In the entertainment industry, you often hear about celebrities having some pretty heinous behavior. They get into fistfights with paparazzi, go on drug binges and make questionable statements in interviews. Normally, there doesn’t seem to be any consequences or repercussions for this behavior. After all, “all publicity is good publicity.” Still, sometimes an actor is just so terrible on the set that it hurts their career.
Today, we’re talking about actors of hit television shows that were so detestable off and on the set that studio execs couldn’t help but get rid of this. In some cases, the actors are fine at work but have turbulent private lives. In others, they’re just terribly difficult to work with.
Read on for our list of 5 actors that got fired from hit TV shows.
5. Columbus Short Fired From Scandal
This actor-getting-fired story is a recent one. Columbus Short played Harrison Wright on the super popular ABC show Scandal. His character was there from the beginning, working in main character Olivia Pope’s staff as a litigator. Since its start in 2012, Scandal has been an immensely popular show. It has won many awards, including a Peabody Award for Area of Excellence in Television. It has consistently been one of the highest rated dramas on television since it started. You would think that staying on a show like this would be a top priority for an actor.
Well, the choice for Columbus Short was firmly taken out of his hands. Just a few weeks after Columbus made headlines for alleged domestic violence against his wife, Tanee McCall-Short, in April 2014, he was let go from the show. It would seem from the timing that his personal life had a direct effect on his career. After the announcement of his firing, Columbus said “At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I’ve called home for 3 years, with what is the most talented ensemble in television today. Everything must come to an end and unfortunately the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas. I wish nothing but the best for Shonda, Kerry and the rest of the cast…”
4. Lisa Bonet Fired From A Different World and The Cosby Show
The Cosby Show was one of the most popular television shows of the entire 1980s. The NBC sitcom, featuring successful black parents and their large group of interesting, adorable and funny children, was a hit for eight seasons and over 200 episodes. It won dozens of Emmy, Golden Globe and People’s Choice Awards during its run. Because of its success, it had a spin-off show called A Different World that followed one of the Huxtable children, Denise, as she went to college. Unfortunately, Lisa Bonet, the actress playing Denise Huxtable, was booted off of A Different World after only one season and off The Cosby Show a few years afterward.
What was Lisa’s big offense for getting kicked off A Different World in 1988? She got pregnant with her daughter, Zoe Kravitz. Lisa was surprised to find that the studio execs wanted nothing to do with a pregnant Denise Huxtable, removing her from the show. After childbirth, she went back to The Cosby Show in her original role. Unfortunately, she was still a bit pissed off about the whole A Different World pregnancy controversy, and was a trouble to work with on set. Eventually, she was fired from The Cosby Show in 1991 for “creative differences,” according to People Magazine.
3. Charlie Sheen Fired From Two And a Half Men
Some actors are just a pain both on and off the set. That seems to be the big downfall for Charlie Sheen and his career on the hit CBS sitcom, Two and a Half Men. Though he had been on the show for eight seasons, his antics were eventually too much for the production team to handle. Up until his exit after the eighth season, Charlie had been a part of a very successful show. Two and a Half Men had already won 10 awards, including People’s Choice Awards for Favorite TV Comedy four separate times. Even though he was contributing to a hit show, that didn’t stop producers from eventually firing him.
Near the end of his run on the show, Charlie Sheen had a serious drug problem. From early 2010 to January, 2011, he had entered rehab three times. Each time he went to rehab, the show would have to be put on hiatus. If that wasn’t bad enough, Charlie started acting erratically both on set and in public interviews (few can forget the whole “winning” and “tiger blood” interview of 2011). When Sheen complained about being paid only $1 million per episode, producer Chuck Lorre had enough and let him go for good. He was replaced by Ashton Kutcher and the show continues to have decent ratings to date without the hard-to-work-with Charlie Sheen. This story proves that anyone can be replaced.
2. Isaiah Washington Fired From Grey’s Anatomy
Bullies can come in any age, as proven by the story of Isaiah Washington and his firing from the hit ABC medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Isaiah played Dr. Preston Burke in the first three seasons of the show. During this time, the show was a major hit, winning a 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Series – Drama, among others. So, what could possibly happen on the set of this show to get one of its main characters fired? The answer is homophobia.
At the time of the third season, actor T. R. Knight, who played Dr. George O’Malley, had a major role on the show. Unfortunately, Isaiah Washington had a problem working with a gay actor and used a homophobic slur against him on the set. This situation quickly snowballed and made the headlines on many entertainment newspapers, shows and websites. In response to the controversy, T. R. Knight decided to come out as gay to the general public, and Isaiah was fired from the show after the third season in 2007. Still, there seems to be a bit of forgiveness on the part of ABC as Isaiah is getting a one-episode reprisal on the show this May, 2014 to help tie up the end of the storyline for Sandra Oh‘s character’s departure from the show.
1. Shannen Doherty Fired From Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed
Shannen Doherty gets the number one spot on this list because she was able to pull something off that no one else could: she was fired from several different shows. By now, you’ve probably heard how difficult Shannen is to work with. It was the talk of the town during the height of Beverly Hills, 90210′s run in the 1990s. Though fans loved her portrayal of Brenda Walsh, her coworkers and fellow actors had other opinions. Jason Priestly, who played her TV brother, said in his recent memoir, “She really and truly did not give a shit…It was a very cool attitude, until it wasn’t.” She was eventually fired from Beverly Hills, 90210 after the fourth season in 1994.
Four years after she was fired from her first show, she was cast in a new one about three witchy sister called Charmed. It was a big hit and co-starred Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs. Still, Shannen’s attitude eventually became a problem with her new castmates as well, particularly between her and Alyssa. Alyssa said of Shannen, “We definitely didn’t get along.” Rumor has it that Alyssa presented an ultimatum to studio execs: “either she leaves or I do.” In the end, they chose to kill off Shannen’s character and start a new character starring Rose McGowan.