“Celebrity gossip website TMZ has built a company based on gossip, and reaped the benefits of Black trauma, while blurring the lines between factual journalism and knee-jerk click bait,” the petition states. “These moments featured Black pain that drove millions to a TMZ website that has approximately 500 million advertising impressions per month, resulting in over 100 million dollars in company value as of 2010.”
Known for being one of the firsts to publish breaking news, in January, TMZ reported that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, passed away during a helicopter ride in California. The outlet was harshly criticized for reporting on the news of Bryant and his daughter passing without reaching out to his family or waiting on official confirmation from authorities.
“Vanessa Bryant didn’t deserve to find out her husband and child passed on TMZ. While the Bryant family waited for official confirmation of the worst news of their lives, TMZ was all too eager to capitalize on their loss. TMZ had the responsibility to report factual information with integrity and they failed to that,” the petition continues. “Sunday afternoon, in a rush to break the news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant, at the age of 41, died in a California helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, celebrity gossip website TMZ ran the story before his surviving family was notified by authorities.”