How These Celebrities Killed Their Great Careers
1 Roseanne Barr’s Racist Twitter Rant
Roseanne Barr seemed unstoppable when her television series Roseanne made a triumphant return to television in 2018. The show returned after a 20-year hiatus to huge ratings, and fans were so excited to spend time with the Conner family. Unfortunately, that all came to an end with just one tweet.
Barr took to Twitter and made a racist remark about former Obama aide, Valerie Jarrett, saying that she was the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” CBS swiftly fired her from her own show. Rosanne went on without the comedian, and the ratings suffered. Barr now lives a life of exile.
2 Demi Moore’s movie Nightmare
Demi Moore was a huge star that was featured in several blockbuster films like Ghost and Indecent Proposal. Her career came to a screeching halt after she starred in the 1997 flop Striptease.
Her performance was so bad that the film won 6 Razzie awards at the 17th Golden Raspberry Awards, which celebrates the worst movies of the year. She earned the honor of “Worst Actress” and “Worst Screen Couple” alongside her costar, Burt Reynolds. Unfortunately, she never quite recovered from the disastrous movie and took a break from acting for decades.
3 Jennifer Grey’s Nose Job
Jennifer Grey was a fixture in some of our favorite movies from the 1980s. She played the older sister Jeanie Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Her most memorable role was when she was cast as Baby in the blockbuster hit Dirty Dancing, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
She had rhinoplasty surgery in 1998 and ended up so unrecognizable that she could no longer find work. Grey told The Daily Mirror, “I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous,” she said. “It was the nose job from hell. I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes because of a nose job.”
4 Ellen DeGeneres’s Toxic Work Culture
Ellen DeGeneres came under fire when allegations of a toxic work culture surfaced from former staff members of her television series, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Warner Brothers launched an investigation into the allegations, which corroborated the abuse on the set.
The talk show host issued an apology to her staff. “My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues,” DeGeneres wrote. “I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it.”
5 Matt Lauer’s #MeToo Moment
America invited Matt Lauer into their living rooms every morning when he was a host of the Today Show. He was beloved by many and spent 20 years delivering the news and interviewing celebrities on NBC. All of that fell apart when he was terminated from Today in 2017.
Fans were shocked to learn that Lauer had been caught having inappropriate relationships with coworkers and had also been accused of sexual assault by many women. The network immediately fired him and he remains ostracized to this day. His sexual misconduct cost him his career and marriage.
6 Ashlee Simpson’s Lip-synch Disaster
Ashlee Simpson’s debut album Autobiography was a massive success. Her first hit, Pieces of Me, reached number one on the charts. So it was shocking when she was caught lip-synching on Saturday Night Live in 2004. Simpson was the musical guest and sang her famous song for her first performance.
Things went awry during her second set when the track for Pieces of Me, along with her vocals, played while she held the microphone to her side. Simpson panicked and did an awkward jig before running off-stage. Her career never really bounced back after the disastrous performance.
7 Kevin Hart’s Oscar Controversy
Kevin Hart seemed to be on top of his game when he was asked to host the 2019 Academy Awards. His dream quickly transformed into a nightmare when a series of homophobic tweets surfaced. The academy asked him to apologize, but he refused and was forced to step down from his hosting duties.
He did eventually apologize to the LGBTQ community and even appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where DeGeneres asked him to reconsider hosting the awards show. In the end, the show went on without a host, and Hart was officially canceled from society.
8 Kathy Griffin’s Photo Backlash
Kathy Griffin has always had a dark sense of humor and made a career of trashing A-list celebrities both in her comedy act and on her series, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. She went too far in 2017 and caused quite a stir when she posted a gory photo of what looked to be President Trump’s decapitated head.
According to Yahoo News, Griffin said that the controversy caused the Secret Service and Department of Justice to investigate her, and she was added to the No Fly List of suspected terrorists. Her career may never recover from the scandal.
9 Elizabeth Berkley’s Showgirls Fiasco
Elizabeth Berkley was an up-and-coming actress in 1995. She was transitioning from being a teen actress as Jesse Spano on Saved by the Bell to taking on adult roles. Her star was poised to rise when she was cast in the movie Showgirls. Unfortunately, the movie ended up being a flop and ruined her career.
Director Paul Verhoeven told The Daily News, “Showgirls certainly ruined the career of Elizabeth Berkley in a major way. It made my life more difficult, but not to the degree it did Elizabeth’s. Hollywood turned their backs on her.”
10 Lindsay Lohan’s Bad Behavior
Lindsay Lohan was an adorable child actress who starred in hit movies like The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday. She seemed to be on the right path when she starred in the 2004 movie Mean Girls. A series of run-ins with the law derailed her career, and she spent years being plagued by legal troubles.
