Pictures, Paparazzi and Pleasantries: Do Celebrities Owe Us Anything?
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Pictures, Paparazzi and Pleasantries: Do Celebrities Owe Us Anything?

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrities Are Better than You | July 12, 2012 | Comments ()


Earlier this week, on my Andrew Garfield/Emma Stone post, I included a video of Andrew attempting to reason with the paparazzi to leave them alone and let them on about their day. Some commenters fell into the "paps are scum" camp while a few made mention that it's just something that comes with the territory and they can't feel sorry for the rich and famous having their day interrupted.

So, again, it is time for us to debate.

Sometimes it's probably easy to think the photogs aren't as horrid as celebrities say, and really easy to think that when they stupidly play the rape card. That said, while we see this:


They see this:


And just in case anyone thinks that doesn't look like too many, that's probably because it's Hilary Duff. No offense or anything, Hil, and I thank you for your fine contributions to reality show theme songs.

Of course, if merely playing a particularly loud game of "I'm not touching you" with various A, B, C and D-listers (hell, even those Jersey Shore people get papped all the time) isn't enough for you to think ill of the hardworking men and women in the noble field of celebrity photography, this should be:




That's how we get those upskirt photos. You know, the ones that make people scream "whore!" everytime they're released, because clearly people like Britney Spears and Courteney Cox are just thrusting their crotches into their lenses on purpose.

But should that be just another part of the celebrity life for them to deal with and not complain about? It's a debate that comes up every single time the paparazzi are discussed. And I think most can agree that the celebrity photographers who make a living stalking famous people are pretty much the lowest form of human. But what about the levels above them? What about us? What about the times we join the ranks of the TMZ elite with our camera phones and sneak a shot at a coffee shop, or, gasp shock awe, demand the dreaded fan photo, featuring an eager fan and a tepid, if not outright annoyed famous person?

You know the ones I'm talking about. I won't include one randomly found on the internet out of respect for those who maybe don't want their photos included in this context. I also won't include one because this is what happens when you search "fan photo."


I actually don't really need to search one, because, you know, here:


That's me with Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop of Travis after a show they did in Chicago. You can clearly see that I fangirled so hard my upper lip migrated to my nose and my dress fell south. I also have one of me with Dave Foley. I'm not posting it because I have that option because this is my post and you're not my mom, but I can tell you how thrilled he looks to be in that photo with me, and it's not very. I don't even show people either of these pictures because I don't even like the way I look in them. So, what's the point? I have a picture of me with Fran Healy, but he's not going to let me sing backup or anything. I have a hideous picture of me and Dave Foley, but it's not like we're friends now. It's not like they know who I am, or have any recollection of these or any of the other photos taken these nights. On the other hand, yawl!, Travis and Dave Foley!

So I get it. We want a tangible piece of those we admire. And if we get it, aces. But if we don't, if they don't give it to us, does that make them mean?

Performers who do stop to give an autograph or pose for a photo should be lauded as "nice guys," particularly ones who do it happily, or who stop and actually have a conversation with their fans. But that doesn't mean the reverse is true. Kate Winslet is not a vile bitch because she didn't feel like getting out of her seat in the middle of a transatlantic flight to talk to some stranger, even though she still signed their stupid autograph book. We evidently live in a time where it's not enough for us to be entitled to every detail about the lives of famous people, but we are entitled to their time, kindness and super best friendship, too. That's ridiculous.

Now, mind you, if someone magically came up to me and was all "holy shit, you're Courtney from Pajiba, can I get a photo with you?" I'd totally do it. I'd be gobsmacked and probably sad for them because, seriously, raise your bar, but I'd do it. But if this happened to me every single day, many times a day, while I was with my family, out to dinner, in the bathroom, on a plane, in my car, on the beach, or if every single outing involved multiple strangers stealthily taking cell phone pictures of me or scary paparazzi in my face, yelling things like "two shot! Over the shoulder! Wet your lips!" then I'd probably go Baldwin and punch someone, too.

