Rumors, insight and breaking stories (including death) – TMZ is an all-access look into celebrity’s lives. The company is most often credited to exposing the shocking stories about celebs that go viral. They release photos, videos and articles that can be detrimental to careers and have been known to destroy a few celebrity empires.
TMZ revolutionized the way stars live their lives. Instead of being able to do whatever they want, TMZ has held them accountable in a way because if a star makes any sort of mistake, you can be sure TMZ is letting the world know. TMZ and companies like it, have brought the public into the depths of celebrity’s inner-circles; the public now seems to know as much as, or even more than a star’s best friend.
While TMZ has become a hugely successful business from reporting on celebrity lives, it has its questionable moments. TMZ is known not only for reporting on celebrity news, but also for spreading false rumors and is one of the biggest tabloid sites out there. Not everything they print is true; most of it is just for shock value. TMZ has also been questioned for posting stories that are just too personal. People are now wondering if they can be too close to a celebrity, maybe there should be some boundaries on what news sites can’t post and on where paparazzi can’t go. While others argue that these sites function as a way to keep celebrities accountable. Check out the times TMZ went too far on the list below and comment your thoughts!
10. The Solange/Jay-Z Fight
Beyonce seems to always be in the spotlight for positive reasons, so of course when something goes awry in her life it gets a lot of attention. Remember about a year ago when that video of Solange flipping out and attacking Jay-Z in an elevator made its way around the Internet? It seemed like everyone had heard about it and began speculating at the problem.
We have TMZ to thank for that infringement of privacy. Queen Bey has always kept her private life private and when she married Jay-Z things were no different. She’s rarely in the tabloids for anything crazy so when this came out, it was a big shock to everyone. Rumors swirled that Solange was mad because Jay-Z cheated on her sister, or was flirting with other women, or even that he had hit her and Solange was there to back her up. TMZ had no regard for the privacy of a family and didn’t at all mind that what they released would stir up crazy rumors. Thankfully things blew over pretty quickly and the couple was able to maintain their relationship, no thanks to the tabloids.
9. Publicizing Jonah Hill’s Gay Slur
Jonah Hill has done a lot of positive work supporting the gay community, but that isn’t what you’re going to remember him for, thanks to TMZ. A year ago, while Hill was out in LA, a paparazzi photographer harassed him about his outfit to which he offered a pissed off gay slur in response. Someone happened to get the incident on tape and sold it to TMZ who turned it into a big deal.
Everyone is guilty of lashing out when they’re angry, but usually it’s not a big deal and people get over it…except that isn’t really possible when it’s on the Internet. TMZ took rash words and plastered them up as someone’s belief when their actions speak differently. Angry or not, Hill shouldn’t have responded the way he did so some people believe that celeb sites like TMZ help hold people accountable for their actions. We’d all be pretty mad if strangers followed us around all day, every day, and heckled our every movement.
8. Blackmailing Justin Bieber Over Videos Of Him Using The N-Word
Not only did they release this video of the Biebs, they turned around and blacked mailed him. Justin Bieber has repeatedly been caught on video saying n*****; once in a parody of his song “One Less Lonely Girl” and once when making a joke at a club. Both incidents occurred when he was younger and both he and his agent had a copy.
He has been blackmailed multiple times by various companies saying that unless he pays them money or does appearances, they’ll leak the video. It’s been reported that TMZ blackmailed him as well, but when they released the video, they included a comment that he was ready for the video to be released so he could own up to what he had done. Maybe he was over being in their debt.
7. Mel Gibson’s Anti-Semitic Rant
This pretty much ended his illustrious career. Way back in 2006, Mel Gibson was arrested for drunk driving. As the evening progressed and the officers tried to get him to the station, he became belligerent and went on a tirade saying that Jewish people were to blame for all the wars in the world, along with other anti-semitic comments. Arrest reports were written about the incident – one that contained his comments and one that didn’t, and most of his rant was caught on film.
TMZ somehow obtained a copy of the report that contained the incendiary remarks and shared it with the public. An arrest report, especially one this explosive, isn’t something that should be shared with the world. On the other hand, people were glad to see the kind of person Gibson apparently is and to see that he essentially was blacklisted from his profession.
