends up equalling cash in their pocket.

First you have the celebrity doing interviews. That brings in money... but wait, now we have interviews with people who worked with the celebrity saying how they actually are... the company willing to go that low gets some extra cash. Someone took pictures of the celeb doing whatever? The company willing to publish them makes money.

Oh, stuff you can't publish in a "family magazine"? Well, just sell it to a tabloid, they'll buy it. Or the internet...

It all goes back to it makes money because..... people are living vicariously through celebrities.

And the shit of them "fighting back".. spitting on photographers, punching them, cursing, whatever... that's more vicarious living, as it's the kind of behavior that a person would secretly want to do to someone hounding them.

So, yeah... it's a cultural problem.

All that being said... yeah, they're like personal injury lawyers or people in marketing. Scum of the Earth.
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Postby Teshi » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:42 pm UTC

Publicity is one thing. The extent to some people are reported upon today is another.

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Postby lorenith » Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:34 pm UTC

I think the paparazzi needs to back off, it's fine to take pictures, but a lot of the time it goes too far.

Celebrities are people too, if they ask you to go away and stop taking pictures of them, stop stalking them, chasing them, whatever that wish should be respected, just as with anyone else.

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Postby dubsola » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:47 pm UTC

You could have posted the video.

Phenriz wrote:If celebrities weren't mass marketing themselves, i'd be one to agree Dave, however as it stands a good majority of "celebs" that complain about the paparazzi also whore themselves out to marketing firms

Exactly. Most celebrities invite this behaviour, they crave attention, either for it's own sake, or to make more money. And the readers (most girls I know have a guilty pleasure for trashy rags) love it too, that's why they pay money for it. Almost always, everyone benefits from the celebrity lifecycle, so who are they to complain?

When people get hurt (eg Princess Diana), it is sad, because it's a consequence of human nature - the thrill of vicarious living, and greed. But usually it is human error - Dodi did not have to drive like a maniac.

If it was up to me though:
SecondTalon wrote:there should be a hunting season for them. You know, the kind where you have to pay a couple grand to get a license, sure.. and you're limited to one kill.
Yes.

davef wrote:I'm a musician because I love playing music. An occupational hazard is having people criticise and pick apart my work. That much I can accept. As far as having a meal in a restaurant with my family goes, no-one has the right to know about that except those I tell about it.

So go somewhere quiet, don't tell anyone about it, and don't be a media whore. I guarantee you will live a relatively normal life.

Ok, I watched the video. It didn't look that bad at all. Schreiber clearly lost his patience.

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Postby perago sententia » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:40 pm UTC

dubsola wrote:You could have posted the video.

[...]

Ok, I watched the video. It didn't look that bad at all. Schreiber clearly lost his patience.


The case itself was merely the stimulus for this post, not the sole evidence, which is why I didn't think anything more than a brief textual gist of it would suffice.

One will rarely find a case where the paparazzi are seen to directly provoke their subject. Consider instead the level of stress involved with the constant intrusions of an aggressively inquisitive crowd during such mundane and personal things as having lunch out of one's own home. I'm not seeming to communicate this very well, but it's bad enough for me when, in the middle of my lunch, I have to make small talk with people I don't even know. You can be sure I'd be doing a lot more than getting hot under the collar if I had to face that multiplied by a thousand every time I so much as peeked out my front door.

What I wanted to get at was whether a professional entertainer should be able to make the simple choice of being left alone with his family on a day out.

You ask me, you're damned right they should.

Of course, I am not deluding myself in regard to the camera-craving likes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. There is no denying that they are served what they order in terms of media attention. But the distinction needs to be made between that sort of 'voluntary' celebrity, and the part of stardom that would rather their faces remained off the front page of "Nude-Beach-Shots Weekly".

Before anyone asks where they can find that magazine, I made it up.