The prevailing argument seems to be "they chose the life of a celebrity" but that's not necessarily the case with everyone. The Kardashians chose the life of a celebrity. Others chose the life of a performer, of an entertainer, and celebrity just came along with it. And it's one thing when they're lunching at Nobu in LA, but when they're just trying to get some goddamn Coldstone, or trying to catch a flight , that's not really courting the flashy life of a tabloid dream. By the same token, one could make the "just move to Dubuque already" argument.

So, what's your take? Is all of this just a shitty part of the game, or are we actually entitled to the people on our TV screens? Should they serve us with a smile because we are the reason they exist? Or should the fact that they make movies, songs and shows we enjoy just be enough?

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Nipsy

    I often see "famous" people (athletes, actors, musicians) and I have never approached any of them. If the circumstance arises to have a conversation I will but I don't seek them out, mostly because (a) I don't know them - this is particularly true of the actors since all you ever see is them playing a character other than themselves - so why should I talk to them as if I do, and (b) what if they were in a bad mood and I made it worse? I would hate to do that.

    That being said, I fangirled when I saw one of my favourite bands at the airport the other day and it was the closest I have ever come to wanting to ask for a photo. But I didn't, because hey - I got my experience by seeing them in concert the night before. When they're off stage, they're off-duty and entitled to their privacy.

    That's my €0.02.

  • Littlejon2001

    I'm sorry. When you become a celebrity, is there some sort of legal document you have to sign that forces you to give up personal rights to NOT BE SEXUAL ASSAULTED OR STALKED???

    Honestly, the fact that there even needs to be a debate about this outrages me. Now is it true that if you are a celebrity that your private life will be broadcasted for the world to see (i.e. Divorce, affairs, relationships, political views, etc.)? Yes. However, what in the name of all that is good gives people the right to constantly harass you in a manner that would get any person put in jail if he was doing said thing to a "normal" person. This, "You chose this life" is such BS. Paparazzi are the scum of the earth. Those magazines are the scum of the Earth. And if you by those magazines you are contributing to scumbags.

    Asking for an autograph and shoving cameras up a woman's dress is NOT THE SAME THING. Celebrities are people. Act like a human being.

  • The paparazzi are out of control. There should be a federal law prohibiting the photography and publishing for money of photos or videos of anyone without their permission. So you could still get the Kardasians and Hiltons and the ones who arrange the pap to be there ahead of time, and the legitimate entertainers that want to be left the hell alone can be.

  • I was in India last year and got a slight taste of what it must be like to be famous. For some reason people in India are all about photographing, videoing and pestering you if you're caucasian. We lost count of how many times people asked to take a photo with us, but by far the most annoying thing was when people would shove their camera phone in our faces and either take a photo of video us walking along/ reading a book/ eating something. Without asking. It just seemed so rude and such an invasion after a while that I went from initially smiling and saying yes to all such requests to shutting down and turning away whenever I saw any Indian approach me with a camera.

    I don't know where the line should be drawn, but there definitely should be a line. And the upskirt photos should be the first to go (disgusting behaviour).

  • Aaron Anthony

    I firmly believe that celebrities do not owe us anything in their private times. Yes they chose that life and if I saw a celebrity at a photo-op (like a Con or some other event) I'd be all over that like Pajiba on a Fassbender. When they are just going about their daily lives I treat them how I would want to be treated, which is left alone. When I lived in NYC I saw multiple celebrities and let them be. Once I was waiting for a friend in front of a store and out walks Julia Stiles. Sure in my head I'm like "holy shit thats Julia Stiles!!!" but she was clearly just going about her daily life so I didn't go bother her nor did I try to take a quick cell phone pic.

    Of course my friend is ther complete opposite of me so whenever we saw a celeb he would start screaming their name and try to talk to them regardless. I recall one time we saw Molly Shannon clearly walking her daughter to the park and he starts pestering her, meanwhile I'm standing there smiling politely but embarassed for everyone bc she definitely wanted to be left alone. Same thing when we saw Ann Curry at a movie w/ her family.

    Anyway leave celebs the heck alone when they are going about their daily lives. Rant over.

