Why Ellen Pompeo Is Criticizing Coverage of the Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

Ellen Pompeo is criticizing coverage over the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter, and seven others on Sunday morning.

By Alyssa Morin Jan 29, 2020 12:52 AMTags

Ellen Pompeo is doing what she does best: using her celebrity platform for good.

The Grey's Anatomy star is known for standing up for what's right and calling people out on their bulls--t. And that's exactly what she did on Tuesday afternoon.

Ellen took to Twitter to criticize how Kobe Bryant's death was reported over the weekend.

As some might recall, on Jan. 26, TMZ first broke the news about the NBA icon passing away in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Moments later, the publication also announced that Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, was also a victim in the crash.

Nine people were on board the aircraft, including John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and Ara Zobayan. Officials confirmed there were no survivors.

Sadly, most of the families had to learn about their loved ones' death through social media and the news.

All Nine Victims' Remains Recovered From Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Site

In light of the crash and how things have been handled, it appeared it didn't sit right with Ellen—because she called out TMZ and its founder, Harvey Levin, for its journalistic practices and its alleged abuse of women.

"I wonder why police departments give @HarveyLevinTMZ all this sensitive info," the actress wrote on Twitter, in her first set of tweets on the topic. "I wonder why @HarveyLevinTMZ puts out photos of women who have been attacked or assaulted.... Who were victims ? Exploiting women who have been abused... why is this guy still in business at all?"

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for VIOLET GREY

"So many questions I have," she continued. "If we are not tolerating abuse anymore... shouldn't we be calling this out? Exploiting women who have been abused... exploiting the brutal sudden death of peoples [sic] loved ones is certainly emotional abuse... I call times up [sic] on his behavior."

"We should be furious about the history of this media outlet regarding women... it's not news, it's exploitation," Ellen added. "So many peoples [sic] lives will never be the same after this tragedy... but you got your scoop. Hope you sleep well at night @HarveyLevinTMZ I'm sure you do..."

At one point, a Twitter user posed a question to the Grey's Anatomy star, by writing, "TMZ is definitely partially to be blamed for breaking the news of the helicopter crash. It sucks that the families had to find out through social media! However, whoever leaked the information like the first responders, EMT workers, whom ever responded to that crash should be..."

The actress responded, "I think the first responders were a little busy... we don't go after first responders, we celebrate them... they are real heros and I work with so many of them and they are discreet and amazing. Steady streams of info come from steady streams of cash maybe? Just a question?"

She also alleged that some airline employees are paid to have paparazzi around.

"The airline employees get paid, because let me tell you, there are very specific airlines who always have paps and very specific ones that don't," Ellen claimed. Adding, "How did [TMZ] report it before law enforcement got to the families? It's not really that hard to figure out."

"What I'm saying is that there is a history with this outlet specific [sic] specifically having pictures and having stories that only the police have," she alleged.

All in all, it appears the actress hopes her thread will help to "provoke thought" about how publications cover tragedies, underrepresented communities and other topics.

At this time, the helicopter crash is under investigation.

Our thoughts go out to the families affected by this heartbreaking tragedy.

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