This Saturday, while spending the day with my daughter and her father in New York City, my family and I were stalked by a photographer and documented for over six hours totally unbeknownst to us, while we were strolling, having dinner with and taking our 3-year-old daughter to the movies. The pictures were then published by both TMZ and The Daily Mail, packaged as “Scarlett Johansson and Ex-Husband Co-Parenting While Christmas Shopping,” and published for the viewing pleasure of the general public.
While this may seem to some like a harmless photo op, a side effect of being in the public eye, I whole heartedly disagree. My job may put me in the spotlight and I certainly have a public persona, but my family and I are private citizens, as well. We are not zoo animals to be publicly viewed and documented. We have the right to a private life just as any other family does. We have the right to live presently in the moment with our children and not be looking over our shoulders, living a paranoid existence where we never know if shady figures are documenting our child’s every move.
As a result of this kind of invasion of privacy, my family lives in a heightened state, always feeling watched and literally stalked because we are. Both TMZ and The Daily Mail continue to publish unwanted pictures like these of parents and their children every day. I am coming forward to let the public know that pictures like these are taken without my consent as a parent; my family and I are being followed, stalked and photographed by people that hide in the shadows, many of them with criminal records.
I am publicly asking TMZ to sign the No Kids Policy, which I have long been an advocate for and also am pleading with publications like the Daily Mail to no longer publish pictures of parents and their children that are taken without their consent, faces blurred or not blurred. Every parent deserves the right to not be stalked, harassed and exploited, no matter their chosen profession.
It is my wish for readers to know that when they see pictures like these, although they may be easily digested and forgotten about as part of the 24-hour news cycle, the disgusting and shady process by which these pictures are obtained leave long lasting psychological effects on those that they highlight. In this day and age where we are all examining the importance of Humanity and Respect, I ask that this matter be considered too.