  • Guest

    "I treat them how I would want to be treated, which is left alone."

    (Repeat for truth a million times until it sinks in.)

  • Strand

    I'm not cool with upskirts and I certainly feel for the celebrities every time they get harrassed (that Andrew Garfield video was surprisingly cordial) but if I'm in a position where I meet someone at a coffee shop, that goes out the window.

    Last summer I bumped into one at a Thai-boxing arena in Bangkok and acted like a right little idiot for a photo and a handshake. The problem is that it was Dolph Lundgren who didn't look that pleased and could have wiped the floor with me and all 4 of my college buddies so in hindsight, it wasn't a good idea.

  • I'd like to create and market undies that say "Paparrazi=Douchebags" and make the letters reflective, so that's all you get in the pic. Don't know if it's possible, but that would be fun.

  • Xtacle Steve

    I feel like the only thing they owe us is to give their best performance possible. As paying customers of their art, that's all we deserve. Not autographs. Not glimpses into their personal life. Not photographs with us (Though, I am guilty of taking one with P.O.S. and Dessa after a Doomtree show). I just really don't understand the fascination we have with celebrities and their personal lives. Is a picture of someone taking out the trash or sipping from a Starbucks cup really that more interesting if the person is Blake Lively?

    Oh, and the up skirt thing is the lowest of lows. Those people are abhorrent.

  • nameless_girl

    Celebrities should be allowed to keep their private lives private. This includes not being accosted by paparazzi when getting a coffee in the morning or taking their dog for a walk. If you want a photo of them, go to a movie premiere or a convention or some kind of official event when they are *working*. They are famous for *doing their job*, and every other aspect of their lives is none of our business as long as they don't want it to be.

    (I volunteer at 3 cons every year, and I've met a lot of (more or less) famous people that way. When it's during an official con event, like an autograph or photo session, I feel free to talk to them or ask them questions (without taking up too much of their time, because there are other fans waiting for their turn as well). But when I meet them in the elevator going up to their hotel room or just walking around looking at merchandise or stuff like that, I nod or maybe say hello, but that's it. I feel that I don't need to be one of "those" fans, and what does it get me except being able to tell people that I talked to actor X? He won't remember me forever and ever - I'll be one face in a sea of others. I'll just pass him by, be respectful and cherish the pic I got with him during the photo op ;))

  • John Mack

    Ok, I was a moderately successful actor in the UK. Nothing major, just bits and pieces here and there on stage and a few minor parts on film and tv. I say successful as the money I earned allowed me to have a semi-decent life (on top of a part-time career that is now my full time career). But even someone as lowly as me was put forward as a 'celebrity' (although mainly around where I live). And yet I abhor attention. Yes, this seems contradictory, but I enjoy acting because it allows me to be other people. Like many actors I am quite insecure with low self esteem and acting gave me an opportunity to escape. I didn't go for parts for fame, but for that escapism. Now, imagine people looking at me for me, judging me for what they think I am when all I want to do is fade into the background and not be noticed.

    A few colleagues (well, people I have brushed shoulders with) have become very successful and I can't even comprehend the level of attention that they get and I start to breathe quickly when I try to imagine.

    I didn't stop acting - I do small parts here and there - and I didn't decide to not be successful as my lack of talent and good looks managed that! But there are times that I wonder "what if?" and then I see how people are pursued so much and I breathe a sigh of relief.

  • cjpw01

    I believe it's what they get for the life they chose. They are being paid an absolutely ridiculous sum of money for doing a relatively simple job. This just goes along with the territory.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    Except that it's not a "relatively simple job". It looks simple, but it turns out to be hard to do. Heck, throwing a baseball appears incredibly simple, but if you can throw it at 98 MPG in the same spot (s) every time, twenty times in a row, you have a skill/talent that only a few dozen people can match.

    I'm not a celebrity, or even an actor, but many of you have seen me on TV, or heard me in interviews. From time to time I am one of those experts people quote.

