TODAY   |  March 06, 2014

Kristen Bell faces off with paparazzi

In TODAY’s Take, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Al Roker, and Tamron Hall discuss Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s campaign against paparazzi who take unauthorized photos of their kids and sell them to magazines. The actors went on "Access Hollywood" in what Hall called a “mega showdown.” She asks, “Is there a compromise here?”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> morning here in new york city . i'm willie geist here along with al roker , natalie morales and tamron hall .

>> who found kryptonite and fashioned a --

>> funny. not really that funny. i actually think it looks like a bug.

>> it looks like a crab even.

>> no, i bought it -- i confess i bought it yesterday. i was on the fence about it, i thought it was a little ugly but i went for it.

>> it's very modern.

>> as we suddenly move over in our chairs.

>> let's move on from that. let's keep it high brow , shall we?

>> let's do that.

>> it's a big story here in new york city and people are relating across the country to this one because of where it is, the ground zero site in new york, one of the most iconic symbols from 9/11 was a steel cross. it became a rallying point for first responders, they drew inspiration as they spent weeks and months on the pile. now the nonprofit group american atheist is appealing its case to have the cross removed as an exhibit in the 9/11 museum.

>> it's a federal museum?

>> it's a private museum on leased port authority land. last year a federal judge ruled it helped those at ground zero cope with the devastation they witnessed. the american atheist president said if you take the religion away from the cross, you have scrap metal . the only reason this cross is special is because it is religious. the museum president says, no, actually it a piece of history.

>> it is a piece of history and a piece of history a lot of people needed then and still need now.

>> and it's something that you can look and see what you want there. it wasn't as if an artist fashioned it to look like a cross. it was recovered. and it is one of those things like art, it's subject to your interpretation what you see. some people see a religious symbol , others see something that was pulled from something that was absolutely horrible.

>> it's okay to be offended by it but you don't get to rewrite history because of your personal beliefs.

>> it is what it is and it was left there by the destruction of the towers.

>> they're going too have gifts from muslim countries and buddhists and hindus.

>> which i think is a nice point as well. this is the same area, not the museum, but there was a huge outcry when a mosque was proposed there but there was a strip club not very far away . people pointed out the irony or hypocri hypocrisy, depending on your perspective, of that alone. it's good that everyone is included in all --

>> this is an appeal. the federal judge said there's no reasonable observer who would view the artifact as endorsing christianity. it's a part of history.

>> this is another hot one involving actors versus paparazzi. kristen bell and dak shepherd are on a campaign to take on paparazzi, particularly those who take on unauthorized photographs as children. they say we're adults, we're fair game but you can't ambush our kid going to school or whatever. there was a mega showdown yesterday on " access hollywood ," when kristen and dax took on the owner and one of the employees of one of the largest paparazzi agencies. take a look.

>> we're on the street and i'm telling you i'm a mom and when i'm holding my baby -- i don't travel with an entourage and i'm with my baby by myself, it's terrifying.

>> they're surrounding her, screaming at her, flashing bulbs. if you don't have an ethical issue with that, you don't have ethics.

>> you can't say they're our photographers.

>> you've already admitted you buy pictures of children.

>> they're not soldiers and we're not pedarazzi.

>> if it sounds nasty, it's because it is nasty.

>> the "today" show like other magazines, people and entertainment tonight have decided not to show these photos. what is the compromise here? is there one?

>> it's hard to argue the other side if you're the paparazzi?

>> what's the reason for it?

>> if you watch the full clip, the one gentleman watching the paparazzi said "we have a constitutional right to do this." that's true. westborough church has a constitutional right to protest military funerals. that's true. if you want to be that person.

>> there are also safety issues involved.

>> and when these kids are photographed, they're often with their friends and their friends didn't sign up for that and they're outside schools.

>> kids should be able to feel safe walking on the street, to a park, coming out of school . end of story.

>> but the tide is turning, though. it does seem with jennifer garner , halle berry raising the issue as well, people are paying attention to this. it takes the public saying i'm not going to buy the magazines that put those pictures in their magazines.

>> but on social media , not everyone signeds withdes up with dax, kristen and the celebrities. there are people that call restaurants and say i'm here --

>> they don't call and say my kid's at the bus stop.

>> there's going to have to be legislation. there's going to have to be a punishment. without some type of mega fine, they're going to continue to do it and sell those pictures to someone.

>> here's reasons to get excited. changes to the s.a.t.

>> why are we excited?

>> the parents and kids and all the anxiety that goes into preparing for s.a.t.s, it levels the playing field . the college board is set to do this major redesign of the s.a.t.s. they're going pack to a 1,600 point scoring instead of the 2,400 scoring points. no more penalizing for guess being, no more obscure vocabulary words.

>> words likes what?

>> we're going to get there in a second.

>> it's all about getting it back to what you learn in school .

>> that's how you build vocabulary.

>> really?

>> yeah, the kind of obscure words that you don't know when they are going to come.

>> we have some examples.

>> so, for example, prov provaricater.

>> it's someone who provaricates.

>> it's someone who speaks to avoid the truth.

>> sometimes it cab little segacious.

>> you are some kind of segacious lady.

>> again, you get the multiple choice .

>> but you have to know the definition to pick the right choice.

>> and if you see the choices, that helps jar your memory. i think it's a kind of cynical. i think they're doing this just to compete against the a.c.t.

>> the a.c.t. test what is the kids are learning in school . the s.a.t. is sort of like playing the game, especially if you've paid thousands and thousands of dollars in these prep course, which a lot of parents have done.

>> i feel bad for the kids who took this before the change. they thought their 1,600 was average. i speak because my 17-year-old nephew is going to college and we did the whole buying the tutor after i read a "new york times" article. we didn't spend $5,000 as some have spent but we spent what we had.

>> did he get into a good school .

>> he got into the school of his choice. but there are other kids who aren't him who took the test and they are like my 1,600 didn't get me into the school of my choice. it's a racket.

>> vanderbilt. just pretty pictures with the bubbles.

>> you got in? that's because you're a basketball star. you took shaq on.

>> these changes take effect spring of 2016 .

>> one last great story to end on. look at what the employees at one massachusetts company did, 428 people at granite telecommunications in quincy shaved their heads in the lobby of their headquarters. they raised $2.1 million to support cancer research for locks for love.

>> men and women.

>> the ceo dared an employee who had a zz-top beard to shave it off for $10,000 for charity. another worker volunteered to shave his head for $1,000. when 200 joined, he made it 2,000, 300 joined, he made it 3,000. all together they made it $2 million.

>> we should see if our boss will allow to us shave our head for charity? see, i don't really have that far to go. hello! already gone!

>> ten grand.

>> no price. i'm not shaving my head.

>> not shave, shave. i'd do short-short.

>> they're talking hair now. it's not that you won't do it. it's how much will you do it for?