We’re all human, but when you’re in the public eye, all bets are off. A new culture of cancellation has taken over the world, and countless celebs have been banished for doing things the public deemed unforgivable. As of now, some big names have been rehabilitated, while others are still considered unhirable, to say the least. But maybe they deserve a second chance, or is what they’ve done truly too awful to bear? Read on and decide for yourself.
Chrissy Teigen Was Admittedly a Bully
Back in 2011, a bizarre story hit the news. 16-year-old singer Courtney Stodden was marrying 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison. Naturally, this made people uncomfortable. One of those people was Chrissy Teigen, who privately messaged the girl. She wasn’t reaching out to help, however. According to Courtney: “She wouldn’t just publicly tweet about wanting me to take ‘a dirt nap’ but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself…Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die.’”
After being exposed, Chrissy apologized and pledged to be a better woman. She says she is now “no longer the person who wrote those horrible things.” But the appalling behavior has permanently changed fans’ minds. Was she being sincere?
Amber Heard Was Caught Lying About Johnny Depp
Actress Amber Heard got a lot of attention during her highly publicized divorce from Johnny Depp. She claimed he had been hitting her, then toured around with inspirational speeches about women’s empowerment. The only problem? Johnny had plenty of tapes showing exactly who Amber was behind the scenes. In one exchange, she clearly admitted: ‘I’m sorry that I didn’t, uh, uh, hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched…I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine, I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you.”
Since then, a lot of fans have abandoned Amber. Millions signed a petition to get her banned from future Aquaman movies. For now, Johnny and Amber continue to battle over money in court, and the drama goes on.
Marilyn Manson Allegedly Harmed His Ex
Marilyn Manson was a 90s phenomenon that had mostly gone away. But actress Evan Rachel Wood dated him years ago, and she had a lot to say at the height of the Me Too movement. She shared: “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives.”
Marilyn Manson denied the accusations completely. He says all his relationships may have been strange, but he sought them with like-minded partners. Fans have mixed views: Some believe him, but others are rethinking their support. Some have outright canceled him!’Rick and Morty’ Co-Creator Justin Roiland Faces Domestic Violence ChargesKeep WatchingLisa Marie Presley Rushed to Hospital After Suffering Cardiac Arrest00:00/01:31
Anne Hathaway Enraged the Disabled
Anne Hathaway was cast in a live-action version of The Witches, based on the book by Roald Dahl. But when modern viewers saw her as a villain with deformed hands, some were upset. There are real people with missing fingers, and many of them are perfectly decent. Anne said she didn’t even notice the issue when she read the script. But now, she wanted everyone to know she was truly sorry for overlooking the insult. But what about the backlash?
Anne elaborated: “If I had, I assure you this never would have happened. I particularly want to say I’m sorry to kids with limb differences. Now that I know better I promise I’ll do better. And I owe a special apology to everyone who loves you as fiercely as I love my own kids: I’m sorry I let your family down.”
Wendy Williams Mocked This Common Condition
Gossip host Wendy Williams often causes controversy during her “Hot Topic” segment. On one episode of the show, she said she found actor Joaquin Phoenix “oddly attractive.” Why was this odd, for her? According to the host: “When he shaves off his mustache he’s got a hairline fracture, he’s got one of those — what do you call it? Cleft lip, cleft palate.” Wendy then used her finger to mimic the deformity while the audience laughed.
Cleft palate is one of the most common birth defects. As you might imagine, a lot of viewers were mad at Wendy. She has since apologized, like celebrities often do. But was it enough?
Addison Rae Was a Mean Girl
Instagrammer Addison Rae once said that Tik Tok dancer Charli D’Amelio was not pretty enough to be verified. She was called out as a bully, and she explained: “I had just gotten out of an extremely toxic and mentally abusive relationship that tore my heart to shreds. I was fully depressed and hated myself…I searched for compliments and love from others because I couldn’t love myself with him…I think Charli deserves everything she’s done & I know she genuinely loves doing this and loves her supporters.”
Some fans will never look at Addison as anything other than a mean girl again. Others can relate to her low self-esteem lapse. Regardless, Charli has over 123 million followers, and they must have some thoughts about Addison’s statement!
Louis C. K. Got Way Too Friendly
Louis C.K. was a funny guy, but then everyone stopped laughing. No, his jokes didn’t dry up: Allegations surfaced that cast him in a very unfunny light. The comedian admitted that he had pleasured himself in front of female colleagues. He had no intention of denying the charges and apologized. He just thought they didn’t mind at the time! Sarah Silverman, for example, told Howard Stern that Louis used to do this and it was all part of his silly backstage behavior.