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Postby Okita » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:49 pm UTC

Celebrities are celebrities because they can market their "good" if you will (being acting or their personal image in the case of Paris - no House of Wax does not count as acting- Hilton) to the entire world or at least a significant portion of it. The world's best carpenter, for example, can only gain so much reputation and market himself to only so many people within his area.

Much of the Paris Hilton craze relies on Paris showing up in public and in a sense, marketing herself to the media.

That said, psychologically it can be trying on a person because even though someone may not be constantly watching and taking photographs, the initial surprise of someone doing so at an unexpected venue or time creates the semblance of no privacy whatsoever. That's enough to drive a lot of people's bloodpressure up especially if they were not truly aware of what marketing themselves to the public would mean.

But I still wonder about celebrities such as Keanu Reeves who hardly show up on the radar although perhaps that is due more to his lifestyle. And since I do not generally pay attention to celebrity news, maybe he really does get a lot of media attention but I never noticed.
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Postby Rasputin » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:29 pm UTC

Although I think privacy should be protected, there's a way to beat them:

Do so many outrageous things (legally) so often that it becomes common and run-of-the-mill and no one wants to hear or read about it anymore.
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Postby Hammer » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:38 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote:My problem is i was too vague, as with your average person why should i care about people who put a bullseye on themselves then complain about the fact that they're a target for such activity?

1. Just because you market your public image does not mean that you waive all rights to privacy and personal space. Some stars manage this very well, others don't. Examples of those who manage well include Paul Newman and Harrison Ford. In general, those who deal well with this accept that people want pictures and reports of them. They develop relationships with the reporters and photographers. They take the time to pose for pictures and give quotes when they go out or attend public events. Since the paparazzi know that these people will give them what they want willingly, they have much less trouble with being pursued and ambushed. They are also much more likely to have their wishes respected when they ask for privacy at certain times.

2. They put a bullseye on themselves, not on their children. I think the paparazzi cross the line when they force the family into the same position as the celebrity him/herself. You should be able to have dinner with your parents and go to school and suchlike without having strangers with cameras leaping out at you all the time just because one of your parents made a movie or sang a song.
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Postby Phenriz » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:52 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:1. Just because you market your public image does not mean that you waive all rights to privacy and personal space. Some stars manage this very well, others don't. Examples of those who manage well include Paul Newman and Harrison Ford. In general, those who deal well with this accept that people want pictures and reports of them. They develop relationships with the reporters and photographers. They take the time to pose for pictures and give quotes when they go out or attend public events. Since the paparazzi know that these people will give them what they want willingly, they have much less trouble with being pursued and ambushed. They are also much more likely to have their wishes respected when they ask for privacy at certain times.


I suppose this is correct, but as i see it the burden here lies upon the actor managing these things, (or hiring someone to manage these things) in an efficient manner. So a portion of the paparazzi factor can be done away with through effective management? (did i read that correctly?)


Hammer wrote:2. They put a bullseye on themselves, not on their children. I think the paparazzi cross the line when they force the family into the same position as the celebrity him/herself. You should be able to have dinner with your parents and go to school and suchlike without having strangers with cameras leaping out at you all the time just because one of your parents made a movie or sang a song.


I agree, the paparazzi does cross the line when they drag family members into these situations.
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Postby Hammer » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:04 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote:I suppose this is correct, but as i see it the burden here lies upon the actor managing these things, (or hiring someone to manage these things) in an efficient manner. So a portion of the paparazzi factor can be done away with through effective management? (did i read that correctly?)

According to the celebrities who talk about such things, yes. Those who manage to have both a public and private life do seem to take responsibility for doing what needs to be done to maintain the balance.
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Postby dubsola » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:46 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:Just because you market your public image does not mean that you waive all rights to privacy and personal space. Some stars manage this very well, others don't. Examples of those who manage well include Paul Newman and Harrison Ford.

That's what I had in mind. Those kinds of celebs manage the paparazzi and ameliorate the problem.

They put a bullseye on themselves, not on their children.

