A open letter from her website, which I’m quoting at length because extracts don’t do it justice:
Due to the unsettling, surprisingly aggressive and unsafe measures that the paparazzi seem to be willing to go to in order to secure that “first shot” of our daughter-stalking us, chasing us in cars and sitting outside of our home all day and all night, as new parents Carey and I decided that we would release personal photos of our Willow, and donate all of the money to charity.
Like any parents, we believe our little girl deserves the right to have privacy and be protected, but unfortunately, this media climate doesn’t seem to provide for that… it’s one thing to harass and stalk us, the adults, the celebrity that signed up for this life, but children should be protected and safe. There should be a clear distinction between us.”
“In every other country that I recall, children’s faces are blurred out in magazine photos. Why is USA the only country that continues to financially incentivize intrusive paparazzi behavior to capitalize on photos of babies, infants and children? Why is this acceptable to any of us? Why is this even legal? These are questions I ask myself as a new parent. Why are celebrities/public figures having to seek restraining orders to keep strange grown men with still and video cameras from sitting perched outside of their children’s pre-schools and elementary schools, preying on little innocent kids? After all, if a stranger was sitting outside of a school taking photographs of random little girls and boys, wouldn’t he be arrested? Or, at least in Philadelphia, he would have to face a more primal sort of recourse. But because it’s the child of a celebrity, somehow it’s okay? I’m just not sure what is wrong with us as a society, that we do more than tolerate this, but our appetite for it seems insatiable. We buy these pictures. We buy these magazines that publish these paparazzi pictures. WHERE DOES IT STOP?”
“Here’s the bottom line: we don’t want you to take our little girl’s picture. We don’t want you to one day follow our little girl home from school. We don’t want our little girl’s picture in a magazine or on a blog. If you take or publish her picture, it is against our wishes, and without our consent as parents, as people.
To anyone out there that buys a magazine, or goes onto a website to look at pictures of other people’s children, may you at least think for a second about what you may inadvertently be supporting. We are so appreciative that people are interested in seeing our daughter. We WANT to share our joys with you, but as parents (and new parents), we should be able to govern these decisions, shouldn’t we? And to be clear, I’m speaking directly to these “stolen” photographs–paparazzi photos.
So when you see our middle fingers up in all of our pictures, now you know the motivation. It’s all we can do to stop images of a newborn baby from being printed without our consent. Can you imagine a world where they would blur out our middle finger to protect a “consumer” over blurring out an innocent child to protect their integrity and privacy?
Having seen what poor little Suri Cruise goes through every single time she leaves the house, I couldn’t agree more. The celeb-kids never signed up for this continual barrage by photostalkers – and then the magazines have the gall to run stories suggesting that there’s some domestic reason that they look unhappy in their photos!
I don’t think we’ve ever posted paparazzi snaps of celebrity kids here at HaT anyway, but from now on it’s official policy – authorised portraits only.