These days, everyone and their grandmother has a celebrity gossip blog. Perez Hilton became a millionaire by outing Lance Bass and defacing paparazzi photos, while TMZ.com (named for the Thirty Mile Zone surrounding Hollywood) came out of nowhere in 2005 and almost instantaneously became the top site to see celebrities behaving badly.
Sassafraz may be the closest we have to The Ivy, yet it’s not stocked with a phalanx of paps, and celebrities can usually walk the streets of Toronto relatively unmolested. Despite the number of films shot here, we seem to be remarkably devoid of trashy, Hollywood-style gossip, even with the A-list access afforded to names like Zekas and Govani.
As it stands now, two major gossip blogs originate from Toronto: Faded Youth and OMG. The former is strictly US Weekly territory, favouring snaps of Britney’s shitty extensions, Brad and Angelina’s travels, and the occasional limo-exiting crotch shot. OMG is more eclectic and with a more gay bent, mixing offbeat miscellany with frequent celebrity nudity (and has even been cribbed from by Yahoo).
Now, a third Toronto blogger has entered the fray with Is This Happening?, which aims to talk smack with more of a local focus. Established by minor radio personality Zack Taylor (real name Zack Teperman), ITH features more trashy Canadian content than we’re used to. Taylor’s interests skew heavily toward Avril Lavigne with a hate-on for Feist, but he also features news on homegrown stars like Sandra Oh and photos of celebuspawn like René-Charles Angélil. Is This Happening? attracted attention last week by posting nude photos of Toronto Maple Leaf forward Jirí Tlustý (now removed), who responded to a girl’s naughty request on Facebook without considering the consequences as a public figure. Tsk, tsk—the internet is forever, folks!
Of course, all of this makes us feel slightly skeezy as the polite Canucks we are, but perhaps there actually is a lowbrow market outside of the mainstream for Margaret Atwood upskirts, William Shatner hairpiece accidents, and photos of a 12-year-old Rufus Wainwright. We’ll never admit to reading it, though.