Last August, Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry testified in front of the Assembly Judiciary Committee in support of a bill that sought to impose harsher fines on paparazzi who stalk the children of celebrities.
In her testimony, Garner described the 15 men with cameras who camp outside her house everyday, the mentally ill stalkers who sometimes try to blend in with them, and the impact that all this stalking has had on her kids. Her testimony was persuasive, and California governor Jerry Brown quickly signed the bill into law.
Although the law only came into effect in January, Garner says that she’s already noticing a difference. “It’s just totally changing our lives,” she told ET Canada’s Sangita Patel. “It got to where it just wasn’t safe for our kids. We had to stand up and say something, just as parents.”
Additional support from Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, who threatened to boycott publications that print unsolicited photos of celebrities’ children, helped turn the tide, and now Garner says that the paparazzi are no longer the sharks that they were a year ago.
“So are they still around? Yeah, but do I feel the threat the way that I used to? No, and with people like ET Canada – our hope is maybe our kids won’t be so recognizable in a few years which would be so great for them.”
(Even before Garner, Berry, Bell, and Shepard launched their campaigns, ET Canada had a “no unsolicited photos of celebrity children” policy in place. “It really does make a big difference and we can’t thank you enough,” Garner says).
Now that the paparazzi have backed off, Garner’s children are free to play outside more. One of the games they like to play also happens to be the subject of Garner’s most recent film: football. “It’s more of a family event to go outside and play, but I will say – I had two daughters first and then a little boy, and the little boy just turned two and can already sit down and watch a full game. He’s just mesmerized by it.”
In Draft Day, Garner plays an NFL salary cap manager. Apart from Ellen Burstyn, who has a small supporting role, Garner is the only woman in the main cast. According to Garner, however, the lack of women on the set was hardly noticeable; every movie that she’s worked on has been a little boys club to some extent. “The reality is every set is testosterone filled. I wish that we had more “buddy” films populated by women.”
One movie that could potentially fit that bill is Batman vs. Superman, which will feature Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. It will also star Ben Affleck, Garner’s husband, in one of the title roles. Details regarding the movie are being kept tightly under wraps, but Garner did let us know that she has seen her husband’s costume, and that she’s impressed. “I have seen the Batman suit. You are not going to be disappointed.”
Jennifer Garner expressed her thanks to ET on the Oscars red carpet Sunday night for supporting the “No Kids” paparazzi crusade she and other Hollywood stars have been fighting for.
Jennifer said, “[ET] led the way and I cannot tell you how much I thank you, my family thanks you, my kids thank you. Because of you all taking the stand and saying, ‘You know what, this is gross,’ everyone has fallen in line and it is just going to change everything for my kids and I can’t thank you enough.” Garner goes on to say, “It was so out of hand … I told my daughter, maybe someday people might not know what she looks like. My kids were so excited to think of that because they don’t want this at all and I don’t want it for them, so I’m thrilled for them. I love you for it ET.”
Jennifer has been one of the most outspoken celebs when it comes to paparazzi harassing the children of stars to take pics, campaigning the California Legislature to pass laws protecting kids.
Actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner urged California lawmakers Tuesday to support legislation that they say would help them better protect their children from the paparazzi that follow them daily.
The stars testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee regarding SB606, which would impose tougher penalties on photographers who harass celebrities and their children.
It was Berry’s second state Capitol appearance on the measure. The Academy Award-winning actress, who is pregnant, told lawmakers the constant presence of photographers yelling and snapping pictures has made her daughter scared to go to school.
“As mothers, as parents, we don’t have the wherewithal or the law in place right now to protect them from this,” Berry said. “What this bill would do is give us our rights back so that we can protect our children.”
The bill from Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, would change the definition of harassment to include photographing or recording a child without the permission of a legal guardian by following the child or guardian’s activities or by lying in wait. It also increases the penalties for people convicted of such behavior.
The bill passed the panel without opposition and now heads to the Appropriations Committee.
Garner, who starred in the ABC series “Alias,” nearly cried describing how paparazzi aggressively follow her and her three young children as she takes them to school and to the pediatrician.
She told the committee that she understood she would make certain sacrifices when she chose a career in acting but that her children have not made the same decision to be in the public spotlight.
“I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, law-breaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are, all day, every day, to continue to traumatize my kids,” Garner said.
Media organizations are concerned the bill will restrict journalists who are conducting legitimate newsgathering activities.
Joe Berry of the California Broadcasters Association said harassment is already illegal. The legislation “is overly broad and overly reaches in order to rein in these bad actors,” he testified.
De Leon told the committee he believes pending amendments will satisfy some concerns about the bill.
Celebrities could drop their children off at school and visit their doctors without fear of being accosted by paparazzi under a proposal introduced by a city councilman this week.
The proposed law, the latest effort by Councilman Dennis Zine to combat aggressive tabloid photographers, would restrict commercial photography and video recordings within 20 feet of schools, hospitals and medical facilities.
Zine said he crafted the ordinance protecting “sensitive use locations” in response to complaints from celebrities and ordinary citizens about “swarms” of paparazzi. “The goal is to have a safe area where people can conduct themselves … so we don’t have the chaotic circumstances we now encounter,” Zine said.
Earlier this year, the councilman proposed a “personal safety zone” around celebrities, but that effort stalled after the police department called it unnecessary and unenforceable.
Zine said legal scholars have signed off on the constitutionality of his current proposal. The ordinance would not prohibit paparazzi from using long lenses to capture stars coming and going from schools and medical facilities.
“You can make it 200 feet. With a lens, it doesn’t matter,” said Frank Griffin of the Bauer-Griffin photo agency. He said the law would benefit paparazzi by eliminating shot-ruining crowds around targeted celebrities. “It would give [photographers] more space,” he said.