The quote from the police officer is at the root of the problem. “You give up your right to privacy when you become a celebrity.” This is what was said to Justin Beiber when he was pulled over for speeding while attempting to elude overly aggressive paparazzi. “You give up your right to privacy when you become a celebrity.” Are you kidding me? How is that possible? How is it that the people in charge of upholding the law and protecting everyone equally, have somehow developed a skewed view about how the law applies to famous people?
Now let me be clear. I’m not some celebrity worshipper, least of all, a Justin Beiber fan, but I am also not a person who thinks that these people deserve no sympathy just because they’re rich and famous. They are human beings, who should be protected by the same laws that every other person is. Yet, the paparazzi are able to violate the privacy of these people everyday, without fear of prosecution.
Where in the law books is the chapter on loss of privacy rights? Where does it say that it is legal to photograph people through the windows of their homes, as long as they are famous, but if you do it to your sisters best friend, you go to jail? Where does it say it is legal to invade a persons personal space by standing in front of them and blocking their ability to go where they want, or get into their vehicle, but if you do this to a stranger on the street, you would be arrested for intimidation? Where does it say it is legal to hide in bushes or follow someone in your car, with a bunch of other people, surround a person with those vehicles, and prevent them from going anywhere, but if you do that to a high school principal, everyone involved is going to jail?
I understand that being famous does have some privacy issues that are to be expected. Being interupted at dinner by a fan. People photographing you while you are out in public. Knowing that anything you do, that can be seen by other people, is going to make news. These things are expected and generally acceptable. This is because the people who do these things are, for the most part, fans.
However, thanks to the people of the world who are celebrity sycophants, and spend millions of dollars per year on every mag and rag at the checkout counter, demand has gone through the roof. It gets worse every year, and the celebrities rights are being violated more and more. It’s criminal. Literally. Yet, it takes something completey outrageous by the paparazzi before the law ever gets involved. I still don’t understand why that is.
The argument I often hear is that the celebrities need the paparazzi, so that’s why they don’t raise a stink. My response to that is, and always will be, who cares what the celebrities want. If the police know that someone beats their wife, the wife has no say about whether or not charges are filed. If you break the law, you break the law. Period! So what gives?
I’m really beginning to think that it’s all about jealousy and envy. ‘They’ have it so much better than ‘me’, so big deal if they have to deal with the paparazzi. How many people could utter those words after Lady Di was killed while trying to escape overly aggressive paparazzi? Nobody. As usual though, that’s old news now, and we are right back to no one caring. It’s ridiculous and I just do not understand why it continues to happen. I think it’s only a matter of time before a celebrity dies, or even more likely, kills one of the paparazzi. Either by accident, or on purpose. Oh yeah, I said on purpose. I must admit, that’s the one that I would like to see. Call me a jerk all you want, but anyone who chooses to be a paparazzi for a living is not high on my list of honorable people. Believe me, it would definitely be one of the real scumbags of the paparazzi who would get it.
Ultimately, it would be nice if law enforcement, and the courts, would just do their jobs and treat paparazzi the same way that every other person would be treated for doing the same things. It seems pretty simple. You may give up SOME of your privacy when you become a celebrity, but you don’t deserve to have the rest of it TAKEN from you.