Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard urge boycott on celebrity kid photos
New mom Kristen Bell is in “mama bear” mode, and she and husband Dax Shepard are urging fans to boycott magazines that publish unauthorized photos of children of celebrities.
The “House of Lies” actress and “Parenthood” actor, who welcomed their baby girl Lincoln last March, sat down with NBC News’ “Today” to discuss the topic and its ramifications in an interview that aired Friday.
In September, following Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner’s testimony in August, California’s state legislature passed SB 606, aimed at preventing paparazzi from taking unauthorized photos of celebrities’ kids, and the bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. Now, Bell, 33, and Shepard, 39, seem to be widening the scope of keeping the famous tots out of the published public eye.
“We have chosen this life and that’s why we are not asking you to boycott magazines that we are in. We are asking you to boycott the magazines where people haven’t made that choice,” Shepard told NBC News’ Tamron Hall.
Shepard said he made a distinction between consenting parents snapping photos of their kids in their home and sharing them online versus “five strangers jumping out of the bushes” to take photos to sell to consumers.
“You see a lot of paparazzi blackmailing celebrities, saying if you pose for a few pictures we’ll leave you alone for the rest of the day. And I just don’t think that that’s the best option that we have in this world,” he said.
The new parents said they understood why they, as actors, might be newsworthy, but do not believe that the shutterbug job hazard should be inherited by their children.
“We’re not saying that we can’t be newsworthy. We’re saying that our child is not newsworthy,” Bell said. “We chose to be the entertainers, so we never post -- other than the birth announcement -- we’ve posted nothing about her and we don’t plan to.”
Indeed, the couple did share their happy news with their slew of Twitter followers and a few intimate tidbits from Bell’s pregnancy. The new mom has spoken at length about her baby girl in TV interviews, but has yet to publicly debut Lincoln and plans to keep it that way.
“It’s all how the child is affected. That’s the bottom line,” Bell said. “We had always had an agreement that when this little thing came into the world, all bets were off, no pictures would happen. We now have a duty as parents to protect this little one.”
“If the consumer says, ‘No, we don’t want this anymore,’ the publications don’t pay for the pictures. The paparazzi aren’t getting paid, they stop taking pictures of the kids. That’s the mathematics,” Bell said.
Leading up to and after the interview, the couple took to Twitter to further their message.
“Please boycott magazines that run pics of ‘celebrity children.’ They shouldn’t be punished for who their parents are,” Shepard wrote, and was retweeted by his wife, later railing against specific publications in hashtag form.
“Children shouldn’t be stalked. #boycottusweekly #boycottstar #boycottpeople #boycottintouch #boycottboycottboycott,” he added.
Bell, who has been back in the news for her work on the Oscar-nominated animated film “Frozen” and the Kickstarter success story of the “Veronica Mars” reboot, said Lincoln is more important to her than her career.
“I wont do interviews 4 entities that pay photogs to take pics of my baby anymore. I care more about my integrity & my values than my career,” Bell tweeted, adding, “The ‘look at the celebs kid at the park!’ teaches us a disengaged vouyerism. think abt how being followed by photos all day effects THE KID.”
“Now think about how you play the MOST NECESSARY role in the sad chain of events-the consumer. Things won’t change till the consumer does,” she continued, adding, “Guys, I’m a mama bear now. If you mess with my cub, you’re gonna get the horns. #nokidspolicy.”
Bell went on to point the digital finger (via @ mentions on Twitter) at People magazine, Us Weekly and online publications Just Jared and Pop Sugar, asking them “to be the first to stand against the #pedorazzi” and to stop using “pics of non consenting minors.”
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