Using Celebs’ Kids as Target Practice

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Celebrities have complained about it for years. Agents. Wait, I mean Paparazzi’s going after their kids. At their schools, on their private property, chasing them in cars. Let’s call it what it is: stalking. Just last month Halle Berry testified in support of a new bill in California aimed at limiting paparazzi’s ability to “go after” stars’ kids.

Here’s the most recent wording of the bill (SB 606) I could find online:

“The bill would specify that harassment may include alarming, annoying, tormenting, or terrorizing conduct that serves no legitimate purpose and that occurs during the course of any actual or attempted recording of the child’s or ward’s image or voice without the written consent of the child’s or ward’s parent or legal guardian, by following the child’s or ward’s activities or by lying in wait. The bill would specify that, upon a violation of the above provisions would give rise to civil liability in an action, a parent or legal guardian of an aggrieved child or ward, may bring a civil action against the violator on behalf of the child or ward for damages, as specified. The bill would additionally provide that the act of transmitting, publishing, or broadcasting a recording of the image or voice of a child does not constitute commission of the offense.”

As a fan of the First Amendment (you should see the posters in my room) I’ve been on the fence about this one for awhile. Do we want to be like France where it’s illegal to photograph a kid without the parent’s permission? The press does have a right to take pictures but the aggressiveness is what scares me. Some of these guys and gals will purposely scare or embarrass the kids to try and get a better photo or dangerously chase them. At the same time, some bad parents (Madonna, Kim Kardashian) use their kids as money making tools or brand enhancers.

The other day I saw this on Twitter and got angry:

If you aren’t angry at the idea of voting for which four-year-old looked better in an outfit, go to and pull up one of the “Who Wore It Best” segments. They will also “mix things up” by putting a child up against two adults. Better yet, scan the comment section where a 12 year-old, Will Smith’s daughter Willow is called “fugly” and a “whore” by people who have never met her but dislike her anyway. We wonder why young celebs and child stars turn to drugs and alcohol and have problems? If I grew up (celebrity or not) with someone calling me horrific names like these celeb kids get, I’d be one messed up dude. It’s bullying on a national level. It’s easy to make fun of celebs and their behaviors but let’s leave the kids out of it. This goes for not only Hollywood but also politicians’ kids and other public figures.

I hope there is a solution that allows for celebs’ kids to feel safe while still giving the press what it needs (wants).
Or we could all stop reading Us Weekly, People, InTouch. We’d be better for it.

WCCB News Rising Host Derek James balances a full-time job in the glamorous world of television news (including a 2:30am wake up and stale coffee) along with managing chaos every afternoon for 4 year-old Tyler and 2 year-old Chase.

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