Longtime TMZ staffer Van Lathan has been fired from the media company after a "nasty confrontation" with his longtime colleague Michael Babcock.
According to Page Six, Lathan and Babcock both appeared on the site's online show TMZ Live about a week ago where they had "some kind of disagreement." While their war of words was reportedly edited out, sources claim they were arguing over politics, which has been a hot topic between them for some time. The site reports that both men lean on opposite ends of the political spectrum, with Babcock leaning far right.
Following his firing, Lathan took to his social media accounts to reassure his fans that he is just fine.
"I'm okay," he tweeted. "Promise you guys. Seriously."
Take a look, below:
The site added that, per their sources, Lathan confronted Babcock after the segment and told him there would be trouble between them 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.
Sources further defended Lathan following his firing, stressing that it is nothing special when staffers are pitted against one another "for the sake of making good TV."
"Van's not mean-spirited," an insider said. "Anything that happened is a product of that environment."
Insiders also added that Lathan, who is one of a few Black TMZ staffers, was "a huge part" of the site's success of the past few years and they were "stunned" to learn of his firing over this incident.
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