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.