Who doesn’t love sitting back and relaxing with some good ol’ fashioned TV? No matter your preference in a show, there’s probably something out there that is right up your alley.
But like with the shows, when it comes to the world of television, there is no shortage of the variety of scandals that have gone on. Whether it’s Alyssa Milano getting fed up with her clean-cut image and her desire to increase her sex appeal, Dean Norris being cost a huge opportunity because of Breaking Bad or the Big Brother winner who found himself behind bars after he attempted to start selling drugs using his winnings (perhaps inspired by Breaking Bad) or the various times that celebrities have ruined (or significantly hindered) their career with just one moment.
We make sure to include some of the biggest shows of all-time, including ones you still probably watch on a regular basis like Friends or ones that you cannot wait to come back like Game of Thrones (and the actor who hated his time on the show!)
Warning though, you’re never going to look at Bob Barker and the Price is Right the same way after this list so get ready for that part of your childhood to be forever ruined, but at least you can’t say that you weren’t warned.
Love or hate the shows, these are definitely some of the 15 biggest scandals to ever come from the world of television.
15. Isaiah Washington Fired After Controversial Slur
Everyone may quickly think of Game of Thrones when it comes to television shows that feature a ton of deaths and characters leaving, but Grey’s Anatomy definitely hasn’t been afraid to shake things up in the past either. One of the most prominent departures from the series was Isaiah Washington leaving the season following the end of season 3, but the reason was definitely not free of scandal.
Washington was fired after a story came out of him engaging in a fight with Patrick Dempsey on-set, in which he used the word “f-ggot” (homosexual slur). If this wasn’t upsetting enough, it was initially reported that he used it in regards to T.R. Knight who disclosed after the argument became public that he was gay.
Washington tried to defend himself, saying that he was just trying to describe “Somebody who is being weak and afraid to fight back.”
14. Stannis Didn’t Like Being On The Show
Now if we’re going to be completely fair, this isn’t so much controversial, as it may just be outright shocking because can you imagine being part of Game of Thrones and not absolutely loving it?
Apparently, that’s exactly the case for Stephen Dillane who portrayed Stannis who admitted in a past interview that it was only the cheque that left him intrigued
“Among other things, for the money. I do not regret having done Game of Thrones, but I have nothing to say about it either. I understood neither the series nor its success when I was a part of it. The experience was very strange, it passed under my nose. For a role like it to me, I must get interested…which was not really the case.”
13. Jeff Varner Outs A Transgender Contestant
Jeff Varner is one of the most beloved Survivor contestants of all-time, playing the game on 3 separate occasions including most recently for the 34th season aptly named Game Changers.
But for Varner, his last night on the island created a moment that he’ll regret his entire life as he made the decision to out Zeke Smith, a fellow contestant, as being transgendered.
Falsely believe that Zeke had told the world his orientation, the moment was one of pure shock for Zeke followed by Varner attempting to apologize profusely before leaving the game.
Following the airing of the episode Varner received numerous hateful comments online, was fired from his job in real estate and forever tarnished his legacy; not to mention completely removing Zeke’s ability to tell the world when he was comfortable.
12. Lawsuits From Price Is Right Girls
You may have loved watching The Price is Right when you were growing up, after all, not only was it a captivating gameshow but it also had beautiful women.
But sadly when we dug a little deeper into the history of the show, we found several lawsuits that have been filed against them. One of the most prominent came in 1994 when Dian Parkinson sued them for $8 million, claiming that Barker forced her to have sex with her in order to keep her job.
Another model, Holly Hallstrom also brought the company to court, suing Barker who he said fired her after she gained weight.
11. Charles Ingram Cheats On Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
You can imagine that of all the reality shows to win, one that would allow you to feel pretty good about yourself is Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and while you may know it from the American version, the series is actual of British origin.
But for Brit Charles Ingram, his decision to cheat on the game show blew up in his face when back in 2003 he was convicted of cheating by having an audience member cough out the right answer.
An army man, Ingram was kicked out of the army, charged with fraud and ended up needing to file for bankruptcy. Along with that, Ingram says his family is teased by people coughing at them on a regular basis and even had a gang beat and killed their dog.
