Being a source of celebrity news, we here at The Gloss use photos of celebrities all the time. Whether they’re to show you folks what ridiculous outfit Kim Kardashian wore for attention the other day or to remind you that Cate Blanchett has an excellent sense of style or simply to accompany a story about the never ending saga that is Chris Brown’s arrogent idiocy, we acquire photos through legitimate sources and then pass them on to you here. Most are photos of celebrities on the red carpet, but there are plenty of other more candid ones likely taken by paparazzi who were following the celebrity at the time. But given the death of a photographer attempting to take pictures of Justin Bieber yesterday by following his Ferrari, many people can’t help but question how far the news should be willing to go when it comes to celebrity news and photos.
Last night, a photographer spotted Bieber’s Ferrari in Los Angeles and followed it for a while. Oddly enough, Bieber wasn’t even driving the car; in fact, he might not have even been in the car. After the car was pulled over by California Highway Patrol for a routine traffic stop, the paparazzo decided to get closer to the car by crossing the street, which was Sepulveda Boulevard, the longest street in LA and a quite busy one, at that. After being told to back off by CHP due to the precariousness of the situation, the photographer was struck. He died en route or at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to the LAPD.
While this is extremely sad, it is by no means the first time somebody’s been hurt after an incident involving celebrity photo seekers. There are very, very few things I have ever felt sorry for celebrities because of, but having constant droves of photographer followers is one of them. An actor might try her whole life to find success by taking classes, spending tons of money on coaches, using a trainer, being rejected hundreds of times, changing her voice and hair and face…and then the thing that seemingly matters most is how she looks without makeup when taking the trash out in the morning because people literally staked out her street all night to snap a yawning picture.
The “paparazzi versus morality” debate was pretty hot in 2012. After the Kate Middleton topless pictures were published despite being taken under suspiciously invasive circumstances, a conversation was sparked once more about how far the paparazzi can and should go for the photos that will undoubtedly appeal to thousands, if not millions, of viewers, thereby earning the photographers quite a bit of cash.
Personally, I believe that nobody should put themselves in a dangerous situation (like, y’know, walking into traffic) for a picture. But I also understand how stressful it is to need to stand out; when there are literally thousands of other people attempting to get the same celebrity’s photos via the same means, the steep competition for the best picture is always on. Nevertheless, how much do any of us really need to see photos of Justin Bieber through a windshield? How many people actually enjoy seeing uncomfortable human beings through glass windows like a fish tank? And still, it’s impossible to condemn paparazzi completely because otherwise, a huge chunk of the media would be wiped out or, at the very least, reduced to exclusively posed photos from the red carpet.
Bieber himself responded to the incident: “While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim. Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves.”
What do you folks think: should there be more laws regarding paparazzi (both to protect them as well as those whose photos are being taken)? Or would that simply impede freedom of the press, including our god-given right to know when Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have smiled simultaneously within three feet of one another?
Photo: Flickr / Internets_Dairy