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Kristen Bell Seeks HFPA Help In Battling “Pedorazzi”

kristen bell1

Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell and her husband Dax Shepard have enlisted the help of the HFPA in taking their fight against the paparazzi to the next level. After welcoming their first child, Lincoln, last March, the actors became vocal advocates of the "no kids policy," boycotting every publication that features paparazzi shots of celebrity children taken without consent. Kristen has asked the HFPA to help publicize their battle to make shooting photos of celebrity children off-limits to the paparazzi, a practice she and Shepard nicknamed "pedorazzi." She described how "terrifying" it is for a mother to walk by herself, without an entourage, holding her baby daughter — while an army of shutterbugs scream at her and stand in her way. In a letter to the HFPA she writes:

Recently my husband and I, along with a group of other actors and entertainers, started a public discussion about the use of children in entertainment media. When discussing paparazzi, its commonly said that "actors signed up for this". Actually, my pursuit was to entertain people. But I do accept the consequences, that I will be followed by photographers during my private time. What I DID sign up for, however, is to be a Mother. Which means I have a duty to create a safe environment for my child. My child is not a public figure, and she has the right to privacy, until she chooses otherwise.

Magazines, television outlets and blogs around the world cover every cute little move and outfit change of public figures’ children. They pay paparazzi who are camping outside schools, homes, parks, yelling, pushing, jumping out of bushes, running red lights and driving erratically. This is dangerous and scary for kids. The complexity of the machine, in which the children are a cog, is far beyond their comprehension. They experience only the primal feeling of being hunted. This effects other young children who are unlucky enough to be in the vicinity, even if they themselves are not guilty of having a “celebrity” parent.

Anyone with a moral compass can agree that no child should be stalked by a group of strangers with or without cameras. We can settle for the explanation “that’s just the way it is”…but why WOULD we? Let’s all strive to create the best environment possible for all kids. The only way to fix this problem is to take away the demand. I urge anyone that has the power to use it in eliminating the demand side of this equation.

One thing that should help their cause is a California bill signed into law last September which increased penalties for taking photos and video of children in a harassing manner and without their parents’ consent. The bill was supported by Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, who both testified at legislative hearings about their own experiences with paparazzi.