Paparazzi Photographing Celebrities’ Children Should Be Illegal


George Clooney recently wrote an open letter requesting that media outlets’ paparazzi refrain from photographing his children. (Courtesy of Twitter)

George Clooney has written an open letter aimed at media outlets such as the Daily Mail, requesting that they not photograph his children’s faces. The methods that photographers employ to get magazine-worthy shots of celebrity kids are inappropriate and borderline traumatizing for young children to endure.

Clooney is well-known for his successful roles in the cinematic world, but few know the details of his family life. He is married to a human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, and together they have four-year-old twins Alexander and Ella. Recently, Clooney has expressed frustration with the paparazzi for their fixation on his children.

Clooney is not the only A-list celebrity who has made it clear that they do not want their children exploited for press. Blake Lively and Gigi Hadid have also famously made comments about interactions between media photographers and their children.

They argue that stalking their families to obtain photos of their children for profit should be illegal. Since there aren’t any protections in place for children of celebrities, photographers should consider the impact these photos might have both on the children themselves and also on the audience of the paparazzo’s magazine.

Blake Lively commented on Australian Daily Mail’s since-deleted Instagram post of her with her daughters, writing, “[the paparazzi] edit together these images … to make it look like I’m happily waving. But that is deceitful … my children were being stalked by a man all day.”

It is hard for someone who is not a celebrity to conceptualize what it’s like being constantly watched and photographed, but paparazzi presence has always been an issue.

For example, back  Lindsay Lohan crashed her car due to a mob of paparazzi following her. After this incident, the idea of “stalkerazzi” warranting more intense penalties arose.

Although such incidents have led to greater punishments for inappropriate behaviors from paparazzi, the overstepping of boundaries continues to be an issue, and Clooney and others have every right to be wary of paparazzi around their children.

Despite the basic fear for his children’s safety, Clooney also worries about the ramifications for his wife, who incriminates terrorist groups as a human rights lawyer. He worries that photos of their twins could be used to target and threaten revenge on Amal. 

Many of these kids probably do not understand their fame as sons and daughters of extremely popular celebrities. It does not make sense to them that their family is any different than anyone else’s. Until they are old enough to understand that they will be constantly watched and followed, the ability to take and post pictures of them in magazines and online should be restricted.

George Clooney is evidence as to how these photos can be dangerous. Just because he is a recognized figure in popular culture does not mean that his wife and children should be exploited. Pictures in a magazine are not worth possible safety risks. 

Even if celebrities are not faced with the risk of being targeted by terrorist groups, there is still a risk to the safety of their children, who could be subject to stalkers and other dangerous figures. There are many people who would not hold back from tracking down and harrassing these innocent children. 

Although it is true that many celebrities understand that this is the life they signed up for, their children did not have a choice in the matter and should not be victims of their parents’ decisions. There should be a minimum age before a child is published in mass media. I would say 16 is fair. This age indicates that the child understands that they are involved in a life in the spotlight, but they are also old enough to have certain freedoms. 

The paparazzi’s disrespectful and disturbing nature when photographing celebrities’ children needs to stop. Unless it is explicitly stated by the mother, father or child themselves, it is dangerous and unacceptable.

Haley Daniels, FCRH ’23, is a psychology and English major from Hershey, Penn.