Recently, there has been quite the reckoning over how the media and society treat celebrities and influencers. Perez Hilton was one of the leading influencers when it came to haunting young famous women and LA ‘It Girls’ thanks to his up-to-the-minute celebrity gossip blog.
Whether he was detailing their very public spirals out of control or drawing cartoon penises on their photos, Perez Hilton was there to capitalize on everyone else’s drama. Now the father of three says that he’s sorry for his past cruelty and is working to remake the world of celebrity gossip.
Hilton has apologized for his years of cruelty but does he deserve forgiveness?
For several years in the mid-aughts, Perez Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira Jr., was the most talked-about celebrity blogger in the world. And although his readership has taken a severe dive, his posts frequently pop up and remind the public that he was once the Queen of Mean.
“I’ve apologized countless times,” Hilton, who lives in Los Angeles with his mother and three children, told Buzzfeed News. “A lot of what I did during that time was reprehensible and toxic. But that wasn’t everything. I wasn’t just nasty and mean and cruel and hurtful. I was also positive and supportive.”
But Hilton admits that he knew even at the time that what he was writing and what he was putting out into the universe was wrong. “Attention was my drug. A drug addict, in the moment, knows what they’re doing is wrong. Most of them wish they weren’t using, but they’re doing it anyway,” he tells Buzzfeed News.
Through all the writing and posts, Hilton has a lot to be sorry for.
One of his actions that gets him the most criticism is his obsession with outing famous men, including Lance Bass, Neil Patrick Harris, and Dustin Lance Black. “Two years before I came out, I was really bullied on the internet by bloggers, that’s when Perez Hilton just started and was just really malicious against me,” Bass said in 2007.
Thanks to these cruel posts, Hilton would often face criticism from The Advocate and AfterEllen.com.
Despite his efforts, his cruel reputation continues to follow him.
Regardless of his mea culpas and attempts to reform both himself and the content on his site, his mean-spirited reputation has always followed him. That was made all the more clearer following the release of Framing Britney Spears.
The film really focused on her relationship with the press and paparazzi which was always waiting for her to slip up and get it on camera. Although Hilton wasn’t mentioned in the film, his old posts about Spears began resurfacing on Twitter. One, titled “Britney’s Breakdown,” ends with, “Take her children away!!!!!!” repeated five times in bold.
Thanks to the explosion of social media apps and everyone having a camera at their fingertips thanks to smartphones, the celebrity gossip industry has changed a lot. Now, it’s impossible for a gossip blogger’s work to go unchecked. And now, most people even consume their by-the-minute celebrity updates on Instagram accounts like deuxmoi and The Shade Room.
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