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Hilary Duff is being praised after confronting a male photographer for taking photos of her children in a public space.
The “Younger” actress took action after she spotted a photographer at her 7-year-old son’s football game. Duff, who is no stranger to encounters with paparazzi, approached the man and requested he stop taking photos of the children.
The 31-year-old mother of two recorded the entire exchange and shared the video to social media, calling for lawmakers to prohibit adults from photographing minors without consent.
In the video, Duff approaches a man taking photos along the sidelines.
“Hey, who are you here with?” she can be heard asking.
“I’m here with me,” the man replied, prompting the actress to continue asking questions.
“Do you know any of the people on the team? Can you stop taking pictures of the kids, please?”
The man then tells Duff that “it’s legal” for him to be taking photos. Duff again asks him to stop.
“It’s making me really uncomfortable,” she tells him.
When the man offers to show Duff some identification, she declines.
“I’m not asking to see your I.D. I’m asking for you stop taking photos of our 7-year-old children if you don’t know anyone that’s here,” she says. “I’m asking you human to human, as a mother, if you don’t know anyone who’s here can you please stop taking pictures of our children playing football.”
The photographer told Duff he wasn’t doing anything illegal and was just “practicing photography.”
“I’m not here to scare you or anything,” he said. “Your paranoia factor is unwarranted.”
“It’s just an uncomfortability factor that these are 7-year-old children and you don’t have a child here,” Duff replied. “I will just post this to my 15 million followers on Instagram and let people know how creepy it is that this is what you choose to do on your Saturday morning.”
The two continue to exchange words. Eventually, the man puts his hand over Duff’s phone, and she stops recording.
“Paprazzi shooting kids. Go ‘practice’ your photography on adults! Cree! Laws need to change! This is stalking minors! Disgusting,” Duff captioned the video post on Instagram.
The footage has sparked outrage from followers, with many agreeing the man should have stopped taking photos and walked away.
“If he was doing it ‘innocently’ as some claim, he would have stopped when asked,” commented a follower. “Taking pictures of children is creepy but if you are going to defend him for taking pictures and say he wasn’t doing anything wrong, his reaction made it wrong. Someone who has a family of their own would understand why its concerning that a stranger is taking pictures of their family and friends and simply stop when asked.”
Duff’s post hit a nerve with the actress’s friends in the entertainment industry, who have experienced similar encounters.
“This is infuriating,” wrote actress Busy Philipps. “This isn’t about his job or his ‘rights.’ This is about his own perceived power over others...I know it’s illegal for an adult not with a child to be inside a playground - how is taking pictures of children without parental consent legal?”
“This video should ignite a huge conversation around paparazzi laws and what is deemed ‘OK.’ The system chooses to overlook certain aspects of privacy for monetary gain,” said actress Nikki Reed. “The bottom line is this industry should not be allowed to make money off of children. Period end of story. Not only is that morally wrong, but more importantly, in the process of making money off of little kid’s private moments, these children grow up feeling unsafe.”
“I don’t run any paparazzi photos of celeb children on my site,” wrote entertainment blogger Perez Hilton. “Every media outlet should agree to do the same.”
Duff has been vocal in the past about photographers crossing boundaries and making her feel “hunted.”
In 2018, Duff shared a video of herself to Instagram confronting a paparazzo who was following her while she was nine months pregnant.
“This guy has been at my son’s soccer game this morning then followed me to my sister’s house and was basically parked in her driveway to get photos,” Duff captioned the post. “[He] followed me to run errands. I politely asked him to let me be and he continues to follow me and stalk me down like pray for hours now. This is not ok...When people say that’s what you get for signing up to be a celebrity honestly it makes me sick. This is every day of every month and it’s simply not ok. If a non ‘celeb’ (I’m sorry to use that word) was dealing with this, the law would be involved.”