Steven Tyler Takes His Best “Shot” At the Paps

Rock Legends Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac spoke in front of the Hawaii Senate on February 8, 2013 regarding an approval of a bill to protect celebrities or any citizen from the intrusive behavior of the paparazzi. Tyler said, “stars today are pestered much worse than previous generations given because of modern technology and lucrative paydays for paparazzi”.

The State Senate Judiciary Committee approved “The Steven Tyler Act” (Bill SB 465)  which would limit the paparazzi and people to freely take photos and videos of celebrities when they are in their own homes or on their own property. Tyler, who has a home in Maui emailed the Associated Press “The paradise of Hawaii is a magnet for celebrities who just want a peaceful vacation.” 

Steven also made this statement while “First and foremost I’d like to say, being a personality, no matter where we go, we get shot (by photographers). It’s part of the dealio (sic), and it’s OK. It kind of drives us crazy, but, like my mom said, ‘You asked for it, Steven.’

“But when I’m in my own home, and I’m taking a shower or changing clothes or eating or spending Christmas with my children, and I see paparazzi a mile away, shooting at me with lenses this long, and then seeing that very picture in People magazine, you know, it hurts… That’s what they do, they are just constantly taking from us.”

Other celebrities offered their support including: Britney Spears, Neil Diamond, Avril Lavigne, Tommy Lee of Motley Crew, Fred Coury of Cinderella, Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, Darren Dizzy Reid of Guns N Roses, actresses Margaret Cho and Kat Von D, and members of the Osborne family including Jack, Sharon, Kelly and Ozzy, all supported the bill.

The bill would give people the power to sue others who take photos or video of their private lives in an offensive way, while using telephoto lenses or other advanced equipment to record them on their private properties.

During the hearing, Senate judiciary committee chair Clayton Hee got rid of the bill’s original contents, which was drafted by Tyler’s lawyer, and replaced them with information from a related California statute.  This California law was originally passed in 1998 in response to the death of Princess Diana, then amended in 2009 to permit lawsuits against media outlets that pay for and make first use of material they knew was improperly obtained. In addition to provisions against advanced equipment, the California measure has penalties for reckless behavior while attempting to get photos or video of a celebrity. 1  

You can read the background of the California  Amendment Anti-Paparazzi Statute Section 1708.8 here

As always, media & press agencies are opposed to this bill due to their belief it would punish freedoms of expression protected by the First Amendment.  The following were the opposition: the National Press Photographers Association, which submitted testimony on behalf of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of News Editors as well as other media groups. The bill was also opposed by: Sony Pictures, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Brothers.

After testimony was given, the state Senate Judiciary Committee approved the legislation, which will take effect from July 1, 2013 if it is passed and signed into law.

Please watch Steven Tyler/Mick Fleetwood Lobby speaking to the Hawaii Legislature. Please pay particular attention beginning at 12:24 

This is a huge leap forward in forcing civility and respect by the media that has a long history of defaming and abusing people and celebrities to the point of human life. Whether it be bullying or uncompromising shots, it is now a grim reality that photographers, newspapers and tabloids post slanderous and negative “features or pictures” to sell their fodder.  Please read my post on the incident where a photographer died while chasing Justin Bieber’s car here and the history of the paparazzi here to see how far they can and will go to get their special “shot.”  All we need to do is to look back at the death of Princess Diana who was CHASED by the paparazzi and killed during that chase.  If the paparazzi had not been following her at high speeds to get that million dollar photograph she would be alive today.  Even while she lay in her car dying from her wounds pictures were taken and spread all over the world via tabloids and newspapers.  Please view this photo

picture

Princess Dian moments before the accident

of Princess Diana moments before the crash looking behind her to see she was being chased.  I put this picture up because it shows just how close these paps were to her vehicle.  I also a found a smal article about the pleas by her children, Prince Harry and William to not show these pictures in a documentary being made.

Article

Article

Michael Jackson was continually hunted by the paparazzi and never had peace in his life. Michael was chased and tormented by these people and even while the ambulance was attempting to get MJ to the hospital on that fateful day of June 25th, photographers were surrounding the ambulance to get their cameras up against the window to take the last picture of Michael hence making it very difficult for the ambulance to get past them.  That picture spread like wildfire and was seen on tabloids and newspapers everywhere.  You can now find that picture on the internet where it will stay forever.

Princess Diana’s and Michael Jackson’s children see these photographs and you can bet that these paps don’t give that a second thought while taking them, it is all about the money.  Even in death there is no peace. They did not ask for this cruelty and disrespect, it needs to be stopped.

These photographers attempt to get the worst possible picture of an individual and then the tabloids fabricate stories based on these pictures.  The truth is out there but not with these media hounds who are willing to kill and die for the big story or the big shot. When will it stop?  I believe it has to start with us, remember Michael’s words:  “And you don’t have to read it, and you don’t have to eat it. To buy it is to feed it, then why do we keep foolin’ ourselves.”

An advocacy group that is working extremely hard to get a law passed in California with respect to the same issue is  The Cadeflaw Legacy Law Advocates who wholeheartedly support the above bill and wish to take it a step further by getting the Cadeflaw Anti-Defamation Legacy Law off the ground and hope to get support by MJ fans and people who do not wish to see the deceased defamed and bullied by the media, the paparazzi and the tabloids. Their advocacy is narrow and specific, a law needs to be passed in California allowing for family members on behalf of their deceased love ones to sue for civil damages. Their goal is simple: to protect, preserve the legacy of the deceased. Words are powerful and leave their effect long after they have been uttered. It is reprehensible to continue to damage a person’s reputation be promoting rumour, innuendo, gossip and sensationalism as fact; after a person is deceased and cannot speak for themselves.2

Please sign the petition here http://www.cadeflaw.org and help make this a reality.  It has to start somewhere! It should start with us.

