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The 'Shawn Johnson'

Haterade

8/21/2008 7:28 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

After getting hundreds of hate emails, phone calls, and rage-filled comments over the last 24 hours, we at TMZ finally took the hint -- not everybody found the Shawn Johnson/Topo Gigio comparison hilarious. Sure, we'll eat the crow you shoved down our throats -- but you gotta check out some of the messages we got in our "contact us" mailbox. We even got a letter from an official Team USA Gymnastics rep!

Launch emails
Yes, we got the message loud and clear, but make sure to click through to the final email -- the one that started this whole mess in the first place.

494 COMMENTS

No Avatar
76.

Dawn Weatherington    

Guys, come on! You're really going to pick on a young American Olympic medal-winning athlete? What the heck? You've got enough celebrities in celeb-land who deserve to be scorned, humiliated, embarassed and called out by you or any other media...shucks, most of them ask for it even. But Shawn Johnson represented herself, her team and her country with pride, honor, dignity and respect and she deserves no less than the same. I actually enjoyed watching TMZ on TV, but I'm thinking I'll be re-thinking that one now. Back off and think next time before you pick on someone so undeserving of your mean-spirited comments. SHAME ON YOU TMZ!!! SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.

2152 days ago
77.

jcdinpa    

I cannot believe all you people who defend TMZ and still thought it was ok to do. The bottom line is that Shawn Johnson is a kid, adults who have to get thier kicks off at the expense of kids are pathetic , should have your heads examined and take a long look in the mirror and see how you would have liked this done to you or your own kids. The problem was TMZ said "Shawn Johnson You Little Rat." not Shawn Johnson Your Cute Little Mouse or even Shawn Johnson You Cute Little Rat. They just called her a rat and that is why people are upset. Some may not think that what she has done is important, but she is an example not only to kids, but adults as well that hard work and dedication can let you achieve whatever you want ,which is the American dream. She will achieve more than any of your morons who thought this was funny will ever do. Just because she is a public figure does not make it ok to make fun of her because as I said she is still a child and I thought children were to be protected not exploited for your sick amusement. TMZ you may have removed the piece, but the piece you put in it's place is no apology and just as bad because you still posted the protest e-mails to let this continue on. You should have just removed it and let it alone, but no you had to post what you did so that you can still draw attention to it. In esence, it's no different than if you left the original up.

2152 days ago
78.

Sara Andazola    

TMZ-
I really like your site, and I love the show and I respect the fact that you took down the jab at Shawn Johnson. It does however upset me that it had to come to people leaving your site for good for you to take it down. I feel that it is disrespectful to talk about an athlete of her caliber, and also of a girl her age. I know that young girls have enough issues without people pointing out things on their appearance. This is why so many girls are insecure and anorexic. Please start thinking before you attack children as well as National treasures.Do the right thing and send the girl an apology.

Sara Andazola

2152 days ago
79.

Rubes    

I don't see what is wrong with this. Nothing bad was said about the girl. If Ali Lohan was compared to a rat or some other cartoon or muppet character, would all of you be so pissed off? Probably not. Everyone knows before they go to TMZ.com that it is a trashy and offensive website (which is why I love) so you should not be surprised. I don't understand why everyone has to get their panties in such a wad! Get over it and grow up!

2152 days ago
80.

jcdinpa    

I cannot believe all you people who defend TMZ and still thought it was ok to do. The bottom line is that Shawn Johnson is a kid, adults who have to get thier kicks off at the expense of kids are pathetic , should have your heads examined and take a long look in the mirror and see how you would have liked this done to you or your own kids. The problem was TMZ said "Shawn Johnson You Little Rat." not Shawn Johnson Your Cute Little Mouse or even Shawn Johnson You Cute Little Rat. They just called her a rat and that is why people are upset. Some may not think that what she has done is important, but she is an example not only to kids, but adults as well that hard work and dedication can let you achieve whatever you want ,which is the American dream. She will achieve more than any of your morons who thought this was funny will ever do. Just because she is a public figure does not make it ok to make fun of her because as I said she is still a child and I thought children were to be protected not exploited for your sick amusement. TMZ you may have removed the piece, but the piece you put in it's place is no apology and just as bad because you still posted the protest e-mails to let this continue on. You should have just removed it and let it alone, but no you had to post what you did so that you can still draw attention to it. In esence, it's no different than if you left the original up.

