Hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Popbitch first landed in inboxes everywhere and shook up the entertainment journalism landscape for good.
Back in 1999, British journalist Camilla Wright was fed up with the PR sugarcoating of celeb profiles.
So she teamed up with Neil Stevenson to launch a sassy insider newsletter lifting the lid on unfiltered showbiz gossip.
Dubbed “Popbitch,” this scrappy upstart was an instant hit among industry friends for its irreverent mashup of high and lowbrow content.
But Popbitch quickly outgrew its niche audience.
With no need for celebrity access or handlers’ approval, the newsletter felt free to dish the salacious rumors traditional outlets wouldn’t dare print.
Muckraking exposés on shady industry figures regularly topped Popbitch’s signature cheeky coverage of pointless star trivia and daggy jokes.
This insider dirt allowed Popbitch to consistently scoop the mainstream media by years. All the way back in the early 2000s, Popbitch was sounding alarms about that predatory beast Harvey Weinstein. Vague blind items and pointed jabs made it obvious who they were referring to long before #MeToo ended his reign of terror.
Popbitch also led the charge in pulling the curtain back on Kevin Spacey’s inappropriate behavior, publishing detailed accounts while the sycophantic media still bowed to the celebrated actor.
And let’s not forget how Popbitch first blew the whistle on the News of the World phone hacking scandal a full 7 years before it exploded across the UK press.
From our vantage point in 2024, it’s clear Popbitch landed many gut punches on the media establishment. As digital disruption hammered old-school outlets, this scrappy upstart thrived by boldly publishing what others wouldn’t dare.
Today, Popbitch remains a beloved global gossip institution, continuing to break stories through its network of showbiz sources.
And founder Camilla Wright’s legacy lives on in a new generation of independent media crowdfunders bucking access journalism and speaking truth to power.
Who knows what other establishment emperors will be revealed to have no clothes in Popbitch’s next 25 years?
One thing’s for sure – we need independent gadflies more than ever to keep the mainstream media honest. Hats off to Popbitch for a quarter century of sticking it to the celeb PR machine and giving the people the real tea!