Imagine shuffling your kids to school each day only to be greeted outside your home by a dozen or more intrusive photographers.
Imagine heading to the grocery store, the park or the movies and all the while this aggressive mob follows you—everywhere, every day.
They shout, they harass, they hound.
The mob’s only concern is the money shot. There’s no regard for privacy or how their presence affects the innocent children at the other end of the lens. Concern for human decency is left behind and, instead, the perimeter of celebrities’ homes becomes a campout for thirsty paparazzi.
This is the daily existence for Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry and they are working to change this. They presented their concerns Tuesday before the California State Assembly Committee on Public Safety to support SB 606, a bill that would make it illegal to photograph or record a child without parental consent.
Berry stated that her young daughter is afraid to go to school because she’s constantly being followed by packs of paparazzi. Garner mirrored Berry’s sentiment, saying her children “have a bounty on their heads every day.”
As a mother, I couldn’t help but get choked up as Garner held back tears while speaking of her children and how the constant scrutiny is affecting their lives. I love my kids,” she said. “They’re beautiful and sweet and innocent, and I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, law breaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are all day, every day, to continue traumatizing my kids.”
How is it, in a country where we celebrate freedom, do we condone restraining the lives of the famous? Yes, being photographed and watched by the public comes with the territory of celebrity, but does that mean children should suffer because of their parents’ chosen profession? We must do better as a community to afford everyone, particularly children, their right to privacy.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee agreed, passing SB 606 by unanimous vote, and sending the bill onto the Appropriations Committee for final review.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise