TMZ Slammed For Reporting Britney Spears Had “Manic” Meltdown at Restuarant
Many believe the outlet’s choice to quickly paint Spears as unwell is reminiscent of the harassment and toxic media narratives she endured in the aughts.
Britney’s Restaurant Outing
TMZ is facing backlash for a recent report and video it shared claiming singer Britney Spears had a “manic” episode at a restaurant in Woodland Hils, Ca.
On Saturday, the outlet reported that Spears and her husband, Sam Asghari, were out to dinner Friday night when other patrons began to take photos and videos of the pop star. According to TMZ, witnesses told the outlet that Britney became “manic” and was “talking gibberish.”
TMZ also reported that Asghari ended up storming out of the restaurant and that Spears left not long after that.
The tabloid’s report included a 33-second video it obtained from someone at the restaurant. TMZ said the video showed Spears “sitting alone at the table and speaking incoherently,” but many have been quick to refute this description.
The music in the restaurant is so loud that it is difficult to hear what Spears is saying. Her words are inaudible, though it appears she is talking to a waiter or other staffer. At one point in the clip, she lifted a menu to block her face from the camera recording her.
Many have been quick to condemn TMZ for spinning the video as a “manic” episode given the suffering Spears has endured at the hands of the paparazzi, who have repeatedly harassed her and eagerly labeled her as “crazy.”
TMZ Faces Backlash
“Someone filmed Britney without permission in a restaurant and sold the footage to TMZ,” one person wrote. “Have we learned nothing from what this woman went through in 2007/2008? She’s not just here for your fucking amusement. She’s deserves to be able to go out without people gawking and filming.”
“TMZ, who largely profited from exploiting Britney during the worst periods of her life and was a catalyst in engineering her abusive conservatorship, is continuing to smear her by positioning her as ‘manic’ all because she didn’t want to be filmed in a restaurant. Go to hell,” another person added.
Many argued that the video revealed nothing about Spears’ mental state as the audio was not clear enough. Some accused TMZ of twisting it to malign the singer “for fun, for money, for more clicks, [and] for attention.”
Initial Report Refuted
In response to the frenzy about her restaurant outing, Spears posted an Instagram video of herself dancing and flipping the camera off. She later made another post where she slammed the press for following her “every move” and explained she was “a little drunk” at the restaurant.
“I’m so flattered they talk about me like a maniac THEN have the balls to talk about all the negative things that happened in my past,” she wrote.
“I know y’all are rooting for me and all and make sure you check out the shocking Shrek picture of me,” Spears later added, likely referencing an unflattering photo someone captured of her.
Asghari also said that reports did not accurately reflect what happened that night. On Monday, he told TMZ that Spears was frustrated by the people taking photos of her.
“When you sit down to have a meal, people get their cameras out and start filming you and stuff. It’s disrespectful,” he said, noting that he knows such attention comes with fame.
He also said he did not storm out of the restaurant, but that he rather left to get the car so he and Spears could leave.
An employee at the restaurant backed this up in a Monday Page Six report. That employee added that Spears was just “understandably upset” by all the cameras, but maintained that the singer caused no problems.
“The disruptor wasn’t Britney — it was the diner who taunted her by taking a video without consent,” the employee said.
As these sources began refuting TMZ’s initial report, more backlash began pouring in against the outlet.
“How odd, some random person at a restaurant wasn’t able to accurately diagnose Britney Spears simply by eavesdropping on her dinner from afar. It’s *almost* like you had ulterior motives in sharing this completely unsupported and false information,” one person said. “DO BETTER OR GO AWAY.”
See what others are saying: (Page Six) (Complex) (Cosmopolitan)
Max to Agrees to “Properly” Credit Writers and Directors After Facing Backlash For Lumping Them in As “Creators”
The company said the credits were laid out incorrectly due to “an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max.”
After film and television writers slammed Max for crediting all writers, producers, and directors as general “creators” on its platform, the company said it will be adjusting its credits display.
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streaming service said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Max — the new rebrand of HBO Max that incorporates Discovery content — launched on Tuesday to much criticism. Amid glitches and app-switching confusion, the biggest backlash it faced was over the choice to lump creative roles into one credit section called “creators.” As one viral tweet noted, if a user were to select the film “Raging Bull,” the service’s display would not specifically credit Martin Scorsese as the director, rather, his name would be included at random with half a dozen other people, including writers and producers.
