An Open Letter to: @katiecouric, @Oprah, @DianeSawyer, @WhoopiGoldberg @TheEllenShow and @BarbraJWalters
During the course of your careers, each of you has been or is aware of someone who has been assaulted by paparazzi and maligned by tabloids. Recently, the exploits of the paparazzi have been on news casts and in legitimate magazines and newspapers nationally. The death of a paparazzi attempting to get his “money shot”; the car accident involving Chris Brown that has been attributed to trying to avoid paparazzi; and the conflict between paparazzi and Justin Beiber are all recent events that have made national news. These are just a few examples of the heinous way celebrities are treated by paparazzi and the boundaries paparazzi are willing to ignore in order to take a photograph. Paparazzi are an insult to professional photographic journalists. Additionally, they jeopardize the lives of those who happen to get in their way.
Recently Tori Spellings wrote a letter addressing the problem of tabloids printing lies about her private life. Her young son, who is just learning to read, was in a line at a store and read that his parents were getting a divorce. He was horrified by the headlines, as any child would be. The child was traumatized by the blatant lie and Ms. Spelling had to spend quite some time calming his fears. Her letter was featured on Good Morning America and all of the hosts of that program congratulated her for speaking out against the tabloids.
The ABC news program 20/20 recently did a feature on paparazzi and their invasion of celebrities’ lives when they take pictures of the celebrities with their children. The children cry for the paparazzi to “quit taking our picture” and “to leave us alone” , but are totally ignored by these loathsome creatures. They have no heart, they are merely in it for the money. They are emotionally abusing these children and currently no one is doing anything about it!
As recently as last Sunday, Jada Pickett Smith wrote on her Facebook page about her concerns of how social networks and media are treating young people in the spotlight of fame. She relates several recent examples where young celebrities have been maligned by the tabs and also by the social sites—where tweets recounted what the tabs had said.
Because of the way current laws are written, celebrities have little to no recourse when such lies are published. They also have no rights when it comes to their treatment by paparazzi. The public is becoming aware of how the paparazzi work and who pays them—the tabloids. We are angry that paparazzi and tabloids are being allowed to treat celebrities–American citizens, in such despicable ways. A normal citizen could get a restraining order, charge the paparazzi with stalking, and take tabloids to court for defamation of character. But, celebrities are unable to respond to these situations because according to the law, “they are not as other mortals”.
We are two groups: The Paparazzi Reform Initiative and THE PLAN.
Together we are working toward getting things changed. This is the time. Hawaii has already ratified new laws pertaining to paparazzi. The Paparazzi Reform Initiative is currently sponsoring three amendments to California law this year. They will be officially recorded with the California Assembly within the next two weeks. Two of the amendments are designed to help protect the privacy of children. THE PLAN is making great strides in opening the eyes of people to the ridiculous travesty of the lies told by tabloids and the way they get the pictures they publish.
Where has truth in journalism gone? Where has common decency gone? They are rapidly disappearing. As journalists and people who have the public’s ear, I would think that you would want that to end. I am hoping that you will use your powers to assist this movement. I challenge each of you ladies to use your programs and connections to assist in this matter. Your help would be greatly appreciated. You can get more information about our organizations by accessing these websites:
Thank you for your time,
Sue aka veulent_savoir, owner of wertheplan.wordpress.com