Hollywood is strange in that it falls somewhere between high school and a place of business. Those who flock there do so with the intention of making it big, getting their name on a marquee, and earning hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. But if they are to do so, it is crucial that they are seen with the right people, wear the right clothes, and act the right way.
Just like high school, Hollywood is notoriously fickle and those within it will happily turn their back on their closest of friends in order to save their career. This actually happens quite a bit, especially in the age of the internet when something as simple as an ill-timed tweet or unique belief can turn you and those who associate themselves with you into figures of hate. Every day it seems another celebrity is added to Hollywood’s blacklist, with entertainers being cast out almost as quickly as they were back in the 1950s during the infamous McCarthy communist witch hunts.
When Hollywood decides it doesn’t want anything to do with a certain entertainer, that person finds it almost impossible to get work. Nobody is willing to risk their career or reputation by giving the exiled former star a job. It’s undoubtedly an unpleasant situation, one which we have seen play out time and time again and are most certainly going to continue to see in the future.
Here are some celebs Hollywood won’t hire anymore (and the reasons why).
21. Kirstie Alley – Weight Issues And Link To Scientology
Towards the end of the 1980s, there were few bigger stars in Hollywood than Kirstie Alley. She achieved widespread critical acclaim for her role as Rebecca Howe in Cheers, even winning a Primetime Emmy for her performance, and captured the hearts of millions of American males with her stunning good looks. However, Alley struggled to remain relevant after Cheers came to an end and a series of personal troubles led to her gaining a significant amount of weight, rendering her virtually unrecognizable.
Alley has also fallen victim to the old curse of Scientology, willingly sacrificing her personal relationships for her religion. As a result of this, many of the Hollywood elite have avoided doing business with Alley for fear she will label them a “suppressive person” and have them subjected to the infamous slander machine of the Church of Scientology.
20. Eddie Murphy – Arrested In Prostitution Scandal
Eddie Murphy is odd in that when you see him on the news or being interviewed on a talk show, you have the feeling that he is in some way sleazy or morally questionable, but you can’t figure out exactly why. A lot of that comes from a 1997 incident in which the Beverly Hills Cops star was observed by police as he attempted to do business with a transvestite prostitute. While the prostitute was obviously charged with prostitution, Murphy was released without charge, which meant there was no reason for the scandal not to blow over. Of course, that’s not how things work in Hollywood. The scandal and the embarrassment which came along with it have been hanging over Murphy’s head for the past two decades and even now limits the roles which come his way.
19. Kate Hudson – Typecast
You’re off to a great start when both of your parents are well-known actors. Kate Hudson’s career took off in 2000 when she starred in the movie Almost Famous. After being in the successful How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in 2003, she continued to land prominent roles but those movies were making less and less money and critics were having a field day. Unfortunately, Kate had let herself become typecast. It’s happened to plenty of actresses before her like Meg Ryan and Kate’s own mother, Goldie Hawn. When your movies continually fail then Hollywood stops calling. She co-founded a business in 2013 and has also been dabbling in music. This might indicate that Hudson knows that her stock in Hollywood has hit an iceberg so it’s time to put on a flotation device and get in a lifeboat before the ship is totally submerged. She still gets ink though. That’s a good sign.
18. Macaulay Culkin – Issues With Substances
Macaulay Culkin is arguably the single greatest child star of all time. As a kid, he was cast as Kevin McCallister in the 1990 Christmas classic Home Alone, which became a massive commercial and critical success on the strength of his performance. In the years that followed, Culkin became a staple of Hollywood, appearing in numerous other films and even scoring himself a role in a Michael Jackson music video.
As Culkin grew, however, the number of roles which came his way greatly reduced. By the beginning of the new millennium, he was pretty much nowhere to be seen and would show his face only when caught up in some scandal involving drugs, alcohol, and the various questionable ways in which he was spending his Home Alone fortune. While I’m sure every 90s kid would love to see Culkin cast in a major role today, Hollywood studios are reluctant to do business with him owing to his eccentric behavior and the multitude of critical – quite often true – things he has said about the movie industry.
17. Jessica Biel – Failed In Almost All Her Big-Screen Roles
Most of us are familiar with Jessica Biel. She started out at a young age as a vocalist working in a few musical productions. She made the leap into acting when she was cast as Mary Camden on the television show 7th Heaven. She’s been in over 30 movies but she has never really reached A-list status and many of her movies have been panned. Quick!! Can you name 3 entertaining movies that she’s been in? She is definitely hot and looks great on the big screen but some say that she lacks the acting chops and that she relies too much on her looks. She has lost several roles to more talented actresses even though they may have been somewhat less attractive. She also recently became a mother which isn’t conducive to spending time on a movie set and improving those acting skills. There are many other hot actresses with more talent and less attitude out there.
