Entertainment behind the scenes
Should celebs sell baby snaps?
Chequebook journalism is nothing new, and many (though by no means all) people have a problem with the idea of selling images of an infant for a fat fee. But then there is charity-chequebook-journalism, which is more complicated. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, it is reported, plan to give the proceeds of the photo-shoot to charity, as they did with the money they earned from a similar deal in 2006 after the birth of daughter Shiloh.
That silences some critics of this kind of arrangement. Yet Darryn Lyons, head of Big Pictures who has made plenty of money from celebrity pictures both authorised and unauthorised, argues that, laudable though charitable donations are, such deals are used by celebrities to build their brand. And with it, however indirectly, their worth.
“I find it a little odd when certain celebrities cry ‘privacy’, then throw newborns in front of the camera,” he said, linking exclusive picture deals to the broader debate about how far celebrities should be protected from the prying eyes of paparazzi lenses.
It’s interesting to compare the media circus that has surrounded the Brangelina birth to the relatively understated arrival of Sunday Rose, daughter of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, just days before. Did Brangelina actually court publicity with their decision to have the twins in a hospital in Nice? Elaborate plans to shut out the media only added to the demand, it seemed. And again by way of comparison, Kidman and Urban are reported to be uneasy about selling image of their child. Who do you think is right?