Getting Autographs Will Get Harder -- Just ask Scottie Pippen and Halle Berry

(Stay away from Halle you paparazzi or I unload on every one of you!!!)

Two things happened in the news the last two days, that can affect all of the autograph collectors. Let’s examine these things, shall we?

Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry went to the Capitol on Tuedsay, testifying in favor of a bill aimed at restricting paparazzi from taking photos of the children of celebrities.

Senate Bill 606 was authored by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, and it would expand the definition of harassing children to include “annoying, alarming, or terrorizing conduct.”

That means that the often aggressive nature paparazzi use would be illegal when the children were around.

It was a tad ironic that as Berry walked in to testify, the place was swarming with paparazzi. When she spoke, the crowd was rather quiet. That doesn’t mean you didn’t hear the flashing and snapping of cameras going off.

Berry talked a bit about the paparazzi being at her daughters school, and she said that her daughter is now afraid to go, asking “Mommy, why can’t you make them stop?”

She added that her 5-year-old daughter Nahla has become so afraid of them, that she doesn’t even want to leave the house.

Not sure how the daughter reacts when Berry has boyfriends get into fist fights in their home, but that’s another story.

It’s also hard to have sympathy for Berry in anything, since she was involved in a hit-and-run with a woman that resulted in a broken arm for that lady. She took off, and if it weren’t for the woman following and taking a photo of the license plate, she would’ve never been caught. Bug I digress.

That being said…I do think they need to pass these laws. Berry brings up a good point when she states “I understand the game, and I’ve come to terms with it. I’m okay with that, but my children are not, and they shouldn’t have to be OK with that.”

I think laws should also be based that don’t let paparazzi stand in front of cars or jay walk in the streets. Sometimes that’s for their own good. A photographer trying to get a picture of Justin Beiber was recently killed when he ran into the street. And when Beiber or Lohan drive their cars away from a club, and bump a photographers leg – we always blame the celebs. How is that fair when the photographers are standing in front of the car?

At this point, you may be wondering – how does this effect the person just seeking autographs? Well, in a few ways. When Berry, or any celebrity, see a bunch of people standing around – they might just assume they’re all paparazzi. Or, there are times that the star stops to sign autographs, and by standing there, this gives the paparazzi a chance to start snapping photos. And now with everybody having cameras on their phone, anybody can become an instant paparazzi. All this has made it more likely that stars will just start avoiding crowds altogether.

Now, the Scottie Pippen story is another can of worms.

The former Chicago Bulls Hall of Famer put a man in the hospital after a fight at Nobu restaurant in Malibu. The guy said he just wanted an autograph. Not sure I believe that, but here are the details we have so far.

Pippen voluntarily showed up at the LA County sheriff’s substation after being named a suspect. He spoke with the cops and said he was very cooperative.

The “victim” was inside the restaurant taking photos as Pippen ate with his family. When he got to the parking lot, the guy kept snapping photos and asked for an autograph. Somehow, an argument ensued, and the man ended up hospitalized with a head injury.

For those of you old timers like myself that have been watching the NBA since the ‘70s, we know fights in bars is nothing new. I remember when Charles Barkley threw a guy through a window. That person didn’t ask for an autograph, though. He was drunk and telling Barkley he was loser for never winning a championship ring.

Again, these types of interactions just make stars want to stay away from crowds; especially if it’s a restaurant where they want privacy anyway, when they’re enjoying a meal with their family. You combine that with alcohol being served, and these athletes are going to be told by their agents, friends, family – if you go, get in and out and don’t spend a lot of time signing autographs or talking to fans. That just gives the drunk riff-raff a chance to try and get under your skin.

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Tags: Charles Barkley, Chicago Bulls, Halle Berry, Halle Berry on paparazzi, Justin Beiber, Paparazzi, Scottie Pippen

Comment by Ryan on June 26, 2013 at 6:27am

Great post, I agree it seems more and more like that to get someone's autograph you will have to wait until they have an autograph show appearance and pay your fees. 

Comment by Ryan on June 26, 2013 at 6:48am

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the whole "my Mom is Halle Berry" thing means you will have to deal with things like this. And be home schooled. 

