Seeing a celeb making racial slurs or exhibiting a racist attitude makes us cringe. It’s even worse than seeing a beautiful woman walk down the street without realizing that the hem of her dress is tucked into her underwear. Well, unfortunately, we have witnessed quite a number of celebrities make jerks of themselves, whether publicly or behind closed doors. This is our list of 20 Celebrities who’ve Embarrassingly Been Caught being Racist.
Of course, being rich and famous means that you are under the microscope of the public eye just about every second of every single day. It is very hard to get even a smidgen of privacy, which is why celebs are usually getting dissed for their even slightly-racist behavior, much more than the common folk.
Still, as people who are always out in the media and the press, they have a certain level of responsibility to watch what they say and do. When there are always cameras lingering around, you can never be sure what will make it to the entertainment news shows and tabloid magazines! So, without further ado, here are 20 instances when celebrities just did not watch their mouths or actions and were slammed with public backlash.
20. Kelly Osbourne
This is perhaps the most recent celebrity racial blunder. Kelly Osbourne was speaking her mind on the hit talk show The View, when she let her temper and rage at Donald Trump get the better of her. Kelly was talking about her disdain for Trump, who was running for President of the United States. She then went on to say that he could not secure the Latin vote because he probably has a Latino cleaning his toilets. Uh. Oh. Wrong move. Co-host Rosie Perez got into a tizzy with Kelly over the comment and actually ended up leaving the show over it!
19. Hulk Hogan
When the Hulk’s daughter, Brooke Hogan, started a romantic relationship with a black man, the former pro wrestler found himself in hot water for a racist comment. Not only did he associate all black people with basketball, but he dropped the n-word…hm. So not a good move. Of course, World Wrestling Entertainment had to do something about the whole fiasco. They proceeded to take the Hulk off of many of its webpages and the whole thing saw Hogan regretting his words. He later issued a public statement and apology for his “unacceptable” behavior and words. That is whatchugotta do, brother!
18. Giuliana Rancic
When Giuliana Rancic made a racial slur about a certain hairstyle, it almost seemed as though all hell broke lose. So first, some background information. Rancic is currently one of the co-hosts/judgmental figures on the hit show, Fashion Police. She is known for making comments (good or bad) about celebrity fashion choices. When young Zendaya (formerly of Disney Channel fame) was spotted on the red carpet with dreadlocks, Rancic said that her hair probably smelled like weed. Not a smart move, Giuliana! Zendaya was rather graceful about it, and commented that Rancic should not use played-out stereotypes to hate on her.
17. Justin Bieber
What? Justin Bieber being offensive? Why, that just can’t be! All sarcasm aside, this blunder came about when the Biebs was just a young teen, 15 years old, to be exact. That is still not really an excuse though. He told a tasteless, racist joke which involved African Americans and a chain saw. There is no need to go through the joke here, but it was very offensive and he received a lot of flak for it. If only that were the least of his worries now! He has grown up into a full-fledged machine of offensiveness and lewd behavior. Way to go, Justin!
16. Paula Deen
In what was perhaps one of the most controversial and public celebrity slip-ups a few summers ago, celeb-chef Paula Deen was nearly burned at the stake for her racist actions. In the summer of 2013, Deen was accused of sexual and racial discrimination. She apparently was heard using the n-word and racial slurs against African Americans while working with her employees. She ended up admitting that she had used the n-word on multiple occasions and cited an instance when she was held up at gunpoint by a black man while working at a bank. The whole thing resulted in Deen losing a lot of privileges, such as being taken off the Food Network.
15. Miley Cyrus
Whoops! It looks as though Miley Cyrus got herself in trouble yet again! She had previously been accused of dissing the flag of Mexico, but then the accusations festered and escalated into allegations that she had made racist comments against Mexicans as well. Apparently, Miley said that she did not care what Mexicans thought of her and that they were “the worst thing that could have happened” to her country. Wow. Those are some strong words. This incident was all over the gossip magazines and tabloids, but may have been blown out of proportion and somewhat skewed by the media.
14. Riley Cooper
In another video of a white man spewing out the n-word, Riley Cooper of the Philadelphia Eagles got a lot of flak for his actions. Jeffrey Lurie then released a statement and a public apology. Apparently, Cooper was fined for his behavior and he released his own public apology. He said that he was extremely hurt and sorry for his actions. It was an embarrassing incident for the pro football player and it was a sting to a city that is known for its awesome diversity. Cooper’s apology seemed sincere enough, although his slight Southern drawl kind of took away from it.
13. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd Mayweather was yet another celebrity who was caught on a video during a racist rant. Ugh, this is getting old, is it not? In this incident, Mayweather was revealed during a conversation filled with profanity and offensive language. Before a fight, Mayweather was heard calling his opponent, Manny Pacquiao a “midget” and then he bragged about how much money he makes for each fight. It was an unflattering video on so many levels. It made Mayweather look like a petty punk as well as an extremely disrespectful human being. Social media blew up after his rant and it shocked a lot of people, whether or not they were boxing fans.
12. John Wayne
John Wayne may be a pop culture icon, but that does not mean that he was immune to the self-righteousness that goes along with being rich and famous. After all, what would you expect from a guy who was starring in some of the most well-known American hero films of all time? All that aside, John Wayne was caught exhibiting his racist patterns of thinking when explaining how he treated blacks on the set, saying that he gave them a “proper position” in the films he directed. Um, that is not exactly a way to play up your dedication to diversity, John Wayne. He also said that while whites did some bad things to blacks, it’s not like they should “get on their knees” and apologize.
