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Van Lathan has been fired from TMZ‘s TV show and almost immediately there were reports that the 39-year-old was violent toward co-worker Michael Babcock. Reportedly, they were having a political debate over Ellen Degeneres and former President George W. Bush sitting together at a football game earlier this month. Now, the video has leaked.

SEE ALSO: Van Lathan Breaks His Silence After TMZ Fires Him For Argument With Conservative Staffer

See the alleged “violence” below:

People in the comments were giving the “choking” the side-eye. One user wrote, “Are you serious…I’ve seen massages use more pressure.” Another added, “They fired Van for touching his neck? WTF?”

According Page Six, during a segment that didn’t air, Lathan said something to the effect of, “I’m going to speak now.” Babcock reportedly replied with something like, “You’re not telling me when I can talk and when I can’t.”

Again, this conflict was reportedly over Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush.

An insider reportedly defended Lathan on Tuesday by saying “in the site’s high-pressure newsroom, staffers are often pitted against each other for the sake of making good TV.” The insider added, “Van’s not mean-spirited. Anything that happened is a product of that environment.” Sources were reportedly “stunned” that he was fired.

Page Six reported that they reached out to Lathan for comment and he did not respond. The site reported that Michael Babcock hung up on when called.

Lathan wrote on Twitter earlier this week, “I’m okay. Promise you guys. Seriously.”

There were initial reports that Babcock was a conservative, which wouldn’t be a shocker.

The creator of TMZ, Harvey Levin, has long been accused of being a Trump supporter. Back in July, The Daily Beast reported the two are close friends, “More than a dozen former and current TMZ employees described the site’s pro-Trump transformation during the election under Levin, which they say destroyed newsroom morale and led to the departure of several key staffers.”

One staffer allegedly said about Levin, “He was excited at the prospect of Trump becoming president. He wanted Trump to win because he wanted to know someone in the White House.”


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