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
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.
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.
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:
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.