Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner have had enough of their lack of privacy. On Tuesday, the two celebrities lobbied for California lawmakers to enforce tougher penalties on paparazzi who harass the children of celebrities.
The proposed bill, SB606, would change the definition of harassment to include andy conduct that “alarms, annoys torments or terrorizes” a child while photographing or recording that child without a guardian’s express consent.
Berry testified in front of a legislative committee about the harassment she and her children face every day: “We’re moms here who are just trying to protect our children. These are little innocent children who didn’t ask to be celebrities. They didn’t ask to be thrown into this game and they don’t have the wherewithal to process what’s happening.”
Celebrity mothers worry that when paparazzi invade their privacy, they’re also invading the privacy of their children–and traumatizing them, too. Jennifer Garner spoke about the psychological toll it takes on kids: “And what, God forbid, does this culture of stalking children create? What message does it send to say my children may be targeted and hounded by any means necessary without limits and that my husband and I can do nothing to protect them?”
One natural consequence of fame is a more public life, but celebrities argue that the tactics used to target them and their families exceed fairness and legality. Their goal: to make it unlawful to photograph, harass, and essentially stalk celebrities and their children.
The bill already passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is moving on through the approval process, despite opposition from newspapers who argue that the bill would restrict journalists’ ability to do their jobs.
What do you think? Is paparazzi harassment just another part of a celebrity’s job, or should they have a right to limit paparazzi’s actions while they’re in public?