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TMZ is a celebrity gossip and news site known for breaking celebrity scandals and releasing videos of celebrities behaving badly. Its ethics, both for what they chose to post and how they get their information, has been questioned.
TMZ was launched in November of 2005 by AOL with Harvey Levin acting as the managing editor. One of the site’s first big stories was Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic remarks made to a police officer, which they broke on July 28th, 2006. On September 10th, 2007, TMZ TV, a half hour celebrity gossip news program hosted by Levin premiered. As of July 2014, the show has aired five seasons.
Christian Bale Rant
Christian Bale Rant refers to an audio segment released by TMZ, featuring the voice of American actor Christian Bale angrily yelling at Shane Hurlbut, the director of photography for the 2009 film Terminator Salvation. On February 2nd, 2009, TMZ released an unedited audio segment from the set of Terminator Salvation, which features Bale very angrily yelling at Hulbut.
Justin Bieber’s Arrest
On January 23rd, 2014, celebrity TMZ broke the news that Justin Bieber was arrested and taken into custody by the Miami Beach Police Department on charges of driving under the influence, driving with an expired license, drag-racing and resisting arrest.
According to the arrest report first obtained by TMZ, Bieber was pulled over in his yellow Lamborghini by Officer Steve Cosner at 4:13 a.m. in the morning after his entourage reportedly blockaded an intersection for a drag racing strip in downtown Miami Beach. After failing his field sobriety test, Bieber reportedly lashed back at the officer with expletives and admitted to having THC and prescription drugs in his system.
The Donald Sterling Racism Controversy
The Donald Sterling Racism Controversy refers to an ongoing controversy surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling after a tape was leaked in which he makes racists remarks against African American athletes in the National Basketball Association. On April 26th, 2014, TMZ published a post titled, “L.A. Clippers Owner to GF: Don’t Bring Black People to My Games …Including Magic Johnson,” which featured an audio clip featuring Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks to his girlfriend V. Stiviano.
Jay-Z and Solange Knowles Elevator Fight
Jay-Z and Solange Knowles Elevator Fight was a physical altercation that took place between the celebrity rapper and his sister-in-law in an elevator after attending a Met Gala after-party at the Standard Hotel in New York City in May 2014. The scuffle was recorded on a surveillance camera in the elevator and subsequently released via TMZ, leading to much speculation about the state of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s marriage, as well as the state of their relationship with Solange. On May 12th, 2014, TMZ released an elevator surveillance video clip from the Standard Hotel which apparently shows Solange Knowles, an American singer-songwriter and the younger sister of Beyonce, slapping and punching a man identified as celebrity rapper and her brother-in-law Jay-Z, coming from a 2014 Met Gala after-party in New York City on May 5th, 2014.
TMZ’s website is broken up into five sections:
- Celebs, which features celebrity gossip.
- Videos, which features compromising or shocking videos of celebrities.
- Photos, which features paparazzi shots of celebrities.
- TMZ Sports, which features gossip about high profile athletes.
- TMZ TV, which features episodes from TMZ’s television show.
In July 2014, TMZ received over 20 million unique views. Their audience is almost split 50/50 between men and women, but they have a higher percentage of African American readers than any other racial group. Over 70% of its readership comes from America, with just over 5% coming from Canada and a little over 1% each from the UK, China and the Netherlands. As of July 2014, the site ranks as the 99th most popular in the United States.
Social Media Presence
As of July 2014, TMZ’s official Twitter account has gained over 2.7 million followers and its Facebook page has gained over 4.3 million likes. Its Instagram account has gained over 140,000 followers.