Steven Tyler Act passed in Hawaii state Senate
The Steven Tyler Act, a bill named after the Aerosmith frontman that aims to protect celebrities from paparazzi during their private moments, was passed by the Hawaii state Senate on Tuesday, March 5, according to The Associated Press.
Tyler had asked Sen. Kalani English to sponsor the bill after unwanted photos of him and his girlfriend were taken at Tyler's Maui home and published in a national magazine, which caused family drama.
The singer's home is part of Sen. English's district and the senator said that the bill could help increase celebrity tourism of the state. Of the state's 25 Senate members, 23 voted in favor of the bill. It now will go to the House for consideration, the AP reports.
"The paradise of Hawaii is a magnet for celebrities who just want a peaceful vacation," Tyler said in a statement to The Associated Press in early February. "As a person in the public eye, I know the paparazzi are there and we have to accept that. But when they intrude into our private space, disregard our safety and the safety of others that crosses a serious line that shouldn't be ignored."
Several national media organizations submitted testimony opposing the bill because of a concern that the bill will impact freedom of the press. The National Press Photographers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists are two organizations that came out against the bill.
Media lawyer Jeff Portnoy also criticized the bill and told the wire service that the measure's vague language is ambiguous and unnecessary when considering Hawaii's existing laws.
Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Neil Diamond, Tommy Lee and the Osborne family have submitted letters supporting the bill.