Gossip blogger Perez Hilton is, once again, drawing fire for his shenanigans. This time around, however, the complaints are a bit more serious than mere bad taste:
Perez Hilton, aka Mario Lavandeira, might not yet be facing legal action after tweeting a provocative picture of teen star Miley Cyrus, but he is facing repercussions from advertisers. A rep for ABC Daytime confirms that a rotating banner ad promoting "The View" was pulled from the celebrity blogger's website, PerezHilton.com.
"It's not a matter of whether you like (Lavandeira) or not, it has to do with the morality of the issue. Miley is a minor, period. There are ethics involved in running an ad on a site that potentially violated the rights of a minor, and that is what the conversation is about at the network level," said the source.
The picture in question is an "upskirt" shot of Cyrus exiting a vehicle while apparently sans underwear. And when the network that brought you Bachelor Pad, America's Funniest Home Videos, and the American version of Wipeout thinks you've gone too far, well...I guess you can take a certain amount of pride in that.
Let me say first and foremost that Tweeting pictures -- real or not -- depicting a 17-year old flashing her genitalia is symptomatic of something darker than using MS Paint to draw jizz on Kate Hudson's face (obviously I could have chosen any of a hundred celebrities, Hudson's pic just came up first). Hilton isn't just an attention whore of the first water, he's an expert in self-loathing (part of his shtick is attempting to out closeted celebrities) and deleting posts to cover his ass, such as when his "scoops" (false reports of Fidel Castro's death, true reports of Michael Jackson's) fail to materialize. The guy's reputation was made solely through the genius act of drawing penises on everyone from Amy Winehouse to Rumer Willis. He's a hypocrite, and an (alleged) thief, and has obviously shown no compunction about displaying celebrity crotch shots before.
And now the righteous indignation battalions are forming up because Cyrus is a minor. Yet nobody batted an eye the umpteen times Hilton drew the word "slutty" or "tart" over her picture, or called her a whore. Naturally, the offending entries have been deleted from PerezHilton.com, and everything he's written about her in the last week has been an effusive and clumsy effort to cover his own ass.
By comparison, hardly anybody cared when Hilton called will.i.am a "faggot." Nobody has confronted the guy for the countless times he's called women "hos" or "bitches." And now we're suddenly shocked, shocked that he posted (alleged) naked crotch shots of an underage starlet? Excuse me while I collect my winnings.
I'll cop to occasionally checking Hilton's site. Hey, I write a bi-weekly pop culture blog, it's an occupational hazard. And while I wish I could open up my laptop and douse the modem in Purel after every visit, I know I'm not the only one doing so. Hell, his Alexa ratings alone are the stuff gossip blog dreams are made of. So my question is this: who out there is surprised that this happened? Which of us who helped put this horrible excuse for a human being in the top 200 American web sites was really shocked that Hilton would not only post the pics, but then try to weasel his way out of it?
As for the man itself, I'm just happy he's finally able to answer this burning question:
"I don't think I've ever gone too far," Hilton said with a laugh. "So, I don't know, I guess I'll have to wait until I go too far. So how would I know if I've gone too far?"
Apparently the Rubicon of gossip blogging is "posting child pornography." A bit anticlimactic, but there it is.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.