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The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:40 pm
by 24601
Recently, several Twilight stars have had major run-ins with the paparazzi. Robert Pattinson was openly harassed, Kristen Stewart lashed out and was condemned for her frustrated words, and even Kellan Lutz has had fight back.

Who is at fault? Is it the guerilla-style tactics of the paparazzi? Is it the media outlets (TV and fan sites) that pay money for any and all pictures, no matter how intrusive? Is it the fans that feed off the pictures like a school of piranha?

This is a place to discuss both the press in general and the paparazzi in particular.

This discussion could turn into a very hot topic, with strong feelings on both sides, so we are going to make the rules of the thread fairly stringent.

The Rules
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    Be willing to agree to disagree.

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    Please do not allow your feelings to get hurt by what another person says. You may disagree with each other, but that doesn’t mean that they are attacking or that you have attacked them. Often the tone that we read into a post may not be the one that the writer intended.
Ping a mod if the discussion gets to hot. We will be watching this thread carefully and will step in as needed.

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:33 pm
by Chernaudi
Since I was the one who requested this thread, I do feel that I have a few things to explain.

First off, I'm a Kristen Stewart fan and I also like Rob Pattinson. As such, why are we so fascinated by them probably dating? They're just doing what any couple in their early 20's does--hang out, date, have intimate private moments, etc, etc. As such, how would you feel if you couldn't go anywhere with your boyfriend/girlfriend without expecting some moron sticking cameras in your face to sitting back afar waiting for the "money shot"? Or having someone on their Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter page commenting that they've seen you and a mob comes out of he wood work? You gotta see things from their prespective. How would you feel if you were an actor or actress who was just concerned with doing good work on film, then having fame blow up in your face? And not just the good stuff, but the paps and tabloid bloggers who rip on you and criticize you and harass you for their own profit?

I think that Kristen gets it harder than Rob and Taylor do. It seems that when Rob does something mildy controversal, it mostly gets glossed over 'cos he's the "Golden Boy", a role that Rob admits that he's not entlrely confortable with. Meanwhile, Kristen says or does something similar, she gets crapped on by the media and saga fanboys/girls. Thankfully, most people here are supportive of Kristen, and Rob himself even has ripped on tabloid bloggers and media people as to how they treat Kristen. Why does the media treat Kristen so differently than Rob when they have similar thoughts about the tabloid media? Some think it's sexism in so far as that Rob's the steriotypical heartthrob--hot, talented, and has the "total package", and girls wanna get into his pants. Again, a title that Rob has resistance to accepting, and I don't blame him, as he wants to be an actor first.

Kristen, on the other hand, isn't a steriotypical "hot girl". In a world of stilleto heels, fake nails, short, low cut dresses, and heavy make-up, Kristen bucks the trend by wearing a T-shirt, Jeans and tennis shoes to prememe after parties (after changing out of heels and slightly conservative dresses), paints her stubby fingernails black or red, and even has been photographed and at least once taped taking her high heeled shoes off during movie premeres. I'll say that Kristen is attractive, but I like that she doesn't constantly show it, and trys to be a normal person. She's trying to be herself--she saves the fake stuff for onscreen. She even commented that she'd like to become a writer, because she doesn't want to be, in her words, a "professional liar" all the time. On that topic, Rob has also said that he's willing to give up acting if it becomes something he doesn't want to do, like if interesting roles dry up.

Both Kristen and Rob have been openly harassed by the press and asked about their relationship, something that they'd rather keep private. And they know the game, because as Kristen said, if she or Rob revealed that they're dating, the press--namely the paps and the tabloid cretins like Perez Hilton--will want more.

So I pose this question: How far is too far? I don't mind pap photos in public places where celebs and photographers are expected, or at movie premes and public events. However, gitting within feet of a person, shouting and yelling at them, crowding them and their fans (that's happened to Kristen a few times when she was just trying to take photos with fans this year), and yell crude and sexist statements at them, and taking photos from afar with telephoto lense, that to me is way too far.