Steve Tyler and Mick Fleetwood are the true heroes in getting this bill off the ground. Let’s offer Steven our support by tweeting him a thank you @IamStevenT and let him know that we as MJ advocates and fans support him, there are many of us, let’s make it happen.

Let’s  make this dream a reality for MJ, Princess Diana and all the others who have been bullied and tortured throughout their lives due to the absurdity and cruelty of the media both on the airwaves and newsprint.  Let us make that change.

  1. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/steven-tyler-privacy-law-hearing-hawaii-article-1.1259155#i
  2. http://cadeflaw.wordpress.com

Cadeflaw Video: “Are They Going To Stop?” [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAbl_3KNKnI&playnext=1&list=PL41E544E75352BAE6&feature=results_video]

Please watch and share: Words and Violence Curriculum www.voiceseducation.org

If you agree with the Steven Tyler Bill and want this bill enforced you can:

Email the Judiciary committee chairs and members to congratulate them for their decision:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/committeepage.aspx?comm=JDL

Email your own state legislators and tell them about the bill and how you think it’s a wonderful idea and can be used in your state. Tell them how paparazzi and tabloid journalism fosters bullying and the media should elevate its standards and honor the ethics of civility and dignity in journalism.

http://www.ncsl.org/about-us/ncslservice/state-legislative-websites-directory.aspx

Read more:

Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/steven-tyler-testify_n_2642350.html

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  1. #1 by CA Anti-Def Group (@CADEFLAW) on February 13, 2013 - 6:25 pm

    SGAA, thanks for a thorough and wonderful blogpost. Hats off to Mr. Steven Tyler and the Hawaii Legislators.

    I am certain that there is a certain amount of expectation from celebrities as far as their career and the media support are concerned. However, there has to be a fine line somewhere in between the two. Even media representatives expect some form of privacy for themselves and their family members. Does being a celebrity mean you don’t have a right to personal privacy?
    WE do need the media to report news and to keep the celebrities highlighted in a way that is productive to their longstanding careers, but how much of the media’s attention is really needed. Actually an excellent artist doesn’t need the media too much when they have fans.

    There is a thing called “too much exposure”. Why don’t we ask Michael Jackson about being overexposed? He could give us at least thirty years training in being overexposed by the media outlets. What’s wrong with Mr. Tyler or any other persons wanting to just relax and have a PEACEFUL vacation? Celebrities do sort of ask for the attention when they choose to become public figures but what they don’t ask for is to be harassed twenty-four seven by the media and fans. They do have PERSONAL lives whether we believe that or not and it doesn’t include US. Many celebrities give the media opportunities, at their leisure, when they are ready to share their personal lives with the world. Why can’t they wait to be invited into that?

    For the Hawaii State Legislators to author and approve this Act tells me that they even believe the paparazzi problem has gotten way out of hand. It is truly shameful when respect has to be forced by state legislators. Journalists have jobs too and I, for one, respect their positions. I strongly believe in the freedom of expression by way of speech and publication, but there has to be a better way of exercising that privilege. That is a privilege whether we admit to it or not, you know.

    The Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Advocates support Mr. Tyler’s ACT 1000%. Even in death celebrities and others continue to be bullied by the power of the media and not many seem to be concerned about that. Family members left behind like the Jacksons: Katherine, Joe, Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson are left here to deal with the cruel media antics levied at Michael Jackson. Why is it okay to post photos of Michael Jackson lying in a casket when the media never had access to him in that manner? Why was it okay to publish morgue photos of Mr. Jackson during the trial? Why was it okay to post a photo of Mr. Jackson inside the ambulance enroute to the hospital? Isn’t it enough that his children have to deal with his death? Why do they have to deal with extra cruelty published by media “Professionals” who I’m sure also have family members. Of course the answer is its Michael Jackson. Who cares? Many people care. His family members care. Princess Diana’s family members cared and still do. We have no idea what kind of emotional trauma these family members have suffered at the hands of the free press. Why was Whitney Houston’s casket photo plastered on the front page of the National Enquirer? Why? Because inquiring minds want to view the ugliness of things not newsworthy.

    The First Amendment was NOT framed to give us access to the private lives of other people, but to guarantee that we have just cause to protest and voice our concerns about government or political issues that may not be beneficial to ALL U.S. citizens; in other words to make sure that the government was not stopping citizens from voicing or publishing their concerns. It never gave us the right to go into the bedroom or bathroom of other people and publish private information to get a rise out of people who seek trash for a living. The First Amendment is a privilege and not a right to defame and slander people with information that is NOT newsworthy.

    For those who feel the need to complain about these ACTs infringing upon their FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS I say this:

    “Go ahead and exercise your RIGHT to bully people but give the people you BULLY a right to sue your ASS.”

    I say give the celebrities and others the right to file civil suits against media sources who use their private photos for sport, entertainment and financial gain. I say give the deceased family members a right to file civil suits against media sources for defamation and slander if it can be proven. We do NOT have the right to use the fist amendment as a free pass for our own personal gain.

  2. #2 by SGAA on February 13, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    The Cadeflaw Anti Legacy law is something that must be passed and approved. Thank you for your eloquent and honest comments. Cadeflaw and SGAA can make a difference in getting these types of bills passed, it is a long road ahead but we believe it can happen. It must happen.

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