2152 days ago
81.

Corky from Life Goes On    

To Joshua Smith

The advertisers aren't going to abandon TMZ over this, -- the item on Shawn Johnson was meant to be a joke, they'll only abandon if no one reads TMZ, which obviously isn't happening. Go find another cause to rant about Joshua!!!!

Sincerely,

Tony the Tiger, Ronald McDonald, and the guitar guy on freecreditreport.com, baby

2152 days ago
82.

Melissa    

You guys are retarded!! Why don't you guys do a "We're just sayin" about all your MOMS???

2152 days ago
83.

melissa b    

What's WRONG with everyone?

It was a cute comparison -- She's cute, Topo's cute, get over it!

Stop being so "sensi" !!

2152 days ago
84.

jcdinpa    

I cannot believe all you people who defend TMZ and still thought it was ok to do. The bottom line is that Shawn Johnson is a kid, adults who have to get thier kicks off at the expense of kids are pathetic , should have your heads examined and take a long look in the mirror and see how you would have liked this done to you or your own kids. The problem was TMZ said "Shawn Johnson You Little Rat." not Shawn Johnson Your Cute Little Mouse or even Shawn Johnson You Cute Little Rat. They just called her a rat and that is why people are upset. Some may not think that what she has done is important, but she is an example not only to kids, but adults as well that hard work and dedication can let you achieve whatever you want ,which is the American dream. She will achieve more than any of your morons who thought this was funny will ever do. Just because she is a public figure does not make it ok to make fun of her because as I said she is still a child and I thought children were to be protected not exploited for your sick amusement. To even compare Shawn Johnson to Miley Cyrus or Ali Lohan isn't even a fair comparison and is a pathetic attempt to justify TMZ in this case. TMZ you may have removed the piece, but the piece you put in it's place is no apology and just as bad because you still posted the protest e-mails to let this continue on. You should have just removed it and let it alone, but no you had to post what you did so that you can still draw attention to it. In esence, it's no different than if you left the original up.

2152 days ago
85.

tori    

I think they both are cute!

2152 days ago
86.

JD    

I was upset at the comparison as well. It was all in good fun and you guys have a great sense of humor when it comes to that, but I thought the comparison was a bit off-center. This little girl had the composure and intensity of someone much older. There are many Olympic gold medalists, but few genuine Olympic Champions. She is one of the rare competitors that has already acheived both. I was impressed by her interview as much by her ability to perform when it counted the most. Maybe this doesn't get read by anyone, but I hope I am not the only person that felt this way.

2152 days ago
87.

Danielle    

I will not return to your site after what you did to Shawn Johnson. That is ridiculous. You really should be ashamed she is an inspiration to a lot of people in this country. Why would you do that to her of all people? Do it to Miley Cyrus, or Lindsey, or Brittney, they deserve it, but not people like her and she is 16 years old. Get a grip!

2152 days ago
88.

iamnaomi    

I thought Shawn Johnson was amazing at her craft. However, the pic was funny! Geez, ppl, relax!! I cheered for her throughout the competitions, and I'm a Canadian!! She's a great athlete, but TMZ is TMZ- they do this stuff to everyone! Take a break!!

2152 days ago
89.

Lucy    

TMZ readers should lighten up freedom of speach and press bitches anyway that's a very cute rat TOPO GIGO was loved by everyone he is a little mouse not a rat and since when comapring jonhson to a rat made her less of a olympian has nothing to do with it HELLO she's a little cute girl just like TOPO GIGO is a little cute mouse besides she does look like him anyway sorry people --TMZ keep on rocking!!

2152 days ago
90.

andrea    

Really people need to relax! First of all no one was attacking her as a person or what she has accomplishes in the Olympics. She’s a great gymnast and no one doubts that!!! TMZ was simply saying that she resembles a cute fictional character! So what the rat is cute and so is she! Get over it!
I’m with TMZ on this one! I love your site and the funny play on words you guys come up with

2152 days ago
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