Being a celebrity is tough; not only do you have to watch what you say, but you have to also make sure you are aware of who you say it to, being oblivious of your surroundings, especially when it comes to controversial topics like racism. There have always been incidents of celebrities getting caught making racial slurs or stating ignorant comments that they don’t realize are actually offensive. In this age of social media, you can’t follow, hash tag, post or comment on anything without being called out. Actors, comedians, talent managers, models, musicians, athletes; no one is immune to the negative side that comes along when you make off-putting comments against another race. This list counts down celebrities who were caught making racial slurs, derogatory comments and ethnic faux pas.
16. Mel Gibson
Probably the most well known incident of celebrity racism; occurring back in 2006, during a drunk driving arrest, actor Mel Gibson thought it would be a good idea to hurl racist comments in the streets of LA about his hatred towards Jewish people. According to TMZ, Gibson verbally attacked the officers with anti-Semitics that included “f****** Jews”, and stating that Jews were responsible for the wars in this country. Unfortunately, this was not the only time Gibson had an outburst such as this one. In 2010, during a nasty divorce from his now ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva, Gibson told his ex during a phone conversation that he hopes she gets sexually assaulted by a pack of n******. Fortunately, Gibson has calmed down a bit and is barely on the radar anymore. I don’t know if society would be able to take another one of those rants.
15. Iggy Azalea
Google Iggy Azalea and racist, and see what pops up. Apparently racism is okay, just as long as you Tweet it. Iggy’s Twitter is full of subtle racism and stereotypes, like referring to Mexican bodies as box-shaped; and you know what’s even better? She does not discriminate. She goes in on all races; Asians, blacks, Aboriginals, the list goes on and on. She even goes on to make homophobic jokes and use derogatory terms when referring to the LGBTQ community. How has this not made headlines yet? Overall, it comes down to being a really ignorant, uneducated type of chick.
14. Chris Rock
Over the July 4th holiday in 2012, comedian and actor Chris Rock made an appearance on FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, where he made a joke about the holiday in reference to the black race; “Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.” Rock, not one to shy away from controversy over racial comments, sparked a debate on social media that had a lot of people ticked and fighting back. However, Rock wasn’t phased and till this day, continues to comment on race culture through social media and films.
13. Sarah Silverman
If another comedian is calling you out for being racist, chances are, you ARE a racist (a little Maury reference). Sarah Silverman harps on all the time about how sexist people are, and how offensive some of the jokes against Jewish people are; yet, she thinks it’s okay to make several jokes during her hour long sets about everything from how disastrous it would be for blacks to own guns, and how flies are pitching on Indian children’s faces is second nature to them. W. Kamau Bell wrote a blog about Silverman’s lack of evolving when referring to race and culture. My opinion, don’t dish it if you can’t take it.
12. Michael Richards
Seinfeld’s beloved neighbor and overall odd ball completely tarnished his reputation back in 2012, during a stand up comedy show at the infamous Laugh Factory. I guess this is what you resort to when you do not have the undivided attention in the room. Michael Richards went on a rant, making the most derogatory of statements toward a black male who was speaking during his act. The rant included comments like “50 years ago we would have you upside down with a fork up your a**”, and “ you’re a n*****”. When other races stop laughing and clear out of the room, you know you messed up. He should have thought twice before making those comments. I guess he forgot that we live in an age of social media, nobody gets away with anything anymore. Within 24 hours of the incident, TMZ had a recording up on their website; till this day, the infamous rant has over a million hits on Youtube.
11. Paula Deen
Oh, what can we say about good ol’ Paula Deen? Everybody’s mama hen has received her own share of hatred when she allowed her real southern side to come out in 2013. Comparing her black “friend” to the shade of a black board and apparently allowing the staff at her restaurant to be abused by allowing others to use the N word. Deen has since been hard at work trying to repair her reputation, and it seems like she’s moving in the right direction; signing endorsement deals upwards of a million dollars. See what humbling yourself can sometimes do?
10. Shaquille O’Neal
In 2003, NBA superstar, Shaquille O’Neal appeared on Fox’s Best Damn Sports Show Period, where he had the opportunity to make a racist remark towards Asians. When asked to give a message to then new player Yao Ming, Shaq looked straight into the camera and said; “Tell Yao Ming, ‘Ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh.’”, all this while mimicking kung-fu moves and a mock-Chinese accent. Although the tall superstar apologized for his actions, he will probably never live this one down.
