#NoKidsPolicy: The Law Keeping Paparazzi from Celeb-Babies

A person’s childhood is comparable to a snowflake in that no two are alike. Everyone is born into a unique living condition. Some are born into wealthy families, some are born into poverty, and some are born into a situation in which thousands of people care bout you before you’ve been given the chance to do anything notable. This unique living situation belongs to the children of our beloved celebrities. Recently there has been a bit of an uproar amongst celebrity mothers for the protection of their “celebabies.”

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A demand for action against the paparazzi was issued and the higher-ups obliged with the Senate Bill No. 606.This bill protects children, age 16 and younger, from being harassed due to the employment of their parents or legal guardian. In other words, this law put in place legal consequences for the stalking and documenting of celebrity offspring.

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Although it is very difficult to argue against this bill, it is certainly not impossible. In fact, it has sparked a considerable amount of controversy in that the penalty for a first time offender could be to serve up to a year in jail or pay a fine of $10,000 and with additional offenses the fine jumps up to $30,000 and may even be paired with a year’s sentence. Parents even reserve the right to seek several forms of extensive civil penalties against the paparazzo in order to receive financial compensation for the violation. These consequences seem a little steep for just fulfilling a consumer demand to see cute pictures of their role models’ children. Especially considering that these people are technically just journalists and are protected by the same speech rights as provided in the First Amendment as common folk and Hollywood starlets alike.

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Lou Virelli, a constitutional law professor at Stetson University in central Florida, explains that the law targets “any person who intentionally harasses the child or ward of any other person because of that person’s employment… harassment means knowing and willful conduct directed at a specific child that seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the child and that serves no legitimate purpose – and that includes recording an image or voice.”

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 Mr Virelli’s definition of harassment is fascinating in itself, bringing to the table a newly necessary discussion of how to distinguish journalism from distressing conduct; papparazi or the middlemen of a celebrity-ravenous culture?

 

“There will be an endless supply of hungry and ambitious photographers (or even people with cellphones) stepping up to fill the void. Who is really responsible for the harassment of the famous and the children of the famous? We are. Everyone who picks up a tabloid paper while waiting to check out at the drug store.” Gordon Coonfield, a communication professor at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

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This, however, does not justify the inconsiderate actions of the paparazzi towards these children, and in no way does it take away from the positivity of the Senate Bill No. 606.Image It is obviously a positive restriction to implement into this people-praising society we live in. The fact that a child can become so profitable to a man with a camera, provided that its parents are highly regarded in modern media, is slightly disturbing and, above all, it isunfair to the child.

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Although many children are born into unfortunate environments, it does not mean we should cease doing everything in our power improve the severity of their situations. Being preyed on and exploited at such an early age would be traumatizing to anyone.Halle Berry compares dropping her child off at school to venturing through a “battlefield.”  Whether the blame is placed on the paparazzi, or the incompetency of the parents, the children are still innocent and the subsequent confusion stemming from these harassment cases is undeniably damaging to the psyche of such vulnerable beings. Thus, it is indisputable that the exploitation and harassment of celebabies becoming a legal issue was the right move. Good call, America. 

 

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/gossip/la-et-mg-justjared-people-magazine-no-kids-policy-kristen-bell-20140225,0,6034718.story#ixzz2v3hm0aBD

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/gossip/la-et-mg-justjared-people-magazine-no-kids-policy-kristen-bell-20140225,0,6034718.story#axzz2v3h53rTz

http://verdict.justia.com/2013/10/22/flaws-californias-new-law-regarding-paparazzis-harassment-celebrities-children

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/25/us-usa-california-paparazzi-idUSBRE98O04A20130925

http://verdict.justia.com/2013/10/22/flaws-californias-new-law-regarding-paparazzis-harassment-celebrities-children

 

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