Kate Moss LAX Video Helps Pass New Law Against California Paparazzi

We’ve covered quite a few stories of photographers being harassed while doing legitimate photography, but what about cases in which photographers are doing the harassing? For many of you, paparazzi likely come to mind. The above video was published by back in 2008, and shows supermodel Kate Moss trying to leave Los Angeles International Airport with her young daughter while being hounded by a swarm of paparazzi.

The video was recently used by a campaign that aimed to toughen up laws against paparazzi, and resulted in a new law that passed two weeks ago with a 43-13 vote. If signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, the law would fine paparazzi $5,000 if they break traffic laws or interfere with the operation of a car (as seen at the end of this video).

Judging from the comments left on the YouTube video, it seems like the general public would agree with this kind of law. Do you agree with tougher restrictions on paparazzi?

(via Huffington Post)

  • Rob Sheridan

    Utterly disgusting video – good for California for making a small step towards stopping this type of thing.


    Everyone likes to demonize paparazzi, and true, they are scumbags. But they do what they do because there’s money in it, and there’s only money in it because of our cultural obsession with celebrities. If people would stop buying celebrity gossip magazines, stop going to celebrity gossip blogs, stop watching TMZ, and generally stop giving a shit about the mundane daily activities of famous people, then there would be no market for paparazzi. So I always find it funny when people act all upset about this type of thing, then turn around and log in to to see pictures of Britney Spears buying groceries.

  • Paul Melo

    Don’t blame the general population for these scumbag’s behaviour… no one is forcing them to act that way. I’m a professional street style photographer and I do not photograph anyone with out their permission first. I always approach when it’s appropriate and always politely.

    These guys are pure scum behaving this way to a woman and with children there.

    Absolutely disgusting.

  • Rob Sheridan

    Like I said, I agree that they’re scumbags. I’m not excusing their behavior at all. But I think it’s extremely hypocritical for people to create a rabid demand for scumbag behavior then pretend to be mad when scumbags fill that demand. Our cultural obsession for this celebrity drivel is disgusting and embarrassing, and the quickest way to stop these people from behaving like scumbags is to cut off their funding.

  • Rob Sheridan

    Like I said, I agree that they’re scumbags. I’m not excusing their behavior at all. But I think it’s extremely hypocritical for people to create a rabid demand for scumbag behavior then pretend to be mad when scumbags fill that demand. Our cultural obsession for this celebrity drivel is disgusting and embarrassing, and the quickest way to stop these people from behaving like scumbags is to cut off their funding.

  • malixe

    Jesus H. Christ. This is what gives ALL photographers a bad name. And makes it somewhat understandable when some celebs try to hit or hurt them. This much light going off in someone’s face for an extended period of time would be crazy-making.

  • tsy87

    Some police and special forces units use strobing tactical lights to disorient the bad guys… pretty much the same effect but 20 photographers with their speedlights blazing is probably much worse.

    I agree with Rob, if people just stopped buying those dumb gossip magazines, the profits those paparazzi make per picture would go down big time. Personally I only find pictures like “sad keanu” entertaining because they become memes…. Otherwise I couldn’t care less that some celeb just picked their nose or farted…. my goodness…

  • bruce

    soon as someone invents a small EMP this will end
    hey guy, guess what – Im going to discharge an EMP – every one of those shots will be wiped from the flash drive. You might want to stand back – buuurzsp
    oops, your camera doesnt work any more, shame…

  • Romain

    paparazzis should be prosecuted for harassment, their gear confiscated, and they should be barred from doing money as photographers. Yes, that is the bare minimum human respect requires.


    Completely agree with you. I’m curious though about the money (or lack thereof) involved in this particular case. You have 20 people taking 500 pictures each of some celebrity getting out of the airport – hardly entertaining or newsworthy. It’s no million-dollar picture obviously, but does anyone know how much it could be sold ?

  • QuBe

    So, why didn’t the airport police clear them out like rabid commandos?
    They usually go absolutely apesh*t over way more minor disturbances.

    Why didn’t they just take her into a passenger lounge while they waited for the car?
    Why didn’t she just ask to be taken to a secure place instead of just standing there?

    More to the point, why didn’t she just arrange to have VIP passage through the airport and bypass any paparazzi?
    It’s done all the time…

    You guys are all railing against the photogs….did you notice she sure was smiling big when she got in the van…loving every minute of it…and her publicist probably orchestrated the whole thing.

