TMZ has removed graphic content from video of the brutal murder of 19-year-old Andre Lowe from its site.
The move comes after more than 200,000 people joined a popular campaign started by the victim’s family on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change.
The petition was started last week by Andre’s uncle, Jason Andrews. The original video included graphic footage of Andre being shot and killed outside of the Los Angeles nightclub where the murder occurred. The edited footage focuses on the fight that preceded the murder and on identifying the suspect in the case, who is now in police custody.
As the campaign took off, advertisements from 25 brands including Chase, Toyota, and H&R Block were removed from the video page after petition signers took to Twitter over the weekend, asking dozens of brands to drop their support for TMZ. As of today, no ads remain on the video page.
“TMZ’s sensationalistic coverage of a regular teenager’s tragic murder added salt to the wound for our family,” said Andrews. “At the same time, we appreciate the support that has poured in from people across the country. While we’re disappointed that TMZ ever made the decision to post this video and we still believe TMZ owes our family an apology for the pain they caused us, we’re glad to see that the video has been edited due to the pressure from our petition on Change.org.”
Lowe was reportedly shot and killed early in the morning on Sunday, January 13, 2013, after a fight that began inside a nightclub in Los Angeles and spilled into the streets outside. Lowe’s family says that TMZ posted video of Andre being shot and lying on the pavement even before they received word from the hospital about whether Andre would survive his injuries.