From being arrested for DUI’s to being accused of stealing jewelry, she couldn’t stay out of trouble. She also earned a reputation for being difficult and unprofessional on the set. Her career never fully recovered from her bad behavior.
11 Lori Loughlin’s College Cheating Scandal
We all remember her as Aunt Becky on the popular television show Full House. Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were accused of paying Rick Singer and Key Worldwide Foundation $500,000 to lie and claim that their daughters were recruits of the University of Southern California crew team.
The couple reached a plea deal and hope to put the college cheating scandal behind them. Both of them will serve jail time and pay a hefty fine. Chances are that Loughlin will have a hard time gaining back the trust of Hollywood and her fans.
12 Rob Kardashian’s Revenge Photos
Rob Kardashian is the youngest sibling of the Kardashian clan and we watched him grow up on the E! Channel series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. He began dating Blac Chyna, and the couple starred in their own reality series, Rob & Chyna. It didn’t take long for their relationship to fall apart and the show ended up being canceled.
Kardashian caused trouble when he took to Instagram in a series of revenge posts featuring Blac Chyna. According to Page Six, he posted intimate photos of Chyna and accused her of being unfaithful. He came to his senses and deleted the pics, but remains a recluse.
13 Katherine Heigl’s Diva Demands
There was a time when Katherine Heigl was everywhere. Her stint as Dr. Izzie Stevens on the hit series Grey’s Anatomy put her on the map. So it was shocking when she shunned an Emmy nomination for her role. It was a move that raised eyebrows in Hollywood and made it so no one wanted to work with her.
“I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention,” she said in a statement.
14 Kevin Spacey’s Assault Allegations
Kevin Spacey was one of those Hollywood actors that seemed unstoppable. He had won numerous awards over the years, including an Oscar for his role in the 1999 film American Beauty. In 2017, he was starring in his 5th season of the series House of Cards when it all came crashing down around him.
A series of bombshell accusations surfaced claiming that Spacey had sexually assaulted over 20 victims over the years. He was fired from House of Cards, and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences rescinded his 2017 International Emmy Founders Award. He’s now blacklisted from Hollywood.
15 Paula Deen’s Racist Slurs
Paula Deen was a successful chef who had her own show on The Food Network and is also the owner of the famous restaurant Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Savannah, Georgia. Fans loved to watch her cook up Southern recipes, so it was especially shocking when Deen found herself involved in a scandal.
It was revealed she had used racial slurs in the kitchen of her restaurant during a lawsuit with one of her former employees. The famous chef’s show was canceled from The Food Network. Deen visited Today, saying, “I’m so sorry for the hurt that I caused people because it went deep.”
16 Lorde’s Terrible Bathtub Joke
Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, whose professional name is Lorde, found fame with her single Royals in 2013. The New Zealand native looked to have a bright future in the music industry, but she messed up in a big way when she posted a thoughtless joke on Instagram.
Lorde took to social media to post a photo of her bathtub filling up with water along with the caption, “And iiii will always love you.” It outraged Whitney Houston fans to see the lyrics to Houston’s famous song, who drowned in a bathtub. Lorde apologized saying, “I was just excited to take a bath.”
17 Shannen Doherty’s Bad On-Set Behavior
Shannen Doherty broke into acting at a young age, but hit her stride when she was cast in Beverly Hills, 90210. She earned a reputation for being difficult on the set, which has followed her throughout her entire career, making it difficult for her to find work.
She spoke with People and revealed that the rumors of bad behavior were really about her being misunderstood. “Somebody had a problem with me being late, but perhaps they didn’t know I was late because my dad was in the hospital, or maybe because I was in a horrible marriage. I didn’t share, or I wasn’t asked,” Doherty said.
18 Mel Gibson’s Racist Rant
Mel Gibson was one of Hollywood’s most prominent A-list actors. He starred in popular films like Lethal Weapon and Braveheart. The actor seemed to be unstoppable, receiving two Academy Awards. That is until 2006, when an incident occurred during a DUI arrest in Malibu, California. Gibson was recorded making anti-Semitic remarks.
His career took a hit for many years, and Hollywood blacklisted him. He’s found forgiveness and has made a return to the big screen, both acting and directing. He was even nominated for an Oscar in 2017 for directing Hacksaw Ridge. Yet, his racist comments will stay with him forever.
19 Megan Fox’s Negative Comments
Megan Fox is the perfect example of why leading actresses shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them. She found fame after starring in the 2007 film Transformers. There was quite a buzz around her sexy looks. Unfortunately, Fox made a negative comment about the director of the movie, Michael Bay.