Whatever the truth may be, Louis C.K. was dropped by his management team, publicist, and agency. For quite a while, he was out in the wilderness. But now, he has a new comedy special out. Will fans forgive him?
Amanda Seyfried Debated Postpartum Weight
Blogger and designer Arielle Charnas posted a swimsuit photo after childbirth, announcing that she was proud of her body. Actress Amanda Seyfried engaged the conversation on social media, and said that “wealth made [her] workouts/body possible” and said that Arielle was just “perpetuating the patriarchal (totally unrealistic) notion that mothers should ‘bounce back’ after childbirth.” But some fans were mad. Maybe Arielle was just naturally thin! Was thin-shaming okay now?
Amanda doubled down and emphasized her point. She explained: “You have to be aware of the message you’re sending and be able to back it up when faced with criticism (not just praise). Hold yourselves accountable instead of using the terms above. The only thing I’d take back is exactly how I started this debate.”
Matt Lauer Was Fired for Doing This
Today Show darling Matt Lauer had a dream career for decades. He was a familiar, trusted face in American homes. That’s why it was all the more shocking when the word got out that women were logging serious complaints in HR. Allegedly, he wasn’t just harassing them — he was assaulting them! Matt denied this, of course. But that didn’t stop the network from ending his contract or his wife from kicking him out of the house.
We haven’t seen much of Matt, since then. It’s not clear that he will make a comeback at all. But with a net worth of $80 million from past TV roles, maybe he can handle the exile.
Alec Baldwin Denied Responsibility
In an undeniably tragic accident, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of the film Rust, and Alec Baldwin was holding the gun. Did he feel any guilt? In an explosive interview, he said no. The actor further explained: “Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property. Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
The Santa Fe prosecutor has now confiscated the actor’s phone, and a peek might reveal the truth. Was Alec Baldwin criminally negligent? Only time will tell. But either way, fans are appalled at his cold response. It is likely he will never work again!
Monica Lewinsky Was Shunned
Monica Lewinsky was a 22-year-old intern in the Bill Clinton White House in 1995. It was a dream job, for any young person. But quickly, her work with the president became very, very personal. A colleague exposed that the pair were having an affair, right in the Oval Office. Monica was humiliated, and really never got a chance to pursue her career dreams. In a way, the world canceled her, and Bill helped. She reflected: “This was a mutual relationship, mutual on all levels, right from the way it started and all the way through. I don’t accept that he had to completely desecrate my character.”
These days, Monica is making a bit of a comeback as a public speaker. Whether or not Monica is getting a second chance, she certainly lost years to the scandal. She talks about bullying, and it does seem like she would know!
James Charles Texted Minors
Beauty guru James Charles built an enviable career on YouTube. But like so many social media stars, he got into hot water when his personal life got exposed. Texts were revealed showing that James was trying to arrange dates with guys under the age of 18. While he himself was barely old enough to drink, many fans were disgusted. James tried to explain that he blocked users once he found out they were too young. But many didn’t like how he talked to them before finding out the facts.
James insists he dates within three years of his own age, and that explanation has been good enough for some. The texts seem inconsistent. Not all are willing to trust James anymore!
Reese Witherspoon Was Disorderly
Reese Witherspoon was America’s sweetheart, until 2013. That all changed when footage emerged of the actress and her hubby during a traffic stop. Cops thought they were drunk driving, and they were. Even more shocking, Reese was heard saying things like “Do you know my name?” and “You’re about to find out who I am.” On Good Morning America, Reese apologized in the sober daylight. What was her plea for forgiveness?
She admitted: “I had no idea what I was thinking that night. I saw him arrest my husband and I just panicked. I said all kinds of crazy things to the officer. I even told him I was pregnant. I am not pregnant! I had no idea what I was talking about and I am so sorry. I was so disrespectful to him. I have police officers in my family. I work with police officers every day. I know better.”
Lindsay Lohan Became Toxic
Lindsay Lohan had a few bright moments early in her career. We all loved her in The Parent Trap and Mean Girls — but then, things went totally downhill. After public dysfunction, DUI arrests, and rehab, Hollywood stopped hiring her for gigs. Lindsay knows it, too. She says: “I just feel as though it’s become a situation where people have manifested this caricature of who I am, and they act as if there’s no real person inside of it.”
Effectively, Lindsay Lohan has been canceled in Hollywood. She’s barely done anything in the last decade! It seems the studios are not really interested in more Lindsay. But is it justified?
