Laws do not protect individuals
The paparazzi culture we have witnessed this week is no different to that of previous decades, and it’s getting worse.
This week a photographer was killed trying to take a picture of Justin Bieber’s Ferrari. It was a tragic accident that was completely avoidable, and totally unnecessary. It will likely happen again if nothing changes.
Both stars and photographers are in danger with this status quo. A photographer with a certain ‘desperation’ to get the exclusive picture will no doubt go out of his/her way to get that snapshot. This becomes a risk to the photographer and others when all the focus is placed on the picture. Taking one regardless of people, traffic and other obstacles in the surroundings puts safety last. Current legislation does little to deter this kind of risk taking even with the threat of stronger enforcement, and the culture of it remains. If the laws are doing so well why are celebs still being hunted down and cornered?
Princess Diana, who was tragically killed in 1997 after being chased by overzealous paparazzi, reminds us of how dangerous it is to be at the receiving end. While photographers should be protected and have the freedom to shoot, there should be a few “ground rules” to avoid this kind of danger, and a strong deterrent to prevent this type of behaviour from reoccurring. It’s the simple rule-breaking that got the photographer killed, and others could in the future, if they are not careful or feel inclined to be careful.
I also think that some stars in Hollywood are psychologically pressured by such behaviour. The sense of ‘false imprisonment” from a barrage of paparazzi can’t be good for anyone. If someone expects that pressure every time they go out for a walk, drive or jog, shouldn’t that also be up for debate? Why should people, regardless of who they are, feel like they have to change their lives and avoid situations because they can’t be protected in the society they live in? That’s not fair, and that shouldn’t be accepted.