It's one of the biggest beat-downs in pop-culture history: the alleged assault of celebrity-gossip monger Perez Hilton, either by a malicious fan (as the Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am claims) or by the Peas' manager, Polo Molina (as Hilton himself insists).
Both parties have taken to their respective sites to release venomous video statements toward the other, and footage of the incident appeared Monday on TMZ.com. But it's not just Hilton and [artist id="1521450"]Will.I.Am[/artist] who are sounding off. Supporters (and detractors) of both have taken to Twitter, Facebook and MTV.com to weigh in with their thoughts on the incident. Some seem to believe that Hilton — who's made a living out of writing nasty things about celebs — had it coming, while others think that no matter how malicious his words may be, Hilton didn't deserve what he got, because violence is never the answer.
Readers took issue with Hilton's use of an anti-gay slur and Will's quickness to pass the blame onto fans. We had debates about hate speech, homophobia and the use of violence.
In fact, we've gotten so many comments about the brawl that we've decided to highlight some of them here. And if you want to add your voice to the debate, leave a comment below.
"I just lost all respect for Perez. I'm a gay man, and I can't stand anyone using the term 'f----t' as an insult. ... Just because you are gay doesn't mean you can use hate speech against straight people. It isn't cool, and when you call someone a 'f----t,' whether they are gay or straight, you should expect to get punched." - Mr.Bentley
"At the end of the day, Perez was wrong for dropping the F-bomb, but that does not excuse Will.I.Am's behavior. It's a gossip Web site, for Christ's sake. And violence is never the answer. I don't buy [Will's accusation] that it was a fan or someone else. Perez should follow this all the way and make an example out of them." - Ms.C
"Seriously, people? He got punched in the face ... and he deserved it. I wouldn't exactly term that an 'assault.' This kind of thing happens outside bars and at frat houses all the time. ... Perez's entire career and fortune is built on hurting, humiliating, damaging and tearing other people down. ... For what he said, getting hit in the face is a wakeup call." - Sage4463
"You guys are so right. Every time someone says something to hurt our wittle, wittle feelings, we should hit them. Got any more dumb schoolyard advice? Grown folks know how to handle themselves without resorting to violence." - Birdyspice
"Perez Hilton is nothing but a publicity-seeking drama queen. A person that [was] really attacked would call the police instead of going back to their room and tweeting everyone else to call. People need to ignore him, and maybe, if we're lucky, he'll go away." - Patilee
"If Will.I.Am did not encourage the assault, then why would he go out of his way to explain something so bizarre? It makes no sense unless he had a guilty conscience, which he probably does. I don't doubt Perez Hilton's statement for one second." - JVa
"Perez Hilton may have dealt with the situation nonviolently, but he still handled it stupidly. The use of racial, ethnic, religious or, in this case, sexual slurs in an argument only adds fuel to the fire and puts everyone involved in greater danger ... which is what happened to him." - Nelle
"Will.I.Am needs to be put in jail. Perez Hilton does this for a living, and for Will to assault someone, he should pay for the consequences like everyone else." - GXC