Ellen Pompeo Calls Out TMZ Harvey Levin’s ‘White Male Privilege’ Regarding Kobe Bryant’s Leaked Coverage

As if the news of Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s death wasn’t heartbreaking enough, TMZ leaked the story before the families knew about their loved ones’ death.

Now there is a petition at change.org for Fox to cancel TMZ. Ellen Pompeo vocalized her outrage at the founder of TMZ, Harvey Levin, on Twitter, and fans went wild—with both positive and negative comments. 

Harvey Levin
Harvey Levin, Founder of TMZ | Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Pompeo signed the petition with over 455,000 others for Fox to cancel the tabloid, TMZ

As of Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, the petition was updated to report that Levin was in communication with Bryant’s representatives before he went live with the story. However, he admits that the families of the other victims might have found out from TMZ that their loved ones died. 

“All families deserve the respect of being notified by the police, not tabloid news,” reads the petition.

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TMZ is a website that reports on celebrities and influencer news. The petition also states that the publication has a “history of harassing celebrities and crossing so many lines.”

Pompeo read and signed the petition. Then she called “times up” on Levin’s behavior with several tweets.

“Exploiting women who have been abused,” Pompeo tweeted. “Exploiting the brutal sudden death of people’s loved ones is certainly emotional abuse… I call times up on his behavior.”

Pompeo calls out Harvey Levin as having ‘white male privilege’

The Grey’s Anatomy star did not stop at saying that Levin exploits people. She praised the first responders on the scene but suggested that the person who leaked the information to TMZ is getting paid by someone.

“Steady streams of info come from steady streams of cash, maybe?” Pompeo questioned on Twitter

One Twitter user defended Levin by saying that a friend in Law Enforcement informed him of the tragedy. However, Pompeo continued to ask the vital questions. 

“And that is what you call …wait for it…white male privilege!” Pompeo responds. “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— you’re defending him. WTF would law enforcement tell him anything?” 

Pompeo gets the discussion going on Twitter, and people do not hesitate to comment. Many users agree with her viewpoint that Levin paid off at least one first responder. A few others defend Levin and TMZ. Pompeo fired back against anyone who commented negatively.

Law Enforcement officials criticized the tabloid website during a press conference

At least Pompeo was not the only one to call out the disrespectful leak of news coverage.

“It would be extremely disrespectful to understand that your loved one perished, and you learn about it from TMZ,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during a press conference on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020.

Villanueva calls out TMZ specifically and remarks on how inappropriate the leak was. Later, on Twitter, another member of the same department commented.

“I am saddened that I was gathering facts as a media outlet reported that Kobe had passed,” Los Angeles County Undersheriff Tim Murakami tweeted. “I understand getting the scoop, but please allow us time to make personal notifications to their loved ones.”

It is not evident if anything will come of the petition. At the very least, more people are made aware of the situation and what happened.