Hollywood Actresses Speak Out In Favor of Anti-Paparazzi Child Protection Law


Actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner testified before the California Legislature on Tuesday in support of an anti-paparazzi bill that would ban taking pictures of children without their parents’ written consent.

According to NBC, both actresses said their children had been repeatedly traumatized by herds of photographers looking for gossip fodder:

“I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, lawbreaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are all day, every day, to continue traumatizing my kids,” testified Garner, who has three children with husband and actor Ben Affleck. “They have a bounty on their heads every day.”

According to the Sacramento Bee, Berry said she has considered moving to France to protect her 5-year-old daughter, Nahla, from the press.

“They are allowed to be so close to her that they can shout obscenities to me and ask her questions that are inappropriate for a 5-year-old to have to answer,” testified Berry, explaining that her daughter is afraid to go to preschool because of the paparazzi horde.


California Senate Bill 606 would expand the state’s definition of “harassment” to include photographing, following or lying in wait for a child without the written consent of a parent or guardian — provided such behavior “seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the child or ward, and … serves no legitimate purpose.”

The bill, which passed the state Senate unanimously and is now headed for a vote in the Assembly, threatens non-abiding paparazzi with fines of up to $30,000 and a year in prison.

Representatives for the Motion Picture Association of America, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and other groups have opposed the bill, saying it could hinder newsgathering and other legitimate activities.

(via Today via Sacramento Bee)

Image credits: Jennifer Garner by Josh Jensen and Paparazzi by Gribiche

  • Bob

    You cannot ban a magazine; that’s just not a very smart thing to say.

  • bob cooley

    Oh you are so right – photographers who have spent their entire careers acting ethically and with purpose are the scourge. You sure called me out on that one…

  • bob cooley

    I read it, but it’s really a slippery slope. Once a law is in place, it can be pretty broadly enforced, and “alarms, annoys, etc.) can be interpreted openly – especially after the fact. I don’t want to see any law put on the books that potentially hinders the legitimate collection of good content by ethical shooters. It’s a shame that paparazzi even exist; they end up being the rotten apple that spoils it for the rest of us…

  • bob cooley

    I’m not the other Bob that replied – but he echos my concern – the definition of “alarms, annoys, etc.” can be widely applied after the fact.

    I once had an editor called from a parent of a player in high school baseball, who was told that her son missed an important first base catch because he was distracted by my taking photos (mind you, I was in the allowed press area, no where near the area of play, and had covered every game that season from that spot) – but stage parents and sports parents sometimes need to find someone to blame – of course my editor backed me, but if this law were in place, i could have been victim to it because a parent’s emotions were running high (and even the player thought blaming me was silly – but he’s a minor, and his parent would have the say on whether they thought I was being ‘harassing’.

    While this may seem a far-fetched scenario, tou wouldn’t believe the craziness you run into sometimes from otherwise rational people when you are a journalist.

  • Brixton

    That’s completely baseless. So if you’re famous, you shouldn’t have kids, how about indecent “photogs” get a life and stop stalking children? Great solution, Guest.

  • Sofia Lucifairy

    Are a communist? Of course making money is a legitimate purpose!

  • Kenael

    But this photo will be used as an ad by the tabloid, the choice of the customers will partly depend on the photo displayed on the cover.

  • Matthew Wagg

    Jeez, chill out, you obviously didn’t catch the irony of the tone of my post.

  • Matthew Wagg

    It was an ironic statement, of course magazines can’t be banned. Well that spoiled the joke…

  • Kayees

    I am a grandmother and I hate to inform them that I would rather see a picture of their cute kids than to see them all the time. It might affect their box office revenue because I pay more attention when they are with their children.