Ellen Pompeo Says ‘Time’s Up’ On TMZ’s Harvey Levin After Kobe Bryant Death Story

Ellen Pompeo attends Save The Children's "Centennial Celebration: Once In A Lifetime" at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 02, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo says “time’s up” on TMZ founder Harvey Levin after what she felt was exploitative coverage of the death of NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others who were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26.

The Los Angeles Times reported on the actress’s frustration and anger at the news outlet, which regularly breaks big celebrity news stories.

Pompeo took to Twitter to relay her displeasure at Levin, the news outlet, and what she believes is the cooperation of outside sources that allow the site and its television show of the same name to be the first to report on scandalous stories. Many of these, Pompeo claimed, are damaging towards women and others.

The actress posted a series of emotional statements and a link to a petition asking Fox Television to cancel the outlet’s corresponding television show.

Pompeo also accused tabloid media outlets of exploiting women.

As part of a Tweet, she claimed that “we are their biggest audience.”

The actress was frustrated with the outlet’s reporting on the death of Kobe Bryant in a sensational manner. Fans appeared to agree with the statements of the Grey’s Anatomy star, adding their own comments to her series of tweets.


“My heart breaks for all family and friends of the ones who lost their lives. TMZ should feel ashamed for doing what they [have] done. The most hurtful thing is finding out the death of a loved one over social media before being notified. Prayers and hugs to everyone who lost a loved one” one user posted on the actress’ Twitter feed.

“But what about the families of all the other passengers who died, who would have known their loved ones were on the same helicopter with Kobe….did they make sure all their next of kins knew too or did they find out via the media that there were no survivors,” questioned a second Twitter user regarding the situation.

The Grey’s Anatomy star was not the only person who appeared frustrated with TMZ‘s coverage of the tragedy.

Los Angeles County Undersheriff Tim Murakami spoke out against a media outlet, without directly naming TMZ, in a tweet regarding the death of the basketball star on January 26.

Murakami noted that it was “disrespectful” to report on the deaths of those involved before the families could be properly notified.

In a rebuttal, Levin said in a radio interview with KNX In-Depth that he was assured Bryant’s wife Vanessa was aware of the tragedy before he published the news to his site.

Levin stated that he and his team “dealt” with Bryant’s people for “an hour” before the story was officially released.