December 30, 2010

Obama Bans Topless Photos

President Obama is apparently getting shy (or flabby?) in his advancing years as president. 

Reporters have been given strict instructions not to snap pics of a topless president while he's vacationing in Hawaii, reports the New York Times. That means no more hunka-hunka shots and no more memorable headlines like the New York's Post's"Buff Bam is Hawaii Hunk" after Obama was snapped shirtless several times while vacationing as president-elect.

December 11, 2010

Report: Jake Gyllenaal Calls the Cops on Paparazzi

For such a good-looking couple, Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swiftapparently don't like being photographed much.

X17 Online reports that Love & Other Drugs actor Gyllenhaal called the police on paparazzi who were tailing him and his Speak Now singer sweetheart as they cruised around Beverly Hills in their Audi Q7 on Thursday.

According to one of the photographers on the scene, the LAPD not only dispatched ground cover for the couple, but sent a helicopter out to monitor the situation from the air. The pap also opines that Gyllenaal's distress call to the po-po was completely unwarranted by the situation:
"I don't know why Jake was in such a bad mood. We saw him and Taylor in the car and when we tried to see where they would park to get out, Jake went crazy. It's like he didn't want anyone to get a shot of him and Taylor together. I mean if he's going to do set-up shots with the paps like he did last week, what's the difference?!"
So far, neither the LAPD, the Beverly Hills Police Department or the Beverly Hills Sheriff's Department has responded to X17's calls inquiring about the dramatic response to Gyllenhaal's call.

December 10, 2010

Should Paparazzi Have the Right to Photograph Angelina's Kids?

If you're one of the lucky few to hit the celebrity jackpot, you also become a public figure -- meaning that strangers have the legal right to follow you around and take your picture. But should the same rules apply to your children? That's an issue that celebrity moms grapple with every day, as they frantically try to keep their kids away from the paparazzi's flashbulbs. Now a few famous mamas are taking action against the photographers who make money off their children. Will their efforts succeed?

Nicole Richie made the first move this fall, making good on her threat to file restraining orders against paparazzi who were staking out her daughter Harlow's preschool. Then in a Wednesday night appearance on Larry King Live, mother of six Angelina Jolie expressed her wish that "there will at some point be laws about how close (photographers) can get to children with cameras." The next day, Radar Online posted a photo ofJulia Roberts having a face-to-face confrontation with a photographer who took pictures of her three children. (Roberts has a history of confronting paparazzi, especially when kids are involved.)

While celebs have always taken pains to shield their kids from the spotlight, it's become much more challenging in recent years. Our national obsession with famous babies -- what Suri is wearing, what Shiloh and Zahara bought on vacation -- means that candid photos of stars' kids are in high demand. And that leads to some seriously unsavory situations, like paparazzi waiting in the bushes outside children's schools. Technically, there's no law against this, since the kids are Hollywood royalty. The problem is that the kids, unlike their spotlight-seeking parents, never asked to be in this situation.

And don't think for a minute that famous children are unaffected by the media storm. Kids are remarkably resilient, but they can also be extremely sensitive to the way grown-ups act around them. Remember when Maddox Jolie-Pitt started kindergarten in New York City? Reportedly, his teacher asked the students to bring in pictures of their families -- and Maddox started crying, because he was so traumatized about having his picture taken. In November, it was reported that one of the six-year-old Gosselin children, Collin, refused to have a school picture taken "because he's tired of being on camera." We don't really know what effect this kind of 24-7 paparazzi scrutiny has on children, since this is the first generation that's dealing with the digital age. But stories like these make us wonder if these kids will grow up permanently traumatized.

So why can't photographers just lay off famous children? The answer is simple: everybody loves looking at pictures of celebrities hanging out with their children, which means the photos are worth big bucks, which means that paparazzi will go to great lengths to get the shots. The photographers are just giving us what we want, which is a candid look into the private lives of celebrity families. And who can turn away from pictures of the adorable Jolie-Pitt clan eating gelato in Italy? In this day and age, we've grown to expect constant access to our favorite celebrities' lives. But maybe we need to change our expectations, in the hopes of giving these extra-ordinary kids a chance at a semi-normal childhood.