The actress was speaking with Wonderland when she criticized Bay. “He’s like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad man reputation,” Fox said. She hasn’t been able to find much work in Hollywood ever since she made the mistake of trashing the director to the press.
20 Mike Myers’ Bad Reputation
Mike Myers starred in the Austin Powers trilogy and gave us such hilarious characters as Dr. Evil and Austin Powers himself. It seemed like he could do no wrong, but we haven’t seen him on the big screen in some time.
Myers earned a reputation for being demanding on the set of his films, and Hollywood turned their back on him. Amy Hill, his costar in Cat In The Hat, revealed one of his outlandish demands to The AV Club. “There was a guy who held his chocolates in a little Tupperware. Whenever he needed chocolate, he’d come running over and give him a chocolate.”
21 Isaiah Washington’s Homophobic Slur
Isaiah Washington played Dr. Preston Burke on the popular television series Gray’s Anatomy. He lost his role on the long-running show when he derailed his own career in 2017. The actor had an on-set argument with a fellow cast member, Patrick Dempsey, when he called another cast member, T. R. Knight, a homophobic slur.
Rumors circulated about the incident, and Washington’s character was eventually written off the show. T. R. Knight revealed that he was gay in the scandal’s wake. Washington found work again when he played a recurring character on The 100, but his reputation took quite a hit in the tabloids.
22 Charlie Sheen’s Public Meltdown
Charlie Sheen has been a Hollywood fixture since he was a teenager. Some of his earlier films include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Young Guns. He also starred in the hit series Two and a Half Men. Unfortunately, his personal life went down the drain in 2011 when he had a very public meltdown.
After a series of incidents that included him being rushed to the hospital from a Beverly Hills Hotel, Sheen appeared on several talk shows and rambled on about “tiger blood” and “winning”. His erratic behavior got him axed from Two and a Half Men in 2011.
23 Amanda Bynes’ Twitter Breakdown
Amanda Bynes had a booming career and a bright future ahead of her. The actress had starred in hit films like What a Girl Wants and She’s The Man when she was derailed by mental health issues in 2012. Bynes had an epic meltdown that unfolded on Twitter and she also had several run-ins with the law.
According to US Weekly, she even reached out to President Obama after she was arrested for DUI and sideswiping a police vehicle. “I don’t drink. Please fire the cop who arrested me,” she asked Obama. “I also don’t hit and run. The end.”
24 Dani Mathers’ Fat-Shaming Pic
Dani Mathers was a model and actress whose career was on track for success. She was the Playboy Playmate of the Month in May 2014 and the Playboy Playmate of the Year in 2015. She became a household name when she was involved in a scandal that ruined her career.
Mathers fat-shamed a complete stranger on Snapchat when she shared a nude pic of a 70-year-old woman in the locker room of an LA Fitness. She captioned the photograph, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” The model was charged with a misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy.
25 Lea Michele’s Weak Apology
Fans canceled Lea Michele when she shared an Instagram post to support Black Lives Matter. Her former Glee costar, Samantha Marie Ware, replied: “LMAO remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity, you would ‘sh*t in my wig!’ Amongst other traumatic micro-aggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.”
Michele issued a public apology, but only made things worse for herself when she used the word “perceived”. Hello Fresh booted her from their partnership and former fans decimated her on social media.
26 Lance Armstrong’s Doping Scandal
Lance Armstrong was a sports icon after winning seven Tour De France medals from the years 1999 to 2005. His impressive career inspired cyclists worldwide. He’s also a cancer survivor and is outspoken about cancer research. Despite overcoming his illness, his professional life came to a screeching halt.
Armstrong was exposed for taking performance-enhancing drugs, and his seven Tour De France medals were revoked. He denied the allegations, but eventually admitted to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013. According to People, Pat McQuaid, the UCI president, said at a press conference, “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.”
27 Abby Lee Miller’s Racist Remarks
Abby Lee Miller has always been a controversial character in the series Dance Moms. The mother of dancer Kamryn Smith from season 8, Adriana Smith, called Miller out after she posted a black square on Instagram to support Black Lives Matter.
Smith gave several examples of Miller’s racist remark and commented on why she pulled her daughter from the series. She wrote, “People need to be held accountable not just for the injustices [but also] for being a closet racist.” Miller issued a public apology, but the damage had already been done.
28 Shia LaBeouf’s Legal Troubles
Shia LaBeouf derailed his career thanks to a slew of legal woes that landed him in trouble with the law. The police charged him with disorderly conduct, obstruction, and public drunkenness while filming the movie The Peanut Butter Falcon in Savannah, Georgia.
