Top 20 Celebs Who Destroyed Their Careers With One Post



Top 20 Celebs Who Destroyed Their Careers With One Post

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These famous people need a lesson in public relations. For this list, we'll be looking at various celebrities who tanked their careers with a particularly offensive or controversial social media post or video. Our countdown includes J.K. Rowling, Jason Biggs, Gilbert Gottfried, CeeLo Green, Kathy Griffin, and more!

Top 20 celebs who destroyed their career with one post

These famous people need a lesson in public relations. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 20 celebs who destroyed their career with one post.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various celebrities who tanked their careers with a particularly offensive or controversial social media post or video. The damage doesn’t have to be permanent - so long as they faced significant backlash and their careers were hurt, it can be eligible.

#20: J. K. Rowling

Throughout the years, the British author behind the best-selling book series in history hasn’t shied away from making her views on various topics known. In June 2020, J. K. Rowling got fans, critics, activists and celebrities talking again when she appeared to take issue with a website’s reference to “people who menstruate.” Her Twitter comment and a follow up statement had many people labelling her transphobic. Though she claimed that she meant no harm, Rowling’s status as the writer behind such a beloved property means that her opinions will continue to be under scrutiny. While her legacy certainly hasn’t been without controversy, she definitely didn’t make things any better for herself this time around.

#19: Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens acquired national fame after playing Gabriella Montez in the “High School Musical” series. Since then, she has appeared in numerous musicals - including the live Fox productions of “Grease” and “Rent” - and has launched into more mature roles by acting in “Powerless” and “Bad Boys for Life.” But much of that came crumbling down in March 2020. Hudgens may have been one of the first celebrities to publicly trivialize the pandemic, stating death as“inevitable” in a video posted online. In another post, she wished her followers a happy St. Patrick’s Day and subtly criticized the worldwide lockdown, saying with a sly giggle, “I wish we were in a pub, but we’re not.” So we’re not all in this together, then? Hudgens later apologized for dismissing the severity of the coronavirus disease.

#18: Myka Stauffer

Stauffer is a lifestyle YouTube vlogger who posts videos about her family, cooking, decluttering, home organization - all that fun stuff. In May 2020, her most popular video was “an update on our family,” which reached over five million views in two weeks. In this now-removed video, Stauffer and her husband James explain that they had “rehomed” their adopted Chinese son, who Stauffer claims to be “profoundly developmentally delayed.” According to them, they were never notified of the extent of the child’s developmental disorder. The family had documented the entire adoption process throughout 2017, leading many viewers to declare that the Stauffer family had exploited the child for popularity and views. Others saw it as the family “giving up” on a human being and giving him away like a problematic dog.

#17: Hannah Brown

Hannah Brown has enjoyed a prosperous life, winning Miss Alabama USA 2018, competing in season 23 of “The Bachelor,” leading season 15 of “The Bachelorette,” and winning “Dancing with the Stars” in November 2019. However, her blossoming career was placed in jeopardy in May 2020 when she repeatedly uttered the n-word while singing along to DaBaby’s “Rockstar” on Instagram Live. Her comment section was immediately bombarded with irate fans, some of whom announced that they would be unfollowing her account. This was similar to an incident in May 2018, when a white woman rapped the n-word while on stage with Kendrick Lamar.

#16: Shane Gillis

Gillis is a comedian made famous through various radio programs and podcasts, including Sirius XM’s “The Bonfire” and “The Doug Stanhope Podcast.” On September 12, 2019, Gillis was made a cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” a major career transition that any comedian would be ecstatic to receive. Just four days later, it was announced that Gillis would not be participating in “SNL” after all, as a freelance journalist had found problematic clips from “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.” Gillis had imitated a Chinese accent, made defamatory remarks and racial epithets against the Chinese, and used various homophobic slurs while ranking comedians based on their sexual orientation. When called out, Gillis defended himself on Twitter, calling himself “a comedian who pushes boundaries.”

#15: Katie Hopkins

Katie Hopkins is a very contentious English media personality and newspaper columnist. After appearing as a contestant on “The Apprentice,” Hopkins wrote columns for The Sun and the Daily Mail’s MailOnline. Her outspoken opinions have often generated scrutiny and controversy, including the Manchester Arena bombing fiasco. On the morning after the bombing, Hopkins wrote on Twitter that “we need a final solution” - a term that the Nazis used when referencing the Holocaust. She claims to have not meant it in that way, but rather as a “lasting solution.” Regardless, she was widely condemned by the media and her professional relationship with the talk radio station LBC was terminated. Following the London Bridge attack a few weeks later, Hopkins advocated for the use of internment camps.

