Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

L.A. officials ponder ways to curb paparazzi

July 31, 2008

matt.jpgOfficials from several Los Angeles area communities will consider ways to crack down on paparazzi who hound Hollywood celebrities when they meet on Thursday, and measures they decide upon could serve as a springboard for similar actions in major cities around the world.

LA City Councilman Dennis Zine, who has called for stricter measures against photographers, told Reuters on Wednesday that all options are up for discussion — from taxing the paparazzi to creating special licenses for them.

“The paparazzi have really gone overboard in their quest to get a photograph,” Zine said.

Simmering anger against the paparazzi came to a head in Southern California last month when surfers in the celebrity-filled community of Malibu swarmed photographers who had gathered on a beach to get shots of “Fool’s Gold” actor Matthew McConaughey.  The two sides came to blows, and in the ensuing days police stepped up shoreside patrols to keep the peace.

Representatives from Malibu, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are also expected at the L.A. City Hall meeting as officials seek a regional solution to the paparazzi problem.

brad.jpgBut issues with the “paps” are not limited to only L.A. They chased Princess Diana in Paris, leading to her death. Just this past week, two paparazzi in camouflage gear fought with bodyguards for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie outside their estate in the south of France.

Some free speech advocates have said the paparazzi’s work is constitutionally protected — so long as their celebrity targets are in a public place. Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton has also said that existing laws such as jaywalking and assault statutes are enough to curb the paparazzi’s excesses.

But should celebrities be given special laws to protect them? Maybe, in L.A.     
   

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