16. John Travolta – Linked To Scientology
Having starred in such classics as Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and, of course, Pulp Fiction, John Travolta is undoubtedly Hollywood royalty. So why has his kingdom been so reluctant to do business with him in the past couple of years? There are a number of possible explanations, including persistent rumors of perverse sexual behavior (he was even accused of sexual assault back in 2012), but the most obvious reason for Travolta’s career downturn has been his involvement in the Church of Scientology. Much like Kirstie Alley, Travolta has alienated many of his friends and professional contacts for the sake of his religion, branding them as “suppressive people” and pretty much making sure he will never again work on a project in which the Church of Scientology does not have at least some input.
15. Tara Reid – Partying, Negative Publicity And Terrible Surgeries
Tara Reid became a household name after she appeared in American Pie in 1999 and American Pie 2 in 2001. She was smoking hot and audiences, especially the male audiences, really didn’t give a hoot that she wasn’t much of an actress. For a while, the film studios gave her a pass on her poor acting skills too because she was sexy and fairly bankable. That didn’t last long. After the early 2000s, Tara’s career began a slow but steady burn. Her legendary hard partying, negative publicity and disastrous plastic surgeries were more than enough to turn off the studios. Tara doesn’t even seem to take herself seriously anymore. She has been acting a bit in recent years but she hasn’t been in anything worth mentioning unless you’re a fan of the Sharknado franchise. We can expect to see her on the big screen in the future but the chances of her ever landing a prominent role in a major film production are next to zero. She blew it!
14. Hulk Hogan – Racist Scandal Involving Sex Tape
In the 1980s, Hulk Hogan was arguably the most famous man in the world. His role as the perpetual face of the World Wrestling Federation turned him into a household name and Hollywood soon came calling, casting him in a number of critically unsuccessful but high-paying family films. Later, Hogan’s family life would be shown to the world on the reality-television series Hogan Knows Best.
Unfortunately for the Hulkster, today neither Hollywood nor the world of professional wrestling wants anything to do with him. This comes as a result of some controversial comments the former WWE Champion made when he was unaware he was being recorded back in 2007. He made countless racist statements and bemoaned the fact his daughter had been sleeping with a black man. When a transcript of the audio was released in 2015, Hogan embarked on a media apology tour across America, though few have forgiven him.
13. Brendan Fraser – Several Poor Film Choices Including Furry Vengeance
In the 1990s, Canadian-American actor Brendan Fraser was acting all the way to the bank. The guy was scoring roles left, right, and center. He appeared in countless films, including George of the Jungle, In the Army Now, and, of course, The Mummy. Although roles began to wind down following the turn of the millennium, Fraser continued to capture satisfactory acting gigs. By 2010, however, the frequency of those gigs had dwindled even further and today Fraser’s inability to find Hollywood studios willing to cast him has become something of a running joke.
A significant portion of Hollywood’s distrust of Fraser’s acting abilities comes from the fact that the vast majority of his recent films have been total flops, such as the disastrous 2010 release Furry Vengeance. His reputation has not been helped by an ugly and incessant custody battle with his ex-wife, who claims Fraser avoided disclosing his finances and upcoming movie roles in order to receive a reduction in alimony and child support.
12. Brooke Shields – Huge Fail With TV Show Suddenly Susan
Brooke Shields has always been a controversial and somewhat polarizing figure. She had a domineering mother, suffered through post-partum depression, hung out with Michael Jackson, and was criticized by Tom Cruise. She was in most teenage boys’ dreams in the early 80s even though her acting skills were the butt of many jokes. After a 5 year hiatus to attend Princeton University, she returned to acting in 1989 but struggled to reach her former glory. She finally recaptured success but it wasn’t on the big screen. She starred in the television show Suddenly Susan in 1996. Since the show was canceled in 2000, Brooke has become virtually invisible. She maintained a pretty busy acting schedule up until 2011 but none of those roles or movies were noteworthy in the least. She comes with a lot of baggage and just isn’t the draw that the studios need her to be. She appears destined to grind out a career in television.