#14: Iggy Azalea

During the height of her “Fancy” fame, Iggy Azalea came under attack for past tweets that many found to be both racist and homophobic. The offensive and hurtful tweets did some irreparable damage to her career and reputation. She dropped out of a gay pride event in Pittsburgh and canceled her Great Escape Tour. Of course, the latter was “officially” cancelled due to Iggy needing a “break,” but most thought it was a combination of the Twitter backlash and poor ticket sales. Iggy’s second studio album, released in July 2019, only reached #52 in her native Australia.

#13: Perez Hilton

Hilton is certainly a controversial figure, but he crossed a line in June of 2010, when his personal Twitter account supposedly linked to an upskirt photo of Miley Cyrus. While the pic was quickly taken down, witnesses claim that it showed the 17-year-old Cyrus climbing out of a car without any underwear. Hilton faced immediate backlash, and many people questioned if he would be brought up on charges. According to criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Douglas, “All you have to do is knowingly distribute the photograph.” Hilton later defended himself, claiming that Cyrus was wearing underwear and that the controversy was “fake.” No matter. The damage to Hilton’s reputation had been done.

#12: Jason Biggs

In the early 2010s, Jason Biggs made a bit of a post-“American Pie” comeback with roles in “Orange Is the New Black” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” However, a series of offensive tweets got him fired from the latter, after Nickelodeon featured his Twitter feed. Lo and behold, during the 2012 Republican National Convention, Biggs made an explicit tweet about Paul Ryan's wife. Both Biggs and Nickelodeon were targeted by parental groups, and Nickelodeon reportedly told Biggs to knock it off. He didn’t listen and continued tweeting offensive things, which included digs at Malaysian Airlines and dead “Bachelorette” contestant Eric Hill. The continued controversy was too much for Nickelodeon, and they fired Biggs in 2014.

#11: Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan’s prime is certainly behind him, but it’s never too late for a career resurgence. Hogan was attempting just that via his fourth return to the WWE in 2014. However, he received intense media scrutiny following the publication of a leaked sex tape. On the tape, Hogan can be reportedly heard calling himself “racist, to a point” and repeatedly using the n-word and homophobic slurs. Following that, it was like Hogan never existed. The WWE scrubbed him from their records, his merchandise and action figures were pulled from stores, and he was fired from the wrestling reality series “Tough Enough.” However, he was eventually reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame, and he made his fifth return to the network in 2018.

#10: Gilbert Gottfried

This legendary comedian and actor is known primarily for his signature grating voice, which has been used to great effect as Iago in “Aladdin” and the classic Aflac Duck. Unfortunately, he lost the latter commercial role after tweeting one, and then an extended series of very insensitive jokes following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The massive earthquake and resulting tsunami killed nearly 16,000 people and injured a further 6,157. People weren’t really in a laughing mood. And seeing as how Aflac does a huge proportion of its business in Japan, Gottfried was quickly and firmly dismissed by the company. So ended a decade-long iconic job, and a reputation.

#9: Azealia Banks

At this point, Azealia Banks is more famous for her social media presence than her music! In March of 2016, her second mixtape, titled “Slay-Z”, was released to the public. Just two months later, she found herself in hot water after aiming racist and homophobic tweets at Zayn Malik. This included calling him the ultra-derogatory f-word and a “curry-scented bitch.” Many called for comeuppance, and Twitter answered by blocking Banks’s account. She was also dropped by her UK booking agency. It significantly hurt her relatively young career, but it hasn’t stopped her from being provocative.

#8: Skrillex

Skrillex was the hottest thing in music in the early 2010s, earning five Grammy nominations in 2011 alone and ushering in the (brief) age of dubstep. But that same year, Skrillex tweeted that he “wish[ed] he was aloud to use the n word sometimes (in a non racist way of course).” The tweet didn’t immediately gain traction, but as Skrillex grew more and more popular, so too did the tweet. It was eventually taken down, but not before it was widely propagated throughout the internet. Now we’re not saying this tweet caused Skrillex’s downfall, but it certainly didn’t help his reputation or his public image - and he certainly hasn’t come close to duplicating the popularity he once had.

