Forget what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas — if Steven Tyler has his way, what happens in the Aloha State will stay safely under the grass skirt.
Yes, Hawaii could become a safe haven for the species known as “tabloid fodder.”
Liv Tyler’s dad, who used to sing with a rock band before replacing the mean guy on “American Idol,” testified in front of Hawaii’s State Judiciary Committee last week to make sure Janie don’t got a zoom lens.
The “Steven Tyler Act” — which would be Tyler’s biggest contribution to global culture since convincing a generation of frisky couples to test the stop button on their elevators — would make it possible for celebs to sue anyone who used high powered lenses or other souped-up spyware to take pictures of them on private property.
So topless shots of Kate Middleton on Waikiki beach: Pay day. Topless shots of the future Queen on her hotel room balcony: Pay day for your lawyer.
Tyler, who owns a mansion on Maui, says that, when he’s on the beach, photographers and video teams stalk him from their boats — which means the situation must be even more serious for celebrities people are actually interested in seeing naked.
The proposed law has attracted support from Britney Spears, Neil Diamond, Margaret Cho, Ozzy and the less talented non-bat-eating Osbournes, Avril Lavigne, Tommy Lee, and Mick Fleetwood — who owns a restaurant on Maui.
It wouldn’t stop you from snapping shots with your iPhone and posting them on Facebook — or tweeting them to the tabloid of their choice — it would just prevent the use of gear only owned by celebrity stalkers and the CIA.
The bill has been predictably opposed by several journalistic groups with seriously impressive acronyms based on the First Amendment’s guarantee of the public’s right to nip slips. If the law is passed they will likely go to court to argue that the First Amendment guarantees paparazzi the right to bear James Bond-level video capture technology the same way the second amendment was clearly intended to guarantee that a blind, bipolar, alcoholic, ex-con in his 90s has the right to own an AK-47.
But since many Americans don’t believe Hawaii is part of America anyway — more than a quarter of US citizens believe President Barack Obama was born in a foreign country and a lot of them aren’t talking about Kenya (just ask anyone in Hawaii who has been asked if they accept American money) — does the 50th State really need to follow the same rules as the mopes on the mainland?
Really, what’s the downside in declaring the State a celebrity game preserve where rockers, talk show hosts, and movie stars can frolic freely in the sunshine (or with the moonshine), by passing a law that will make it easier for Steve Tyler to snog his supermodel du jour on the beach in his Speedo, or the Osbournes to sunbathe topless?
Okay, other than the fact that it might scare the tourists?
Mark Leiren-Young blogs at leiren-young.com.