Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Death By Paparazzi

The famous headline after Princess Diana died. Princess Diana died trying to out run the paparazzi.

I don't know why but for some reason when I heard about Heath Ledger's alleged suicide yesterday it really made my heart sink. Owen Wilson tried to kill himself and failed and it appears that fellow actor Heath Ledger succeeded. I mean, Britney's not exactly doing so well either.

When you read the articles about these guys - and tons of other young celebrities - they've all battled with drugs and the paparazzi. Whether their foree into drugs is actually any worse than most of us, we'll never really know but it always seems exacerbated when the person's famous. I mean Lohan is only 21 - no wonder she's getting wasted and fucking loads of guys. Mischa Bartons smokes a little pot - who cares? The problem that seems even worse is the fucking paparazzi.

Its common knowledge how much money the paps are making from Britney Spears (something like $6 million a year) and its also common knowledge that most celebrities don't like being followed all the time by photographers. Who would? In 2006, Keith Ledger was squirted with water guns by the paparazzi as he walked the red carpet in Sydney for the premiere of Brokeback Mountain - an act of revenge because he apparently spit on a photographer in 2004. Just a few examples - Mel Gibson smashed a photographer's camera in 1990, Alec Baldwin punched a photographer in 1996 and the photographer retaliated trying to get his then wife Kim Basinger to drop the baby so he could take a photo, Tommy Lee attacked a camerman trying to get footage of he and Pam leaving the Viper Room, even calm Chris Martin attacked a pap on a beach while he was trying to have a holiday with Gwenyth... Will Smith, Woody Harrelson and Robert De Niro have all thrown punches. Britney put on an alien mask and threw milkshakes at a bunch of them. Lily Allen's high kick landed her in jail - and its no wonder she tried to lose weight after the crotch shots were splattered all over the free papers the following day. Jude Law appealed to the press to stop hounding him about his break-up with Sienna. No one listened.

Can you imagine worrying that someone might be hiding in your bushes waiting to take your picture. Amy Winehouse can't even go buy fags at her local deli without getting photographed and winding up in all the free papers the next day getting slammed for her bad dye job.

The tabloid press and the gossip magazines are the ones to blame for all of this paparazzi madness. And I guess us to some extent for buying these magazines and perpetuating the cycle.

There's got to be something these celebrities can do - like form a union or something? Wouldn't it be in the magazines' interests to refuse to pay high prices for pap'd photos? They all want exclusives of celebrity style or celebrity mishaps or celebrity misery - which drives the price of the images up causing the paparazzi to be even more aggressive.

Fame and celebrity and money isn't nearly as glamourous as it once was. Its all just really, really pathetic and I feel bad for all of the young talent whose lives are essentially being ruined by the media.

What kind of world are we living in? Ughhhh. I hear they found life on Mars. Maybe I'll just move there.

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