Blake Lively is speaking up for her children and for any other Tinseltown families who are tired of living in fear of aggressive paparazzi tactics and the power of digital distortions
Last week, one publication shared a photo of the star as she pushed daughters James, 6, and Inez, 4, in a stroller and carried 1-year-old Betty in her arms. Imposed alongside that image was a pic of the 33-year-old actor smiling and waving at the camera.
All of that, plus a caption that hailed her as a “hands-on mum,” gave the appearance that Lively was just fine with the photos being taken. But according to the star, that’s far from the truth.
Although the original Instagram post has since been deleted, another account, @commentsbycelebs, shared a screen grab of it — including Lively’s response to it.
Get Chicago local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Chicago newsletters.
“You edit together these images ... to look like I’m happily waving. But that is deceitful,” the mom of three wrote. “The real story is: My children were being stalked by a man all day. Jumping out. And then hiding. A stranger on the street got into words with them because it was so upsetting for her to see. When I tried to calmly approach the photographer you hired to take these pictures in order to speak to him, he would run away. And jump out again at the next block.”
The incident left her shaken and wondering where the limit is when it comes to kids.
“Do you do background checks on the (photographers) you pay to stalk children?” she asked. “Where is your morality here? I would like to know. Or do you simply not care about the safety of children?”
As for that happy-looking shot of her, she explained that, “(For) the photographers who would speak to me, I was able to agree to smile and wave and let them take my picture away from my children, if they would leave my kids alone. Because it was frightening.”
Lively continued, writing, “Please stop paying grown ass men to hide and hunt children.” She also included the request to “please delete.”
As mentioned, that original post was subsequently deleted, but the “Gossip Girl” alum signaled her approval of the screen grab repost, in which her daughters’ faces were covered with star emoji. After replying with a note of thanks for spreading the word, she went on to give her fans advice on how they can help with what she sees as a dangerous and intrusive problem.
“One simple thing people can do is stop following and block any publications or handles who publish kid’s pictures,” she explained. “Feel free to report them. Or send a dm sharing why you don’t follow them. But it’s a simple way of only aligning with publications who have morality. And so many do. All are trying to service an audience. So if that audience makes it clear they don’t want something — like photos of children obtained by men frightening and stalking them — the publication or account will do what the audience wants.”
Lively and her husband, Ryan Reynolds, have long been protective when it comes to their children’s privacy. In the case of all three kids, they skipped public birth announcements and waited months to even confirm their names.
"All that sort of stuff with kids and revealing ... I just don't feel the need to publish it," Reynolds told TODAY two months after Inez arrived. "It's a normal feeling that most people might have. ... (My children) didn't really choose this profession or this life, and they can quickly get swept up in that world."
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: