Ellen Pompeo Blasts TMZ for Kobe Bryant Coverage, Cites “White Male Privilege” of Report

Ellen Pompeo has a unique perspective on the coverage of Kobe Bryant’s shocking death.

And also a very negative one.

The Grey’s Anatomy actress made her opinion well known via Twitter yesterday, honing in on the first outlet that told the world Kobe had passed away in a helicopter crash.

She called out TMZ founder Harvey Levin while doing so, too.

“I wonder why police departments give @HarveyLevinTMZ all this sensitive info,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter, in her first set of scathing messages on the topic.

“I wonder why @HarveyLevinTMZ puts out photos of women who have been attacked or assaulted…. Who were victims ? Exploiting women who have been abused… why is this guy still in business at all?”

On January 26, this celebrity gossip site broke the awfil news about the NBA icon passing away in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California.

Moments later, the publication also announced that Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, was also a victim in the crash.

In total, nine people were on board the aircraft, including John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan.

There were no survivors.

As others have since noted, the TMZ article went live before family members of these victims were notified, which is Pompeo’s main complaint here.

But she takes it a lot further and tries to figure out why Levin was provided with this information before anyone else in the media.

“So many questions I have,” she continued.

“If we are not tolerating abuse anymore… shouldn’t we be calling this out? Exploiting women who have been abused… exploiting the brutal sudden death of peoples [sic] loved ones is certainly emotional abuse… I call times up [sic] on his behavior.”

It’s hard to remember a celebrity death hitting as many people in as painful and as personal a manner as the death of Kobe Bryant has done this week.

Pompeo, while of course sending her prayers to the families of the victims, took a broader view of the tragedy in her Tweet storm.

“We should be furious about the history of this media outlet regarding women… it’s not news, it’s exploitation,” she added.

“So many peoples [sic] lives will never be the same after this tragedy… but you got your scoop. Hope you sleep well at night @HarveyLevinTMZ I’m sure you do…”

pompeo goes off

Pompeo then defended first first responders — after a user wondered if one of them passed along intel to Levin — and alleged that some airline employees are paid to have paparazzi around.

“The airline employees get paid, because let me tell you, there are very specific airlines who always have paps and very specific ones that don’t,” Ellen claimed, wondering:

“How did [TMZ] report it before law enforcement got to the families? It’s not really that hard to figure out.”

Pompeo had an admirable history of speaking her mind any time she sees injustice in the entertainment world.

Remember when she tore apart NBC for firing Gabrielle Union?

In this case, as you can see a little further above, Pompeo responded to many comments in response to her stance.

In one instance, she made it clear why she thinks so many informants for TMZ are out there:

that is what you call …wait for it…white male privilege! He simply says a “friend” in law enforcement told him 1st &somehow because he is a white man saying it it makes it okay w you youre defending him.

WTF would law enforcement tell him anything?

The actress continued to go after Levin as follows:

He has built an Empire on making a lot of the lapd and sheriffs his friends…. that’s why he gets all the info.  Get it? He gets every story first why do you think that is?

You know what I want to know? How come Harvey Levin doesn’t know who killed Tupac or Biggie?

In the end, the star said she hopes her thread will help to “provoke thought” about how publications cover tragedies, underrepresented communities and other topics.

Safe to say she’s accomplished this goal, don’t you think?


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