Ellen DeGeneres Was Mean to Colleagues
TV host Ellen DeGeneres was the queen of nice, or so she claimed. She built an entire career on the phrase “Remember, be kind to people”. Maybe that’s why allegations that she treated her staff terribly hit so hard, in 2020. A storm of employee confessions hit the net about her set. Many involved shocking details qualities about Ellen herself: One former worker was told not to take another offer, then was promptly fired. Other people said no one was allowed to talk to her without first chewing gum. All of it was pretty strange, if not offensive.
It looks like Ellen, of all people, has been canceled. She apologized too little too late on air, saying: “I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.” Whatever, Ellen!
Hailey Bieber Was Rude to the Waitstaff
In July 2020, NYC restaurant hostess Julia Carolan posted a review of a customer. That customer was Hailey Bieber, and she didn’t get a good rating. Apparently, she just wasn’t that nice to staff. Julia shared: “This is gonna be controversial. I’ve met her a handful of times and every time she was not nice…I really wanna like her, but I have to give her like a 3.5 out of 10. Sorry.”
Fans decided to un-cancel her, though. Turns out, she isn’t so bad! When Hailey saw the video, she apologized, commenting: “Just came across this video, and wanted to say sorry if I’ve ever given you bad vibes or a bad attitude. That’s not ever my intention!”
Hilaria Baldwin Wasn’t Spanish
Alec Balwin’s wife Hilaria is bilingual, but she fluffed that into a life story that never happened. Although she claimed to be from Spain and spoke in a charming foreign accent, her biography turned out to be childhood in Boston as Hillary. She merely visited Spain later in life. To explain the gap in reality, she shared: “The things I have shared about myself are very clear. I was born in Boston. I spent time in Boston and in Spain. My family now lives in Spain. I moved to New York when I was 19 years old and I have lived here ever since. For me, I feel like I have spent 10 years sharing that story over and over again. And now it seems like it’s not enough.”
Fact check: Her parents recently moved to Spain for work, and they don’t have a drop of Spanish blood in them. For many former fans, Hilaria is canceled for good.
Chris Brown Hit Rihanna
In an event that made the news basically everywhere, singer Chris Brown cheated on then-girlfriend Rihanna, and she got spitting mad. Then, things got violent between the two, and he ended up in jail for assaulting her. Chris explained: “She throws the phone, ‘I hate you!’, whatever, whatever, she starts hitting me, we’re in a little Lamborghini, you know she’s fighting me…Like I remember she tried to kick me, just like her beating sh*t, but then I really hit her. With a closed fist, like I punched her, and it busted her lip, and when I saw it I was in shock, I was ‘fu*k, why did I hit her like that? So from there she’s…spitting blood in my face, it raised me even more. It’s a real fight in the car, and we driving in the street.”
Rihanna’s bloody face did not make Chris look like the good guy. The judge didn’t think so, either. As a result, fans canceled him for more than a decade. But lately, it seems he’s made a musical comeback. Has the public decided to give Chris a second chance?
Kat Von D Was Being Creepy
Tattoo and makeup entrepreneur Kat Von D just couldn’t stay out of controversy. Maybe that’s how she wanted it! But a few times, things went too far for fans. First, there was her insistence that her son receives no vaccines at all, whether measles, mumps, or polio. Then, there were a lot of strange holocaust references. One of her lipsticks was named ‘Selektion’, spelled the German way as the term for selecting prisoners in concentration camps to kill. Was that an attempt to sound edgy?
As a result of all the bad PR, she sold her company and they changed the name to erase her influence. Instead of Kat Von D Beauty, it is now KVD Beauty. A lot of folks just won’t buy from her anymore!
Offset Cheated on Cardi B
Cardi B rapped the praises of her man Offset too many times to count. But did he give her respect back? Based on all his sloppy cheating, it seems not. When she finally left him, the rapper made a public show of apologizing. Offset crashed one of her concerts and walked on stage with a sign that said, “Take Me Back, Cardi.” He announced: “I just want to tell you I’m sorry, girl…in person, in front of the world. I love you.”
Cardi was unimpressed, just like her fans. This was clearly manipulative! Offset then apologized for his apology. He explained: “All of my wrongs have been made public, I figure it’s only right that my apologies are made public too.”
Al Franken Was Grabby
SNL cast member Al Franken ran for senate and found himself in the halls of congress. As a comedian, his past soon came back to haunt him. A photo emerged of Al pretending to grope a woman who was asleep, and other accusations came out about inappropriate conduct in just about every setting. Al tried to explain himself, saying: “I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many.”
