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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Public figures deserve privacy laws against paparazzi

Julia Capraro

Envision a life for yourself where you are constantly being watched by fans, the press and photographers. Imagine not being able to go to work, class or run an errand without being accosted by paparazzi. 

Being a public figure means not having privacy in your own life, according to the paparazzi and pop culture press. 

Critically acclaimed actor Jacob Elordi allegedly assaulted a radio producer Feb. 3. Joshua Fox, a producer for the “Kyle and Jackie O Show” on Australia KIIS FM radio, approached Elordi when he was leaving a hotel asking if he could have some of Elordi’s bathwater — referring to a viral scene in Elordi’s new movie “Saltburn.” Elordi asked the producer to stop filming him and to delete the footage. Fox agreed to delete the recording but Elordi escalated the situation from there. Allegedly, after Fox stopped recording, Elordi got in his face, backing him against a wall and put his hands on his throat.

Intimidating someone, violating their personal space and physically assaulting someone to get your point across is never a reasonable answer. Celebrities should be held accountable the same way we hold average people accountable for their actions; but people in the spotlight should actually be held to a higher standard since so many people idolize and look up to them. 

However, I think paparazzi and pop culture press are getting a little too comfortable invading the privacy of celebrities. Although Elordi was at a public beer garden, that does not give Fox and radio producers the right to track down his location and berate him with inappropriate questions. No paparazzi should ever feel entitled to speak to a celebrity especially when the person feels uncomfortable and is in a private setting.

Being chased and chastised by paparazzi happens to celebrities across the world, especially in the United States. Videos go viral all the time of celebrities yelling at the press, telling them to go away during private and intimate moments. Not all of them resort to physical violence, but it has happened frequently in the past. Most notably Kanye West in 2013, Britney Spears in 2007 and Justin Bieber in 2012.

Celebrities get fed up with being constantly followed and getting their private moments ruined by intrusive paparazzi, and some of them resort to violence. Assaulting someone in any scenario is wrong, and we should not condone any sort of violence, but it is understandable how celebrities get pushed to that point where they think that is their only other option.

Press privacy laws are very different in America versus places like the United Kingdom, which makes sense since there isn’t as much paparazzi in Europe. This doesn’t mean there are no privacy invasions on celebrities in the U.K., it’s just not as interfering as it is here in the U.S. 

Ultimately, paparazzi are doing their jobs and are on assignment; pushing the boundaries and asking uncomfortable questions are in their job description. But where do we draw the line? Are they reporting on a celebrity doing something mundane like getting groceries or following them around on their day of errands documenting their every move? Are they asking a question because they think that the audience wants to know the answer or do they want to make the person uncomfortable and get a reaction out of them? The line between taking pictures of celebrities and stalking them is starting to blur, and more outbursts from different celebrities are to come. 

America needs to implement new privacy laws that protect celebrities and public figures from constantly being photographed and followed. The lengths that paparazzi go to get a picture of a celebrity is borderline stalking. If other countries follow hopefully this is something that can be achieved, so celebrities can have some semblance of a normal life.

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About the Contributors
Casey Wells
Casey Wells, Staff Writer | she/her
Casey is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Worcester, Massachusetts. When she isn't in the Journal office, you can find her in the Performing Arts Office or any place near campus that has coffee. In addition to the Journal, she is a dancer and on the e-board of Suffolk's dance crew, Wicked. In her free time, she loves to read, write, dance, listen to Hozier and play guitar.
Julia Capraro
Julia Capraro, Editor-at-Large | she/her
Julia is a sophomore broadcast journalism and psychology major from Canton, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the Journal, she is President of Suffolk Visual Arts Club. She loves cooking, crochet and reading in her free time.

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