A coterie of Hollywood celebrities have created a website whose sole purpose is to ambush Hollywood gossip website TMZ's founder and editor Harvey Levin at every available opportunity 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
HLZ.com - due to go live in the coming days - has begun filming for its stories and is said to already have two reporters outside Mr. Levin's Beverly Hills mansion around the clock, one reporter covering TMZ's studio in West Hollywood, and one roving reporter able to travel at a moment's notice to any place in the world Levin may be.
Successful actors, musicians, directors, models, and other creative types have long complained about the disruption the paparazzi press have caused in their personal lives. In 2008 celebrities unsuccessfully pushed for a L.A. city ordinance to limit pararazzi activites within city limits, but the measure failed when deemed unenforcable by the city's police. TMZ in particular is a source for consternation because of its frequent use of ambush video interviews in public places.
Unable to find protection from the legal authorities, creative people living in L.A. who don't think their success should disqualify them from the right to lead a tranquil life unmolested by losers who hold cameras for a living outside nightclubs because they couldn't cut it as greeters at Wal-Mart have banded together to fight fire with fire. A small group of A-list celebrities - thought to include frequent TMZ target Sean Penn - are bankrolling the start of the new site, which will thereafter rely on donations from lesser names.
The editor of HLZ explains that every detail of Levin's life will be scrutinized and published in real-time. "Every restaurant he visits, every person he dates or has an intimate relationship with, every interaction with one of his employees - if it happens on a public street or sidewalk, the world will know about it."
The Daily Currant was provided an advance copy of a video set to be posted on HLZ's website soon. In the video - which takes place on day 4 of HLZ's operations - Levin is seen cursing out the cameramen and threatening to physically assault HLZ's reporter. He then breaks down crying and screams at the top of his lungs something about privacy and human decency.