LaBeouf had plans to give up acting and join the Peace Corp. He opened up about the incident on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “I wasn’t planning on making a movie. I thought the actor thing was over,” he continued. “I signed up to go to the Peace Corps and then went into this rehab facility and was there for two months.”
29 Tiger Woods Cheating Scandal
Tiger Woods had a rough year in 2009, and his career took a big hit for it. The pro-golfer got caught up in a cheating scandal and crashed his Escalade into a tree after his wife smashed his car with a golf club. The police arrested him for DUI and he was later revealed to be a serial cheater.
Woods issued a televised statement in 2010, saying, “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable. And I am the only person to blame. I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in.”
30 David Hasselhoff’s Cheeseburger Incident
David Hasselhoff is best known for being a hero in the series Baywatch. The actor hit rock bottom when his daughter filmed him during a drunken rant as he attempted to eat a cheeseburger on the floor. They released the footage to the public and damaged his reputation.
Hasselhoff to release a lengthy statement, saying, “Unfortunately, I did have a brief relapse, but part of recovery is relapse. Because of my honest and positive relationship with my children, who were concerned for my well-being, there was a tape made when I had a relapse to show me what I was like.”
31 Kanye West’s Mental Meltdown
Kanye West’s declining mental health took over the news when he announced his bid for the presidency in 2020. He had a meltdown during his debut political rally in South Carolina. West then went on a Twitter rant against his wife, Kim Kardashian, and his mother-in-law, Kris Jenner.
He followed up with a public apology. “I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter. I did not cover her like she has covered me,” he tweeted “To Kim, I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me.”
32 Lana Del Ray’s Instagram Controversy
Lana Del Ray found herself in the hot seat when she took to Instagram to defend herself after being accused of glamourizing abuse in her songs. The Summertime Sadness singer called out other female artists like Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé for their number one songs about being sexy.
Del Ray also wrote, “I’m just a glamorous person singing about the realities of what we are all now seeing are very prevalent abusive relationships all over the world.” Her fans went ballistic and attacked her on social media, along with the hashtag #LanaDelReyIsOverParty.
33 Kendall Jenner’s Tone-Deaf Commercial
Kendall Jenner caused an outcry when she was featured in a Pepsi ad that showed her attending a protest and giving a can of Pepsi to a policeman controlling the march. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star was called out for trivializing the Black Lives Matter movement and Pepsi pulled the commercial.
The company issued a statement, saying, “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.” Jenner was mortified by the incident.
34 Mariah Carey’s Disastrous Performance
Mariah Carey’s performance at the 2016 New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show in Times Square was a complete disaster. The singer couldn’t hear the backing track, so she just stopped singing mid-song. The world watched on in disbelief as Carey said, “Let the audience sing,” she added. “I’m trying to be a good sport here.”
She later blamed the production team for trying to sabotage her performance. “Listen, guys,” Carey said in an audio file posted to Twitter. “They foiled me… it turned into an opportunity to humiliate me.” Dick Clark Productions, which produced the show for ABC, said the accusations were “absurd”.
35 Logan Paul’s Distasteful Video
Logan Paul is a YouTube sensation who found a following by performing sketches online. He had millions of followers until he made a mistake so massive that he lost a ton of his fans and has struggled to recover ever since.
Paul’s followers were enraged when he posted an offensive video in Japan’s famous “Suicide Forest”. He and his friends came upon a suicide victim and made inappropriate jokes about the body. Paul took to Twitter to apologize, writing, “I’m sorry. This is a first for me. I’ve never faced criticism like this before because I’ve never made a mistake like this before.”
36 James Franco’s Creepy Antics
James Franco is another actor whose inappropriate behavior has taken a toll on his career. He’s earned quite a reputation for being creepy towards women. Many actresses took to social media in outrage about his predatory nature when he won a Golden Globe in 2018 for The Disaster Artist.
Ally Sheedy posted a since-deleted tweet after Franco gave his acceptance speech, writing, “James Franco just won. Please don’t ask me why I left the film/tv business.” The actor has denied the allegations, but the industry took notice of the women who have been outspoken about Franco’s predatory ways.
37 Pamela Anderson Universally Panned For Barb Wire
Pamela Anderson is best known for her time on the popular series Baywatch. The sultry star lost all credibility when she starred in the 1997 superhero film Barb Wire. The movie was universally panned, and her terrible performance ruined Anderson’s movie career.
