Props To Lorde For Twitter Shaming This Paparazzo She Says Stalked Her


If you were thinking Lorde had decided to stop acting wise beyond her years and start egging houses and peeing in mop buckets, please direct your attention to the tweets she posted this weekend in which she accuses a paparazzo of stalking her. She identifies the man as Simon Runting, posting a photo of him and a link to his Facebook, claiming she’s “scared of him.”

This is the same photographer whom Rihanna called out last year for photographing her through her hotel window when she was performing in New Zealand, posting the photo to her Instagram with the caption: “I hate these ni**** more than the Nazi.” Lorde also called Runting out for this incident, posting the Rihanna photos yet taking a classier approach to the issue:

Lorde continued posting the man’s photo along with captions like “this should not be an accepted standard for young women or anyone in this industry,” and “i refuse to stay complicit and i refuse to stay passive about men systematically subjecting me to extreme fear.” She doesn’t go into detail about exactly what the photographer did to make her so uncomfortable, but it was clearly bad enough for her to feel the need to take action, and I say props to that.

The paparazzi are a tricky issue in the celebrity world, because on the one hand we want to say it “comes with the territory,” as Lorde herself even points out. But on the other hand, celebrities are still people who want to go about their lives in peace, and it’s clear that often these photographers totally overstep their bounds in terms of privacy, respect and personal safety. Take Kristen Bell’s account of being called the C-word by a photographer for not rolling down her window for a good shot.

The other issue is that, as mature as Lorde has shown herself to be, she’s still only 17 years old, and the idea of a young woman feeling scared because a grown man is allegedly stalking her to get a photograph is upsetting. If more celebrities speak out about that kind of treatment, maybe we can get closer to putting regulations in place that prevent these scary situations.

(GIF: Tumblr)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Yikes. Gave me goosebumps. Good for her for speaking out about it, I hope more celebrities are encouraged to do the same thing.

    • Guest

      Good on her. I wish she hadn’t reposted the Rihanna pictures though, since they were clearly not things Rihanna wanted seen in the first instance.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        To be fair, Rihanna herself posted one of the photos to her Instagram when she called the paps out.

      • Guest

        Reading is fundamental. I take it back.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Do I smell a fellow Drag Race fan??

      • Guest

        hmm…sorry. Just a child of the 80s (they wanted to get us reading so they’d have PSAs on TV).

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Sigh. Okayyyy.

    • guest

      Amen! Good for her!

    • happy1ga

      She needs to be clearer about what constitutes as “extreme fear.” Taking pics of her at the airport, in parking lots, restaurants, etc., is part and parcel of the business that all young stars, Taylor, Selena, Miley, Demi, etc., have all experienced and handled, she needs to say whether it involves real intrusions onto her private property or cornering her in private or dark spaces.

      • MCR

        It’s always a fine line between aggressive stalking and just being paparazzi – which may be part of the problem. A 17 year old girl being constantly followed around and photographed by a middle aged man wouldn’t normally have to justify her feelings of apprehension – unless she was a celebrity. Then she would have to prove “real intrusions” or be considered a whiner.

        I remember Sienna Miller’s comments on paparazzi following her after a personal scandal: “I would often find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street with ten men chasing me. And the fact that they had cameras in their hands made that legal.”

        Instead of Lorde being asked to justify her fear, maybe Mr. Runting, and others like him, should have to justify their stalker-like actions.

    • MCR

      I’m tired of the response that it “goes with the territory.” That’s used to brush off behaviour that none of us would tolerate in our own lives. Also, I don’t see why it should be accepted that anyone who sings or acts for a living has to tolerate people stalking them and intruding on their privacy, just because some publications have found they can make money from it. Performing in public and doing promotions “go with the territory;” but getting chased down by photographers on your own time isn’t a logical extension of being a performer, any more than getting sexually harassed is just a natural part of being a waitress at Hooters. We don’t have to accept this kind of situation as normal.

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