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Suri Cruise A Brat? Paparazzi Crosses The Line
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Suri Cruise A Brat? Paparazzi Crosses the Line

We are all guilty of browsing through the tabloids while we wait in the supermarket line. We see our favorite celebs on the beach, shopping, dining out and snuggling with their current significant other. But do we ever stop to think what life is like on the other side of the camera? Most of us can't imagine our every move being photographed and published for all to view.

While there certainly is an arguement that this is the game and that is what anyone in the entertainment business signed up for, there is also an arguement that the paparazzi go to far in their pursuit of the big money shot. Gone is the Golden Age of Hollywood, when studios protected their stars, only allowing them to be photographed in staged settings. They protected the "image" of their stars.

In today's celebrity obsessed society, stars are on thier own while navigating through the world of fame. This often means fighting a gang of paparazzi as they make their way to thier car or take their children to school. The stressful relationship between a star's need for publicity and the paparazzi's intrusion into their lives is a complicated one.

This love/hate relationship has led to some rather violent confrontations between paparazzi and subjects. Among some of the more aggressive stars Sean Penn and Alec Baldwin have both had infamous clashes with paparazzi. Baldwin took issue with the paparazzi trying to photograph his then wife Kim Basinger and their brand new baby daughter, Ireland. Sean Penn has been known to get physical with the annoying shutter bugs dogging him.

When Hollywood began looking for cheaper venues to make movies in the late 1950's and 1960's, they looked to Italy. When movies started moving overseas, so to did the stars. Thus began the age of the candid paparazzi photo. Photographers captured stars in a less flattering light. From staggering drunk to being in compromising situations, suddenly the hidden side of Hollywood began to emerge into the public view.

These candid shots were career making, money making shots for the photographers. They began to stake out certain celebrities, anticipating their moves and staking out their hangouts. So began the love/ hate relationship between stars and paparazzi.

The question today what is fair game in this relationship. Are celebrities families part of the bargain. After all they did not choose a life in the public eye, the are born into it.

Fast forward to today and you find a bill pending in California that would prevent paparazzi from stalking stars; children. The bill would make it illegal to photograph minors without the permission of a legal guardian. Stars from Halle Berry to Sarah Jessica Parker have had meltdowns over the paparazzi stalking their children. Berry is testifying before an Assembly Committee in favor of the bill.

Some celebrities seem to revel in thrusting their children into the limelight, even enjoying the glow that reflects back on the stars themselves. Will Smith has allowed both his children to embark on careers at an age when most children are enjoying play dates and school activities. Miley Cyrus has in many ways eclipsed her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus' fame, though at what cost remains to be seen.

Other stars are determined to keep their private life and their family out of the public view. Timothy Olyphant is fiercely protective of his children. The star of FX's hit series Justified, has never uttered his children's names during interviews. When Ellen recently asked their names while interviewing him he just brushed the question aside. While he will reveal their ages and share a few stories about them, he never reveals their names. When he walks the red carpet he does so alone. Rarely is he even photographed with his wife, Alexis. On a recent trip to New York City, he was visibly agitated when he realized a photographer was taking pictures of his children. As Olyphant has become a more visible star with the success of his hit series Justified, the task of keeping his family from the paparazzi has become more difficult.

The behavior of the paparazzi is in the news once again as an incident with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter Suri has stirred controversy. As Katie and Suri were leaving their house, the seven year old pleaded "We are trying to get to our car! Stop it!" One paparazzo cried out "Bye Suri, you spoiled little brat."

Many feel the paparazzo went way to far. After all she is a seven year old little girl. She shouldn't have to deal with strangers stalking her and bulbs flashing in her face with every step.

The debate on where the paparazzi's right to photograph the rich and famous stops and the subjects right to privacy begins, will probably rage on through the ages. But it seems that many stars are ready to draw a line in the sand when it comes to their children. Let's hope they strike a balance that leaves the children feeling less like stalked prey and more like the happy, carefree children they should be.


Street Talk

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