Social Question

filmfann's avatar

Should famous people have an expectation of privacy?

Asked by filmfann (47088points) September 15th, 2011

News Item Sarah Palin hooked up for a one night stand with Glen Rice!
News Item Scarlett Johansson’s cell phone hacked, releasing nude pictures of actress!
News Item Jackie Kennedy seduced Marlon Brando!

I find all this disgusting. Not that the famous people involved did any of these things, but that they are now fodder for the tabloids.
Doesn’t the rich and/or famous have any right to private things?
Do the people have an overwhelming right to know this sleeze?
How do we put a stop to it without having people screaming about their rights?

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21 Answers

muppetish's avatar

Somewhat. I agree that the media’s attention on celebrities (and the general public’s fascination with every minute detail of their lives) is absolutely disgusting, but once you “thrust yourself into the limelight”—as journalists refer to it—you have to be prepared for this sort of thing to happen. What I do not think should be permitted is the photographing of their children. Those kids (ranging from infants to teenagers) did not choose to be in the limelight as their parents did—though in some cases, they choose to follow the same path—and should not be harassed by paparazzi.

At any rate, our “right to privacy” in and of itself has always been an extremely fuzzy issue.

Coloma's avatar

Of course they do. One of the reasons I would have no desire to live that lifestyle under the public microscope. However in the land of plastic people a lot of stars welcome the notoriety too. Holywood is another world, one I have zero interest in.

SuperMouse's avatar

Once one decides to make one’s living in the public eye – and on the public’s dime, one decides to be subject to the public’s scrutiny.

mrrich724's avatar

It’s what comes with the job. And they know it before they start, so while I don’t know why anyone gives a shit, it’s a choice they make.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It depends on what the job is and how they go about it. Certain Hollywood celebs certainly seek out the limelight (like George Clooney), so no. Others do the job, and then go home and lead a very private life, and don’t seek out the limelight (like Prince). And with politicians, some certainly seek out the limelight, and they talk on news programs and have photo shots and do interviews and bring their kids and spouse. But others don’t. The idea of asking if Ruth Bader Ginsberg looks good in a bathing suit, when that has no relevance to her job and she doesn’t ask others to look at her in a bathing suit, that’s not cool and is a violating. So, it depends.

zenvelo's avatar

The Jackie and Marlon story, we’ll never know the truth, they are both gone. But I would expect that to be private, at that time well known people did have more privacy.

But these days everything is considered fair game, celebrity or not. With the internet it’s hard to destroy past records. But I think it has gone way too far, ever since People magazine commoditized gossip. For instance, I believe people’s consensual sex lives should be private, with or without their spouse. My only exception would be for hypocrites who advocate the condemnation of one practice but pratice it themselves.

jerv's avatar

We live in the Information Age where everybody has the ability to share the most menial or insipid stuff with the entire world at the speed of light. Okay, server lag makes it take a few seconds instead of nanoseconds, but you get my point. We also live in a time/place where ⅔ of Americans are not covered by the Fourth Amendment.

In short, nobody should expect privacy regardless of whether they are famous or not.

marinelife's avatar

Some privacy. Not as much as people who don’t make their living from being public.

@filmfann I read the first item as Glenn beck at first. I was cracking up!

martianspringtime's avatar

While I do think that the nature of ‘celebrity’ itself is that you lose pretty much all privacy, I don’t think that means they should be expected to be okay with people blatantly disrespecting them. You shouldn’t be signing up to be treated as an inanimate object just because you’re in a popular movie.

For example, if a celebrity is in public, of course people are going to photograph them! And probably not have a lot of tact, unfortunately. But when they’re in the privacy of their own home, I don’t think think “they’re a celebrity!” is an excuse to harass them. They’re still people.

jerv's avatar

@marinelife Privacy is inversely proportional to how much anybody cares.

GladysMensch's avatar

I believe that those who didn’t seek fame (yet received it) should expect privacy.
For example, you shouldn’t be under the spotlight because you were a victim of a crime that the media jumped on: see Jaycee Lee Dugard.

woodcutter's avatar

Out in public they have to deal with it but while inside their homes or their gadgets are being hacked that’s going too far.

jerv's avatar

@woodcutter… and yet it happens to non-famous people too.

woodcutter's avatar

Well that makes me glad I’m extremely boring now.

ddude1116's avatar

Famous people shouldn’t expect privacy, but they do deserve it.

woodcutter's avatar

If I inadvertently glimpse a pic of a celebrity in their comfort zone(while waiting at the checkout) and it’s plain they had no idea it was on film, I sort of feel a little creepy.

Jellie's avatar

It’s tricky. You can’t be famous or have fame without people wanting to know everything about you.

That being said, just because people pay to watch your films doesn’t mean your invasion of privacy is justified.

@SuperMouse Once one decides to make one’s living in the public eye – and on the public’s dime, one decides to be subject to the public’s scrutiny. That statement is so wrong in so many ways.

My doctor/hairstylist/accountant/cook is making a living on my dime (and many others’) does that mean they are right to invade my privacy? Just because they chose to entertain/politicize doesn’t mean they are giving up their rights to lead their own private life!

Being in the public eye and the public having a right to know your personal life is two very different things.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Jellie I stand by my statement. If someone decides to put themselves in the public eye they decide to put themselves up for scrutiny. They also go into it knowing this and should have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Jellie's avatar

@SuperMouse I think you’re forgetting that these are their jobs that they are doing. They are not going out into the world for the sake of being in the public eye (exception of Paris Hilton types). Their day jobs happen to entail celebrity. That doesn’t mean they decide to put their private life out for everyone’s enjoyment. You are placing responsibility on these people, basically saying you shouldn’t do something you enjoy (act, sing) because then it is fair and justified for the rest of us to try to get naked photos of you.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Jellie a job they took knowing full well that it would place them in the public eye. I don’t think it is a stretch to believe that many performers took the job because it put them in the public eye. Celebrity scandals and lack of privacy have been around a long, long time (Fatty Arbuckle anyone) so anyone who makes their living in the public eye is pretty doggone naive if they expect to avoid any kind of public scrutiny. There are plenty of celebrities who have avoided scandal because of the simple fact that they understand that there are those who believe their private life is fair game and make choices accordingly.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Wait… What are we “Putting a stop to” exactly? People taking and sending nude pictures? Or people stealing them?

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