Steven Tyler Backs Anti-Paparazzi Law in Hawaii, Gets Support From Britney Spears
Steven Tyler testified at a legislative session in Hawaii on Friday to show support for an anti-paparazzi law that bears his name. The so-called “Steven Tyler Act” would allow stars to sue photographers who use advanced equipment to snap “offensive” pics or videos of them while they’re on private property.
The bill — which was debated and later passed by Hawaii’s Senate Judiciary Committee — had written statements of support from other stars, including Britney Spears, the Osbournes and Avril Lavigne, among others.
“The paradise of Hawaii is a magnet for celebrities who just want a peaceful vacation. As a person in the public eye, I know the paparazzi are there and we have to accept that,” Tyler, who owns a home in Maui, said in a statement. “But when they intrude into our private space, disregard our safety and the safety of others,” he continued, “that crosses a serious line that shouldn’t be ignored.”
While the bill received co-sponsorship from more than two-thirds of the senators, opponents claimed it was unconstitutional and infringes on the First Amendment rights of photographers and journalists. The celebs argued, however, that “providing a remedy to the often-egregious acts of the paparazzi is a very notable incentive to purchase property or vacation on the islands.”
“Not only would this help the local economy, but it would also help ensure the safety of the general public, which can be threatened by crowds of cameramen or dangerous high-speed car chases,” the stars said in their statements.
The National Press Photographers Association and the Motion Picture Association of America were among those who voiced objections. The bill must still be passed by the whole Senate, as well as Hawaii’s House of Representatives, before becoming law. Gossip Cop will have updates.