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George Clooney Gets Candid About Media Sharing Photos Of His Kids After He Saw Billie Lourd Deal With The Same Thing

George Clooney in Michael Clayton screenshot
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

One of the most basic, primal instincts of a parent is to protect their kids and, in today's society, technology like the Internet and social media add a lot more layers and complications to that basic need to protect. Celebrity parents have it the hardest, as they have to contend with protecting their kids from the press. George Clooney, who has 4-year-old twins with wife Amal, recently got candid about the media sharing snapshots of his children shortly after photos of Billie Lourd’s 1-year-old were published.

While some parents, and even celebrities, openly post about their children and put their faces on social media, a lot choose not to to do so. The Internet is a huge place, and privacy is almost impossible to come by, which is why celebrities like Katherine Schwartzeneggar and Chris Pratt find creative ways to post about their baby while keeping their privacy intact. George Clooney, in an open letter to Daily Mail and other similar media outlets (via Today), asked publications not to publish pictures of his twins. Here’s what the actor turned director says, word for word:

Having just seen photos of Billie Lourd's 1 year-old baby in your publication, and the fact that you subsequently took those pictures down, we would request that you refrain from putting our children's faces in your publication. I am a public figure and accept the oftentimes intrusive photos as part of the price to pay for doing my job. Our children have made no such commitment.

While publications printing or posting pictures of celebrities’ children isn’t new, it seems clear that the picture of Billie Lourd’s child was posted without consent and without respecting the parents’ desire for privacy. Lourd has posted pictures of her child on her Instagram, but her 1-year-old baby, Kingston, always has his face covered by an emoji or is facing away from the camera. In the post below, you can see an example of how the star protects her son’s privacy on the web:

Billie Lourd, while also being an actress herself, is Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher’s daughter and her son is Fisher’s only grandchild at this time. With a legacy like that, it's no wonder news outlets would want to publicize the child, but she's shown on social she'd prefer images to roll out in a way that makes her comfortable, like the post above. 

George Clooney’s twins have a similar legacy, being born to an A-List actor and an international human rights lawyer. In his open letter, Clooney, further expressed concerns over the safety of his children if their faces were to be published. Here it is in his own words:

The nature of my wife's work has her confronting and putting on trial terrorist groups and we take as much precaution as we can to keep our family safe. We cannot protect our children if any publication puts their faces on their cover. We have never sold a picture of our kids, we are not on social media and never post pictures because to do so would put their lives in jeopardy. Not paranoid jeopardy but real world issues, with real world consequences.

The Oscar winner certainly isn't the only celebrity who wishes to maintain his children's privacy. But hopefully, the Tender Bar director can sleep a little easier knowing he’s made his position clear. At this point, it remains to be seen how news outlets will respond to his appeal and potentially address how this moving forward.