John Mayer Calls on City Hall to 'Regulate' Paparazzi
"I don't sit before you today to ask that you ban the paparazzi," Mayer, 30, testified at a City Hall hearing considering new restrictions on the photographers. "I'm asking you to regulate it, officialize it, tax it, legitimize it."
After recounting his own dangerous encounters on the road with photographers running red lights "just to stay behind you," Mayer proposed a law requiring "an acceptable distance" between photographers and an "unwilling subject."
Mayer, a paparazzi magnet since dating Jennifer Aniston, also suggested a "big white P on a yellow license plate [that] says the driver works for an accredited photo agency" or press credentials "worn in plain sight."
"Regulating the paparazzi won't bring an end to modern-day media coverage, just as the newly enforced hands-free law hasn't stopped people from talking on cell phones while they drive," said Mayer in his testimony, which he posted on his Web site. "It's only an adaptive measure put in place to respond to some of the ways that living in a technological free market can compromise personal safety."
Outside the hearing, the paparazzi found an unlikely ally in L.A.'s police chief, who calls new restrictions unnecessary now that Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are better behaved.
"If you notice, since Britney started wearing clothes and behaving; Paris is out of town not bothering anybody anymore, thank God; and evidently, Lindsay Lohan has gone gay, we don't seem to have much of an issue," Chief William Bratton told KNBC-TV.
He added: "If the ones that attract the paparazzi behave in the first place, like we expect of anybody, that solves about 90 percent of the problem. The rest we can deal with."