ABC has pulled its ads from gossip blogger Perez Hilton's Web site, PerezHilton.com, after he caught legal flack for posting upskirt photos of 17-year-old Disney star Miley Cyrus. However, several big-name companies still have ads running on the snarky blogger's site.
Amid speculation that Hilton may be slapped with kiddie-porn charges over the lurid photos, ABC has removed its ads for "The View" from the popular gossip site. But other advertisers appear to be sticking by Hilton. TV Land still had a full-page background promotion and two smaller ads on PerezHilton.com, and Apple iTunes and Microsoft's search engine Bing still had advertisements up as of Wednesday afternoon.
The drama started Monday, when Hilton posted a link to a photo of Cyrus getting out of a car in a tight white dress - and apparently, no underwear. Outrage erupted over the photo, with some calling the image "child pornography" since Cyrus is legally a minor. Hilton quickly removed the picture, but has brushed off the incident as a "fake" controversy.
It's odd that Microsoft, which owns Bing, would opt to keep advertising. It has recently been touting its own crusade against kiddie-porn.
"These photos live on the Internet forever and every time they are shared or viewed, the children in them are re-victimized. It's not enough to stop the perpetrators. The real point is getting these images off the Internet," said Microsoft senior vice president Brad Smith at the company's summit in late May.
In 2009, Microsoft also donated a new technology to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that finds hidden photos of child sexual exploitation on the internet. Microsoft uses the technology in its own search engine, Bing. In addition, Microsoft promotes its "fight against child pornography" on its website.
Apple, which owns iTunes, has been ensnared in child porn scandals in the past. Last summer, the tech giant was forced to pull an iPhone application from its iTunes store after customers were using it to upload explicit images of minors.
Hilton, who has used his gossip blog to become somewhat of a celebrity himself, is no stranger to controversy. The self-proclaimed "Queen of the media" was embroiled in scandal in 2009 when he served as a judge for the Miss U.S.A. pageant and asked finalist Carrie Prejean whether she supported same-sex marriage laws. Prejean said she believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, and Hilton slammed the beauty queen as prejudiced. The blogger later flamed the controversy on, calling Prejean a "dumb bitch" and saying her "awful, awful" answer "alienated so many people."
In June of 2009, Hilton posted a video blog in which he tearfully claimed to have been assaulted by Black Eyed Peas' operation manager Polo Molina after the MuchMusic Video Awards. At the time of the alleged scuffle, Hilton called Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am a "faggot," and he later told The Advocate that he had wanted to call the musician, who is black, the N-word instead.
Last year, CMI reported on the cold reception Hilton received on ABC's The View, after the show's hosts criticized the blogger for posting provocative photos of Demi Moore's 15-year-old daughter Rumer Willis.