    I can tell you that even doing straight interviews is very difficult. If you were to transcribe a conversation between you and a friend, you'd be shocked how many times you drop a sentence, shift direction, lose focus, use "um"- all in a matter of minutes.

    Making "theatre", whether it be news, movies or TV, look "relatively simple" is actually the core conceit of the job.

  • kirbyjay

    That's what I think. The deal with the devil. Little Harry Potter has it right. If you want a private life, be private about it. The thing that bugs me the most is the whiners. Sure it's annoying but just like the rich bitch who crabs about a broken fingernail while you're losing your house, it's just as annoying to the civiians who have to hear how horrible it is for you when the bottom feeders want your picture. How bout when the career is kaput and nobody wants to snap them anymore? They'll be dancing naked in front of The Ivy just to be back in the spotlight. Seriously, how hard is it to just smile and be on your way?
    Personally, I don't much care for the ambushed photos, I'd rather see a pic of a celebrity at an awards show all dressed up. I'd also never accost a celeb and ask for an autograph, which I think is asinine. I did get a picture of Troy Brown ( my all-time favorite NE Patriot) and Cam Neely ( former Bruin) but I asked nicely and even made both of them laugh.
    I do agree about the kids though, they should be off limits. But at the same time, has anyone ever see Matt Damon's kids? Some of these people are not above using and selling their own children in support of their career.

  • gogotiff

    Being in the entertainment industry does not give the public a free pass to your personal life! The average "movie star" promoting a new project, like Emma Stone, will be in press interviews, magazine covers, day-time talk shows, late-night talk shows, red carpet premieres, etc. etc. There's no reason I'll need to see them walking down the sidewalk holding a cup of coffee or exiting a restaurant or in an airport security line. There should be defined limits on where papz are allowed to "do their job".

  • gogotiff

    Point being, if a celeb is off the clock, they should be off the clock.

  • Stephen Nein

    Anyone read Carl Hiaasen's Star Island? It's all about the celebrity & paparazzi culture with Carl's usual looney tunes twists. He's writing satire of course, but the celebrities and the photographers frequently feed off one another in reality.

  • almond

    They owe us nothing. When we make the choice to watch their shows or movies, to listen to their music, that's the extent to which we can expect anything from these people. I prefer to think of it as a self-evident contract, I pay 13 euros and see the Fassdong or the Downey Jr. being awesome on screen and that's the end of it. How does that extend into what groceries they prefer or how many times they visit their dentist?
    If I want to hear about boring, everyday activities to which I have zero connection I'll stalk my facebook friends. At least there I can say I know the person in some capacity.

  • Guest

    You say it much better than Tommy Lee, whose inarticulate FB rant last week I agree with in principle.

  • $27019454

    How come you never ever saw a photo of Meryl Streep (just an example) struttin down the street or getting out of a limo or hiding her face as she came drunk out of a bar? There are some celebrities who even at the apex of their fame and youth and major babe-hood never had their likenesses plastered all over the place.

  • gogotiff

    She wouldn't sell tabloids to the average Joe at the grocery store. Tabloid readers are looking for the popular trendy kids, not just famous or talented. Case in point: Teen Moms and Jessica Simpson

  • Kate at June

    "Do celebrities owe us anything?"


  • hapl0

    Or should the fact that they make movies, songs and shows we enjoy just be enough?

    This. This should be more than enough. They don't owe us shit outside of their promotion work.

    They (performers) might even be nice to us regular fans if it wasn't for paparazzis and now I have to remind myself from time to time to not be that fan if I should ever cross paths with one.

    Fuck you very much paparazzis:

  • I was at a con a few years back. My roommate was restless & snoring, so I couldn't sleep. At around 5 a.m., I gave up trying and went to find the gym, nicely deserted. In the middle of my workout, Jamie Bamber came in. He looked the way the rabbits do when my cat catches them in the garden. I nodded at him, finished my workout, and left. It would have been rude and weird to talk to him, I thought. He repaid me when he was at a table, signing autographs. I was passing by, and he called out: "Hey, I know you!" I turned and said, "What?" and he said, as loud as possible, "You're the girl from this morning. I just didn't recognize you with your clothes on." I like to pretend I turned bright red because I was laughing so hard (which I was), and not because everyone suddenly stared at me. So, the lesson I learned is this: maybe if you leave them alone when they're not working, they'll be super funny and nice to you when they are. Conversely, it was the only time I got a taste of what it was like to have complete strangers gape at me, and I have to say, it wasn't very comfortable. I can't imagine it gets any easier.

