Red-Carpet Security Under Scrutiny Post-Orlando
Hollywood grapples with balancing key access to celebrities with safety as THR reveals how porous the red carpet can be after studying a year of film premieres: "We all need to take a second look at what's going on in the world around us."
Red-carpet events and Hollywood have been synonymous since Sid Grauman decorated the entryway of his Egyptian Theatre for the first movie premiere, Douglas Fairbanks' Robin Hood, in 1922. Now, the fatal shooting of YouTube star Christina Grimmie during a June 10 autograph signing in Orlando and the massacre of 49 revelers at the city's Pulse nightclub two days later are shining a new light on security concerns at high-profile events, the lifeblood of an industry that increasingly depends on publicity and granting fans access to stars.
For anyone in the public eye (and their managers, agents and publicists), what happened to Grimmie is an absolute nightmare. Innumerable stalking cases have made headlines through the years (actress Rebecca Schaeffer was shot and killed by an obsessed fan in 1989, and more recently, in 2014, a stalker entered Selena Gomez's Calabasas home), but social media has made it so much easier for fans to access celebrities on a more personal level than ever before. And talent reps say they often feel pressure from studios and tour promoters for stars to approach fan pits and sign autographs at premieres or after concerts. These areas often are filled with unscreened fans.