    In the celebrity biz, “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.”
    Oscar Wilde

  • Vinariegel

    Is that all you found to justify harassing her? That other people didn’t protect her enough from them? That she shouldn’t complain and she probably liked it? You must be of very bad faith to try to convince anyone of that, and you must be totally blind not to see she is suffering from it.
    Oh, buy maybe it’s in your interest to think that. You are a paparrazy maybe?
    You are trully disgusting.

  • Ben Jacobsen

    I agree with both of you, but NEF, there IS money even in this shot or there wouldn’t be ~50 guys doing it. As Rob said, people NEED to stop buying the trash rags and stop watching the shows or this won’t end. Did these photogs really need ~500 shots EACH of Kate Moss? That’s the point where I feel bad for her. If they each took a few shots, said hello and left her alone, that’s tolerable for being a celebrity, but this is over the line IMHO.

  • Raicha

    She was probably smiling because the car had finally arrived and she was able to get herself and her children away from the paparazzi.

  • brian

    that was annoying as hell just to watch the video with all those flashes going off.
    I couldn’t imagine how that would feel to be victim too. This type of thing needs to be stopped.
    how is it beneficial to any of these photographers who are all gonna end up with the same boring shot? jesus

  • Richard Horsfield

    Those guys are a f**king disgrace to photographers – thanks guys for making it bad for the rest of us.
    Thats why they are paps… no clue, no skill.

  • QuBe

    And, evidently, you are truly ignorant and naive about the profession of celebrity worldwide.

    You have no rebuttle but a personal attack?
    You are blind to her smile in the van?
    You are not aware that she is a trained professional actress.
    You don’t account for the fact she has had many years experience in dealing with paparazzi?

    Obsiously you are supremely ignorant of “celebrity” and mechanisms of fame machinery. By your judgmentally reactionary comments, you seem like a child easily swayed and marketed to by such superficial appearances and the theater these professionals present.

    If you had any experience whatsoever of the game, you’d know that events like these almost never happen without prior orchestration.
    You’d know that there are well established methods and practices to maintain celebrity anonymity and entirely unmonitored travel and movements when desired.
    Just to maintain airport security and functionality by preventing such disruptions, celebrities often have to exit and enter the facility by other than public access points.

    Open your eyes and learn something beyond what you see, that you may possibly present counter arguments instead of hurling hateful epithets like a member of a mindless mob.

  • QuBe

    Blaming the photographers is somewhat like blaming a drug dealer.

    Neither would be in the business they are were it not for the voracious consumers of their products.Place the blame where it belongs…with the people who purchase the rags in the checkout aisles and who watch hollywood gossip television programs; the masses of people who derive perverse nourishment from the products of the paparrazi.Those people are the fuel of the entire industry.Theirs the the ultimate responsibility…and blame.

  • Kevin

    You gave a stupid analogy, because drug dealing is illegal and nobody ever sees drug dealers as victims.

  • Patrick

    She chose the life.

  • Seven Bates

    You guys should stop playing devil’s advocate every time this argument is brought up. You obviously see the behavior of THOSE photographers, and you know good and well that the professional street and editorial photographers in the industry would never stoop so low as to harass anyone that way.

    Yet, you sit on your high horse and say “it’s not the photographer’s fault” or “It’s the demand for the photos”. That’s baloney and you know it.

    Supply and demand do not dictate this kind of behavior. The demand isn’t for crappy LAX photos of celebs trying to get away. The demand is for good photography, and telephoto shots of celebs enjoying their lavish lifestyles. This is how the gossip-rag reading public lives vicariously through the celebs.

    Not even the lowest of the low want shots like what those guys were shooting. They were in a frenzy, knowing good and well that what they were doing would ignite a scene they could be a part of, and shoot. The laws passed are designed to keep guys like this from “making” opportunities to harass people, by forcing situations.

    So lay off this argument. We get it. Yes, the gossip mags create a market for celeb street photos but not a single publication is asking for their wire services to produce crap like this, or for their photogs to act in this way to obtain them.

    So shut up!!

  • Seven Bates

    I call bullshit, QuBe. Your devil’s advocate routine is lame. Nobody is demanding crap shots like those.

  • emmo

    get over it! celebrities court this type of attention. She would be more worried if they didn’t take her photo as it means career over. Celebrities live such privileged existences I think it keeps it even i dont feel sorry for them at all

  • Anonymous

    If she loved the attention, then why did she petition to get this law passed? I think there’s a pretty clear difference between attention and harassment. Those that see this harassment as just an occupational hazard seem to be out of their minds. There are clearly more dangerous jobs, but being mobbed by pro photogs at every turn really cheeses it. Heck, she probably has to smile for the camera (seems a nervous smile too, here) in order to keep the value of the photos low. The rags that buy razzi photos seem to like the “distressed star” photos a lot.

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