Van Lathan, of TMZ, was fired after getting into an argument with producer Michael Babcock, Page Six is reporting. The site later reported that Van Lathan allegedly “put his hand around the throat of co-host Michael Babcock.”
According to Page Six, the disagreement, which wasn’t specified, occurred about a week and a half ago when Lathan and Babcock appeared online together on “TMZ Live.” Although the moment was “edited out,” Page Six claims the two were arguing about politics, with Babcock leaning more “to the right.” Lathan had confronted Babcock after the segment and told him not to embarrass him that way again, Page Six claims, adding that the segment was a discussion of the pictures of George W. Bush sitting with Ellen DeGeneres at a football game.
Page Six reported that some of the frames were published on this Twitter feed:
Page Six also said this is video of the confrontation:
Some people on social media have accused TMZ of having a racial double standard; Van Lathan has responded to the tweets of well-wishers since the article broke at 8:34 p.m. on October 21, 2019.
When Page Six contacted Lathan, he “declined to comment without speaking to an attorney.” Babcock hung up and TMZ didn’t respond, the site claims.
Lathan was in the news previously when he called out Kanye West for his “slavery is a choice” remarks. According to CNN, Lathan told West in 2018: “And while you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Van Lathan Wrote on Instagram & Twitter That He Was OK
Shortly after the Page Six story broke, Van Lathan took to Instagram and Twitter, writing, “I’m okay. Promise you guys. Seriously.” A couple hours before that he wrote, “It’s looking like tomorrow is going to suck. ????. We good up there God? Okay, cool Just checking.”
He also responded to a Twitter user who wrote, “Van had nothing to say when Harvey boldly talked about Marion Berry (sic) like a dog after his death. He knew what he was dealing with then. TMZ has always been racist, I have no clue why black people support it!” Van responded, “You’re out of your f*cking mind. I addressed it live on the show to everyone’s face. RIP Mayor Barry.”
He also retweeted journalist John Martin who wrote, “@VanLathan Setting your time on the free agent market at 10.5 seconds. You’re the best bro!! Stay up!!”
Lathan retweeted Zach Harper, who wrote, “Man, you’re great and you’ll continue being great wherever the next destination is. Keep being you.” Lathan responded, “THANK YOU G.”
Babcock, a TMZ producer, has been silent on social media. His Instagram page is private. On Twitter, he hadn’t tweeted since October 20, when he wrote about football.
Here’s Van Lathan’s clip with Kanye in case you haven’t seen it yet.
Van Lathan also hosts a podcast.
Fans Wished Van Lathan Well But Some Claimed TMZ Has a Racial Double Standard
Fans filled up Van Lathan’s social media accounts with well wishes. “!!! This was the BEST thing that could’ve happened to you! Going into the new Decade With NEW BEGINNINGS! You about to really take off! ?,” wrote one fan. “You can carry your own show! ❤???,” another wrote.
“You were one of the main reasons I watched that show! Not all that interested in watching it anymore. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors!” a fan wrote.
“I’m never on Twitter young man. I’m just hearing of this mess. I’m here to tell you it will all work out. You’re really the only reason I watched. #Godspeed,” wrote another.
Some people saw a racial disparity in Van Lathan’s treatment.
“@VanLathan one question fam…how is it two people argue…one is gone and one stays…will you make a statement on what happened and what was said…or you just moving on..Bless UP…” wrote another man.
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