Programming note: CNN Presents "Chasing Angelina" explores celebrity obsession. Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET
Why paparazzi are wrong
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Ken Sunshine, a publicist who represents Hollywood stars Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake and Leonardo DiCaprio, says the paparazzi obsession with his clients is out of control and "It's got to stop."
Sunshine sat down with "CNN Presents" to discuss his view of the paparazzi as part of a documentary "Chasing Angelina: Paparazzi and Celebrity Obsession." (Read a defense of paparazzi from Frank Griffin by clicking here. )
QUESTION: Are the paparazzi going too far?
SUNSHINE: They're totally out of control. It is crazy to have packs of people, whose full-time, quote, job, is to get the most embarrassing photo they can of a celebrity. How would you like to have a camera two inches away from your face, where the ... the stalkerazzi is daring you to push ... be pushed away? ...
Somebody's going to get seriously injured or killed in a car accident unless something is done about these car chases. That is the single worst thing about the abuse of these stalkerazzis, and it's got to stop. Can you imagine driving up or down the Hollywood Hills and having a team of ... desperate lunatics, one behind you, one in front of you, who are cutting you off purposely, playing chicken on the Hollywood Hills? It's dangerous. ...
Lindsay Lohan almost did get killed by some lunatic that purposely rammed her car. I mean, what kind of behavior is that?
Q: Are the paparazzi invading celebrities' privacy?
SUNSHINE: There is just something weird about a human being whose livelihood, quote unquote, means living in the trees outside a celebrity's house. ... I think that the lack of respect for any degree of privacy that nobody in the public would want to tolerate in terms of the behavior of photographers, the behavior of press people ... those basic journalistic standards, is something that society should be reacting against. ...
There are some obvious examples out there of celebrities who crave that attention, that want to be covered. That's their right, go for it. And these paparazzis can make as much money if they want. But there are a lot of celebrities that don't. And they should have the right to be protected from absolutely abusive behavior.
Q: Should celebrities' children be off limits?
SUNSHINE: You're dealing with very personal parts of people's lives, where I think there ought to be some right to privacy at some level, particularly if it involves children. To me, I draw that line in the firmest way possible.
Q: Overall thoughts on the paparazzi?
SUNSHINE: There's something weird about somebody whose livelihood involves hiding in bathroom stalls. There's something weird about somebody whose living involves causing a ruckus at a shopping mall. ... There's something weird about literally playing chicken driving up or down the Hollywood Hills. ...
There's something outrageous, illegal and immoral about all of that.
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