Steven Tyler is about to become even more famous in Hawaii. His name is being evoked on a new bill aimed at keeping the paparazzi from invading any celebrity's privacy.
So why Tyler and why bring such a bill before their state legislature? Tyler's name was chosen for the act because of his multiple contributions to the arts in the state of Hawaii. As for the act itself, it makes a lot of sense. There was a time when paparazzi at least made an attempt to be polite in the way they took celebrity pictures. These days, however, it is a free-for-all. They'll do anything to get the picture even if it is unethical, immoral or even borderline criminal.
The real kicker came when paparazzi started harassing the children of celebrities. While many famous people realize that they signed up for that life of hell when they became celebs, their children did not. They have tried asking nicely and they have tried begging. Some even tried bribing photographers to leave their children out of the picture. Sadly, the greedy paparazzi refuse to do so.
Then last fall, a really disgusting thing happened. A paparazzo invaded what was believed to be a very private moment between Prince William and Kate. It resulted in semi-nude pictures of the duchess being splashed across various tabloids. Clearly, it was the worse kind of privacy invasion and yet the photographer continued to claim it was okay to take the shots.
Add that to the paparazzi's supposed involvement in Princess Diana's death a few years back and you have a threshold that has not just been broken, but smashed into a million pieces. While some countries have taken a stance against that kind of invasion of privacy, especially if it puts someone in danger, the U.S. has stayed relatively ambivalent; until now.
Hawaii wants to encourage more celebrities to grace their shores not just to visit, but to live there to. The bill being brought forth might be the first step in making the state a double paradise for the rich and famous.
The Steven Tyler Act would hold anyone accountable who "captures or intends to capture, in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person, through any means a visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of another person while that person is engaging in a personal or familial activity with a reasonable expectation of privacy." Violators would be subject to both general and special damages as well as "punitive damages up to three times the amount of general and special damages combined." That could add up to a hefty sum. If so, it might finally provide an effective deterrent.
Way to go Hawaii. Set an example that the rest of the U.S. just might follow.