11. Mel Gibson – Various Controversies Including Anti-Semitic Rant
It’s crazy to think that Hollywood studios are skeptical about hiring Mel Gibson to perform in anything. I mean, the guy was once the single most sought after actor in the world, with every marquee his name touched turning to gold. He starred in, among other now-iconic films, Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, and The Patriot. He even produced a riveting documentary on the acclaimed and now unfortunately late Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.
So why has Hollywood been so reluctant to cast Gibson over the past couple of years? Well, most of it has to do with his many controversies. For example, in 2010, Gibson became the focus of a domestic violence investigation after his partner Oksana Grigorieva accused him of making a series of terrifying threats against her, including wishing sexual assault upon her. Four years prior to that, Gibson famously embarked on an anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for drunk driving in Malibu.
10. Michael Richards – Racist Rant At Comedy Show
For years, Michael Richards seemed incapable of doing anybody any harm. Richards spent the majority of the 1990s appearing as Cosmo Kramer on the beloved American sitcom Seinfeld. Kramer, the neighbor of a fictionalized version of Jerry Seinfeld, was portrayed as a wacky, almost childlike eccentric who was always working on some scheme to elevate the positions of himself and his friends in society.
For years after the Seinfeld series finale, the public struggled to separate Michael Richards the actor from Kramer the character. That was, of course, until late 2006, when Richards was performing a set at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood. Furious to be interrupted by an African-American audience member, Richards embarked on a rant filled with profanities and racial insults, even advocating lynching. Richards pretty much retired from stand-up comedy following the incident, which may have been a preemptive strike against those who would have refused to book him. He has struggled to obtain any work in Hollywood since the incident, which he claims continues to haunt him more than ten years later.
9. Mark Salling – Arrested For Possession Of Inappropriate Child Content
Mark Salling achieved his greatest fame in the hit television series Glee, in which he portrayed the character of Noah “Puck” Puckerman. Salling was a success on the show and seemed bound for great things after its conclusion, but a number of high-profile controversies derailed his career. The most notable of which was, of course, his 2015 arrest for the possession of child adult entertainment, which led to him being removed from the Adi Shankar mini-series Gods and Secrets. Salling was later formally charged and things haven’t exactly been looking promising for him. If found guilty, he will face several years behind bars. However, even if he is not jailed, he’s going to have a hard time bouncing back as his name will almost certainly remain poison to Hollywood executives until the day he dies.
8. Sacha Baron Cohen – Movies Too Weird For Hollywood
There are few men more courageous than Sacha Baron Cohen. Through utterly hilarious movies such as Bruno and Borat, the British comedian has ridiculed not just America’s celebrity-obsessed culture, but the very celebrities themselves. Among the many celebrities to have been embarrassed by Cohen during the production of one of his hidden camera classics are Paula Abdul, Donald Trump, and Ron Paul.
While Cohen’s movies serve an important duty by keeping celebrities grounded, they have turned him into a Hollywood pariah and have significantly reduced the number of movie roles coming his way. Today, he primarily appears in his own films, the content and cast of which he has total control of. Cohen’s most recent offering, The Brothers Grimsby, deviated from his usual hidden camera exploits and wasn’t particularly successful, but his upcoming film Greed is said to be a return both to form and to his roots.
7. Breckin Meyer – Got Too Old To Play The High School Role
Hollywood is definitely fickle and it doesn’t take much to end a movie career. In many cases, the simple and natural process of aging can be enough. Take Breckin Meyer for example. He had some pretty memorable roles in movies such as Clueless, Road Trip, and The Craft. Then he became too old to play the role of a high school kid and his resume became a little spotty. In fact, it’s been 10 years since his last remotely memorable role which was that of John Logue in the movie Blue State. He didn’t do his career any favors by appearing in those disastrous Garfield movies either. Why they made a second one defies common sense. After 5 years out of the limelight, Breckin has one movie in post-production and he is filming another. Don’t expect any Academy Awards. He’s probably quite content with all the voice acting and writing work he’s been getting on television anyway.
6. Mickey Rourke – Left Acting For Boxing (Again)
In 1991, Mickey Rourke shocked the world when he announced his intentions to abandon his acting career in order to pursue a career as a professional boxer. Predictably, Rourke’s boxing career was a total failure and he retired from the ring in 1994. When he attempted to resume his acting career shortly after hanging up his gloves, Rourke found it almost impossible to score roles. It was not until 2009, when he was cast in the lead role of The Wrestler, that Rourke finally managed to become a tangible name in Hollywood once again.
