15 Celebs Who Torpedoed their Career in a Matter of Seconds

14th April, 2020

When in show business, every move is like walking on thin ice: one wrong move can crush your career. And we’ve all witnessed this one too many times.

15 Celebs Who Torpedoed their Career in a Matter of Seconds Shutterstock

It’s tough being a celebrity, and tougher to sustain that status, especially since public scrutiny tends to be 24/7. From nose jobs gone wrong to sex scandals, the entertainment industry has seen it all. While some celebs manage to go a lifetime with nary a scandal, there are some that just can't seem to shake questionable behavior. Here are some stars who have ruined their careers—some even at the height of their stardom.

1. Michael Richards

Yes, goofy Kramer from the cult classic Seinfeld. Him. After he let loose a stream of racist epithets at a stand-up comedy sketch in 2006, aimed at Black hecklers, his career pretty much careened. A self-imposed exile and some not-so-impressive comeback attempts later, Richards' career seems to be in limbo.

2. Hulk Hogan

The former wrestler made a sex tape with his best friend’s wife. However, that’s not what tarnished his image: Hogan used the “n-word” in the tape. As if that wasn’t enough, he was caught using homophobic slurs, and he was eventually fired by WWE in 2015.

3. Sinead O’Connor

When Sinead tore up the picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live and declared, “Fight the real enemy,” the move garnered a lot of hate and mockery. Whether it was right for her to do so still is a debate; however, this event on national television struck a massive blow to her career.

4. Tila Tequila

The former reality tv star Tila Tequila’s career shattered after she put up a problematic post in favor of Hitler. It emphasized that he was not a bad person, and as if that wasn’t enough, she posted a picture of herself posing in front of Auschwitz concentration camp wearing a Nazi armband. Her account has since been taken down by Twitter.

5. Dani Mathers

Dani Mathers, a Playboy model, shared a photo of an unsuspecting woman changing clothes in the locker room at a gym. The post read, “If I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either.” Not only did she lose her gym membership, but she also garnered a lot of flak after the body-shaming incident.

6. Mark Salling

Mark Salling, who got fame for his role in Glee, was under scrutiny when the world learned about him assaulting a woman and forcing her into having unprotected sex. It didn’t stop at this. Stories of his child porn photography collection started doing rounds, and that was the last nail in the coffin of his career.

7. Paul Reubens

Paul Reuben, AKA Pee-wee Herman, a kids’ show host, was charged with exposing himself at an adult theater. While there were quite a few people who thought the issue had been blown out of proportion, this incident was enough to be a career wrecker for him.

8. Ian Watkins (Lostprophets)

Lostprophets was doing well before Ian Watkins, the lead singer, was charged with attempted rape and sexual assault on children. Along with his career, he took the entire band down after being sentenced to 35 years for child sex offenses.

9. Josh Duggar

19 Kids and Counting, a TV show based on one of America’s largest families, was taken off air by TLC after Josh Duggar’s sexual assaults came to light. Several women—including four of his sisters—were assaulted, and we haven’t seen him on TV since.

10. Dixie Chicks

The once chart-topping leading ladies of country music got their career to a screeching halt after the lead singer, Natalie Maines, bashed President George W. Bush in 2002 right before the invasion of Iraq. She said that the band is ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas. This statement was not well-received by the public, and Dixie Chicks was blacklisted by major broadcasting networks.

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