And the tabloid gossipers write biased trash about celebs and try to get people to believe it, knowing that nowadays that it's human nature that people will believe a sensationalist, provacative story without questioning who wrote it and why. That's what happened with Kristen and her "comments" that nearly got her in trouble with RAINN (which ironically the "A" means abuse, which is what I feel happens to Kristen and Rob a lot!) and lead to Taylor being called a Drama queen and cry baby over the RV company lawsuit. Do people like Lainy, Perez Hilton and the rest of them think we're stupid? Do they think were as intelligent as the Three Stoogers or Beavis and Butt-head? I doubt that most people are stupid, but some are pretty damn ignorant and that's what they prey on.

It kinda takes me back to what Tommy Lee Jones said in the original Men In Black film: A person is smart, but people are dumb, dangerous, panicky animals. These tabloid and paps are masters of spin, lies, bunk and BS. They know how to spin doctor a statement (like Kristen's Elle UK comments on the paps and tabloids) and make it sound malicious or hateful or ignorant. And that's where the George Carlin comment of it doesn't matter if people can read, it matters that people have the ablity to question what they read comes in. Thankfully, most of the people here are smart enough to get what Kristen said the first time and ripped on Lainy and people who believed Lainey's twisting of Kristen's words without questioning the motives.

So I ask this: Are the paps wrong? Do we unwittlingly and inadvertantly fuel these people's passions for sensationalism and trash? What can we do about it. How far is too far with these people in out minds? Is there media/press bias?

Post away, but remember the rules...

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:12 am
by Jazz Girl
Ahh, a topic near and dear to my heart. Well, I can't start any conversation without doing it honestly. While I do my best to avoid them, they are everywhere. So, I have been a consumer of the tabloid trash photos that feed the hysteria. That being said, I can't stand them. It utterly kills me that a person can't walk down the street, or through an airport corridor, without being blinded by flashbulbs or having scandalous statments made about loved ones or family simply to elicit a reaction. And it is made all the harder when people flippantly throw the damage it does aside. "Oh, they're celebrities. They signed up for this." That response infuriates me like you would not believe.

First and foremost, individuals like Rob & Kristen did not "sign up for this". The signed up to do a film, to do their job as actors. Yes, there are a certain number of media appearances and responsibilities that go along with that job. Those environments are one thing. And Rob & Kristen have become pros at those situations, though I'm sure they are still not the most comfortable. But, being chased through a hallway or sidewalk by 20 or 30 people screaming your name, taking any picture they can of you is utter ridiculousness. And... people... like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton and their ilk only serve to exacerbate a volatile situation in courting the papz. The papz have developed an attitude of, "if 1 likes it, they all must".

The reality is that we, as a society, have done nothing to prevent it or relieve the situation. Even in the wake of tragedies like Princess Di's death, and legal steps forward like California's new law, the general attitude is that it's not a big deal. The prime example being recently in LA when, on not one but THREE seperate occasions, Rob was forced because of dangerous situations, to stop at police stations and ask them to help he and his guests be rid of the papz and their dangerous ways, he was basically told, "there's nothing you can do until someone is hurt." Well that's bloody good timing isn't it? And, in other situations, it is actually FANS who step in when the papz get stupid, as they had to do on Rob's Water for Elephants set earlier this summer.

So, what can we do? The bottom line is the bottom line. Demand is what drives these parasites. They take the pictures that they think we want. They look at their web hits, see what is gaining the most attention, and then do everything they can to either get that picture, or at least create a sensationalist accounts of how they were trying to get it (again as evidenced by RadarOnline's idiotic descriptions of the run in with Rob & Stephanie in LA earlier this summer). Truly, the only way to stop the insanity is to remove the financial gain it brings. How to do that is a bigger problem. At the very least, don't follow the link and don't hotlink to the pics. Every click, every hit to their website intensifies the target around Rob, Kristen, the whole lot of them. You can be an active participant in the process to. If you'll notice, there are no unauthorized pics (ie ones they didn't sit for themselves) of Rob or Kristen in NOLA. That's for a variety of reasons. But, a part of it is that the privacy laws in Louisiana are much stricter than CA's. Well, people had to contact their legislators to promote those discussions and those laws. They had to vote for them. They had to let people know that how other individuals are treated in our streets matters to them. Laws don't get passed magically. They take voices and support.