9. Jay Z
Jay Z raised some flags in 2010, when he made a statement about not letting any ‘whites’ into his BRIT awards after party. VIP was locked down tight that night in London, allegedly only allowing black people into the section to party with the king and queen of hip hop. This modern day segregation seemed to cause an uproar in the club; up and coming singer Alesha Dixon attested to the chaos by Tweeting that her friends were being knocked about and no one seems to care. But of course, in true Jay and Bey fashion, they remained tight lipped, AKA they don’t care enough to comment. After all, who dare question the king and queen.
8. Charlie Sheen
Not only is Charlie Sheen a little bit crazy, he also can’t get his racist remarks directed at the right race. In 2008, Sheen decided to leave a voice-mail on his ex-wife, Denise Richards’ phone, saying that he hopes she rots in hell and called her a coward right before he called her the N word. Now, I’m no genius, but I do have the blessing of sight and common sense and I could have sworn that last time we checked, Richards is white with a little bronzer. Sheen later apologized, but in the future, if he’s going to use racial slurs, he should figure out who is who, literally.
On top of everything else Rihanna is known for; the constant nudity, the weed references and fighting with her Twitter followers, Rihanna now has ties to the race game. When Rihanna briefly got back together with Chris Brown, in March 2012, she decided to throw it in Brown’s former girlfriend, Karrueche Tran’s face. She tweeted a photo of a pack of rice cakes wearing glasses and hoop earrings; she captioned it, Ima make you my b**** referring to her song Birthday Cake. Rihanna did not apologize. In fact, her Tweet was co-signed and retweeted by Brown and her good friend, video model, Melissa Ford.
6. Zab Judah
Even wrestlers are apparently getting in on the race game; When Zab Judah found out that he was matched with Pakistani boxer Amir Khan, Judah took that as an excuse to call Khan “curry King Khan”. If that wasn’t already bad enough, he even took it a step further, by wishing he would choke on his samosas. This really takes trash talking to a whole new level.
5. John Wayne
In 1971, rough around the edges heart throb, John Wayne did a very revealing interview with Playboy Magazine, basically stating that he believes in White Supremacy. During the interview, Wayne made comments about blacks being too uneducated to give leadership to, and he stated that he would not all of a sudden, get down on his hands and knees and turn everything over to blacks. Don’t worry John, nobody is asking for that. Talk about being uneducated.
4. Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton is known for many things; the Carl’s Jr burger commercials, carrying dogs around in her purse and oh yeah, that pesky sex tape that got leaked. You may be aware of all of this, but, I bet you didn’t know that Ms. Hilton has been caught using racial slurs on more than one occasion. She was even called out by author Neil Strauss, in his 2011 book, Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead: Journey’s into Fame and Madness quoting her saying that she can’t stand black guys and would never touch one, going on to say that one percent black is enough for her.
3. Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Commonly known as Dr. Laura, you would think someone who is a psychologist, someone who boasts so much about how educated she is and someone who has a radio show, where she gives life advice, would know that even uttering a racial slur in the comfort of her own home is risky, but to boldly do it on her radio show that has thousands of listeners, is just plain ignorant. When a fan and advice seeker called in to talk about her interracial relationship; before she could even finish her question, she was bombarded with insults, including being accused of hypersensitivity and told to get use to hearing the word n*****. Before you know it, Dr. Laura is frantically yelling out the word n***** a total of 11 times. This goes to show you that even the most educated of people can still put their foot in their mouth.
2. Duane “Dog” Chapman
Well, if you’re black, DON’T DATE ANY OF DOG’S CHILDREN! Duane Chapman went on a rant back in 2007, when he found out that one of his bazillion children decided to date a black girl. He left a voicemail for his son that referred to his girlfriend as a n***** and encouraging him not to date her. The tape was sold to The Enquirer and was made public immediately; as a result, Dog’s show was suspended. Now that the controversy has blown over, the show is back on the air, thriving.
1. Donald Sterling
L.A. Clippers owner, Donald Sterling was caught this year on tape, making several racist comments to his mistress, V. Stiviano, about inviting black people to Clippers games. He apparently had a problem with her inviting black men to the games, and being seen on camera with them. But there are so many more problems with this story: 1. His girlfriend is biracial and 2. Basketball is commonly known as a black sport. He was recorded saying “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people”, he continued , “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want”, but “the little I ask you is … not to bring them to my games. Keep in mind, Sterling’s team has predominantly black players. Sterling was eventually forced to sell the Clippers and slapped with a lifetime ban from the NBA.