Perez Hilton, who runs and writes the celebrity gossip blog PerezHilton.com, announced today during his first appearance on Ellen DeGeneres's talk show a major change to his website: it will no longer be mean.
Hilton spoke about the reason for this shift while taking with DeGeneres about his work to bring awareness about teen suicide and cyber bullying. "In doing so, a lot of people have called me a hypocrite and a bully myself, and a big one," Hilton said. "That's not how I want to be perceived and that's not what I want to put out there into the world."
The suicide last month of gay teen Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after an incident of cyber bullying at Rutgers University, rallied numerous celebrities to speak out against the dangers of such bullying—Hilton himself being one of them. In an interview with MTV shortly after the suicide, Hilton said "I'm just beyond sad—I'm crushed. And also compelled to act (after seeing) gay bullying and (kids) being harassed in school because people might think that they're gay."
Hilton's blog, however, built a reputation on its mean-spiritedness, coining unflattering nicknames for the celebrities it covers and taking a certain unbridled glee in their misfortunes and scandals. In several high profile cases, Hilton—who is openly gay—outed celebrities by constantly posting about their sexuality, essentially forcing them to come out of the closet.