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.
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.