#7: Jack Maynard

Popular YouTuber Jack Maynard found himself in a whirlwind of trouble in late 2017. The Sun uncovered offensive tweets that Maynard had made as a teenager, including instances of racist and homophobic language. He was also dropped from (or left, depending on the source) the reality series “I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!” when it was revealed that he asked a fourteen year old girl for provocative pictures when he was seventeen. Maynard claims that he wasn’t aware of her age, and the girl called the interaction “harmless.” Regardless, Maynard faced backlash for the incident, which allegedly included him calling the girl “a bore” and “an ugly freak” when she refused.

#6: Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is arguably one of the leading figures of dream pop in today’s musical landscape. However, she is not without her controversies, and some big ones were unleashed in May 2020. The first came when she was defending her lyrical themes from critics and noting the love for artists like Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé as a double standard in the industry. After being criticized for singling out women of color, Rey was forced to claim that she is “definitely not racist.” Just a few days later, she again posted to Instagram, but this time it was a video of looters. Del Rey had exposed the looters’ identities, and some criticized the act of publishing the violent video through her social media.

#5: Kevin Spacey

When it comes to actors, few have been so thoroughly and systematically dismantled as Kevin Spacey. His house of cards came crumbling down in October 2017 when Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making advances on him when he was just fourteen years old. The accusation was damaging enough. But just one day later, Spacey released a statement through Twitter in which he infamously used the opportunity to come out as gay. Some saw it as a thinly-veiled attempt at deflection, while others thought that his “apology” was grossly insincere. While it’s clearly the accusations themselves that brought him down, the post was still tremendously derided. Spacey’s reputation was tarnished and his career completely cancelled. Now he’s seemingly only doing creepy YouTube videos that come out on Christmas Eve.

#4: CeeLo Green

The Gnarls Barkley crooner was on top of the world in early 2010s. “Forget You” was a massive worldwide hit, and he was serving as a judge on the enormously popular singing competition “The Voice.” And then he tweeted about sexual assault. He was accused of giving a woman ecstasy before sex, raising issues of consent. She claimed to have no memory of the night and resulting events, while CeeLo argued that victims of the violent crime would remember what happened. Needless to say, that specific tweet (and its equally bizarre accompaniments) caused an enormous amount of controversy, and CeeLo was effectively canceled, at least for awhile. He subsequently made appearances on “Lip Sync Battle” and “The Masked Singer.”

#3: Anthony Weiner

Weiner wasn’t an entertainment celebrity in the traditional sense, but he was a well-known public figure who had been in politics for many years. That career came crashing down in the summer of 2011 when Weiner found himself at the center of a highly publicized sexting debacle. On May 27, 2011, he accidentally posted an explicit photograph of himself to his public Twitter account. The photo was obviously meant for a specific person, and Weiner was soon embroiled in a controversy that ended in him resigning from Congress. But it didn’t end there. In 2016 it was reported that Weiner had been sexting a 15-year-old girl, a fact that eventually put him in prison for fifteen months.

#2: Roseanne Barr

Barr probably holds the record for the quickest collapse after a comeback in television history. “Roseanne” was monumentally popular throughout its run from 1988 to 1997, and it was famously revived in the spring of 2018. The first episode of the revival aired on March 27, 2018. And just over two months later to the day, Roseanne made a post about Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett. This incredibly insensitive and racist tweet was widely condemned, and “Roseanne” was canned the same day. Her career and reputation will never be the same again.

#1: Kathy Griffin

Many people don’t like Donald Trump. But many people also thought that Kathy Griffin went too far by holding his mock-decapitated head. On May 30, 2017, Griffin posted a highly controversial photo of her holding a bloody mask meant to represent Trump’s severed head. While She claimed it was meant as an edgy artistic piece, some people interpreted it as an inappropriate threat of violence against Trump. Griffin was fired from numerous gigs, including CNN's annual New Year's Eve program, all of her tour dates were cancelled, and she was even placed under investigation by the Justice Department. The photo was widely lambasted and Griffin’s reputation was ravaged.
Well, you know what they say? Even duct tape can't fix stupid but it can certainly muffle the sound.