Mr. Balazs insists on privacy, discouraging cellphone pictures by guests. Employees surrender their phones during working hours and submit to “the most draconian sort of confidentiality agreements,” he said.
A recent breach at Mr. Balazs’s Standard, High Line in New York—the leak of a video of Jay Z and Solange Knowles fighting in an elevator—heightened the need for such measures. Mr. Balazs said that the employee who leaked the video was fired within 24 hours, and that he and Jay Z are considering legal action.
In this age of (slightly) renewed concern for labor issues, one wonders if TMZ's compensation for video footage now takes [...]
Celebrity gossip-monger TMZ deserves a lot of credit for things like straight-up owning the Heather Locklear story (such as it is: it's a wee bit ginned up, the old "actress won't go to rehab, says 'family'" tabloid line). But sometimes they fall down on the job. Take this morning's… news: "Muscle god Chris Hemsworth celebrated the news that his gorgeous wife Elsa Pataky is pregnant with their first child just like anybody else would … by diving down an inflatable slide off a helicopter-carrying luxury yacht with Matt Damon in St. Barts on Wednesday." Well, there's near identical coverage: Popsugar, Just Jared, The Mirror, [...]
The Internet's desire to kill any celebrity was at its peak last summer [Ed. note: "The Summer of Death"], in the wake of Michael Jackson's passing; in recent months, Twitter-borne rumors of dead celebrities had mostly gone dormant, perhaps waiting for the days to get longer and peoples' internal BS detectors to grow more sun-addled. The fake-death spectre did, however, rear its head last night, when some joker at the multiheaded gossip hydra Oh No They Didn't decided to mock up a TMZ screenshot claiming that Betty White had gone to the Miami retirement complex in the sky.
Not only will we not be able to see Sasha Baron Cohen's "interview" with Latoya Jackson in Bruno, and not only will we never find out what "stage move" he was feverishly creating "to succeed his famous 'moonwalk,'" (crueler Awl staffers than I suggest "the Demerol flop"), there are other, sadder concerns. Like, when will America learn to respect TMZ?