Cuban Gossip Blogger Perez Hilton Says He ‘Regrets’ the Cruel Way He Used to Write About Britney Spears
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Recently, there has been quite the reckoning over how the media and society treated Britney Spears in the early 2000s. A scandalous New York Times documentary premiered earlier this month that gave a new perspective on the media’s treatment of Britney Spears.
The documentary, entitled “Framing Britney Spears”, chronicles the media’s inhumane and unethical coverage of the fragile popstar in her darkest moments.
And one media figure in particular is catching a lot of heat for his past behavior: Cuban-American gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
At one point in the documentary, viewers see a 2005 clip of Perez Hilton (born Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr.) seemingly taking delight in Britney’s pain. “Thank you, Britney Spears,” he says while appearing on a talk show. “Being bad is good for my business.”
The clip seemed to spark the public’s collective memory of Perez’s excessive cruelty towards Spears in the glory days of his blog.
Many recognized Perez as the symbol of the 2000s culture of cruelty that drove Britney Spears towards her breaking point.
At the peak of his popularity, Perez would publish blog posts accusing Britney of being an “unfit mother”. Right after Heath Ledger died he sold t-shirts that read: “Why couldn’t have it been Britney?” He would criticize her body, her looks, her mental health, her music, and her parenting skills ad nauseum.
As Wesley Morris, a culture critic from the New York Times and someone who was interviewed in the documentary, put it: “There was too much money to be made off of her suffering.”
Both viewers of the documentary and Britney fans alike took to Twitter to denounce Perez and demand he apologize.
Perez appeared on “Good Morning Britain” on Monday to express his “regret” for his actions, while also seeming to defend his past behavior.
Having the audacity to wear a Britney Spears t-shirt, Perez said: “I regret a lot or most of what I said about Britney as I’m sure Piers [Morgan] would if he were here, the things he’s said in the past. Thankfully, hopefully, many of us get older, we get wiser.”
Perez then went on to compare his experience to that of Diane Sawyer’s–someone who also caught flack for her disrespectful interview tactics with a young Spears. “You know, somebody that was talked about in this documentary briefly, Diane Sawyer–respected journalist, a good woman–but many people were painting her out to be a villain,” he said.
“I think a lot of fans and folks just want to blame this person and that person and…it’s not as simple as that. There are real mental health issues at play with Britney Spears.”
Possibly. But it’s also possible that her mental health issues might not have spiraled so out of control if vicious bloggers like Perez Hilton would’ve just left her alone.
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