Monday, July 5, 2010

Armchair Paparazzi

 By Pam 
The word, paparazzi, is taken from Frederico Fellini's film La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life). One of the characters in the film is a news photographer named Paparazzo. It has been written that Fellini took the name from an Italian dialect that describes a particularly annoying buzzing mosquito noise. I get the picture. I see a photographer running to get the coveted picture of a famous celebrity, muscling his/her way past whomever is in the way, trying to get up close...buzzing, annoying, a nuisance. 

As fans, when we cross the line from just watching our idol's movies to trying to find out if s/he sunbathes in the nude, do we become armchair paparazzi? When recently asked, How has fame changed you?, Alex O'Loughlin answered, "We got chased by paparazzi the other night, who were trying to find out where we live." How many fans have "chased" after such private information? How many sit for hours on their computers searching for that one piece of very personal information about their idol that no one else has found? Probably more than I care to know, but hopefully, they'd keep it to themselves.

A recent amendment to a 1999 allows celebs to sue not just photo agencies, but the media outlets that publish photos obtained by unlawful invasion of privacy, with fines as high as $50,000. The original law states that photographers can not trespass on private property in order to obtain images, nor can they use a telephoto lens or other enhancing devices; a crime known as a "constructive invasion of privacy." In 2005, the law was further strengthened with a clause stating that the paps could not assault an individual, such as by chasing them in a car or physically harassing them. Obviously, from Alex's statement, the law is ignored.

There is no law that prevents a fan from downloading personal information they obtain on the internet. If it's posted in an unethical fan forum, what are the chances the person whose private life is being exposed will ever know, unless an ethical fan blows the whistle. By that time, scores of fans have learned some intimate details about their idol.

When Alex was back home in Australia last, he basically expressed what most celebs feel. When asked about a relationship with his Three Rivers co-star, Amber Clayton, he said, “I’m really enjoying spending time with her. But relationships are hard. That stuff I keep pretty close to my chest because it’s no one’s business.”

Hmmm...I wonder what happened to Amber Clayton...

1 comment:

  1. As much as I love details about Alex I respect his right to privacy, especially in regards to his son. I'm enough of a fan to want Alex happy and safe.

    The paparazzi should be on the wrong end of a few of those chases, maybe then they'd be a bit more respectful.