  • Kate at June

    Can I...can I have your life?

  • Slash

    I'm fine with calling "paparazzi" scum. If they'd stay a reasonable (50 feet or so) away, that'd be OK. But they don't. Most of what they do would constitute harassment and/or stalking if they did it to a non-celebrity. Or somebody's school-age child.

    I also think celebrities should not feel obligated to stop everything they're doing every time some sad-ass, obsessive super-fan freak wants a picture or autograph. I hate being interrupted now, and nobody gives a fuck who I am. If I were famous, I'd be one of the asshole celebrities who won't do autographs or pictures. I've never understood the appeal of either of those things, anyway. They're something 12-year-olds think are a big deal, because 12-year-olds are dumb and immature. They shouldn't be something adults get all verklempt over.

  • ,

    Isn't this just a modern variation of the Indian practice of counting coup?* They did it with their enemies, while we do it with people we would like to imagine would be our friends, if only ... But the whole purpose is the same: To impress our buddies and, not incidentally, the squaws.

    Sure it is. Perhaps we are not as sophisticated as we like to think.

    *--We can do it more vicariously now, we let the paps do the getting close for us, and we collect and display the pictures. But even the Indians painted pictures of buffalo hunts and battles with other tribes to remind everyone how brave/important they were.

  • Kim

    It's a fine line I think. Too a certain extent, Yes! they do owe us for being famous and having the "celebrity" whether looked for or not. They still get to take advantage of the perks of that "celebrity" like restuarant/hotel upgrades, etc. But they are humans too (No, really.) and do deserve a certain amount of privacy to be with their loved ones and family and just be without an audience. I think it boils down to respect and common curtesy. Sneaking a shot up someone's skirt is NOT good photography- it is being a Pervert or Peeping Tom. Interrupting someone while they are trying to eat a meal is rude, maybe wait until after they have eaten. Like you wrote, so you get the picture - it's not such a prize when they look all awkward and put out. I think just to be acknowledged by them with a look and a "Hello" would have me on Cloud Nine forever - anything else is gravy. And then there are the unfortunate bystanders of celebrities, like family members and friends that REALLY did not ask for any of this and yet because they are related/connected get inconvenienced too. Again, I think it goes back to being respectful. If you wouldn't do it to someone you respect in your everyday life, then you probably shouldn't do it to a celebrity. As a fan, I have to say I respect the "celebrity" more that recognizes that the fans are a key element to their jobs and is friendly and more cooperative/approachable, in other words "respectful" of me as a fan, like coming over to fans waiting in line for example. I will be more respectful of them because they are being respectful of me. The ones that complain or are rude and nasty - not so much. If the papparazzi would respect them abit more and the celebrities chill abit too, I think it would be much more amicable.

  • nosio

    The only celebrity I've ever asked for a picture with is Stephen Colbert. It was after a taping of his show - my friend and I waited outside the studio (even though it was freezing, and for some reason I wasn't wearing a coat in middle of winter and was BEGGING my friend to leave) and caught him as he left. I felt bad, because it was getting late, and he told us he only had a minute because he "had to get home to [his] wife," but we were 18 and starstruck, and in my rush to take the picture, I dropped the camera and the batteries popped out and rolled across the sidewalk into the street. I thought my friend was going to kill me. Nonetheless, Colbert was SO gracious about signing our American flags (which he laughed about) and taking a few pictures. I felt that it was borderline obnoxious of us to wait for him like that, and I probably wouldn't do it again, but I also really love my signed flag.

