PEOPLE Magazine Grows A Pair (Sort of)
Sellebrity RICK/ All Access Photo/ Splash
Yes we are still talking about Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard – ironic considering that they want more privacy, no?
Kristen is still aggressively tweeting media outlets with the #pedorazzi hashtag, because I guess encouraging your followers to incessantly tweet accounts that aren’t engaging back isn’t a form of pestering. Kristen and Dax have also cozied up to media outlets that adhere to their standards and don’t use unsanctioned photos of kids, but what happens when one of the Bell-and-Shepard approved outlets steps out of line? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
PEOPLE released an Editor’s Letter (click here to read) addressing the Twitter manufactured controversy (probably because their intern was overwhelmed with the #pedorazzi tweets) and laid out their policy with much more gumption than I would have expected from them. They are the go-to for exclusives, baby photos, and announcements and note that these photos are sanctioned – their specialty. But then they also acknowledge how this type of coverage is cherry picked by the celebrities, who want the glowing cover when they feel like it: “And there's always the tough balancing act we face when dealing with stars who exploit their children one day, and complain about loss of privacy the next.”
So PEOPLE Magazine, the most celebrity-friendly tabloid of the bunch, says that some celebrities exploit their children. This is a real thing that happens. Yet Dax and Kristen have insisted again and again that this is not true to their knowledge. Well now the most insider-y, publicist-friendly magazine that understands that relationship between photographers, media and celebrites, is straight up saying it is true. Some celebrities use their kids to get media attention. Period.
Why is any of this shocking? It’s not, but I am surprised it is being so openly acknowledged. I’d like to think that this is a bit of an F--- You to Kristen and Dax, PEOPLE’s way of saying get off your high horse and stop using us in your self-serving campaign.
The PEOPLE letter also mentions balancing their policy with the newsworthiness of photos. But when would that happen? Well if Ben Affleck, a two-time Oscar winner, is with his kids and kicks a paparazzo, are the outlets not supposed to publish it because the kids were present? Or does the story override the policy?
It’s up to an editor to decide what to run (and up to readers to pick what they want to click), and that is what has always bothered me about the Kristen Bell/Dax Shepard thing. Like many celebrities, they want to control the story on their terms. If it was about privacy, why not behave in a way that’s more private? Why is the onus always on others to help/mollify/coddle/sympathize with celebrities?
Many outlets do have their own policy. It may be gossip, but freedom of the press still applies. What kind of world would we live in if media outlets only printed what was approved by the powers that be? Isn’t that why celebrity blogs became necessary in the first place – because for better or worse, some readers are sick of the spoon-fed narrative?
For now, Dax Shepard is chalking this up as a win – he Tweeted that he is thrilled with the letter.
So PEOPLE will go on doing things the same way they always have and Dax and Kristen get to save face and keep promoting their TV shows and films with the most Mini Van Majority approved magazine of the bunch. And just in times for a big Veronica Mars push. What. A. Coincidence.