Paparazzi

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For other uses, see Paparazzi (disambiguation).
Statue of paparazzo in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Paparazzi style photography
Mickey Hargitay pounds the "king of paparazzi" Rino Barillari while a woman smacks him with her purse – Via Veneto 1963
Robbie Williams of the band Take That poses to a paparazzi photographer in London in 2000.

Paparazzi /pɑːpəˈrɑːtsi/, /pæpəˈrætsi/ (singular: (m) paparazzo Italian: [papaˈrattso] or (f) paparazza) are photographers who take pictures of athletes, entertainers, politicians, and other celebrities, usually while they are going about normal life routines. Paparazzi tend to be independent contractors, unaffiliated with any mainstream media organization and pictures taken are usually done so by taking advantage of any opportunity.[1] Many experts consider the behavior of paparazzi to be synonymous with stalking, and anti-stalking bills in many countries have tried to reduce harassment of public figures and celebrities, especially in regard to minor children. Many public figures and celebrities have expressed concern about the extent to which paparazzi invade their personal space,[2] and the filing and receiving of judicial support for restraining orders against paparazzi is increasing as are lawsuits with judgments against them.

Etymology[edit]

The word "paparazzi" is an eponym originating in the 1960 film La Dolce Vita directed by Federico Fellini. One of the characters in the film is a news photographer named Paparazzo (played by Walter Santesso). In his book Word and Phrase, Robert Hendrickson writes that Fellini took the name from an Italian dialect word that describes a particularly annoying noise, that of a buzzing mosquito. As Fellini said in his interview to Time magazine, "Paparazzo ... suggests to me a buzzing insect, hovering, darting, stinging." [3] Those versions of the word's origin are confirmed by Treccani,[4] the most authoritative Italian encyclopaedia, but sometimes contested. For instance, in the Abruzzi dialect spoken by Ennio Flaiano, co-writer of La Dolce Vita, the term "paparazzo" refers to the local clam (Venerupis decussata), and is also used as a metaphor for the shutter of a camera lens.[5]

The English usage of the word paparazzo is traced to Italian poet Margherita Guidacci, in her translation of George Gissing’s travel book By the Ionian Sea (1901), in which a restaurant owner is called Coriolano Paparazzo. The name was supplied by the screenwriter of Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, Ennio Flaiano, who in turn got it from Margherita Guidacci's Sulla riva dello Jonio (1957). By the late 1960s the word, usually in the Italian plural form paparazzi, had entered English as a generic term for intrusive photographers.[6] A person who has been photographed by the paparazzi is said to have been "papped".

In an interview with Fellini's screenwriter Ennio Flaiano, he said the name came from the Italian translation based on a 1901 southern Italy travel narrative by Victorian writer George Gissing, By the Ionian Sea. He further states that either Fellini or Flaiano opened the book at random, saw the name, and decided to use it for the photographer. This story is further documented by a variety of Gissing scholars and in the book A Sweet and Glorious Land: Revisiting the Ionian Sea (St. Martin's Press, 2000) by John Keahey, and Pierre Coustillas.[7]

In other languages[edit]

A transliteration of "paparazzi" is used in several languages that do not use the Latin alphabet, including Japanese, Korean, Russian and Thai. Chinese uses "", meaning "puppy squad."

Legality of paparazzi[edit]

Due to the reputation of paparazzi as a nuisance, some states and countries (particularly within Europe) restrict their activities by passing laws and curfews, and by staging events in which paparazzi are specifically not allowed to take photographs.[citation needed] In the United States organizations such as TMZ are protected by the First Amendment.[8]

In order to protect the children of celebrities Sacramento passed a new bill in September of 2013. The purpose of the new bill is to stop the paparazzi from harassing children by taking pictures of them, regardless of who their parents are. This new law increased the penalty on harassment and the penalty for harassment of children.[9]

Injunctions against paparazzi[edit]

A group of photojournalists often known as paparazzi

An inquest jury investigated the involvement of paparazzi in the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, who were killed on 31 August 1997 in a high-speed car chase in Paris, France, while being pursued by paparazzi. Although several paparazzi were briefly taken into custody, no one was convicted. The official inquests into the accident attributed the causes to the speed and manner of driving of the Mercedes, as well as the following vehicles, and the impairment of the judgment of the Mercedes driver, Henri Paul, through alcohol.[10]

In 1972, paparazzo photographer Ron Galella sued Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis after the former First Lady ordered her Secret Service agents to destroy Galella's camera and film following an encounter in New York City's Central Park. Kennedy counter-sued claiming harassment. The trial lasted three weeks and became a groundbreaking case regarding photojournalism and the role of paparazzi. In "Galella v. Onassis", Kennedy obtained a restraining order to keep Galella 150 feet away from her and her children. The restriction later was dropped to 25 feet. The trial is a focal point in Smash His Camera, a 2010 documentary film by director Leon Gast.