11. Ted Danson
There is a fine line between being comedic and being offensive. Comedians seem to get into hot water quite frequently for going off the deep end or just taking a racial joke too far. So it was with Ted Danson. He was performing at a celebrity roast and told a joke that was just so not funny. His subject was Whoopi Goldberg, and there are so many ways to be funny without resorting to race. It is kind of a played-out jab and it is quite tasteless as well. Anyway, Danson ended up using the n-word in his “roast” and he lost his audience’s confidence and support as he continued to go downhill with his act.
10. John Mayer
Wait, what happened to “waiting on the world to change”? Apparently John Mayer had a slip-up and went back against his words of respect for others. The singer was already known for being weird, but when he was interviewed by Playboy, he said that his … manhood was a “white supremacist.” Um, what? The rest of the interview was sprinkled with curse words and other indecent language (of course, it was Playboy), but still, that was totally uncalled for. It may have been Mayer’s way of saying that he didn’t really dig African American lovers, but it was definitely delivered in such a tasteless way.
9. Chelsea Handler
When the film 12 Years a Slave came out, late-night comedienne Chelsea Handler took a jab at it. It starred Brad Pitt and Lupita Nyong’o, so Chelsea took the opportunity to hit Angelina Jolie with an offensive remark. The funnywoman may have just been trying to be humorous, but it turned out being an offensive and derogatory joke. She wrote on her Twitter that with the critical acclaim the film amassed, Brad Pitt’s wife (Jolie) would adopt Lupita, an African American. On a side note, Chelsea has a book, Uganda Be Kidding Me. Lupita took it gracefully, making Chelsea look even more like a jerk and a white supremacist.
8. Shaquille O’Neal
Legend and pro basketball player Shaquille O’Neal got himself into trouble? Unfortunately, yes, he did. The huge athlete was in hot water after he made a racist comment about another professional basketball player, Yao Ming, who is Asian. Apparently, Shaq had mocked Yao Ming (on camera) by trying to mimic the Chinese language. You can guess how that turned out. Not only did Shaq look uneducated and childish, but he received a lot of backlash from the gesture, both in the United States and abroad. He later apologized for his actions and racist behavior. Come on, Shaq, we thought you were better than that!
7. Alec Baldwin
Uh-oh. Get ready for yet another racist rant. This time it was Alec Baldwin who unleashed some offensive language. When the dwindling actor was approached by a photographer in New York, he apparently went on a huge rant and spouted out racial slurs. The photographer was an African American and was called offensive and racist names by Baldwin, such as a “crackhead” and a “drug dealer.” What a low blow, Baldwin. Then the actor had the audacity to say that he was the victim in this incident, and that he was being harassed by the photographer. Hello! You are famous, so why would you not expect some media attention?
6. Paris Hilton
Do we even want to know what kind of trouble Paris Hilton got herself into? She probably thought that she was being funny or witty, too. Ugh. She was reported as saying that she couldn’t stand black guys and that she would “never touch one” because it is gross. Well, excuse us, Paris Hilton. In an interview that took place when she was just 18 years old, Hilton was documented as saying that she was kissing an actor and then immediately left when she realized that he was black. This is just what we would expect from her…to start making out with a guy and then go all ditzy blonde on us.
5. Howard Stern
Now he is a popular judge on the hit NBC variety show America’s Got Talent, but Howard Stern received a lot of flak for an interview in which he came across as a very indignant white supremacist. When Stern was talking on his radio talk show, he started talking about the use of the n-word in the media, such as on the E! television network. He then stood up for those who use the word, saying that just because someone uses it, that does not mean that they are racist. Wait, what? This was just a convoluted conversation that left us more annoyed with each passing minute.
Wait a second! Rihanna being racist? Yes, it really does appear so. Ri-Ri was caught using some offensive language when she spoke out about rapper Chris Brown’s girlfriend, who was Vietnamese. Rihanna referred to the girlfriend as a “rice cake,” which was a jab at the woman’s Asian heritage. Now, we know that Rihanna has every reason to feel ill will toward Chris Brown (after all, he totally beat the crap out of her when they were dating.) Yet, his new girlfriend did not do anything to Rihanna, and making racial slurs is just plain wrong. Shame on you, Rihanna!
3. Gilbert Gottfried
If you can get past his annoying voice, then check out Gilbert Gottfried’s racial comment that followed the horrific disasters in Japan. When the tsunami struck, Gottfried posted insensitive comments on his Twitter account, which included sexual comments and profanity as well. With phrases such as another (Japanese girl) will be “floating by any minute now” and that Japan was asking for a “few billion rubber duckies,” the public was shocked and appalled. What’s worse, those were just a couple of the tasteless comments that he made on social media. Did he not realize that everyone would see that? Gottfried was the voice of the duck in the popular Aflac commercials. Yeah, not anymore.
Okay, so when Jay-Z and Beyonce head out the door, pretty much everyone takes notice. How could the star rapper and hip hop mogul be so willy-nilly and unaware that his fashion choice would stir up loads of controversy? Jay-Z was spotted attending a basketball game with Bey while wearing a medallion that had an offensive symbol on it. It was the sign of the Five Percent Nation, which holds the belief that white men are basically evil. Hm, what are you trying to say, Jay-Z? It turns out that the Five Percent Nation is a branch splitting off from Islam, which raised a lot of questions for the celebrity.
1. Michael Richards
At the Laugh Factory, Michael Richards went on a hysterical racist rant in which he shouted profanity and the n-word – repeatedly – on the stage. He made references to lynching and white supremacy, and it was really a frightening and insane instance. Then when Richards decided to make a public apology on The Late Show with David Letterman, the studio audience was actually laughing at him. This was so messed up on so many levels. This definitely makes the top of our list of celebrity racist behaviors, and it was really unfortunate for Richards. This is an instance that people will find hard to forget.