Ben Affleck Rails Against Paparazzi Targeting Children: "It's Wrong and Disgusting"
He and his wife Jennifer Garner have often spoke out about the paparazzi's targeting of children and in a new interview with Playboy, Ben Affleck is letting fans know what effect it has on their kids.
Though he himself struggled with the constant pressure, he eventually made peace with it. "Once I saw my way out of it, I said, You know what? I don’t even care anymore. I’m going to focus on my job. I don’t give a sh*t. Take my picture. Write what you want to write. At the end of the day, what you write in a gossip column doesn’t matter. What matters is how the movie works.”
However, when it came to his family, the "Argo" star drew the line, saying, "You can say what you want about me. You can yell at me with a video camera and be TMZ. You can follow me around and take pictures all you want. I don’t care. There are a couple of guys outside right now. Terrific. That’s part of the deal. But it’s wrong and disgusting to follow children around and take their picture and sell it for money. It makes the kids less safe. They used to take pictures of our children coming out of preschool, and so this stalker who had threatened to kill me, my wife and our kids showed up at the school and got arrested. I mean, there are real practical dangers to this.”
Defending his innocent little ones, Ben continues, "My kids aren’t celebrities. They never made that bargain. We were offered a lot of money to sell pictures of our kids when they were born. You’ll notice there aren’t any. I make no judgment about people who decide differently; a lot of them give the money to charity. For me it was a matter of principle. I didn’t want someone to be able to come back and say I was complicit, that it wasn’t a question of principle as much as price. As their father, it's my job to protect them from that stuff. I try my best and sometimes I'm successful."
In conclusion, the father-of-three offers, "The tragic thing is, people who see those pictures naturally think it’s sweet. They don’t see the gigantic former gang member with a huge lens standing over a four-year-old and screaming to get the kid’s attention. The kids are always looking down because they’re freaked out and scared of these people. And so they yell. Which is fine if you’re Lindsay Lohan coming out of a club, or me or any adult. With kids it’s tasteless at best.”