TMZ Reporter Van Lathan Fired After Fight With Michael Babcock — All The Deets

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Who Is Van Lathan? New Details On TMZ Reporter Fired After Fight With Michael Babcock

TMZ staff member Van Lathan has been fired from the company after a "nasty confrontation" with his colleague Michael Babcock. According to Page Six, Lathan and Babcock got into a confrontation on the live show about a week ago and allegedly put his hands around Babcock's throat. Sources claim their argument started over a disagreement in politics and that both men lean on opposite ends of the political spectrum, with Babcock leaning moderate/right. 

According to BET, Van is the creator and host of The Red Pill podcast, where he discusses everything from politics to sports to pop culture to hip hop. The title of the show refers to the red pill in the movie The Matrix, whose effect is to awaken harsh reality.

Lathan was one of a few black TMZ staffers and his colleagues said he was a huge part of the site's success over the past few years. Many were surprised to hear of his firing and they were stunned to learn of his firing over the incident, according to Page Six. Who is Van Lathan? Read on for all the details. 

1. Lathan allegedly threatened Babcock

According to BET, after a heated discussion, Lathan confronted Babcock after the show and basically threatened him if he "ever embarrassed [Lathan] like that again." Lathan reportedly met with TMZ's attorneys after the confrontation and was suspended. He was allegedly dismissed days later.

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2. Lathan saw his firing coming

The day before Lathan’s firing, he shared a cryptic tweet that read: “It’s looking like tomorrow is going to suck. We good up there God? Okay, cool Just checking.” It seems like Lathan had a feeling something was going to happen to his employment status.

3. He gained recognition after calling Kanye West out for saying ‘slavery was a choice’

In one of Kanye’s infamous segments, he claimed that for 400 years, slavery was a choice. This upset Van Lathan and he responded directly to West, saying: “I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought.” Lathan continued, saying, “While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice.” West later apologized to Lathan.

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4. He started out as a TMZ bus tour guide

According to The Affair Post, Lathan has been apart of TMZ for a long time. He started his career as a Hollywood tour guide for a TMZ bus, where he gave passengers the latest scoop on celebrities in Los Angeles.

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5. He uses his social media platforms to discuss serious issues

Amid the Kanye West confrontation, Lathan has become an advocate for serious causes relating to politics, defending African-American rights, and awareness in domestic violence among athletes. With over 300,000 followers on Instagram and 100,000 on Twitter, he uses his platform to bring light to real issues, according to The Affair Post.

6. He’s in the process of writing his own book

According to IMDB, Lathan is in the process of writing a book that documents his weight loss journey and offers practical advice on how to get yourself in shape. He lost over 100 lbs and wants to help others get healthier with the methods he developed during his weight loss journey.

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Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. She covers news, entertainment, relationships and everything in between.