The other weekend, I was taking some time to recharge and surfing the telly finding, as usual, nothing on the 500+ stations I have, but one program kept catching my eye as I scrolled and it was Hugh Grant testifying for the phone-hacking inquiry. I thought that was quite interesting, being able to see someone who is such a favorable actor to me, just being himself…probably very nervous, but at least not acting entirely for once. I clicked on the program which aired on C-Span 2, I believe and watched for the remainder of it. I found Hugh to be very factual and sometimes frustrated with the lawyer interviewing him from his little podium, because the lawyer at times seemed to go out of his way to make Hugh’s answer quite difficult.
The one thing that really seemed to be the point of the entire inquiry, and maybe this was just something that escaped me about what the whole thing was about to begin with, was the intrusion of paparazzi and those celebrity seekers who are obviously trying to make a buck (or pound in this case) by scavenging off the famous and the lengths they go to, to do so. The thing is, those paparazzi, successful ones anyways, tend to make some cash in what they do and hide behind the theory that it is an actual, legitimate profession. But to me, calling a gig like that a ‘profession’ would have me believe they are in fact professionals. If that is the case, then are the actions of these self-titled professionals considered ‘professional behavior’ for their field?
I think we all would agree it isn’t and in fact in any other field, poking into private affairs, harassment, or ‘accidental’ bodily or personal harm in the act of one’s profession would almost certainly land anyone else in jail. So, here’s my solution: In almost any professional field where individuals have an opportunity to possibly cause some sort of personal or financial injury to another during the coarse of their business, those professional individuals almost certainly have to be registered and licensed in order to work in order to show that they understand the seriousness of their business and how it could possible inflict damage to another, such as their clients or those they are working with, in the case of paparazzi, it would be those they are currently ‘covering’. And why shouldn’t the paparazzi have to be licensed to do their job? They say over and over how much they respect their ‘profession’ so seriously, so in my thought, they should show it by doing everything they can to re-frame it in a better light than it currently is seen by everyone else and agree to formally and legally to a set of standards and practices.
If camera-happy paparazzi had to be licensed to do their job, it would almost instantly draw a line between those that really believe it is a profession and those that just have no interest in doing the right thing. The latter are those giving it a bad name, I think and should be removed from the occupation. If you are caught acting as a paparazzi, induce a hefty fine that would almost surely put them out of business forever or bring them up on charges.
The fact is, paparazzi have definitely become a problem for those in the entertainment, no matter what form of entertainment it is (politics, tv or movie, modeling, sports), but there is a line the law must start to recognize and take seriously with these individuals. It would be nice to see Washington get involved as well. It’s not a huge, time-consuming matter I wouldn’t think; it just needs addressed seriously. No matter who are, we all need some privacy and time to collect ourselves and just be ourselves. From watching and hearing Hugh Grant testify that day, it really got me thinking about everyone’s privacy. It’s time people started respecting another’s privacy again and learn to draw a line between work and personal.