  • Sarah Kosheff

    Honestly, I hate what lines the paparazzi cross and the way they behave, but they're just doing their job. You know who keeps them employed? Americans. Maybe if we stop buying subscriptions to OK and US Weekly, stop demanding celebrity gossip, they'll stop doing whatever it takes to get it for us.

  • Jezzer

    You know how it's considered extremely rude and gauche to approach professionals like doctors and lawyers at social gatherings and ask for free advice? This is much, much worse.

  • PDamian

    A couple of years ago, I read an interview of Dan Radcliffe in which he said that he found it laughably easy to avoid the paparazzi even at the height of Harry Potter frenzy simply by going to out-of-the-way restaurants and pubs, avoiding the hotspots where the young, beautiful and would-be famous congregate, and being sure to avoid doing stupid stuff like getting drunk and belligerent in public. He also said that unless you're in the news for a specific reason -- an ugly divorce or breakup, a hookup with someone famous -- the paparazzi won't follow you unless you call them and tell them where you'll be, or you deliberately hang out at the aforementioned hotspots.

    If you're serious about your career, and you're in it to act, or create, or do whatever it is you do, then you owe it to yourself to live a reasonably circumspect life that will allow you to pursue your career with minimal disruption. Stay away from places like Cannes unless you're there to promote something, and maintain a dignified -- or at least sober -- mien in public. If you're just famewhoring, then whore away, but don't expect sympathy when the attention becomes overweening. Granted, I still think upskirt photographers and people who use long-range lenses to shoot pics of people naked or semi-dressed in their own homes should rot in hell. There's no excuse for that sort of thing.

  • Artemis

    That's probably a lot more true if you live in England than in L.A. or New York. There are some actors in America who stay relatively off the grid just by living in out-of-the-way places most of the year, but sometimes a movie or music career makes it impossible to spend most of your time living in Missouri. There are a million pap shots of people like Michelle Williams just walking down the street in New York, and I seriously don't think it's because she's calling up photogs to tell them where she'll be taking her daughter that day.

  • Vi

    Well I think Radcliffe has proven that he's quite a bit more clever than the typical celebrity.

  • He also has been known to wear the same jacket zipped up every day for weeks; that way all the pics appear to be from the same day, so they become unusable. Clevah girl

  • Pentadactyl

    My question is, what's the alternative? It's all well and good to say something is or isn't right, but that doesn't mean it's going to stop. So, I think, the question becomes not what part of their lives celebrities owe us or what amount of privacy we owe them, but what extent we will go to protect them from it. Which, I don't know, it seems like it gets us into tricky territory because the same laws govern everyone celebrities and not.

  • InnocentBystander

    Even if the celebrities moved to small towns, they might still have problems unless the townspeople basically chose to protect them. I live in a small town and work in the public sector. I can't go out to the grocery store or bars without seeing some of my patrons. A lot of them talk at me in my job. I say talk at me because I'm not usually joining in the conversation. I'm trying to get my work done so the folks who think I'm a waste of tax money don't get additional excuses to hate me more than they already do. Regardless, I'm stuck serving as the captive audience of the "talk at me" folks because they are often divorced, unemployed, and/or retired souls who have no one else in their lives. There's no reason for me to be happy to see them when I'm off the clock, and that goes double for when they've hit on me in the workplace. I don't think it makes me a mean person. I just prefer my time off work to be time off work. When they try chatting me up in the middle of a grocery store checkout or during a prescription pickup at the drugstore, I feel as though they're putting me back on the clock. I want to tell them to leave me alone, but then they'll just act all ticked and hurt when I have to deal with them at work later. I've learned not to go out as much as possible, and that pretty much solves the problem. I can appreciate the celebrities who don't want to stay stuck at home, but it tends to solve the problem of dealing with folks you don't want to see.

    I met a celebrity in a Japanese cybercafe a number of years ago, and it took me a moment to figure out who it was after assisting him with a keyboard issue. He was very polite and much better looking in person, and I thought about getting his autograph or getting a picture with him. Looking back on the moment, I'm glad I didn't. I don't think he would have had a chance of checking his email in peace if I had said anything about recognizing him.

