*Whoo Lawd! There’s some tasty tea going down over at TMZ. Well, it was, but it’s all over now and in the aftermath, Van Lathan is out.
According to reports, Lathan, a well-respected personality at the organization was shown the door after getting into a big beef with fellow personality/star, Michael Babcock.
Here’s what Page Six is reporting about the incident:
We’re told that the pair appeared on the site’s online show “TMZ Live” together about a week and a half ago and had some kind of disagreement. The on-air face-off has been edited out, we’re told, but sources say they were sparring over politics, which has increasingly come between them. Lathan famously went head-to-head with Kanye West last year over the rapper’s claims that slavery was “a choice.” Meanwhile, we’re told Babcock leans to the right.
Sources say that Lathan confronted Babcock in the newsroom after the segment and told him there would be trouble if he “ever embarrassed [Lathan] like that again.” Insiders say Lathan met with the site’s attorneys and he was suspended. He was dismissed a few days later, we’re told.
An insider defended Lathan — who also hosts the “Red Pill” podcast — saying that in the site’s high-pressure newsroom, staffers are often pitted against each other for the sake of making good TV.
“Van’s not mean-spirited. Anything that happened is a product of that environment,” said an insider.
Well, this is certainly a shocker. It’s all the more shocking when you consider that Lathan had been “a huge part” of the success of TMZ over the past few years and those in the know are stunned he was fired over the incident.
When reached for comment by Page Six, Lathan said he didn’t want to comment without speaking to an attorney. However, he did post a message on Instagram saying he was ON (see it below). Meanwhile, Babcock simply hung up on them, and TMZ hasn’t responded.