Now, to switch gears slightly, I am intrigued by the idea that there is a bit of sexism involved in the harsher glare of the spotlight on Kristen and her actions with the papz vs Rob or Taylor and their actions. As much as it saddens me, I can't help but agree. But, I think you'll find this pretty consistant across the board, in terms of harsher treatment of female celebs than male celebs. But, that's kind of a topic for a different post, at least. Kristen has been judged more harshly from the word go. It has naturally spilled over into her ongoing confrontations with the papz who hound her and regularly steal her solitude. But, it's been true from the very beginning. Everyone talks about the fact that there were petitions posted and fans screaming when Rob was cast as Edward. But, it's pretty well glossed over that Kristen was attacked because she was the one who insisted on Rob's casting. It continued then once the release approached and Kristen's demeanour in front of the cameras was not ingenue-perfect and polished. Rob's bumbling shyness was quickly written off as quaint and adorable. But, Kristen's every move, word and gesture were scrutinized and often painfully torn apart in every rag and on every critique show. No matter how many times she proved herself to be amazingly intelligent and insightful, her tendency for her brain to move at three times the speed her mouth is capable was quickly torn apart as her being uncaring or stupid. And, when the issues with the papz arose, while Rob's painful shyness was almost accepted, her own attempts at maintaining her own space were labeled as diva-esque and *witchy*. I have just been continually thankful that Kris is her very own stong willed person. She knows who she is and she's not afraid of being different. Anyone who was less so would have caved and lost that spark we love about her.

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:15 pm
by Chernaudi
Jazz, I think you bring up a good point. I feel as a fan that we have some obligation to set an example. It'll not only make the actors feel better (Kristen and Rob seem to be happy messing around with fans and such), but might disuade the paps and such. I don't advocate violence, but I know how people are when they get ticked. I saw a You Tube video from Germany where Kristen and some fans were crowded by paps. Germany has fairly strict rules and regs for paps, so why the police didn't threaten them with fines or arrest if they didn't back off is beyond me. The paps almost ruined it for the fans and Kristen herself. Even though they were all smiles, you can tell that Kristen and the fans were getting PO'd. I was slightly surprised that one of the fans didn't at least yell and curse out the paps and give them a dose of their own medicine.

You said that fans had to stand up for Rob on set a few times. I'm wondering if the fans just got into an arguement or threatened to call the cops of if there were punches thrown. I heard (notice that I'm saying heard, coz' is might just be a stupid, freakin' rumor) that a fan an pap got into a fist fight or something near the set of Eclipse last year and securuity had to break it up.

I guess a good question is not only where the line is for paps and tabloid people to cross between what's acceptable and what's not, but when should fans and bystanders step in, and when necessary, how far is it for them to go that's necessary.

I don't advoate violence, but sometimes these "people" make me wonder if that's all they'll listen to. Hey, they're a product of a media machine that thrives on violence and sex, so I wouldn't hold that ignorance as being above them. I certianly don't want this to become a war where nail bombings and firearms are involved--all we have to do is see the Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings in London in 1982 and the British Army's response to that to see that as reasonable human beings that we don't want to go there--that's way too far on the edge of insanity, and is way over that edge in my mind.

I don't blame Kristen or Rob for feeling the way they do and why the say what they say, even if it sometimes upsets people, thought the press is accountable there, too. I know that the media has rights, but Kristen and Rob have rights as human freakin' beings, too, and I feel that human rights out weight the rights of publically traded or privately owned corporations, let alone people who violate others rights be defaming them for their on profit gains.

So, I'll ask this: Should there be stricter laws against the paps that if they go too far that they can get sued or arrested/fined? Should fans be allowed to make citizens' arrests in that situlation. And should the Federal Trade Commission sue tabloid bloggers and tabloids for selling questionable products like they did with diet drugs?

Who should draw the line, and who should be responsible for enforcing it. Because as you said, the police can't do a helluva lot until someone gets hurt. And after what happened with Princess Diana, it seems that it takes someone getting hurt or dying before government acts. And to me, that's too late.

