Houston Forward Times

21 August 2013 Written by  Amarie Gipson


The Issue: They see you when you’re sleeping, and they know when you’re awake. They are the cut throat, trash talking members of the media, PAPARAZZI. The paparazzi are photographers who capture candid moments of prominent figures. They are the media savages who have taken press coverage to new heights. Due to the reputation of paparazzi as a nuisance, some states and countries (particularly within Europe) restrict their activities by passing laws, curfews, and by staging events in which paparazzi are not allowed to take photographs. The privacy invaders have brought several restraining orders, as well as verbal and physical attacks upon themselves. They camp outside of restaurants, hotels, and even homes to get a glimpse of an interesting celebrity.

In recent reports, Kanye West has dodged a felony for the attack on one of the many paparazzi that harass him every day. West also blew up on a photographer egging him with questions as he left Los Angeles airport back in July. The encounter was caught on video and shows the rapper causing a scene to the paparazzi’s camera. Even after West’s serious request for the paparazzi to leave him alone, the photographer continued to provoke him.  Actress Halle Berry and several other celebrities in California are standing up to take action, calling to enforce stricter anti paparazzi laws. Laws regarding public photography have always been a gray area. In the United States, photographs that are taken for editorial use in a public place generally have Constitutional protection under the right of free speech.

The controversy surrounding anti-paparazzi legislation comes down to the question of where to draw the line between actual news gathering and invasions of privacy. If the laws are left as is, the well-being of a celebrity could be endangered. If the laws are too restrictive, it could threaten the freedom of the press.

Question: Are paparazzi taking advantage of their right to freedom of the press or are the celebrities overreacting?

 2 Kenadi Webber - “The paparazzi are taking advantage of their right to freedom of press. The celebrities should be able to go places without pictures being snapped every 2 seconds. They are only human like everyone else and should have some type of space and privacy.”



Adrienne Cosby - “I would have to say that the celebrities are overreacting. It is the paparazzi’s job to take pictures and ask questions. Now the man was wrong for continuing to provoke Kanye after he told him to stop, but Kanye didn’t have to put his hands on the man. That was out of line.”

KAlao  Kemi Alao - “The paparazzi in my opinion, are taking their jobs so seriously that they’re inconsiderate of the personal space and privacy of celebrities. Celebrities are aware that with the territory of stardom, they will have less than the average person, but they are still people.”

 4  Jose Reyes - “I feel that it can go both ways. The celebrities have a reason to overreact because of the invasions of their privacy and personal space. Paparazzi should know their limits. At the same time, celebrities must take into consideration that it’s a job for them to take pictures.”

What do I think?

The paparazzi are supposed to exercise their right to freedom of the press, which should ONLY entail snapping pictures of stars living their daily lives. That does not mean endangering celebrities or harassing them with questions. Celebrities should know that being famous eliminates certain aspects of their normal lives, including privacy. Even with that, the paparazzi should know when enough is enough.

MAA WereReady