6. Sharing 911 Calls – Daniel Von Bargen And Donda West
They didn’t just do it once, they did it twice. 911 calls are obviously made in a time of panic and represent a fearful time in anyone’s life; and that isn’t something to be shared with the world in order to generate gossip. They took an opportunity to capitalize on someone else’s fear and pain and turned it into a spectacle.
Daniel Von Bargen is known for his appearances on Seinfeld and attempted to commit suicide in 2012. The celebrity shot himself in the temple, but when he wasn’t killed, he made a desperate call to 911 in order to be rushed to the emergency room. TMZ got hold of the call, in which he goes into graphic detail, and released it to the world shortly after.
They posted a 911 call in 2007 in which Donda West dies. The caller repeatedly says she’s trying to perform CPR on West who isn’t breathing after she had a heart attack. The call features a woman in the background begging for West to “please wake up”. This call violates all privacy because it exposes the panicked moments of a dying family that no stranger should ever be privy to.
5. Exposing Alec Baldwin’s Abusive Voicemail To His Daughter
In 2007, Baldwin’s voicemail to his daughter, Ireland (11), went viral. He and his wife were going through an intense custody battle over the child and he said that he faced parental alienation; all of that finally resulted in his explosive message. Baldwin resides in New York, while his daughter and ex-wife live on the other side of the country in LA. Baldwin called his daughter every week and when she didn’t pick up the phone he left a message where he called her “a thoughtless pig”.
The message was leaked, presumably by his ex-wife, and the media had a field day. TMZ, along with plenty of other news sites, reported on the abusive call, which resulted in him being court-ordered to not see his daughter. While he shouldn’t have yelled at his daughter like that, the media shouldn’t have put private familial matters into the open.
4. Posting A Near Fatal Car Accident
They’ve pulled this stunt twice. In 2014, Tracy Morgan, a well-known comedian, was in an accident when a semi-truck drove into his limo and caused it to roll several times down the highway. Morgan was rushed to the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries, but made it out alright. A few moments after the crash, the video was sent to TMZ and leaked all over the Internet for people to view. Watching a man nearly die isn’t something the media should use as entertainment.
A couple months ago, before Bruce Jenner was Caitlyn, he was the cause of a pretty bad accident. Jenner rear-ended a car and sent it out into an intersection where it was nailed by a Hummer. He walked away fine, but the driver of the car he hit was killed upon impact. Even this death wasn’t private enough to escape TMZ’s clutches since a few hours later they plastered it all over the Internet.
3. Showing Domestic Violence Videos
Domestic violence has been all over the media the past couple years, especially in regards to professional athletes. Two of the major cases, Ray Rice and Chris Brown, were made particularly public. Not only did TMZ publish stories that spelled out the acts, but they also published photos that show Rihanna right after Brown hit her. These photos definitely aren’t something that anyone needs to see.
If you thought privacy couldn’t get any more invaded, it does. In the reports on Ray Rice’s violence, TMZ leaked a video where YOU SEE HIM PUNCH HIS FIANCEE. It’s disgusting that people watch this and that sites like this are able to post it on the Internet. In a way, it seems as though they’re condoning the behavior.
2. Posting Photos Of Dead Celebrities
This really takes it too far. A person’s death should be mourned, not made a spectacle of. No matter how high profile the person is, no one should be defiled by having their dead body put on the Internet to get views. In both cases of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, TMZ exposed photos of their corpses (and the scene where Houston died) as soon as they got a hold of them.
The release of these photos caused a lot of uproar among the fans who believed this disrespected the deceased, but it doesn’t seem to have resonated much with the tabloid site and we wouldn’t be surprised if they did it again.
1. Posting Footage Of Ashley Greene’s Apartment Building And Her Crying Over The Body Of Her Dead Dog
In 2013, the Twilight star suffered through the tragic accident of losing her home and dog to a fire. She, her boyfriend and brother were all asleep when a candle’s flame caught onto a curtain and spread quickly throughout her unit. The three of them were able to escape, but one of her dogs wasn’t and was killed in the accident.
TMZ released a video of the fire as well as Greene crying over her dog’s body in addition to photos of the inside of her apartment. Rumors circulated that the only remnant from the fire was a crack pipe and that they were all under the influence at the time. People focused on this aspect of the tragedy instead of the actual loss because the media spun it into a circus.