Julia Roberts' dust-up with paparazzi who were swarming her and her children during an outing the other day points up -- again -- the need for some sort of regulation regarding overzealous photogs. It's time. It's years past time, in fact.
Best of all would be self-regulation, in the form of a pact between the celebrities' camps and the agencies who rep the camera-wielding hordes. Buyers, from the tabloids to TMZ and other online and TV outlets, would then have to do their part by purchasing pictures and video only from signers of the agreement. And if they didn't, they, and their parent companies, networks, or production entities would be barred from having any celebrity access -- and from film/TV/music advertising involving stars.
Items to be included: discretionary distance when children are involved.
Roberts' encounter is just the latest in a string of messy, even scary episodes involving paparazzi and celebrity children.
Pamela Anderson recalls cameramen swarming her car to the point she and her then-young sons could not escape without her driving over a photographer(perhaps she should have.
Heidi Klum recalls the incident in Central Park awhile back when paparazzi swarmed her and her children -- and other parents on the scene took matters into their own hands and started pelting the offending photogs with water balloons.
"It sounds like fun when you read it maybe in a newspaper somewhere, but in reality, it's not so much fun when there are children involved," she told us at the time. "My children are screaming, 'What's going on?!" I don't think that people should start fighting over it. I don't want people to get hurt ... I'm like, 'Let's just go away.'
"It's something that you just deal with, unfortunately," she went on. "I wish there was some sort of a law that maybe they have to be at a certain distance, or there can't be more than two ... I wish there could be something done. I know people say, 'They're celebrities, and why shouldn't we get photos of them all the time?' But people forget about the person being shot all day long and their children." Amen.