In the end, Al actually resigned! That’s pretty uncommon for a politician accused of anything, these days. Some say this was the right thing to do. Others are now left wondering if they made a mistake: Maybe he was just a comedian, and these standards didn’t apply during jokes.
Gina Carano Expressed Her Controversial Views
Former MMA fighter Gina Carano was the standout star of the Star Wars series The Mandalorian. But she found out that politics and Disney don’t always mix when she tweeted about the controversies of the moment. From election disputes to mask disagreements, Gina was outspoken, which enraged fans. Then, she wrote: “Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children…Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”
The company decided to part ways with her shortly thereafter. Gina was literally canceled from her own show! Soon, though, the opinionated actress received other offers. Will Gina make a comeback?
Brian Williams Was Caught Making Things up
Newsman Brian Williams was a serious fellow on TV, and people trusted his stories. That is, until he was exposed for lying about experiencing an Iraqi helicopter attack he never saw personally. Brian explained: “I think the constant viewing of the video showing us inspecting the impact area — and the fog of memory over 12 years — made me conflate the two, and I apologize…Nobody’s trying to steal anyone’s valor. Quite the contrary: I was and remain a civilian journalist covering the stories of those who volunteered for duty.”
Brian was suspended without pay for a whole six months. Slowly, he emerged on other shows doing news and election coverage. But the fact remains, he lied. Will viewers ever really trust him again?
Lorde Dishonored Whitney
In 2018, singer Lorde posted a photo of her warm bath. Innocently, she used wrote a caption: “And iiii will always love you.” But the singer of that line was Whitney Houston, who actually drowned in a bathtub. Quickly, Lorde deleted the photo. She also apologized: “Extremely extremely poorly chosen quote. I’m so sorry for offending anyone — I hadn’t even put this together I was just excited to take a bath.”
Sometimes, people just make mistakes. And more to the point, maybe Lorde was actually too young to remember how Whitney died. Fans have forgiven her, it seems. Lorde, we will always love you!
Liam Neeson Was Being Too Honest
In a recent interview, Liam Neeson tried to explain his journey to enlightenment with a story from his youth. When a friend was raped by a black man, he walked “up and down areas with a cosh, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go.'” Why? So he could kill one, as revenge. Quickly, of course, he came to his senses. He sought advice from a priest, and he was able to resolve his anger in a healthy way. But despite his efforts to tell a positive tale, many fans were disgusted.
Liam sees himself as a very different man than he was during those moments of anger so long ago. He hoped it could open up a conversation about bigotry today. Will fans see his point?
Johnny Depp Was Accused
Although ex amber Heard is now getting most of the bad PR, Johnny Depp really suffered at the beginning of their divorce. Amber accused him of violence, and he was dropped from projects. It really seemed like he was canceled: Many said respectable studios could never work with him again, based on the accusations. But now that more of the truth is out, the actor is calling on the public to fight cancel culture itself. Will they?
Johnny says: “It’s so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe. It takes one sentence and there’s no more ground, the carpet has been pulled. It’s not just me that this has happened to, it’s happened to a lot of people. This type of thing has happened to women, men. Sadly at a certain point they begin to think that it’s normal. Or that it’s them. When it’s not.”
Logan Paul Was Insensitive
In 2018, Logan Paul visited the suicide forest in Japan for a funny video project. Fans were appalled: It is actually a place people go to die when they are sad. During filming, he came across a body and used it as part of the fun. How did he explain it? According to Logan: “I didn’t do it for views. I get views…I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That’s never the intention. I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought ‘if this video saves just one life, it’ll be worth it,’ I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video. I still am.”
Many thought his response was arrogant and lacked sincerity. Others have forgiven him for the decision. We cannot predict how we would react to a corpse in real life, right?
The Dixie Chicks Denounced Bush
Back during the Bush years, plenty of celebs came out and denounced the president. It really wasn’t a big deal in Hollywood to hate George W. But in the world of country music, it was a whole different story. The average fan was actually also a fan of the president, and The Dixie Chicks found out the hard way. As the USA invaded Iraq, lead singer Natalie Maines told a London crowd: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
The Dixie Chicks received death threats and criticism from country colleagues. They were also blacklisted by thousands of country radio stations. Natalie issued an apology, though years later, she took it back and voiced her real views. Some fans never came back. But truthfully, they did find a few new ones in the process!
