More and more we are seeing celebrities speak out on behalf of their children who are being displayed on the covers of tabloids without their parent’s consent, with George Clooney as the newest one among them. It would seem like a no-brainer, as most social media sites have an age limit, that it would follow that publications would adhere to the social norms. I have friends who have legal documents concerning their shared children, ruling that their ex-spouses have veto power over what the other can share via social media.
Clooney has thrown his hat into the ring as another concerned parent trying to protect his and his wife’s children’s privacy. He penned an open letter, calling out the Daily Mail and other publications to stop publishing photos of his children. It reads,
“An open letter to the Daily Mail and other publications.
Having just seen photos of Billie Lourd’s 1-year-old baby in your publication, and the fact that you subsequently took those pictures down, we would request that you refrain from putting our children’s faces in your publication. I am a public figure and accept the oftentimes intrusive photos as part of the price to pay for doing my job. Our children have made no such commitment.
The nature of my wife’s work has her confronting and putting on trial terrorist groups and we take as much precaution as we can to keep our family safe. We cannot protect our children if any publication puts their faces on their cover.
We have never sold a picture of our kids, we are not on social media and never post pictures because to do so would put their lives in jeopardy. Not paranoid jeopardy but real-world issues, with real-world consequences.
We hope that you would agree that the need to sell advertisement isn’t greater than the need to keep innocent children from being targeted.
Having lived in Los Angeles for half my life, you do get to see the aggressive tactics sometimes used by paparazzi to get their photo. Even just sitting in a restaurant, and obviously not the target of their attentions, it can be jarring to see what lengths they’ll go to, from pushing people out of their way, to jumping from behind bushes.
Just a couple of weeks ago Blake Lively voiced her concern in the comments section of an Instagram page with pleas for them to stop posting pictures of her and Ryan Reynolds’ children. “I’ve personally shared with you that these men stalk and harass my children. And you are still posting. You said you would stop. You personally promised me. This is not casual appreciation. This is YOU also exploiting very young children. Please. Delete. Please. Some parents are ok with this. We. Are. NOT.” The account did remove the post, prompting Lively to write in her Instagram story, “Thank you to everyone UNFOLLOWING accounts who exploit children. YOU make ALL the difference. Thank you for your integrity. Thank you.”
While some countries have made the practice of publishing children’s photos without consent illegal, in the age of the internet, the laws are all but futile. It will take the public’s help, with the lack of clicks and dollars going to the publications, to encourage the tabloids to aim their lenses in another direction. George Clooney’s open letter comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.