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:22 pm
by Jazz Girl
Chernaudi~ There were actually two situations on the WfE set where fans had to intervene. The most heinous though involved a night shoot where the papz were attempting to take photos and the flashes were agitating the animals on set. The set was closed, but there was a perimeter beyond which a group of papz and a group of fans were waiting. The papz had apparently been warned by set staff that this was dangerous and could cause a safety risk to anyone on set (which of course included not only Rob, Reese & Christoph, but all the other actors, extras, production staff and the animals themselves) but the papz did not relent. So, the small group of fans who were present essentially put themselves between the papz and the set, not getting violent, but interfering with their ability to take pictures. Eventually, the group of fans chased the papz away with their relentless "interference".

I completely agree that there needs to be much stricter legislation around paparazzi activity. But, the bottom line is that the legislation already exists. Every state in the union has stalking and harassment laws. And, what the paparazzi and tabloid reporters do well and truly violates every tenant of those laws. But, as we've seen in Rob & Kristen's case with the new California law, those laws that do exist need to be enforced and applied to the paparazzi. The excuse that they are just doing their job, or that the individual in question does not have an expectation of privacy because they are a celebrity (which are the two primary arguments paparazzi use to get out of legal action and why police and prosecutors refuse to go after them) need to be seen for what they truly are: excuses to allow sanctioned stalking and harassment. It is particularly an issue in California and New York, where entertainers congregate because they are the hubs of their industry. As you have noticed, there are far fewer papz pics from places like NOLA, where Rob & Kristen have both been up until last week. The police and prosecutors there recognize the behavior for what it is and don't give a damn that the victims of it are well-known.

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:40 pm
by Chernaudi
And what of the repercussions of innocent people? Should they sue the paps and the local, state, and if applicable, federal government for them gettng hurt because of said laws not being enforced? I guess that the theory is that if you go after their money, they're gonna listen...

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:50 pm
by Chernaudi
Sorry to bump this, but with rumors that Mackenzie Foy has been cast as Renesmee in Breaking Dawn, it those rumors are true, I wonder how much of a hard time she'll have with instant fame and the paps. I know that she's a minor, obviously, but paps have taken photos of celeb's children when they're that young, and Kristen started to face pap harassment (though no where near as bas as now) when she was cast as Bella at the age of 17.

What can happen here, because I'm worried about that little girl and her instant fame?

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:09 pm
by Chernaudi
Sorry to bump this thread, but Kristen and Rob were "outed" this weekend trying to have dinner with each other because someone posted what resturant they were at on Twitter. Kristen and Rob, Kristen espeically, has been critical of sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter for that reason, as well as arguing that she has better things to do.

I'll admit to having a MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, but use them to socialize with friends, follow news from Audi and Audi Sport (Facebook) and follow the progress of a band (Twitter). Kristen has never had her own offical Facebook or Twitter page, and she only briefly had a MySpace to promote In the Land of Women. Once the promo was over, she canceled her account.

Is social media partly to blame, because of the fact that the paps and tabloid people seem to feed off of what well meaning but overzealous fans write on their MySpace, Twitter or Facebook pages?

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:30 pm
by Jazz Girl
It bothers me a lot when people post the "hey guess who's here with me at this restaurant" posts when they KNOW what a mobscene it's going to cause. Primarily, I hold those people responsible for that type of idiocy. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter... they are a medium, a tool, and unfortunately, people do not think about the consequences anymore. It's the same as anything else. When you learn to drive, you are taught to use a car responsibly. I don't like guns at all. But people who use them (for the most part) learn to use them responsibly, understanding the consequences when they don't. It's no different with anything else. The person using it must be responsible and understand the consequences of what will happen when they send out that 140 character tweet or that quick post on FB. Rob has even taken to specifically asking people not to post or tweet anything. There's no way that the admins/owners of those sites could or should be held responsible for the idiocy of the people who use their sites.

Re: The Paparazzi and the Press

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:10 pm
by Chernaudi
So it's the fans' fault as much as anything else? After all, they go to pap and gossip sites, and generate ad revenue for them, the look at the photos and read the stories. I just hope that they have the ablility to separate the truth from BS and know that these people are human and have the same rights under law that you and I do.

If there wasn't some demand for the stuff, it wouldn't exist.