Agreed. Nobody is disputing paparazzi are scum, it's just that the means are there to have one's celebrity cake, and eat it.

Rasputin wrote:Do so many outrageous things (legally) so often that it becomes common and run-of-the-mill and no one wants to hear or read about it anymore.

You're not familiar with Lohan and Hilton? (Gah, it pains me to even type their names!) They do this all the time, and the media and readers love it.

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Postby Insignificant Deifaction » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:24 pm UTC

I demand an annoying sea creature option.

Because in this case, the addition to the 'yes' option in the poll does not fit my views.

I think we should limit the Paparazzi, but not to enforce privacy rights. They are in public after all. The Paparazzi should be limited on the grounds that they are harassing these people.
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Postby lorenith » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:31 pm UTC

Insignificant Deification wrote:I demand an annoying sea creature option.

Because in this case, the addition to the 'yes' option in the poll does not fit my views.

I think we should limit the Paparazzi, but not to enforce privacy rights. They are in public after all. The Paparazzi should be limited on the grounds that they are harassing these people.


When it comes to stalking and videoing/taking pictures of ANYONE even if its in public they should have the right to say "no go away I don't want you recording/photographing/hound me and/or my family for info." Yeah some celebrities are asking for and encouraging it, and I don't really care that much about them, but there's others who don't bring it on themselves that can't seem to do something like go on a family ski trip without some jerkwad camera toter from the media going up and trying to film or photograph them even when asked to go away.

Then these photographers and such wonder why their targets get irate sometimes?

Meh...

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Postby perago sententia » Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:22 am UTC

Insignificant Deification wrote:I demand an annoying sea creature option.


Actually I now realise that I was writing a tinge politically when I phrased the poll questions. Since I can't change the wording now, to whom it may concern, the options are meant to read:

A: Paparazzi - live and let live

B: Sandbag the blighters with red tape galore

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Postby Hammer » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:05 am UTC

dubsola wrote:Agreed. Nobody is disputing paparazzi are scum, it's just that the means are there to have one's celebrity cake, and eat it.

Well, sort of. Expecting Lindsey Lohan et al to manage anything approaching Paul Newman's level of class and intelligence might be setting the bar a bit high. The maturity, discipline and personal emotional resources necessary to manage living your life in the public eye with grace is the exception, not the rule. It's not one of the things that just comes with fame.
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Postby dubsola » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:55 am UTC

Hammer wrote:Expecting Lindsey Lohan et al to manage anything approaching Paul Newman's level of class and intelligence might be setting the bar a bit high. The maturity, discipline and personal emotional resources necessary to manage living your life in the public eye with grace is the exception, not the rule. It's not one of the things that just comes with fame.

Yes, you're right. I suppose there are a number of aspects to fame that require these attributes - like not letting it go to your head, not spending all your money and so on.

Insignificant Deification wrote:I think we should limit the Paparazzi, but not to enforce privacy rights. They are in public after all. The Paparazzi should be limited on the grounds that they are harassing these people.

That is an excellent way of looking at it.

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Postby Malice » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:14 am UTC

I think the conventional idea that celebrities invite public attention into their lives needs to be re-examined.

The key phrase is "into their lives". There are two kinds of celebrities; one of them is famous because they are skilled--an actor, a writer, a comedian--and the other is famous mostly for being famous. (Although even they have to have some sort of starting point; Paris Hilton wouldn't be famous if she wasn't rich, first.)

The latter type must invite the press into their lives, because they have nothing else to sell. But you rarely hear any of them complaining about it.

If the former's lives are "naturally" to be of any interest to us, it is the result of an unquestioned tradition begun, I believe, sometime this century, and not any innate part of their job.

Tom Cruise's name and face may be known to many; he is often used to sell movies to the public. This does not mean that he must automatically forgo the idea of a private daily life (outside of his job).

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Postby Phenriz » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:49 pm UTC

perago sententia wrote:B: Sandbag the blighters with red tape galore


see now i can vote.
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