TMZ gave Marion Barry its classic tabloid treatment in a brief article this morning announcing his death, and the mayor-for-life’s ardent supporters aren’t happy about it.
The celebrity news website published an article this morning under the headline “MARION BARRY CRACK MAYOR DEAD AT 78.” A few hours later, Barry fan Ashlea Johnson created a petition on Change.org calling on the site to remove and apologize for the “distasteful” headline.
“We want his legacy to be honored the right way. Show respect to his family friends and supporters,” the petition reads.
As of 2:50 p.m., the petition had 7,740 signatures.
The headline has not yet changed, and TMZ did not immediately respond to a request to see if they were considering removing it.
TMZ’s short article focuses on Barry’s arrest after “an epic cocaine bust that did not derail his career.”
“Barry — who was a folk hero in D.C. — became the butt of jokes and almost a staple on shows like “SNL,”” the article continues.
Screenshot via TMZ