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Jason Lee of Hollywood Unlocked spills the tea on celebrity blog culture, his relationship with rapper Cardi B, and the true meaning of “gossip” on this episode of Small Doses with Amanda Seales.

“Do I gossip though? I don’t think I gossip. Is that denial? If I tell the truth, how is that gossip?” Lee says.

“Gossip is not lying,” Seales notes. “Gossip is talking about sh*t that isn’t about you.”

“Well everybody’s in everybody’s business, I just made a business out of it,” Lee says.



Coming Up In Hollywood

Since Lee made his debut in the public eye on Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood in 2015, his celebrity media company Hollywood Unlocked is now among the most cited sources for the latest celeb headlines.

The self-styled “culture critic” fell in love with the entertainment world as a foster kid growing up in Stockton, California.

Lee was active in workplace advocacy and community organizing before settling in Los Angeles and make his mark on Hollywood’s social scene.

His networking savvy and outspoken public persona gave him the edge he needed to draw attention to his brand and compete with similar outlets like Media Take Out and The Shade Room.

“I could unlock Hollywood in a way nobody can because I’m in it,” he says.

Is It Gossip Or Not?

The big question that Lee and Seales keep coming back to is—are platforms like Hollywood Unlocked considered “gossip” sites or not?

To Lee, it’s clear—his line of work can’t be labeled as “gossip.”

“Literally I’m talking about what the world is doing. If I was really a gossiper, the way I deliver it, I could probably be much bigger than I am now because people cannot digest enough of what I give already,” he says.

Lee also touches on how he establishes boundaries which can easily get blurred in his line of work.

“Jason Lee and Hollywood Unlocked are two different people,” he says. “I do have rules. Private time is private time.”

The media personality says he’s mellowed out since his early days on the gossip circuit.

“I don’t want to burn the internet down every day. I was doing that for a while though because when people weren’t gravitating towards me I was like, I know how to get everybody’s attention,” he says.

While the content Lee generates can be pretty provocative, Lee sees his work as properly toeing the line between ethical and not.

“This is a click-based business, this is a comment- and engagement-based business, so whatever drives the comments drives the bag,” he explains. “And that’s a really scary thing if you don’t have discipline or some type of moral authority … If you don’t have ethics, you could make a lot of money but you can do a lot of harm.”

The former reality star also reflects on being dragged for breaking the Jordyn Woods story and posting unauthorized photos of Beyonce’s children (which he later removed after learning they were unauthorized images).

Life After Hollywood Unlocked

Whilst in the thick of his career in entertainment media, Lee has his retirement planned out. In his words, he’s “tired of the industry fu**sh*t.”

“2030 I’m out. Fully retired. Done. I want to do philanthropy, I want to do investing, I want to live my life, I want to travel the world, I want to be happy, I want to be able to play with my dogs,” he says. “I want to be able to not get a phone call with somebody who’s acting like they’re cool with me because they want to be on Hollywood Unlocked or because they want to stay off Hollywood Unlocked, you know?”

As the face of his media company, it’s hard knowing who his friends are.

“I’m very mindful that I know a lot of celebrities because of my job, but I’m not friends with a lot of celebrities,” he explains.

But one major celeb he does call a friend is Cardi B. Lee says he and the Grammy-winning rap star established a clear relationship dynamic from the get-go.

“We’ve had a very honest conversation about what the friendship looks like, because our friendship is not built on Hollywood Unlocked and her being a rapper,” he says.

“The conversation we had was, Jason Lee and Hollywood Unlocked are different, Cardi B the star and Belcalis (the rapper’s full name is Belcalis Almánzar-Cephus) are different, but we respect each other.”

Listen to the full episode of Small Doses: Side Effects of Gossip with Jason Lee here.

Listen To More Small Doses With Amanda Seales:

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