Van Lathan FIRED By TMZ After On-Air Dispute with Michael Babcock Over Politics
Veteran TMZ personality Van Lathan has been fired after getting into dispute with co-worker, Michael Babcock.
TMZ: We’re told that the pair appeared on the site’s online show “TMZ Live” together about a week and a half ago and had some kind of disagreement. The on-air face-off has been edited out, we’re told, but sources say they were sparring over politics, which has increasingly come between them.
Sources say that Lathan confronted Babcock in the newsroom after the segment and told him there would be trouble if he “ever embarrassed [Lathan] like that again.” Insiders say Lathan met with the site’s attorneys and he was suspended. He was dismissed a few days later, we’re told.
An insider defended Lathan — who also hosts the “Red Pill” podcast — saying that in the site’s high-pressure newsroom, staffers are often pitted against each other for the sake of making good TV. “Van’s not mean-spirited. Anything that happened is a product of that environment,” said an insider.
Sources also said that Lathan had been “a huge part” of the success of TMZ over the past few years and they were stunned he had been fired over the incident. When reached for comment, Lathan declined to comment without speaking to an attorney, Babcock hung up on us, and TMZ didn’t get back to us.
Van did take to social media to comment, saying he’s “okay.”