Steven Tyler, Mick Fleetwood push Hawaii celeb privacy bill
HONOLULU – Rock legends Steven Tyler and Mick Fleetwood convinced a Hawaii Senate committee on Friday to approve a bill to protect celebrities or anyone else from intrusive paparazzi.
The state Senate Judiciary Committee approved the so-called Steven Tyler Act after the stars testified at a hearing, saying they want to fiercely protect the little privacy they have as public figures.
The bill would give people power to sue others who take photos or video of their private lives in an offensive way.
Tyler said he asked Sen. Kalani English to introduce the measure after paparazzi took a photo of Tyler and his girlfriend in his home, and it was published by a national magazine as part of a report saying the two were getting married.
“It caused a ripple in my family,” Tyler told The Associated Press after the hearing. “I hadn’t told anybody.”
The Aerosmith frontman and former “American Idol” judge says his kids don’t want to go out with him in Hawaii because of the threat of photographers who sometimes get on boats to take photos of him from the ocean.
“That’s what they do, they are just constantly taking from us,” Tyler said.
Fleetwood, the drummer from Fleetwood Mac, says he’s gotten used to the constant attention but realizes that it’s a “grim reality.”
“The islands shouldn’t represent this to people coming here,” Fleetwood said.
Tyler addressed Hawaii senators briefly during a general session following the hearing and received applause from lawmakers.
Senate judiciary committee chair Clayton Hee scrapped the bill’s original contents during the hearing and replaced them with a related California statute.
Senators added an amendment to exempt law enforcement authorities.
Hee said he wants to move the bill straight to the Senate floor and to the House “in deference and in agreement with” Tyler.
English says the bill is necessary to protect privacy in the digital age.
He says that while the constitution protects news publishing, it doesn’t protect news gathering.
Stirling Morita, president of the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, said he disagrees.
He says even with the bill’s amendments, it’s still too vague.
“You have to be pretty definite to limit First Amendment rights,” Morita said.