The California legislature recently passed the Celebrity Safety Bill sponsored by state Assemblyman Howard Hughes. To find out what this means to celebrities living in California, I interviewed Assemblyman Hughes in his office in San Diego.
Why a Celebrity Safety Bill?
Well, we have laws to protect children and endangered species. Why not a bill that protects celebrities? We’ve lost quite a few recently. The health of California’s economy is dependent on the health of our entertainment industry and entertainers. And, it’s just the right thing to do.
Why can’t celebrities protect themselves?
It’s a scientific fact that, like small children or puppies, celebrities are incapable of protecting themselves and frequently injure themselves.
Who will qualify as a celebrity?
A panel of experts from the National Enquirer will decide if a candidate is really a celebrity and not a wannabe. The panel will use Google, Twitter, financial data, and Entertainment Tonight stories to validate their decisions.
Will celebrities have a choice?
No, by law, their participation will be mandatory. Last year, we tried volunteer celebrity safety programs and they were a complete failure. Only three celebrities volunteered: Melissa Gilbert, Sally Field, and Amy Winehouse. And we suspect that Amy may have volunteered accidentally.
Once a celebrity is picked for this program, how is he or she protected?
First of all, a guardian and a social worker will be assigned to the celebrity. The guardian will take control of all of the celebrity’s money or financial assets. The celebrity will then be put on an allowance. It will be a fair and generous allowance but won’t allow for things like jewelry for their dogs or silk toilet paper. Because the guardian will manage their finances, the celebrity won’t need to rob a video or liquor store later in life because they are no longer popular and have spent all their millions.
What will the social worker do?
The social worker will conduct daily drug tests and will evaluate the celebrity’s mental state. If the social worker feels the celebrity needs therapy, the celebrity will be assigned a therapist and will attend mandatory therapy sessions. If a celebrity needs medication, all medications will be dispensed by a nurse hired by the state.
How will celebrities be protected from car accidents?
Various devices will be installed in the celebrity’s cars. Their cars will not start unless everyone sitting in the car is wearing a seat belt. There will be a governor on the engines which will prevent the cars from going faster than 65 mph. A breathalyzer will prevent their cars from starting if the celebrity has a blood alcohol level of .02 or more. And if the celebrity is driving unsafely, a new type of GPS unit will alert us. An alarm will go off in the celebrity’s car, and then he or she will have five minutes to pull over before the engine shuts off.
Won’t this bill hurt the entertainment industry?
No. For example, if celebrities don’t get hooked on drugs, they won't have to go to rehab for three months, and those three months can be used to shoot another movie or record another music album. And if celebrities aren’t drunk or high, they might show up for work and actually remember their lines or the lyrics to the song they’re trying to record. Movies and albums could be produced in half the time it currently takes. And in the long run, live celebrities are better for the entertainment industry than inactive or non-live celebrities.
Won’t celebrities resist this program?
We expect they will, but we are prepared for that. First, we will cut off the celebrity’s credit cards. This will force the celebrity to return home quickly, where we will be waiting. Using nuns, border collies, and talk show hosts, we will capture the celebrity and force them into the program.
Doesn’t your program violate the celebrities’ civil rights?
Yes, but is it better to respect a whale’s civil rights or is it better to save its life? Although they’re not on the official list, celebrities are definitely an endangered species. And let’s not forget that we’re doing this for their own good.
Hasn’t there been an increase in the celebrity population over the last ten years?
Yes, but like many species, celebrities are endangered by modern civilization and loss of habitat, and they live in a fragile ecosystem.
Will politicians be considered celebrities?
No, the only way we could get enough votes to pass this bill was to exclude politicians.
Do you have any plans to expand this bill to a national level?
Yes, we are working with Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Mike Thompson to get a similar bill passed in Congress. Although most celebrities live in California, we have to protect all celebrities wherever they may live.
How will you get the word out on this new program?
Actually, we’re not going to do any advertising because it will scare off the celebrities and they could end up running off to Vegas. We do have a slogan though: There are no fans in hell.
I thought of it myself.
Thank you, Assemblyman Hughes.