    When I am in foreign countries, I enjoy taking pictures of people in different native dress or professions, but I always ask permission. Likewise, sometimes others ask to have my picture taken with them. As long as they're not acting horrible, I agree to it. If folks say no to my photo requests (such as a woman is pregnant and local customs don't permit such practices for the safety of the unborn), there are no hard feelings. Folks know I'm not trying to make a buck off them by taking pictures, though. They are happy I find them interesting. The problem with paparazzi is they are not taking the pictures solely for themselves. Some of them are registered sex offenders or have other violent histories. If I had children that would make me feel uncomfortable, celebrity or not.

    If I were a celebrity, I would have much more empathy for the fans trying to snap my pic and preserve a moment. I would not have empathy for the paparazzi. I'm not getting a percentage of what they're taking away from my life, time, privacy, etc., and they definitely have no right to seek out crotch shots from me. At least the fans help me have a more comfortable lifestyle.

    This post reminds me of a story I used to hear about John Lennon. When he lived in New York City he lived in relative anonymity. One say a fan was about to give him an excited greeting, and he just lovingly smiled and put his finger on his lips in the "shush" symbol. The fan still had a private moment with him without ruining the musician's peace. There's something to be said for how Lennon handled the situation, if this story is true.

  • Lindzgrl

    I think the bigger question is why do we demand these photos? I look at two celeb sites on a daily basis (I do not count Pajiba as a celeb site) and really I have to ask myself...why? It's such an unbelievable waste of time and brain space. I mean, it's nice to be up on pop culture because it gives you viable small talk ability, but it's utterly useless knowledge.

  • Vi

    My theory is that a lot of people bring the celebrity into their monkeysphere, despite the fact that: they don't actually know this person, this person lives hundreds of miles away, and it is unlikely they will ever meet them. It's a temporary high that you get from obsession, but it (usually) burns itself out as we grow older and more mature and figure out a way to override the impulse, because by then you understand it's not real.

    Nevertheless, if I dangled a picture of a wet Nathan Fillion in swim trunks taken by a pap, I'm sure more than half of Pajiba would be climbing over each other to catch a glimpse of it.

  • KatSings

    One of my biggest pet peeves when working background on a set is people who will approach the celebrities for pictures with them. Guys. They are doing their jobs. You are supposedly ALSO doing that job. Try to focus and have some perspective.
    In general? I'm torn. I believe most celebs are entitled to their privacy (I say most, because the fame whores like the Kardashians have brought this on their own damned selves and choices have consequences). Being good at your job should not give other people the right to your private life. If you are at an industry event, I think it's pretty fair for people to snap shots or ask for autographs, even if you aren't in the mood - that comes with the territory. But if I pass Benjamin Bratt going for a jog in Manhattan (which happens) I'm not stopping to take a picture of him - it's none of my business. I think there have to be lines, and right now there really aren't.
    Although, admittedly, there is something to be said for Meryl Streep-ing it. She is really good at working to keep her privacy, and I respect that.

  • ,

    I hung around some professional athletes for a summer, off the field in some instances. I still bring it up from time to time if somebody asks about it (you DID ask, didn't you?) but the glow of hanging around celebrity soon wore off pretty quickly.

    I got an ever-so-slight taste of what it's like one time. I was on a well-known game show and did pretty well, had a run of five appearances. This caused a minor fluff in my town. I got asked to speak to the Rotary, and a guy who ran a Dairy Queen recognized me and gave me a free sundae, but that was mostly it.

    A year later -- a YEAR! -- I was in a dark grocery store parking lot at midnight, and the woman at a car several spaces from mine said, "Aren't you xxxx xxxxx?" Um ... yeeeees, do I know you? Turned out she remembered me from the show. A year later. That was kinda creepy.

  • John W

    I can honestly say that I have as much concern for celebrities and their problems as they do about me and my problems.

