Well honey, not that long ago there were people who liked to read gossip and lies about other people they thought were important. And back then, some people thought it was okay to sell stories about that. They published those stories in things called Tabloids.
That sounds mean, why did people buy tabloids?
Well, there were probably a lot of reasons. Mostly, they were just bored and wanted something to do I guess. Some people didn't realize that the celebrities were real people, with feelings and families, just like you and I. Or maybe they just didn't care.
Why did people stop buying tabloids?
Well, unfortunately it took the tragic death of Miley Bieber's third son, Harper. He was the one that people loved a lot. He was a good kid who always helped others. It was about that time that greed had reached its height. People everywhere had heard that a picture of a celebrity was worth a lot of money. One day while they were chasing him, he fell down some stairs and died.
Why were they chasing him?
Well, back then people paid money for photos. Sometimes a lot of money. And some people felt it was alright to take someone's picture without permission.
Really? People paid money for pictures? And would take them without permission?
Yes, I know it sounds hard to believe, but it's true. You see, back then some celebrities thought that they needed the paparazzi.
What's a paparazzi?
Well it was a group of individuals who took pictures of unsuspecting celebrities for a living.
Why did they do that?
Well there were a number of reasons I guess. Sometimes it made them money. But I think they mainly did it because it didn't take a lot of skill and made them feel important.
But why didn't the celebrities just publish their own pictures like they do now?
Well, it wasn't that simple. Some celebrities tried that for a while, but people just said mean things about them. So a lot of them stopped. Some celebrities were even convinced that they needed the paparazzi to continue to be successful.
That's silly Grandpa, why would they think that?
I know it sounds silly now. But back then a lot of them believed it. Really. I guess they believed it because everyone told them that it was true.
So what changed their minds?
Well, after Harper's tragic death, a couple of things happened. Mainly, people got angry.
Well, it wasn't really who they got angry at. It was what they got angry at. Greed. There was just too much greed.
What did they do about it?
Well they did a lot of things. Some celebrities tried to get a law passed, but that didn't work. Some just left the business. But probably the biggest change was that most celebrities started publishing their own photos and stories. Even more important, they gave them away for free.
Why didn't they just do that to begin with?
I don't know honey. Maybe they thought it was too difficult? Maybe they were afraid that people would continue to say bad things about them. I don't know. All I know is that when they started doing this, things started to change. A lot. People were still able to read about their favourite celebrities and see pictures of them. And I guess the celebrities realized that it wasn't so hard after all. It just became a normal part of what they did.
That's funny Grandpa. People sure were strange when you were growing up.
You know something? You're right. They were. Now go to bed so we can get up early and have some pancakes for breakfast.
Okay, Grandpa. Good night.