Winona Ryder Shoplifted
It’s hard to believe it happened, knowing Winona Ryder now. We all love her on Stranger Things. But she had a pretty rough period in the early 2000s that canceled her for quite a while. In December 2001, the actress was arrested for shoplifting in Beverly Hills. She stole $5,500 of designer items at Saks Fifth Avenue, and was rightly arrested. Eventually, she worked it all out legally. But why did she do it? Winona has since explained how she was very depressed and under the influence of heavy painkillers from a doctor. Yikes!
For years, though, it became difficult for her to get work. The vibe around her was terrible, and the substance use made everyone nervous. Luckily, it seems that fans and studios have decided to give Winona a second chance. It appears safe to say she’s been uncanceled!
Jason Bateman Excused Abuse
Arrested Development seemed like a funny set, but the real actors were having trouble. Jessica Walter played Lucille Bluth, and she complained that co-star Jeffrey Tambor yelled at her worse than she had ever experienced in the biz. She cried! But show star Jason Bateman seemed very dismissive of the problem. Fans became enraged at him, and he was forced to apologize. What was his explanation, and was it good enough?
Jason said: “I realize that I was wrong here. I sound like I’m condoning yelling at work. I do not…This is a big learning moment for me. I shouldn’t have tried so hard to mansplain, or fix a fight, or make everything okay. I should’ve focused more on what is most important…there’s never any excuse for abuse, in any form, from any gender. And, the victim’s voice needs to be heard and respected. Period.”
Kelly Dodd Dismissed the Sick
When you’re a cast member of The Real Housewives of Orange County, you’re supposed to be dramatic. You wouldn’t be cast, otherwise! But still, when star Kelly Dodd said the pandemic was “God’s way of thinning the herd”, some people were upset. She also emphasized that people would die, and that’s that. After a backlash, though, she revised her position. Fans will now have to decide if they accept her apology.
Kelly says: “When I wrote that it’s ‘God’s way of thinning the herd,’ that’s not what I meant. What I meant was, do these pandemics happen because it’s God’s way? I’m not God, I’m not insensitive. I feel bad for all the families who have lost loved ones. And I do think we should all stay home and protect everybody. That’s not what I meant, and I want to apologize to anybody who got offended.”
Mel Gibson Mumbled Drunk
Mel Gibson got drunk and officers stopped him while driving. A DUI was bad enough, but then he started muttering angrily about Jews and wars. Jewish professionals in Hollywood were not really eager to work with him, for years after that. Did he hate them, deep in his heart? Effectively, Mel got canceled from a lot of projects, and fans saw less of him than before. Is he back, though?
It seems so. While some former fans may never see him the same, others are willing to give him another chance. So far, there are plans to continue the popular Lethal Weapon franchise. Will you see the sequels?
Lara Spencer Ridiculed a Child
Morning shows are not really the time for mean-spirited laughs. That’s why people were appalled when Good Morning America host Lara Spencer made fun of little Prince George, Kate and William’s son. He was talking ballet lessons, and she thought this was worthy of ridicule. After an outcry from viewers, Lara reflected: “I have learned about the bravery it takes for a young man to pursue a career in dance…The lesson is that words hurt, and it was not my intention but it was insensitive.”
She then spent time on the show highlighting some notable male dancers. As far as we can tell, Lara turned this one around quick enough to avoid a real cancellation.
Janet Jackson Was Naughty Live
It was an American Superbowl scandal, the likes of which midwestern moms had never seen. During the 2004 halftime entertainment, families watched Justin Timberlake completely remove Janet Jackson’s top. She was totally exposed, violating TV regulations. It seemed planned, and folks demanded answers. Justin only flippantly explained: “Listen, I know it’s been a rough week on everybody…What occurred was unintentional and completely regrettable, and I apologize if you guys were offended.”
In the end, Janet was banned from performing at the Superbowl. She was also criticized by former fans for years after the exposure. But for some reason, Justin wasn’t canceled!
Rebecca Black Just Sang a Song
Middle schooler Rebecca Black was canceled because of her viral song “Friday”. Everyone laughed at her! Today, she is college-aged and has a lot to say. She shares: “I just wish I could go back and talk to my 13-year-old self who was terribly ashamed of herself and afraid of the world. To my 15-year-old self who felt like she had nobody to talk to about the depression she faced. To my 17-year-old self who would get to school only to get food thrown at her and her friends. To my 19-year-old self who had almost every producer/songwriter tell me that they’d never work with me. Hell, to myself a few days ago who felt disgusting when she looked in the mirror!”
Rebecca Black is still trying to heal from the humiliation. Has she been canceled forever because of one bad song when she was a kid? Recently, she released a new single on her YouTube channel. Will the world give it a listen?