Comment by Robert Babb on June 26, 2013 at 7:14am

I do not totally agree but the paparazzi does get carried away alot look what happened to princess diana! Children should not have the turmoil of this but there is private schools and home schooling as some has said!

Comment by Antonio Santiago on June 27, 2013 at 4:10am

One rule of thumb: with children or when eating, celebrities should have their space respected.

Comment by Jeffery Kite on June 29, 2013 at 8:21pm

 I agree with you, Antonio. I have an example: A few weeks ago, I was going into a resturant, and saw one of my all-time favorite Atlanta Braves players, Ron Gant, coming is also. He was getting out of his car, and he saw me give a double take. He waved and smiled at me, and I did so back, not saying a word. I got to the door, and he and his date were behind me, so I held the door open for them. He said thank you, and I responded with your welcome, and I went to my table while he went to his reserved private spot, again, not making a big deal about it. I wrote him a letter a few days later, telling him I was the guy from the resturant and wanted to ask for an autograph, but also wanted to show respect by not asking him that night. He graciously signed the baseball card I sent him in the mail, and can't help but think the respect for his privacy I showed him played a part in it.

Comment by Josh Board on June 30, 2013 at 11:43am

That's an interesting story, Jeffery. Thanks for sharing. With baseball players, it's SUPER TOUGH getting them in the mail, as they have more fan/autograph requests than any other athlete out there. I agree, you can't stop photos from being taken, but guess what? It has TOTALLY ruined the autograph collector. Stars are so less reluctant to stop, because EVERY PERSON has a cell phone with a camera. And EVERY PERSON wants a photo standing next to Ron Gant, or Ron Burgundy, etc. They want to put it on their Facebook page, etc, etc. It was so much easier back in the day, asking for an autograph, the star being flattered that you recognized them, or appreciated their work, and they were on their way. Now it's a big, long, drawn out thing.

Comment by S. Maxwell on July 3, 2013 at 11:15pm

Totally agree Josh. People aren't even 'into' the people they are gawking at in the first place! It's just 'that's a famous person!' kind of thing. And you're right about a token thing to 'put on their facebook'. Where were all these idiots 20 years ago??? Your last sentence in your comment says it all. Look, if I saw Johnny Depp in the mall, I couldn't care less. I respect the guys work and all, but he doesn't mean anything to me personally. Yet there are far lesser 'stars' that would mean the world to me to meet and get an autograph or picture. I'm not going to run to anyone and everyone that is 'famous' just for the sake of it. But 90% of the people going after the stars don't have a personal connection to any of them. It's all just to 'get a piece' of a 'famous person'. It's either the average idiot with the 'enquiring mind' and a cell phone or the pro hound out for a buck. Thanks to all of these 'people' for ruining everything....

Comment by James Lafaman on July 15, 2013 at 1:23pm

One of these days I am going to write a book about this subject. A how to guide for both celebrities and collectors. I am serious about that. Just not sure I can get enough interest. For now, I will try and be brief. I collect every single weekday and sometimes on weekends. If people just used basic manners and etiquette, the collecting world would be much, much better. I do this every single day. Kids should be off limits at all times. If approaching someone while at dinner, it should be done only when they are exiting. Approaching on the way in attracts others and doing it while they are eating is just bad manners. If you do it on the way out, they can sign for you and others if they wish and then jump in their car. No need to rush up on them. Stand back and ask politely and 95% of the time they will reach over or walk over to you and sign. If you rush up on them, they want to escape. I can go on for hours about the do's and don'ts for this hobby. I come across the same people everyday. Some are very professional about it and follow the "rules", but there are so many animals getting into it now, that it would turn off anyone, not just a celebrity or athlete. They push, they shove, they are rude, they stick 20 items in front of the celebrity. It's getting very bad. Some of the stories I could tell would horrify you. The basic rule of thumb is to just be courteous and use basic manners. If you follow that simple advice, you will be highly successful. If we let the animals run wild then the hobby will die. Most of the paps I see everyday are pretty tame and follow the general rules. Maybe because I am in NY and not LA, but I don't see as many Halle / Diana / Lohan paps as i read about in LA.

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