If anyone remembers the late 1990s death of Diana, Princess of Wales, then you will probably recall that the paparazzi, a group that had hounded the Lady Spencer throughout her life, were under scrutiny for their alleged role in causing the fatal crash that killed Diana and her companion Dodi al Fayed. Being a member of the paparazzi can often be a lucrative side gig but it often involves a level of intrusion that most of us feel uncomfortable with even in the era of ubiquitous social media.
But some might argue that being a celebrity entails the paparazzi as part and parcel with the whole circus of stardom. Yet, in the wake of the death of beloved television show host and globe trotter Anthony Bourdain, one paparazzi photographer is regretting a shot he captured of Bourdain’s assumed girlfriend Asia Argento with a male French reporter dancing together, a photo captured and released days before Bourdain’s suicide.
As FStoppers points out, while the photo was not explicitly tied to Bourdain’s suicide nor have any reports emerged of a rift between Bourdain and Argento that would instigate his suicide, there have nonetheless been insinuations that the photo played a role. For Rino Barillari, photographer of the Asia Argento shot among countless other captures he has made of the rich and famous throughout his career, the insinuation that his photo caused this level of pain is enough to make him express his regrets in taking it.
His expressions of guilt have, naturally, re-opened discussions about the nature of celebrity and the role of the paparazzi in the modern era. Of course, with so much voyeurism occurring by consent with the use of social media platforms, a lot of the intrusive nature of the job would seem to have ebbed away; however, that could perhaps make the private, guarded moments we all want to keep secret that much more coveted, especially if you are a celebrity.