Actor Alia Bhatt expressed anger after she was snapped inside her own home by a couple of snooping photographers. (Image: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File)
There are many stories – both in the west and back home – of celebrities battling, winning and, sometimes, even dying as they fight to maintain a semblance of privacy in their very public lives
Papped! Alia fumes over privacy breach.
Furious Alia Bhatt blasts paparazzi.
Alia tags Mumbai police in post: Gross invasion of privacy.
How much really is too much in the name of turning a buck? Wasn’t it a press pack that chased Princess Diana to her death?
“Invasion of privacy” – the conversation around it has returned – and this time it is actor Alia Bhatt fuming over the breach. Bhatt expressed anger after being photographed inside her own home by a couple of snooping photographers. And soon there was a beeline of famous names, who came forward in her support, calling the incident “shameful”, “disgusting” and “plain stalking”.
I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up – Remember this powerful essay penned by Friends actor Jennifer Aniston, which went viral for its hardline stance against what she described as the “absurd and disturbing” objectification of women and their bodies by the tabloid industry?
Incidentally, she too was a subject of privacy breach back in 2003 after a photographer had allegedly “scaled a neighbor’s 8-foot wall” to take shots of a topless Aniston sunbathing in her backyard. Back then, Aniston won a $550,000-settlement against Francois Navarre, the owner of Los Angeles paparazzi agency X-17, for whom the photographer in question worked.
Fellow actor Anushka Sharma, who was quick to come out in Bhatt’s support, had also called out a news publication for “invasion of privacy” for a similar incident when a photograph of her and cricketer Virat Kohli lounging in their balcony was published, despite a request from her not to.
It doesn’t end here – the need to know everything about your favourite star is one thing… And then there are their children or the star kids – haven’t we all heard stories of Taimur Ali Khan being quite a hoot when it comes to his paparazzi pictures? Actors have constantly underlined it a misdemeanour if an attempt to photograph their children in a harassing manner is made.
This is true for Hollywood, too, where in August 2013, actors Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner even testified in favour of a bill aimed at restricting paparazzi access to children. There was, in fact, a whole new movement led by Hollywood couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard that got popular entertainment outlets to stop publishing photos of celeb children without parental consent.
There are many stories – both in the west and back home – of celebrities battling, winning and, sometimes, even dying as they fight to maintain a semblance of privacy in their very public lives. Remember how Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, had famously said the paparazzi had “blood on their hands” after she was killed in a car accident in Paris as she was pursued by photographers.
The unfortunate event did ensue laws restricting such hounding in Europe and the US and, yet, have paparazzi intrusions really stopped? The growing frequency of paparazzi-celebrity run-ins despite social media, indicate how these legislations may sound tough but have no bite in them.
As Mark Zuckerberg would say – privacy is a value of the past.
(Griha Atul is a senior journalist with 16 years of experience. She has been the face of new broadcasts for reputed media organisations. Film journalism has been her core expertise and chatting with your favourite movie stars is how she chooses to spend her time. She also often pens her thoughts around issues she feels strongly about, be it education or biases around religion and even her two bits on travel and social media. When not on air, find her soaking in the sun with a good book and a hot cup of coffee!)