The ‘cheeky’ member of One Direction, 25-year-old Louis Tomlinson, was involved in a violent attack on a female fan at Los Angeles International Airport last month. The singer was seen wrestling a photographer for taking pictures of his girlfriend, Eleanor Calder, and fighting a female fan, moments after the couple had touched down in LA. His behaviour has received divided opinions. Should celebrities have more privacy? Or is it exactly what they signed up for?
Airport staff intervened and arrested Tomlinson before booking him for simple battery, after which he was held for a few hours and ordered to pay $20,000 bail however, but was later released for free. A video has emerged on social media of the incident highlighting what happened that night. Many people are insisting he should be held officially accountable for his actions to the photographer and female fan. Their argument is that assaulting a person is unacceptable and should come with severe consequences, celebrity or not. Tomlinson could have reacted with heightened maturity by walking away from the paparazzi. Instead, he used violence to highlight his wish to not be disturbed. Every day, many celebrities are bombarded with unwanted attention from paparazzi and fans, yet they behave by ignoring them, continuing to walk on or asking them to put their cameras and iPhones away. Couldn’t Mr Tomlinson easily have done the same? In addition, media attention for the One Direction singer funds his lifestyle of parties, expensive clothes and super luxury. Without his fans, he could not be the celebrity he is.
However, many fans and believers in celebrity privacy have jumped to his defence. Their counter argument is that despite celebrities have many millions in their bank accounts, they are still real people who may want privacy carrying out their day to day life. Walking through an airport after long haul flight is a drowsy chore for anyone, but with screaming fans and aggressive paparazzi in his face, there is no wonder Louis Tomlinson got annoyed, even if he is happy to be in the spotlight at concerts, book releases and red carpets events. Understandably, he was simply fighting for his privacy, as well as the privacy of his girlfriend, Miss Calder. Over time celebrities have suffered times of little to no privacy and social media is now enhancing the view of our favourites actors, singers and models, but people should respect that, despite being in the public eye, the famous deserve to be left alone sometimes and have the basic privacy every ordinary person takes for granted.
Overall, it is tough to defend Louis Tomlinson’s actions of assault on a star-struck fan and an overly keen photographer looking for a newsworthy picture. At the end of the day, he attacked someone. Yet regardless of his outburst, celebrities should generally have more privacy. They are still people after all. They deserve to be able to walk through an airport without being aggressively photographed and questioned.