When Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard started their crusade against child paparazzi photos, they probably had an idea of how hard it would be. After all, photographers' free reign in L.A. and New York (not to mention the public's taste for candid celebrity pics), has been all but institutionalized. But, we're not so sure they knew it was going to get this tense.
As part of the #NoKidsPolicy campaign, the couple appeared on a recent episode of Access Hollywood, in which the show arranged for the pair to face off with someone on the other side of the argument. Bell and Shepard sat down with Steve Ginsburg, the owner of a paparazzi agency, and Christian Zimmerman, a reporter — and things blew up just as you would imagine. The new parents were understandably emotional, explaining the personal trauma that they've felt as a result of photographers' invasive tactics.
"I'm telling you, as a mom, when I'm holding my baby, your foot soldiers are nasty," Bell said. "What they're doing might be legal, but when I get off an airplane and I'm walking to my car when it's dark...and I'm with my baby by myself, it's terrifying." Shepard chimed in, "If you don't have an ethical issue with that then I don't think you have ethics."
The men on the opposing side of the issue, however, were less than receptive. Among their chief arguments: the First Amendment, the fact that stopping kiddie pictures would be bad for business, and that kid photos are "nice" photos. Sure, it's lovely to look at snaps of celebs playing on the beach with their families but facing the other way — having your offspring swarmed with photographers — isn't quite so lovely.
Click through to see both sides play out in the video.
The entire video is worth a watch, if for nothing else than the cringe-worthy awkwardness of a talk show showdown. We're sure that everybody involved — most significantly the producers of Access Hollywood — were well aware of the confrontation's viral potential. That said, we believe that Dax and Kristen completely take this issue to heart — and, they made some excellent points. They may have chosen a life in the spotlight, but their daughter did not. Why should her privacy be invaded?
The whole charade also proves that photo agencies and the paps are often way too concerned with a good get and the bottom line. As such, it's hard to watch this video and sympathize even slightly with their side — especially after one calls Kristen's concerns for her (and her child's) safety "hysterical" (a term rarely hurled at men). However, as easy as it may be for us jump in the Shepard-Bell corner, finding a plausible solution is more complex. The current laws in California are incredibly vague, and really only protect against outright harassment.
The actors are now trying a different approach. As Bell put it, "We believe that if the paparazzi were no longer getting paid, they would stop hunting children. The magazines are paying the paparazzi because they believe that the consumers want [those photos]." Sounds like she's passing the buck to the general public. So, tell us: What you think is fair? (Jezebel)