What Ellen Pompeo’s Epic TMZ Slam Gets Wrong About the Kobe Bryant Crash

Posted in: EntertainmentOp-ed
January 29, 2020 3:29 PM UTC

Ellen Pompeo rightly torched TMZ for its Kobe Bryant crash coverage. But she shouldn't ask tough questions if she doesn't like the answers.

  • “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo torched TMZ over their reporting of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash.
  • Her criticism is entirely justified.
  • But she shouldn’t ask tough questions if she won’t accept the tough answers.

Ellen Pompeo has never been afraid to speak up to correct an injustice. The “Grey’s Anatomy” star has called out the major players in the entertainment business several times, including after the firing of Gabrielle Union from “America’s Got Talent.”

This week, she set her crosshairs on TMZ, the “entertainment” site that has built a reputation on being among the sleaziest, nastiest sites on the internet.

Grey’s Anatomy Star Torches TMZ for Kobe Bryant Crash Reporting

TMZ’s Kobe Bryant crash scoop left victims’ families devastated. | Source: AFP/David Mcnew

For all its sleaze, TMZ has a stellar track record of breaking entertainment stories, particularly if there’s a celebrity involved. This time, it was the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

No sooner had the horrific accident happened in Calabasas, California, than TMZ was all over it. The problem is, TMZ published its story before the victims’ immediate families had even been informed. There were nine people on that helicopter – not just Kobe Bryant – and it’s appalling that most of their families learned about their deaths on social media.

Ellen Pompeo thinks so too.

Source: Twitter

Pompeo slammed TMZ for their part in this sad situation – and rightly so – but it would be naive to think that Harvey Levin and his news outlet should shoulder the blame on their own.

Ellen Pompeo Doesn’t Want to Go Down the TMZ Rabbit Hole

One of Pompeo’s Twitter followers replied to her tweet and asked if she thought someone on-site was responsible for providing TMZ with information that Kobe Bryant was involved in the crash.

Her response to this inquiry was much less courageous:

Source: Twitter

It’s easy to slam TMZ and Harvey Levin. They’re convenient targets, and any celebrity tweet that calls out tabloid trash like TMZ  for their exploitation of women is always going to win plaudits and respect.

As it should!

Source: Twitter

But Ellen Pompeo’s dubious response to a legitimate question about TMZ’s source was not a good look. Nor was it intellectually honest.

First responders are heroes. That doesn’t mean every single one is above scrutiny.

Don’t Ask Tough Questions If You Won’t Accept Uncomfortable Answers

The fact is that somebody leaked that information, and the source likely received a handsome sum.

Maybe it wasn’t a first responder, as Pompeo claims. But maybe it was.

The “Grey’s Anatomy” star didn’t want to go there, so she shied away from the tougher questions, choosing instead to play it safe. She stuck to her script of safe topics, resulting in a flood of love and agreement from her mostly female audience.

Ellen Pompeo had every reason to blast TMZ for exploiting the tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant. But asking the tough questions is only half the battle. Dealing with the tough – and unpopular answers – is just as important.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Aubrey Hansen @Words_By_Aubrey

Entertainment & culture contributor at CCN, graduated from Aarhus University in Denmark with a Bachelors in Communications and Media Studies, former research intern at the Danish National Research Foundation. Reach me at aubreyhansenwriting@gmail.com

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