Actresses and testified in California on Tuesday in support of a bill which hopes to protect the children of celebrities and politicians from harassment from the paparazzi.
Senator Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) proposed Senate Bill 606, which would change the legal definition of harassment so that it includes behavior which 'alarms, annoys, torments or terrorizes' a child while taking photos of a child or filming a child without permission from the child’s parents.
The actresses argued they were appearing as mothers concerned for the wellbeing of their children, who didn’t choose to be celebrities. Garner said she made the decision to have a public life, but her children are private citizens, just like anyone else's.
Garner said 'I don't want a gang of shouting, arguing, law-breaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are, all day, every day, to continue to traumatize my kids'.
Halle Berry, who's currently pregnant, said she had decided to testify to 'protect her children and protect their rights' and that the photographers shouting at them and taking pictures without their consent has made her young daughter afraid to go to school.
'They are allowed to be so close to her that they can shout obscenities to me and ask her questions that are inappropriate for a 5 year old to have to answer.'
The bill has passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee and now will head to the Appropriations Committee.
Unsurprisingly, newspaper publishers have opposed the bill, arguing that it might infringe on journalists' ability to record the news because basically anybody with a camera (including members of the public) could be penalised.