It’s tough being a celebrity. Not only are you invited — constantly — by hotels and resorts to come and stay for free, but you’re then given the star treatment, so to speak. But nothing in life is truly free now is it? It seems those same celebrities are being hounded by reporters and photographers on their vacations, particularly those who choose to vacation in Hawaii.
So rampant is this issue, it seems, that the Hawaii state legislature feels the need to address it. The proposed “Steven Tyler Act” would protect celebrities from such prying eyes, the bill says, by holding a person who ”captures or intends to capture, in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person, through any means a visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of another person while that person is engaging in a personal or familial activity with a reasonable expectation of privacy,” liable. In other words, they could be sued.
At present, there is no civil course of action in Hawaii as it relates to the invasion of privacy for celebrities. According to the bill, the legislature feels “many celebrities are deterred from buying property or vacationing in Hawaii because the same paparazzi that harass them on the mainland are more likely to follow them to Hawaii.” The bill states the “harassment” of celebrities is of particular issue on Maui.
Why Steven Tyler, you ask? The bill states that the Aerosmith front man and former American Idol judge recently purchased a home on Maui and this bill is named ”in honor of Steven Tyler’s contribution to the arts in Hawaii and throughout the world.” (In widely published images, Tyler was recently seen on Maui playing the bongo drums. In a Speedo.)
A person guilty of this invasion of privacy would be subject to special damages, general damages and “punitive damages up to three times the amount of general and special damages combined.”
In theory, the act could make Hawaii a more attractive place for celebrities to buy real estate. But what will it do to all those hotels looking for publicity from their celebrity guests?