An autograph seeker called Suri Cruise a "brat" (and another b-word) yesterday afternoon, as she and Katie Holmes made their way to their car in New York City. In a video of the incident, Suri is visibly upset as the paparazzi snap a photo of her every move, asking them to "stop it." Behavior which, according to one cranky fan, made her a "brat."
Suri Cruise is 7 years old, people. Everyone in the spotlight is subject to scrutiny, but there is an exception to be made when that person still sees a pediatrician and pairs her dresses with light up sneakers -- a statement that is being made by quite a few celebrity moms and dads.
Sandra Bullock talked to Parade about shielding her son, Louis, from the cameras: “We’re adults, and we’re fair game -- not that I like being photographed going in and out of school in my sweatpants. But I instinctively throw things over Louis’s head. He doesn’t like [the paparazzi]. He gives them the stink-eye, and they’re like, ‘That’s such an angry kid,’ but I look at them and say, ‘Only when you guys are around.’”
Halle Berry is taking a legal stance on the matter, testifying for stronger anti-paparazzi laws. Berry stood before the Assembly Committee on Public Safety at the California state Capitol in Sacramento and described the harrowing interaction her young daughter has had with the "men" that photograph her: "My daughter doesn’t want to go to school because she knows ‘the men’ are watching for her," Berry said, "I have to yell ‘She’s a child. Leave my child alone. Leave my child alone.’ We get into the car, and my daughter is now sobbing, and she says to me, ‘Are they going to kill us? Are they going to kill us?’”
Celebs have tried to adjust their legal protection in the past. Steven Tyler famously attempted to pass a law adjusting the standards in Hawaii to provide "legal remedy for celebrities who are photographed by paparazzi while involved in 'personal or familial activity.'" Tyler was a bit more concerned that photogs were interfering with his vacation spot, but addressed the safety concerns that exist outside of paradise.
It might be hard for some to sympathize with these "poor" celebrities, but the issue here is the way children are present in media coverage. After selling photos of her first-born to reduce the voraciousness of paparazzo attacks, Pink made a particularly interesting observation: Children's faces are blurred in magazine photos in other countries. "Why is USA the only country that continues to financially incentivize intrusive paparazzi behaviour to capitalize on photos of babies, infants and children?" she asked, "Why is this acceptable to any of us? Why is this even legal?"
UPDATE: A previous version of this story stated that a paparazzo called Suri a "brat," but according to Us Weekly -- who spoke to a photographer present at the scene -- the name-caller was in fact a fan.