Social media users are calling for a boycott against TMZ. The tabloid news website came under scrutiny for its disrespectful reporting of the death of star basketball player Kobe Bryant.
TMZ was the first to break the news about Bryant's death, publishing the article titled "Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gigi Die in Helicopter Crash ... Pics From Her Last Game." The piece was posted before the deaths were confirmed. This led many readers to boycott TMZ.
'TMZ' came under scrutiny for its unethical treatment of the horrid news.
"Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gigi Die in Helicopter Crash ... Pics From Her Last Game" was published on Sunday, Jan. 26, a few hours after the tragic helicopter crash that caused the death of nine people, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, had taken place.
The first news outlet to release coverage of the incident, TMZ broke the news before the Los Angeles County Sheriff made an announcement verifying the identity of the victims.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff held a press conference on Sunday, Jan. 26, featuring Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County Fire Chief, Daryl Osby, Elizabeth Espinoza, the Executive Director of Communications at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County Sheriff, as per MediaITE.
The conference began with a short assessment detailing the conduct of the Los Angeles County Department when it came to tackling the disastrous impact of the horrid accident. After, Alex Villanueva took to stage to provide new details about the victims, stating that the identity of the victims is still awaiting official confirmation.
"There is wide speculation of who the identities are. However, it would be entirely inappropriate right now to identify anyone by name until the coroner has made the identification through their very deliberative process and they’ve made notifications to the next of kin. And it would be extremely disrespectful to understand that your loved one has perished and that you learn about it from TMZ," the Los Angeles County Sheriff stated.
TMZ received widespread criticism for its sensationalist approach and insensitive treatment of the serious subject matter, with many objecting to its rapid-pace coverage of a topic that would have been deserving of in-depth research.
As many Twitter users vouch, the article detailing the circumstances of the tragic helicopter incident was disrespectful toward the grieving family.
"TMZ is a shameless excuse for a "news" organization - all they care about is being the FIRST to report the news and will happily pay sc––marazzis with cameras big bucks to get a shot of a celeb with their newborn baby at the airport," wrote an individual on Twitter.
"Disgusting," stated another.
"TMZ should be fined an infinite amount of money," claimed another person.
Kobe Bryant lost his life in a helicopter crash that took place on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Known for his dislike of the Los Angeles traffic, the star-status basketball player, movie producer, and venture capitalist has been traveling by helicopter for years. The "Mamba Chopper" flew into a mountain near Calabasas, Calif. at around 10 a.m. on Sunday. The accident is thought to have been caused by the critical weather conditions, reports ABC.
The basketball player and his daughter Gianna Bryant were en route to a basketball game held at the Mamba Sports Academy. They were accompanied by basketball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, alongside Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan, notes CBS Sports.