Conversations surrounding privacy for stars keep getting rehashed in mainstream media or online. This time around, Alia Bhatt called out a publication for publishing a picture of hers that was clicked while she was inside her house.
Further, she also criticised the people who clicked the picture that is a clear invasion of privacy. Several celebrities including Anushka Sharma, Arjun Kapoor, Janhvi Kapoor, and Mini Mathur spoke out in the actor’s support.
Since paparazzi are such an integral part of celebrity culture and content, The Quint reached out to them to understand if this phenomenon is rooted in revenue and how they navigate privacy.
Revenue or Competition?
Manav Manglani had earlier told The Quint, “If it's an exclusive, we get paid a lot more because there's a story that nobody else has. The channels run behind exclusive pictures a lot where there is a story."
"So we decide who to give it to. Who is giving us more money? So that's why channels get it first because they're the ones with more money.”Manav Manglani
Of the incident involving Alia Bhatt, Manglani tells us, “No media publication asks for pictures that invade someone’s privacy inside their home. That is unwarranted and shouldn’t have happened. If a look is being revealed or we take a picture during shoots, that is the normal way paparazzi work.”
“There is no revenue angle to this. There is competition but there are paparazzi like me who are doing their jobs daily and getting exclusive pictures almost everyday. But not something like this,” he adds.
“I’ve instructed my team to never enter private properties to click pictures. If actors are in a public property or they’re posing or you’ve been invited, then only you can click pictures.”Manav Manglani, Paparazzo
'All Photographers Not the Same'
Another paparazzo, who has been in the business for years, reveals, “To my knowledge, foreign magazines in India had decided that they wouldn’t buy photos or video rights for any wedding. The same way, nobody ever comes to us and asks us to click a particular picture for extra revenue. Personally, I think, why would we do wrong to the stars we want to have a relationship with for years?”
“According to me, people do make mistakes but in this episode (Alia Bhatt), people start talking about the media and photographers. All photographers don’t behave like this. That being said, if a person does this, they also have the time to think about whether they should send a picture forward or not. Or they shouldn’t click these pictures only.”A paparazzo
Talking about the demand for celebrity pictures in general, he adds, “The other thing is, sometimes some people click pictures where you can’t even see the artist or its blurry. Even then people ask, ‘Do you have this picture? Do you have that picture?’ They see that the quality of the picture isn’t clear – you can’t even see the star or even enlarge it – then why ask for it? At the end of the day, demand and supply run hand-in-hand.”
With respect to privacy and consent, he adds that if an artist clearly says no to being clicked, then a photographer shouldn’t click their pictures, adding, “We’re going to be in this field for years and even the artists will be, so one day or the other, we will get a picture of them.”
“In my experience, in my entire life, no artist has ever denied being clicked without a proper reason; maybe they’re shooting for an ad or a show or they’re in a costume that can’t be revealed. They’ll tell us that, ‘I can’t get clicked in this outfit or in this makeup, I’ll let you click pictures later or when I’m leaving’.”A paparazzo
He further tells us, “Any picture should have something going on – maybe the star is wearing a great outfit or something is happening. There is such high visibility of stars now so there’s no such appeal in the audience that, ‘I want to see this star going to the gym or this particular star’. I think people might be clicking anything to complete their duty or their day…which is not necessary.”
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)