By Oli Coleman
October 21, 2019 | 8:34pmEnlarge Image
Van Lathan and Michael J. BabcockGetty Images ; Fox
If only TMZ had been there to film it!
Page Six is told that veteran TMZ personality Van Lathan has been fired after getting into a nasty confrontation with fellow star, Michael Babcock.
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. Lathan famously went head-to-head with Kanye West last year over the rapper’s claims that slavery was “a choice.” Meanwhile, we’re told Babcock leans to the right.
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.