Celebrities accept that the fame and fan following they enjoy comes at the by-default nullification of their private life. Once famous, they are the focus of the paparazzi whether they like it or not. But the majority of them prefer that their children are not forced to be a part of this spotlight. Not only did they not sign up for it, the unwanted attention often ends up jeopardizing their safety, something the Oscar-winning actor George Clooney has highlighted in his open letter to Daily Mail and other tabloids like it.
George Clooney was prompted to pen the open letter after the U.K. tabloid Daily Mail posted pictures of Billie Lourd’s one-year-old son Kingston without the actor’s permission. For those who don’t know, little Kingston is the grandson of late actor Carrie Fisher and the great-grandson of the famous Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. While his status as Billie Lourd’s son alone is enough for publications to hunt for his pictures, the fact that he is also connected to such legendary names makes him their number one priority. But Clooney has made it clear that this unacceptable practice can’t continue.
In his open letter to Daily Mail and other publications, George Clooney has called out the unjustified breach of a child’s private life just because their parent is a celebrity. He has strictly advised publications to stop hunting celebrities’ children and posting their intrusive photos even when their respective parents are strongly against it. While the said photos of Lourd’s son were subsequently removed, it doesn’t change the fact that the paparazzi are still hounding children of celebrities and publishing their photos.
George Clooney shared that while he accepts that his profession makes him a permanent target of such photos, it’s not right that his children too are plagued by this wrongful practice just because of his status as an actor and his wife, Amal Clooney’s work as a human rights lawyer. This doesn’t just violate their children’s privacy but also puts their safety at risk from “real-world consequences” and “their lives in jeopardy.” Read George Clooney’s full letter (via Variety) below:
Having just seen photos of Billie Lourd’s 1-year-old baby in your publication, and the fact that you subsequently took those pictures down, we would request that you refrain from putting our children’s faces in your publication. I am a public figure and accept the oftentimes intrusive photos as part of the price to pay for doing my job. Our children have made no such commitment. The nature of my wife’s work has her confronting and putting on trial terrorist groups and we take as much precaution as we can to keep our family safe. We cannot protect our children if any publication puts their faces on their cover. We have never sold a picture of our kids, we are not on social media and never post pictures because to do so would put their lives in jeopardy. Not paranoid jeopardy but real-world issues, with real-world consequences.
We hope that you would agree that the need to sell advertisement isn’t greater than the need to keep innocent children from being targeted.
George Clooney and Daily Mail, which is known for sensationalizing news and being an unreliable source of facts, have tangled in the past as well. Back in 2014, Daily Mail’s digital division, Mail Online, published a fake story about Amal’s mother Baria, claiming that she was against the couple’s marriage due to religious reasons as she is a member of Lebanon’s Druze community. After the actor called out the publication for posting a false story, Daily Mail removed the article and issue an apology to Clooney.
But George Clooney rejected the apology, calling the article a “premeditated lie” as they were already aware that the story they were printing was false. He also accused the Daily Mail of being “the worst kind of tabloid” that believes in fabricating facts and telling lies. But while courting controversies is not a new thing for the publication or other outlets like it, this time, the issue is the safety of children and hopefully, Clooney will not be alone in raising his voice for the same.