Louis CK and Judd Apatow are asking TMZ (via Twitter) to remove bystander video footage of the aftermath of the Tracy Morgan bus crash that took place last weekend. The request comes after the daughter of one of the injured comedians, Ardie Fuqua, posted a note on Instagram stating, “They don’t know how hurtful it is to see my father dragged out of the wreckage.” Krizya Fuqua also talks about all of the false information that’s being spread about her father’s condition.
After reading the plea, Louis CK, who recently kicked up some dust over the CommonCore educational process on Twitter, took to the social networking site to speak directly to TMZ. The tabloid site has yet to respond, according to the most recent story we could find. That’s probably because this is a bit of a sticky situation for the site.
Let’s start by saying this is all-around awful. While we respect the media’s right to report the news freely, this falls into a separate human category that has to be considered as well.
TMZ has a reputation for being pretty no-holds-barred about its celebrity coverage. They post on the good, the bad, and everything otherwise. The site doesn’t want to appear to be too soft with one celebrity for fear it could open the door for others to ask that certain stories or details be scrubbed from the website’s coverage.
On the other hand, this is a sensitive topic. You have a family member who’s not a celebrity, making a heart-wrenching request on behalf of her father who was nearly killed in an accident. TMZ’s readers might register this sort of video coverage as a step too far.
The request from Louis CK and Apatow has gotten a fair amount of media attention, so you could deduce that TMZ’s reluctance to respond is a way for them to stall. They could wait until people log off for the weekend to quietly remove the video and deal with the situation behind the scenes. Or they could be waiting (and hoping) that by Monday, all focus on this video will dissipate and they can keep collecting clicks from interested viewers.
My money would be on the first simply because there’s still a court case and the recovery process for the victims that TMZ will want to cover. If they don’t address this somehow, it will come back and rear its head. If the site quietly deletes the video now, then, if asked later to account for why it’s no longer on the site, they can release a quick statement saying they heard Krizya Fuqua loud and clear and wanted to be respectful during a tough time.
If anyone knows how to handle a tangled bit of celebrity news, it’s TMZ and Harvey Levin. We’ll be curious to see if this video is still up next week.