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Everything you need to know about TMZ reporter Van Lathan

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Van Lathan is a podcast host of “Van Lathan’s The Red Pill,” and a former TMZ senior producer whose ticket to fame was his much-discussed disagreement with Kanye West’s “Slavery Was a Choice” commentary, broadcast live on national TV.

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Early life and family

Van Lathan is of African American ethnicity and was born on April 16, 1980 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, to his parents Terry and Christal Ellis; he has a younger sister, Ebony Rage Lathan. Even as a young child, he was known for being outspoken and confident in expressing his views. In one of his TV interviews, he said that it was his mother who made him feel it was okay to be who he wants to be, and his father who demanded that he become a “someone.”

TMZ fires Van Lathan after heated discussion about politics

Posted by Baller Warning On Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Educational background

No specific details are available about his school results, other than that he graduated from college in 2003 majoring in Political Science and Creative Writing.


First steps

After college, Lathan began his career as a tour guide for the popular TMZ Celebrity Tour, taking tourists around key iconic Hollywood sites while riding a custom-built TMZ bus. He was part of the team that developed the concept of the tour, which covers a 30-mile area around Beverly Hills and Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

further success

In 2011, TMZ founder and host Harvey Robert Levin was impressed with Lathan’s work and decided to include him in the television show. He started at the bottom doing field camera jobs, delved into sports journalism and then worked his way up to become a senior producer.

Confrontation with Kanye West

Van Lathan became an overnight sensation in 2018 when American rapper, record producer and entrepreneur Kanye West asked the staff of TMZ TV if he thought and felt free when he read the infamous “400 years of slavery was a choice” comment. live on national TV.

Lathan got up and continued: express his disappointment on Kanye’s statement, saying, “While you’re making music and being an artist and living the life you earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society are dealing with these threats to our lives.” He said the African American community had no choice. He was clearly incredibly upset and discouraged that Kanye was “turning into something that isn’t real.” Lathan received much love and support by speaking passionately and eloquently about his views. The live TV showdown with Kanye opened more doors for Lathan, with numerous guest appearances on TV and radio.

The Red Pill Podcast

Overloaded with ideas and opinions, Van Lathan decided to produce his own weekly podcast alongside the TMZ show he did. The business of television limits the topics that can be discussed, which is why the podcast is the perfect place for Lathan to get his point across with more diversity. The “Van Lathan’s The Red Pill” is aptly named, as it is inspired by the concept of the red pill in Keanu Reeves’ blockbuster movie, “The Matrix”, which refers to being awakened by the cruel realities of the world that we all live in.

TMZ Dismissal

In October 2019, Van Lathan was fired from TMZ after a heated political debate with colleague Michael Bobcock; the argument in the newsroom has been removed from the TMZ Live show.

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TMZ fires Van Lathan after heated discussion about political feud with his colleague #MichaelBabcock. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Page Six reports that the verbal altercation happened about a week and a half ago when the two appeared on “TMZ Live” together and had some sort of altercation over politics. The images of the two arguing were not published, but sources say the subject has become an issue between them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sources say Lathan confronted Babcock in the newsroom after the segment ended and allegedly told him problems would arise if he were “ever embarrassed are being brought [Lathan] like that again.” People close to the incident say Lathan met with TMZ’s legal team, and he was suspended, and released a few days later, Page Six reports. An insider explained that the heads of TMZ often use the site’s high-pressure environment to incite and pit employees against each other to get high ratings. “Van isn’t mean. Everything that has happened is a product of that environment,” said an insider. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sources went on to defend Lathan, saying he’s been a big part of TMZ’s success over the years, and they were shocked to see that he was fired over the incident. Neither Lathan, Babcock, nor TMZ have responded. But Lathan tweeted in response to the news that made headlines, saying, “I’m fine. Promise you. Seriously,” Lathan wrote of the argument.

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Apparently Lathan confronted Bobcock and told him not to embarrass him anymore. There had been a lot of speculation as to why he was immediately fired – one theory was that Lathan held Bobcock in a stranglehold during the altercation. Another was that Harvey Robert Levin was a Trump supporter and that Lathan was highly critical of the president. No official statement has been released by TMZ. Lathan has just assured his supporters through his social media accounts that he is well.

Currently, people can watch him through his weekly podcast, “Van Lathan’s The Red Pill.” He recently joined Bill Simmons’ media company called The Ringer, developing new shows with them.

Private life

Van Lathan may be candid and generous in sharing his views, but when it comes to his personal life, he is very private. Little is known about whether he is single, married or just in a complicated relationship. Occasionally he mentioned his father and mother in his interviews, but with few details. His stubbornness often did not go down well with his father, and there was a time when he was not on good terms with him. His mother, on the other hand, is very supportive not only with his life choices but also with his chosen career.

Interesting facts

Lathan is very active on social media and regularly uses Twitter and Instagram to spread awareness about social issues and communicate with his followers, but he rarely mentions his family.

From Lathan

He has about 130,000 followers on Twitter and about 430,000 on Instagram.

He likes to watch Mafia movies and television series. He likes Al Pacino’s “Scarface”, but likes “The Godfather” better quality. He also prefers “The Wire” to “Breaking Bad”, but he’s no doubt thinking “Sopranos” is much better then the two.

Appearance and Weight Loss

Van Lathan has black hair and black eyes. He went through a weight loss journey that still inspires many people. He had an epiphany when he felt his heart rate skyrocket just because he was struggling to get out of his car.

He weighed himself at a Walmart store with a 300-pound scale to see it make a 180-degree turn and stop at 50 pounds. Unconvinced of the scale’s efficiency, he went to a GNC store to reweigh himself. It appeared that he weighs about 365 pounds (165 kg) and with a length of 1.9 m he was too heavy. He decided to do something about it, and now that he has adopted a healthy lifestyle, he weighs about 83 kg.

Wealth and salary

Having been in the entertainment world for quite some time, he has accumulated quite a fortune in early 2020 estimated at over $2 million. Some sources speculate that his annual income is at least $80,000, especially now that he produces and monetizes his own podcast.


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