It’s time for Perez Hilton to STFU

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has always been a polarizing figure. People love him or hate him, but no matter what your opinion of him, you can’t argue that he has been wildly successful.

While I may not be a huge fan of his style, I’ve always respected the guy for what he’s done with his site. Perezhilton.com does more traffic on a good day than the combined total of tech blogs TechCrunch and Mashable do in a month, and in that regard it’s phenomenal. But that respect can only go so far, and the current carry on over the Will.i.am “assault” is enough to make me consider ritual suicide.

It’s time for Perez Hilton to STFU.

I get that his thing revolves around him not being shy in being opinionated, but if you physically scream at someone in person that they’re a faggot, you’re asking for a beating. I’m not justifying that Perez should have been hit, because as Perez himself whines, violence is never acceptable. But likewise, was the outcome really that surprising? If anything, Perez is lucky he didn’t have the shit beaten out of him.

The context aside though, it’s what Perez has done after the event that has really turned this story around. The melodramatic video where Perez plays the oh-so-wronged victim is so gratuitously over the top I felt sick after watching it after 30 seconds, and I couldn’t get past the 2 minute mark without turning it off. Instead of gracefully playing the victim and allowing others to sympathize with him, his stupid attempt to manipulate the situation actually makes people wish he’d been hit harder.

Of course the drama here could all be part of a carefully orchestrated stunt to gain more attention and pageviews (fake fights are part and parcel of the tech blogosphere for example), and in that regard maybe it will work our for Perez. But at this stage I’d bet the short term spike in traffic may come at the cost of a dramatic loss of goodwill, and that will eventually come back to bite him.