Our Opinion

Lindsay Lohan's neighbor gets a lesson in the paparazzi

Posted by admin on August 20, 2009

Lindsay Lohan's neighbor wrote a blog regarding his experiences with all the paparazzi in his neighborhood.  He learned what only those of us who have had to deal with them know:  they are generally rude, can't be reasoned with, block roads, sidewalks and in general create a very unwelcoming and sometimes hazardous environment.  Have a read about what he experienced:

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Debbie Reynolds gives her thoughts on the paparazzi

Posted by admin on August 14, 2009

We were fortunate to receive this clip as a gift from a Hollywood producer who had interviewed Ms. Reynolds for a documentary about another subject.  In the clip, the legendary actress discusses the "good ol' days" of Hollywood where celebrities had a life without the paparazzi driving them out of town and what she would have done with her BB gun.   

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All professions have their zenith, a time when those in it know they’ve made it, that point when all their hard work pays off and they reap their rewards. In business it might be the successful sale of a business. In politics, it might be getting elected to a national office. If an actor, it might be an Oscar win. If a paparazzo, it most probably would be selling the final photo ever taken of Michael Jackson for half a million dollars…reportedly what occurred this week.

When I heard, like everyone else, that Michael Jackson had died, I could only think of the loss to his family, his music I enjoyed and how unfortunate it was that he was gone.

And then I heard through the news that the first to report his demise was a paparazzo.Of course, he always had paparazzi at his house or following him around…for this exact purpose: to capture his demise. It is what all paparazzi ultimately hope for, that they might be in the right spot to capture the last photo of some star alive. It is the big payoff. To capture a shot of Michael Jackson at his death – oh, what would it be worth!?Well, we know now if the reports are correct: $500,000.

Most people, I’ve found, don’t really know about or understand the paparazzi industry.They definitely enjoy paparazzi photos splashed across magazines at the checkout counter but they don’t connect that it was a paparazzo who captured that photo of their favorite celebrity out shopping. What almost no one understands is that ultimately what the paparazzi hope for is their big payday. That day when they capture a photo of the famous person dead, injured, arrested, breaking their marriage vows, ugly or fat. It came when Lindsay crashed her car, when Britney shaved her head and when Michael went into cardiac arrest.

It reminds me of the night earlier this year when I pretended to be a paparazzo and stood with a group of them outside a party in Hollywood. We all waited hours for Eva Longoria Parker to emerge from a building and walk 20 feet to her car. In the wee hours of the morning, the moment finally came and, surrounded by a mob of body guards and assistants, she made the crowded trip to her vehicle. After she drove away and the crowds were dispersing, one veteran paparazzo walked over to me and displayed on the back of his camera a perfect photo of her he had captured. As he showed it to me, in all sincerity said: “God forbid this is the last photo taken of her alive.” I stood repulsed by his words and his hope for the actress’ demise – he stood hoping for the zenith of his profession.

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Councilman Richard Bloom is looking at what the city of Santa Monica can do to protect the children who attend a local nursery school from the mobs of prying paparazzi. You can see the full article from the Santa Monica Daily Press here. 

Council to examine protecting children from paparazzi
June 9, 2009 - A circus-like atmosphere began unfolding at the First Presbyterian Nursery School, the source of chaos coming not from crying children, but rather a group of two dozen photographers snapping away from behind a fence.

They hooked their cameras into the fence, some even climbing up the divider erected between the playground and the alley where they stood, all to capture photos of a few celebrity parents with their children....
see full article HERE

How refreshing it is to see someone standing up and doing something to help the kids of celebrities who are constantly the focus of the paparazzi's attention. 

Email Councilman Bloom and give him your support: richard.bloom@smgov.net.

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When someone is doing something they shouldn't, you can be sure they have a really "good" reason for doing it.  The truth is, in their mind they ARE convinced whatever they are doing - as wrong as it might seem to the rest of the world - is absolutely right.  It's how we humans are built.  The arsonist knows burning down that building is what he should be doing.  The thief is convinced the money in the cash register is his.  And the paparazzi are convinced celebrities "can't have it both ways". 

At first, when you hear this excuse it kind of makes sense.  You think, "well, yea, you can't have it both ways!"  I think my mom told me this first when I was out playing in the snow as a little boy.  If I was going to jump in snow banks, I was going to get wet and cold.  "Well, you can't have it both ways - you can't be dry and warm AND jump in the snow banks."  Then I had a girlfriend tell me once I couldn't date another girl AND still date her:  "No way, you can't have it both ways!" 

paparazzi in hollywood.JPGSo, in a lot of situations, this saying does ring true - you can't have it both ways.  The only problem is...it doesn't apply to the paparazzi swarming celebrities.  The thinking of the paparazzi goes this way:  "You love us when you have a movie or CD coming out and want us to take your picture.  Then, when you are famous you don't want us any more!" Kinda sounds like 2nd graders on the play ground, doesn't it?

But the truth is, yes, celebrities do need and want their picture taken and they are grateful for it when the time is right.  And, those people who take the picture get rewarded in the form of money because that celebrity has VALUE and their pictures have value so when the paparazzi sells them they get paid.   Celebrities keep the paparazzi in business.  Then, when CD promotion time is over, the celeb wants some privacy, just like everyone else.  But the paparazzi don't want this - they somehow think they are owed more for taking pictures of the celeb during the promotion time. 

It's like when you hire painters to paint your house.  They paint, you pay them.  But how would it be if they kept coming back every day and painting your house again and wanting more payment?  They come back the next day and paint the house again and want to be paid...again!  Then the next day they come and paint the house again (even when you tell them to GO AWAY) and want to be paid...AGAIN!

The truth is people do have choices, everyone has a right to privacy, celebrities don't owe photographers just as much as photographers don't owe celebrities.  And in this case, they definitely CAN have it both ways:  photos taken during promotion time and privacy during private time.  Even a second grader can understand this.

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