She’s yet another actress who won 3 Razzie awards from the Golden Raspberry Awards. She took home the awards for “Worst New Star”, “Worst Actress”, and “Worst Couple”. She also fell deep into debt and had to put her Malibu mansion up for sale. Anderson has yet to step back into the spotlight in a leading role.
38 Vanessa Hudgens’s Covid Meltdown
Vanessa Hudgens offended her fans when she took to Instagram to vent about the pandemic. The High School Musical alum posted an insensitive video where she questioned the seriousness of the Coronavirus, saying, “Even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die, which is terrible… but inevitable?”
The post went viral, and Hudgens eventually issued an apology. “This has been a huge wake up call to the significance my words have, now more than ever. I’m sending safe wishes to everyone to stay safe and healthy during this crazy time,” she wrote on Instagram.
39 Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl Bomb
Alicia Silverstone was a 90s darling when she starred in the blockbuster film Clueless. Her star was on the rise until she played Batgirl in the 1997 superhero movie Batman & Robin. The movie tanked and was so bad that Silverstone won the “Worst Supporting Actress” award at the 1998 Razzie Awards.
Silverstone later revealed that the media fat-shamed her during press for the film and it ruined her taste for Hollywood. “There were working circumstances that were less than favorable in terms of how things went down,” she revealed to TODAY. “I stopped loving acting for a very long time,” she added.
40 Tila Tequila’s Hate Speech
Tila Tequila was a contestant in the series Celebrity Big Brother when she outed herself as a Nazi sympathizer. The producers kicked the model off the show after she made racist and hateful comments. She lasted 48 hours in the house.
The bosses said in a statement, “Unfortunately, Channel 5 and Endemol did not know about the views and attitudes Tila had expressed in social media postings prior to her involvement in Celebrity Big Brother. The views Tila had expressed, and permitted to remain uncorrected, are totally unacceptable and, accordingly, her continued involvement in the programme was untenable,” they added.
Showbiz Fun Fact
1. Robert Downey Jr.
After a meteoric start to his career, he was out of the spotlight for a while, but the actor has made a strong comeback in the world of American showbiz, so much so that in 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. From 2013 to 2015, Forbes also named him to its list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors.
2. Johnny Depp
The actor is one of the most appreciated by the public, and for good reason. No one can deny his talent as an actor; his 10 Golden Globe Awards nominations (including one he won for his role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), 3 Academy Awards nominations, and 2 BAFTA Film Awards nominations prove it.
3. Chris Hemsworth
Best known for his role as Thor in 8 Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the actor began his career in an Australian television series called Home and Away. His role as a superhero allowed him to be considered as one of the leading and highest-paid actors in the world.
4. Bradley Cooper
3 times nominated for the Forbes Celebrity 100, named to Times‘ list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015, and recipient of 2 Grammy Awards and a BAFTA Award, the actor has long been a fixture in Hollywood showbiz.
5. Matt Damon
According to Forbes, the actor is one of the most bankable stars due to the fact that the films he has played in have together earned more than 3.12 billion at the North American box office. That’s what we call being profitable! His talent has also earned him 5 Academy Award nominations, 3 British Academy Film Award nominations, 8 Golden Globe Award nominations, 7 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and 6 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations!
6. Will Smith
Nominated for 5 Golden Globe Awards and 2 Academy Awards, and winner of 4 Grammy Awards, the actor was named “the most powerful actor in Hollywood” in 2007 by Newsweek. We can thank The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series for propelling him in the 90s!
7. Leonardo DiCaprio
8 times among the highest-paid actors in the world in the annual ranking, this actor is also one of the most profitable in the industry. In 2019, its films have grossed worldwide 7.2 billion. Winner of 3 Golden Globe Awards, the incredible actor won only one Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award in 2016 for his role in The Revenant, despite a total of 6 nominations during his prolific career.
8. Dwayne Johnson
It can be said that the former professional wrestler and football player has made his mark in the Hollywood world, especially in terms of profitability. Indeed, his films have grossed more than 3.5 billion in North America and 10.5 billion worldwide, making him one of the highest-grossing actors of all time. In 2016, he was also named the Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine.
9. Tom Hanks
Winner of 2 Academy Awards, 7 Primetime Emmy Awards, 4 Golden Globe Awards, and 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Tom Hanks is one of the world’s best known and loved actors. He is even considered an American cultural icon! His films have grossed over 4.9 billion in North America and 9.96 billion worldwide, making him the fourth-highest-grossing actor in North America.
10. Jennifer Lawrence
The only woman on this list, the 30-year-old actress was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016. Her films have grossed over 6 billion worldwide, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013, and she was on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2014 and 2016. Her Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook made her the 2nd youngest woman in history to win this award.