  • SugarSmak

    I'm guilty of desiring photos with celebrities, but only at photo opportunity events (cons, meet and greets and such). I would never bug a celebrity when they were dining, shopping, with family, etc. (This proved slightly painful when I was within earshot of a pre-Breaking Bad Giancarlo Esposito at a restaurant in Savannah. It did take a lot of willpower not to tell him how much I loved him in Do The Right Thing.)

    I worked briefly for a major paparazzi agency (as a writer, not a photog) and, yeah, they are scum. Everyone, including celebrities, have the right to their privacy - and people should respect that.

  • Groundloop

    Somebody down voted this?

  • randomhookup

    It's not the most self-explanatory voting system, so it's easy for someone to click on it and not realize what's up. At least, that's what I tell myself when I get one.

  • foolsage

    Sorry. I couldn't resist downvoting that just to be contrary.

    Please downvote this in turn, to restore the balance of the universe. ;)

  • SugarSmak

    @foolsage - thanks for 'fessing up. Seeing a down vote made my heart hurt (I have a fragile ego like that...maybe I shouldn't comment on posts here.) Although...for a brief second, I harbored the far-fetched notion that maybe the DV was from Giancarlo who actually WANTED me to come to his table and heap praise upon him. Oh, and thanks for coming to my side, @Groundloop!

  • randomhookup

    Too bad it won't let me up & down vote on the same post...

  • Bedewcrock

    Yeah, i saw that. Maybe they don't like Giancarlo Esposito.

  • Jannymac

    Every time I see or "meet" a celeb I nod my head and then go about my business. The relief on their faces at times can be heartbreaking.

  • Maguita NYC

    There is a time and place for everything. With the vertiginous integration of Twitter and all that unending need for attention and acceptance from absolute strangers in daily lives, aggressive non-apologetic behavior is on the rise.

    Paparazzo behavior should be under strict rules and regulations, because it has obviously become a clear form of bullying, or thanks to Sean Penn, making an even quicker buck.

    Seriously, how does a picture of the first sip of coffee differ from the last? And how is it any interest of mine, how long it took to finish that damn cup of joe!

    And Courtney,
    "I’d be gobsmacked and probably sad for them because, seriously, raise your bar..."

    You DO realize, and I'm not brown-nosing here in any way, that you are already a few steps ahead of any Jersey tw-t or crab-ridden d-ck. Right??!

  • I swear wasn't fishing, but I'm not here to turn down a fish. THANK YOU. UPVOTED.

  • Maguita NYC

    Well, you looked like a cuddly dolphin in that picture, I had to throw you a fish!

  • Uriah_Creep

    Oh, Courtney, that was another great article, and you deserve ALL THE FISHES.

  • the other courtney

    1. Upskirt pics are never ok. Ever. I'm not entirely sure how they are even legal...
    2. Why, pray tell, is the pap's face pixelated on the PHilton pic? TO PROTECT HIS PRIVACY?!
    3. Pics of children (celebrity or otherwise) should not be published without written concent of the parent. I could never, ever, go into my kid's classroom and start snapping pictures of classmates to later SELL THEM. Again, still not sure why this is legal.
    4. "Public Figure" shouldn't mean eternally, irrevocably, absolutely, public. Your entire life should not become public domain. Humans sleep and eat and shit and piss and 2 hours on a movie screen should not equal giving up your right to privacy.

  • $2786243

    The upskirt stuff is basically sexual battery IMHO.

  • CONCUR!!!!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    On point 2 - I thought the same thing. Outrageous.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    I think they should be allowed their privacy however I do have an issue to address. It irks me when celebrities complain about the paparazzi on the one hand, yet use them for publicity on the other. Taking the position that "you can only take my picture when I want you to" is not one that I find acceptable.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Yeah, that's so crazy! It's like those friends you have on Facebook, who are all like, "hey! I'm making a face in that pic because it's a candid! Please take it down!" What gives them the right? You should be able to take and use photos of your friends whenever you want, just because they're your friends, duh.

  • Miley's Virus

    Do celebrities owe us anything?
    Yes, the hot ones owe us porn.

  • $27019454

    Seems reasonable. I'm fine with this.

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