Anti-Paparazzi 'Steven Tyler Act' Moves Forward in Hawaii Senate

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 12:52 PM

By Michael Mullins

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The Hawaii Senate passed an anti-paparazzi bill dubbed the "Steven Tyler Act" to provide celebrities with greater protection from overeager paparazzi who take unwanted photos or videos.

The Aerosmith frontman encouraged Sen. Kalani English to push the bill after a series of embarrassing photos of Tyler and his girlfriend surfaced last December in a national magazine.

In the unflattering photos, which are still posted on sites like TMZ, Tyler was wearing a speedo-like bathing suit. The aging musician claimed the photos caused family drama

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Originally from Yonkers, New York, Tyler owns a multi-million dollar home in Maui, which is part of English's district, The Associated Press reported.

In his proposal, English argued that the protection could lead to an increase in celebrity tourism to the island state, boosting revenue for the area, which is already one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

The bill passed the state's 25-member senate in a 23-to-2 vote.

State Sen. Sam Slom, a Republican, was one of the two lawmakers who voted against the measure.

"We have been the butt of many editorials and jokes across the country for this proposed legislation," Slom said, arguing that there is already enough legislation to protect vacationers' and residents' privacy in Hawaii.

He added that the bill was an attack on First Amendment rights.

"My final remarks to Steven Tyler as he sang so eloquently are, 'Dream on, dream on,'" Slom joked, referring to the artist's popular song.

State Sen. Les Ihara also voted against the measure.

In addition to the politicians' objections, organizations including the National Press Photographers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists opposed the bill. The groups expressed concerns that the new measure would impact freedom of the press.

As a result of the complaints, the Senate Judiciary Committee replaced the legislation, which was criticized for being vague, with the text of an existing California anti-paparazzi statute, AP reported.

"It's better, but it doesn't change its fatal flaws," longtime media lawyer Jeff Portnoy said. "The measure's language is still ambiguous and it is unnecessary, given Hawaii's existing laws."

The bill will now go before the House for consideration.

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Celebrities other than Tyler have expressed support for the bill as well, including Britney Spears, Mick Fleetwood, and the Osborne family. They have all  asserted that intrusive paparazzi make it difficult to enjoy simple activities with family and friends, AP reported.

Related stories:

Steven Tyler to Supreme Court: Watch the Language

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler to Undergo Surgery

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