Manufacturing Celebrity

Latino Paparazzi and Women Reporters in Hollywood

Book Pages: 328 Illustrations: 66 color illustrations Published: August 2020

Author: Vanessa Díaz

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Media Studies

In Manufacturing Celebrity Vanessa Díaz traces the complex power dynamics of the reporting and paparazzi work that fuel contemporary Hollywood and American celebrity culture. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, her experience reporting for People magazine, and dozens of interviews with photographers, journalists, publicists, magazine editors, and celebrities, Díaz examines the racialized and gendered labor involved in manufacturing and selling relatable celebrity personas. Celebrity reporters, most of whom are white women, are expected to leverage their sexuality to generate coverage, which makes them vulnerable to sexual exploitation and assault. Meanwhile, the predominantly male Latino paparazzi can face life-threatening situations and endure vilification that echoes anti-immigrant rhetoric. In pointing out the precarity of those who hustle to make a living by generating the bulk of celebrity media, Díaz highlights the profound inequities of the systems that provide consumers with 24/7 coverage of their favorite stars.


Manufacturing Celebrity presents fascinating ethnographic details and piercing social analysis on the production of ‘celebrity’ through sophisticated discussions of Latinx paparazzi, red carpet photographers, and women reporters exploited by the cultural dynamics of tabloid and mainstream news-making. This insightful book will be valuable to communication scholars, feminists, critical race scholars, media anthropologists, and general audiences interested in the representation and production of celebrity culture. Vanessa Díaz writes with a confident and a distinctive scholarly voice.” — John L. Jackson, Jr., Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Richard Perry University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania

“Vanessa Díaz pulls back the curtain on Hollywood and the people who photograph and write about the movie stars of today and tomorrow. Manufacturing Celebrity is a must-read for anyone desiring keenly observed insights into the struggles of immigrants and women trying to catch some of the stardust in Hollywood's dream factory. Their stories reveal a Hollywood undergoing change that is often resisted as it grapples with the contemporary demographic reality of the United States.” — Leo R. Chavez, author of The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation


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Price: $27.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Vanessa Díaz is Assistant Professor of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
List of Illustrations  ix
Acknowledgments  xiii
Introduction. The Precarious Work of Celebrity Media Production  1
I. Pappin' Ain't Easy
1. Shooteando: The Real Paparazzi of Los Angeles  33
2. Latinos Selling Celebrity: Economies and Ethics of Paparazzi Work  76
3. To Live and Die in L.A.: Life, Death, and Labor in the Hollywood-Industrial Complex  95
II. Reporting on the Stars
4. Red Carpet Rituals: Positionality and Power in a Serveilled Space  125
5. Where Reporting Happens: Precarious Spaces and the Exploitation of Women Reporters  150
III. Crafting the Media and the Sociocultural Consequences
6. Body Teams, Baby Bumps, Beauty Standards  181
7. "Brad and Angelina: And Now . . . Brangelina!": The Cultural Economy of (White) Heterosexual Love  218
Conclusion. Reconsidering News and Gossip in the Trump Era  242
Appendix: Interview Sources  251
Notes  255
Bibliography  271
Index  301
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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