Famous parents are finally saying enough is enough when it comes to creepy paparazzi photos of their kids, and People has responded to the request for a change of policy with what is seemingly the most wishy-washy, off-target commentary they could come up with.
The magazine has announced that they will only publish photos of celebrity kids that their parents, in theory, agree to, such as at red carpet events. They claim they will no longer be using paparazzi photos of children, except for occasional “rare exceptions” (read: whenever they feel like it).
Is this response really any better than the magazine just ignoring the issue altogether and shamelessly continuing to fill their pages with Suri Cruise pictures like they always have?
The magazine’s editorial director, Jess Cagle, shared this news in a letter to readers:
Lately, several celebrities, including Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry, have been vocal about the paparazzi who can sometimes make life hell for stars and their children…They’ve also made the media more sensitive to the brutal tactics some freelance photographers use to get even the most innocent-looking shots of celebs’ kids at play…When I took over as Editorial Director of PEOPLE in January, I told our staff that PEOPLE would not publish photos of celebs’ kids taken against their parents’ wishes, in print or online.
Sounds so nice, doesn’t it? Well, then Cagle apparently changed his mind mid-paragraph:
Of course, there may be rare exceptions based on the news-worthiness of photos. And there’s always the tough balancing act we face when dealing with stars who exploit their children one day, and complain about loss of privacy the next.
So, People is saying they’ll mostly try not to post photos of celeb kids, but they reserve the right to do so if they’re feeling particularly cranky that day. I mean, you never know when choice photos of the Jolie-Pitt children will turn up, and they’re not about to miss out on all the fun of publishing those just because they said they’d be nice that one time.
It gets even weirder when Cagle jumps to talking about stars who “exploit” their children and tries to evade all responsibility by pointing fingers at them. Aren’t these the very celebs Cagle just claimed loyalty to? Whether celebrities are difficult to work with is a separate subject that’s neither here nor there, and that weird backhanded comment is a little petty and passive-aggressive. If you want to portray your publication as some kind of bastion of morality, this is not the way to do it.
Read the full letter here and decide for yourself how you feel about it. Am I right in being so annoyed by the weird attitude it gives off? Jess Cagle, if you are genuinely trying to be the nice guy here, I am sorry. Maybe you meant well, and maybe you actually want to create change for kids who are caught up in a very adult world of celebrity that they didn’t sign up for. If that’s true, please prove me wrong (and get somebody to better handle your PR!).