Following the massive success of The Wrestler, Rourke received hundreds of job offers and took virtually none of them. Instead, he did the one thing nobody believed he would ever be stupid enough to do and returned to boxing. Rourke’s second foray into boxing proved as successful as his first, with his one opponent being paid to take a dive in the second round. Obviously, studios have been reluctant to cast Rourke since, partly for fear he will once again abandon them after a taste of success, and partly because his repeated failed attempts to make it as a boxer have turned him into a laughing stock.
5. Catherine Zeta-Jones – Got Too Old
Catherine Zeta-Jones was once one of the most sought after actresses in all of Hollywood. After making her first movie appearance in the 1990 film 1001 Nights, Zeta-Jones went on to star in movies such as The Mask of Zorro, High Fidelity, and the screen adaptation of the beloved musical Chicago.
Today, however, Catherine Zeta-Jones is finding it difficult to obtain any meaningful work in Hollywood, through no fault of her own. The now 47-year-old native of Swansea, Wales has been cast aside by once-eager Hollywood producers due to her age, which is apparently too advanced for her to be of any use. To her credit, Zeta-Jones has refused to take this lying down and has been a vocal critic of the lack of roles for older women in Hollywood films. She has shined a harsh light on the film industry’s obsession with youth and good looks (not that she is anything less than breathtakingly beautiful).
4. Gary Busey – Fractured Skull After Motorcycle Accident Without Helmet
Believe it or not, there was a time when Gary Busey seemed like the next big thing in Hollywood. No, seriously. As a young actor, Busey made a name for himself through his incredible ability to portray characters and really bring them to life. In the 70s and 80s, he appeared in countless films, including A Star Is Born, The Buddy Holly Story, and the original Lethal Weapon. In 1988, however, Busey was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident which left him with a fractured skull. Although doctors initially believed Busey had managed to make it out of the accident with his brain functions unharmed, the actor’s behavior grew increasingly erratic, leading many to assume the accident had more of an impact on him than originally thought.
Today, Busey is known for being unable to censor himself in public, which means Hollywood studios are reluctant to cast him as they do not believe he is capable of promoting a movie without embarrassing them or himself. As a result, he has been relegated to cringeworthy reality television shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and Dancing with the Stars.
3. Camilla Belle – Huge Bomb With 10,000 BC
Here is another fine looking actress that has never really been able to rise to the next level. Camilla Belle had a few good roles when she was quite young and appeared to be on her way but she never really went anywhere. She landed a major role in the 2008 movie 10,000 BC but the film bombed at the box office and was viciously panned by critics. That’s not good for the career. She had other prominent roles in the following few years but she was overshadowed and out-acted by many of the bigger stars that she worked with. In more recent years, Camilla has gone the route of independent films and she is also quite picky about the roles she takes. She still gets steady work but the movies are generally forgettable which sort of makes Camilla forgettable. Judging by her Instagram page, Camilla really enjoys all that time away from the set.
2. Edward Furlong – Various Substance Addictions
In the early 1990s, when Macaulay Culkin was busy making young girls swoon and appearing on talk shows, Edward Furlong was redefining the role of the child star with motorbikes and long hair and general badassery. However, Furlong’s fame would last only a couple of years before he succumbed to excessive drug use and alcoholism.
While Furlong was open about his problems and entered various rehabilitation programs in an attempt to pull himself out of the clutches of addiction, studios were skeptical of his dedication to getting his life back on track and so were unwilling to work with him. Even today, Furlong is said to be battling drug addiction and he is often seen out and about, pot bellied and sweaty, generally clad in filthy clothes which pretty much guarantees no Hollywood studio will ever cast him again.
1. Bill Cosby – Accused Of Sexual Assault
It’s hard to think of anybody whose fall from grace was as rapid or as unexpected as former TV dad Bill Cosby. Cosby, of course, achieved his greatest fame through his beloved television series The Cosby Show, in which he worked tirelessly to present African-American families in a positive light. The success of the show turned him into a household name, if he wasn’t one already, and pretty much cemented him as one of Hollywood’s all-time greats.
For years, Cosby could walk onto the set of any talk show or film he felt like and be certain of a payday, but that all changed in 2015 when hordes of women came forward to accuse the beloved comedian of sexual assault. In the past, celebrities have been able to bounce back from such accusations, but the sheer number of accusers and the similarities in their stories served to prove Cosby’s guilt in the eyes of many, turning him into a hate figure and a symbol of everything that is wrong with Hollywood.
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