The decision was condemned by many in the industry who argued it minimizes writers and directors by not properly giving them credit where it is due. Especially amid the ongoing writers’ strike, and with directors and actors starting negotiations with studios, some took it as a slap in the face.
“The studios don’t want anyone to know our names,” writer Christina Strain tweeted. “It’s easier to pay us nothing if we’re faceless.”
“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople. Miss me wit this nonsense,” Jorge Rivera, the Vice-Chair of the Writers Guild’s Latinx Writers Committee, added.
In a statement, Directors Guild President Lesli Linka Glatter said that Warner Bros. Discovery’s choice to “collapse” these roles into one credit “while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”
“The DGA will not stand for it,” Glatter continued.
WGA West President Meredith Stiehm claimed the move was “a credits violation,” as well as an insult “to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions.”
On Wednesday, Max said it would rework its crediting.
“We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake,” the platform said.
See what others are saying: (Gizmodo) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)
A Quarter of Young British Men Support Andrew Tate’s Thoughts on Women
U.K. residents at large, however, do not view him favorably.
Even under house arrest in Romania, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate still holds substantial sway over young men.
According to data from YouGov that was obtained by The Independent, 26% of U.K. men between 18 and 29 years old who know of Tate agree with his views on women. That figure was largely the same for men between 30 and 39, as 28% agreed with Tate’s opinions on the subject.
Men in their 30s were slightly more likely to agree with Tate on his thoughts about masculinity. Three out of ten supported those views, compared to just a quarter of men 18 to 29.
Those statistics only include the thoughts of men who have heard of Tate, but per YouGov, most have. In the 18 to 29 group, 93% were familiar with him, and 86% of men in their 30s knew of him.
The U.K. at large was less aware of Tate, with just 63% of British adults having heard of him. Of that group, only 6% held a positive view of him.
Tate has faced substantial backlash for his sexist rhetoric over the years. In the past, he said that men should have “authority” over their wives or girlfriends, and that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He was previously banned from Twitter over his extremist views on women but has since been allowed back on the platform.
He is currently being investigated in Romania for organized crime and human trafficking. He was arrested and held in custody in December but was released to house arrest earlier this year. No formal charges have been filed against him yet and he has maintained his innocence.
Tate currently boasts a Twitter following of 6.7 million. It has grown significantly since he was enveloped in legal controversy, and many of his supporters have demanded his release.
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Glamour U.K.)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in “Near Catastrophic” Paparazzi Chase
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a spokesperson for the couple said.
“Aggressive” Paparazzi Chase Couple in New York
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” paparazzi car chase Tuesday night in New York City, according to a spokesperson for the couple.
In a statement, the spokesperson described the photographers as “highly aggressive.”
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the statement added.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” it continued.
Details of the incident are still emerging, but BBC News reported that there are claims the chase involved roughly six cars driving recklessly by running red lights, driving on the sidewalk, carrying out blocking moves, going backward on a one-way road, and taking pictures while driving.
The chase happened after Harry and Meghan were leaving the Women of Vision Awards with Meghan’s mother, Doria. They did not want photographers to learn where they were staying and attempted to avoid them in what turned into a 75-minute chase on a main road in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They eventually ducked into a New York Police Department Precinct to hide out before getting into a different vehicle.
The NYPD released a statement confirming that they assisted in protecting the couple as “numerous photographers” hindered their transport. Officials said they made it to their destination and there were no collisions, injuries, or arrests.
The couple’s spokesperson is asking the public to not share or post footage of the incident.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” the spokesperson said.
Memories of Princess Diana
The chase evokes the brutal press hounding Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was subjected to throughout her life. The paparazzi’s obsession with her ultimately resulted in her death in 1997, when she was killed in a car crash after being chased by photographers in Paris.
Since marrying Meghan and later bowing out of the Royal Family, Harry has made it explicitly clear that he fears those events could happen again. Meghan has been the subject of endless tabloid scrutiny, enduring racism and harassment from the press. Part of the reason they left the Royal Family was to keep their family protected from such attacks.
Mayor Eric Adams brought up Diana’s tragic passing while speaking about Tuesday night’s chase.
“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died,” Adams said while speaking to reporters. “And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well…I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”
Adams also questioned whether or not he believes a chase could go on for two hours in a city as congested as New York, but noted that even a 10-minute chase would be dangerous. He said he will be briefed on the exact timeline and details later.