In 1999, the Oriental Daily News of Hong Kong was found guilty of "scandalizing the court", an extremely rare criminal charge that the newspaper's conduct would undermine confidence in the administration of justice.[11] The charge was brought after the newspaper had published abusive articles challenging the judiciary's integrity and accusing it of bias in a lawsuit the paper had instigated over a photo of a pregnant Faye Wong. The paper had also arranged for a "dog team" (slang for paparazzi in the Chinese language) to track a judge for 72 hours, to provide the judge with first-hand experience with what paparazzi do.[12]

Time magazine's Style & Design special issue in 2005 ran a story entitled "Shooting Star", in which Mel Bouzad, one of the top paparazzi in Los Angeles at the time, claimed to have made US$150,000 for a picture of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Georgia after their breakup. "If I get a picture of Britney and her baby," Bouzad claimed, "I'll be able to buy a house in those hills (above Sunset Boulevard)."[13] Paparazzi author Peter Howe told Time that "celebrities need a higher level of exposure than the rest of us so it is a two-way street. The celebrities manipulate."

In 2006, Daniella Cicarelli went through a scandal when a paparazzo caught video footage of her having sex with her boyfriend on a beach in Spain, which was posted on YouTube.[citation needed] After fighting in the court, it was decided in her favor, causing YouTube to be blocked in Brazil. This caused major havoc among Brazilians, including threatening a boycott against MTV unless Cicarelli was fired from the company.[citation needed] The block only lasted a few days, and Cicarelli did not get fired. The legal action backfired as the court decided she had no expectation of privacy by having sex in a public location.[citation needed]

The E! network program Celebrities Uncensored used often-confrontational footage of celebrities made by paparazzi.

In 2008, a paparazzo sued and lost his case against actor Keanu Reeves claiming that Reeves hit him with his car after he left his friend's house. The photographer also claimed that he was unable to work since the accident stating that his hand was permanently injured and asked the court for over $700,000 in compensation. The photographer was privately investigated and filmed still working using the said injured hand and shown to have many inconsistencies in his story.[citation needed]

Following the publication of photographs showing the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing whilst topless at her husband's cousin's (Viscount Linley's) holiday home in France, it was announced on September 14, 2012 that the Royal couple were to launch legal action against the French magazine Closer. It was the first time that a senior royal has sued in a court outside the UK. The reason cited for the legal action is that the Duchess had a right of privacy whilst at the home – the magazine said that the pictures were taken from the public highway. The injunction was granted September 18, 2012 and the publishers of the magazine were ordered not to publish the photographs in France and not to sell the images. The publishers were also ordered to hand over the original material of the published pictures under threat of a €10,000 fine for every day delay in doing so.[14]

In the United Kingdom, Sienna Miller, Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen won injunctions that prevent the paparazzi from following them and gathering outside their houses. Miller was awarded £53,000.[15]

In 2013, rapper Kanye West, facing assault charges for attacking a photojournalist, said he would fight to get the law changed so celebrities can profit from the paparazzi's work.[16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Is Everyone a Journalist?". American Journalism Review. October 1997.
  2. ^ "Why paparazzi are wrong". CNN Entainment. 13 Mar 2006. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  3. ^ "The Press: The Paparazzi on the Prowl", Time. April 14, 1961. accessed October 5, 2009.
  4. ^ Paparazzo in Treccani.it (italian)
  5. ^ "Word origins- paparazzi". Word Origins.org. Retrieved 27 Jun 2013. 
  6. ^ Word Origins and History paparazzi
  7. ^ Pierre Coustillas, «Gissing and the Paparazzi». In : Francesco Badolato, George Gissing, romanziere del tardo periodo vittoriano; postfazione di Andrea Sciffo, Soveria Mannelli : Rubbettino Editore, 2005, ISBN 88-498-1193-4, pp. 256-266 (on-line)
  8. ^ Lowry Brian. Taking a shot at paparazzi.. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  9. ^ Mcgreevy, Patrick (2013-09-24). "Gov. Brown signs bills aimed at paparazzi, family leave and quakes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  10. ^ http://www.scottbaker_inquests.gov.uk/evidence/docs/inquisition_diana.pdf It should also be noted that paparazzi still chased the car even after it crashed, continuing to take pictures. Jury Verdict-Inquisition Forms Princess Diana of Wales and Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al Fayed Coroner's Inquests into the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales and Mr. Dodi Al Fayed H. M. Coroner
  11. ^ "worldlii.org". WorldLII – Wong Yeung Ng v. Secretary for Justice [1999] ICHRL 12 (9 February 1999). Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  12. ^ "uow.edu.au" (PDF). Scandalising the Scumbags: the Secretary for Justice vs the Oriental Press Group. Archived from the original on 2006-05-18. Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  13. ^ "Shooting Stars". Time. Retrieved 2006-06-16. [dead link]
  14. ^ mrpaparazzi.com
  15. ^ Have celebrities finally snapped? The Guardian May 4, 2009
  16. ^ Kanye West demands money from paparazzi. 3 News NZ. 25 September 2013.
  17. ^ Kanye West: "The paparazzi should pay ME" . The Mirror. 24 September 2013.