10. FRIENDS Cast Holds Out For More Money
You wouldn’t be alone if you spend a solid portion of your week (or you know…day) watching reruns of Friends. But if you were watching the series live, you may remember the heavy contract negotiations that went on in between the 2nd and 3rd season.
The cast elected that going forward they were all going to earn the same amount of money, a sentiment that was especially pushed by David Schwimmer,
“I’m being advised to go in for more money. But for me, it goes against everything I truly believe in, in terms of ensemble… I think instead [of me taking more money] we should all go in together.”
9. Robertson Says Being Gay Is A Sin
Whether you understand it’s success or not, Duck Dynasty is one of the most successful reality shows to ever land on A&E. Part of that success is Phil Robertson, but back in 2013, he got himself in some hot water.
When talking to GQ, Robertson was asked what behavior he feels is sinful, leading him to say,
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
His remarks sparked controversy in the LGBTQ community and led to A&E to suspend Robertson. However public outcry in support of Robertson, who reaffirmed his stance saying that he was just speaking from the bible reversed his suspension after 9 days.
8. Angus T. Jones Calls Two And A Half Men “Filth”
Charlie Sheen isn’t the only disgruntled former cast member from the series Two and a Half Men that is worth talking about. Angus T. Jones was one of the primary leads for seasons 1-10, before leaving for season 11 and only appearing in the series finale.
“I’m on Two and a Half Men and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. People say it’s just entertainment. Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television and especially with what you watch on television … it’s bad news.”
Jones went on to say,
“If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan … You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the bible says and being on that television show.”
7. Alyssa Milano Getting Raunchy After Who’s The Boss
Alyssa Milano would not have had nearly as successful a career if she did not get cast on the sitcom Who’s The Boss?
But one of the problems with appearing on a sitcom for several years, especially a sitcom in which you’re playing a pretty wholesome character can definitely come with some problems. Especially as Milano got older and wanted to engage more with her sexuality.
When talking about her experience with the show, Milano said,
“Creatively, it’s been very frustrating. I gave her more of a personality. I changed her wardrobe, cut her hair, anything to give her new life.”
As a result, she did not shy away from appearing in several movies in her birthday suit in order to try and shed that “clean” image shortly after she was no longer under contract including Embrace of the Vampire in 1995.
6. Matthew McDonald And Adam Jasinski Use Big Brother Money For Illegal Substances
Now you need to admit that sometimes the best people in real life aren’t exactly cast to be in the Big Brother house, but Adam Jasinski clearly knew what he was doing when he came out on top in season 9.
Along with Matthew McDonald who also played that season, Jasinski elected to use his winnings to buy thousands of oxycodone pills. As well as this, he decided that the year he won Big Brother was the year that paying his taxes was super overrated (it’s not).
5. Mark Balelo High On Set, Eventually Kills Himself
Storage Wars wasn’t exactly the highest quality of television show out there, but it was entertaining enough for various similar shows to also make their way to the air and also helped introduce the world to Mark Balelo.
One of the more outspoken bidders, Balelo’s life came to an end after he committed suicide shortly after an arrest for drug possession.
People close to Balelo have also admitted the star was often under the influence on-set,
4. Dean Norris’ On-Screen Death Cost Him A Series
When it comes to dramatic deaths, Breaking Bad has no shortage of gut-wrenching moments but one of the most heartbreaking may be when Dean Norris’ character of Hank bit the dust.
The decision to die was one that Norris had wanted though, in fact, he was upset it didn’t happen sooner,
“I called [series creator] Vince [Gilligan] and I said, ‘Hey man, maybe Hank should die in the first eight. Wouldn’t that be a great ending?’ … When they [AMC] originally picked up the 16 [episodes] I thought, ‘Great, I can do a pilot, do the 16 and then be free to do a show.’ And then at some point f**king whoever decided they were going to split it into two eights so it cut me off from doing a pilot — and I had a pilot I wanted to do.”
3. Honey Boo Boo Cancelled After Mama June Dates Child Abuser
If you want to keep your television show on the air, especially a television show that stars your young daughter, you probably don’t want to start dating someone who is a convicted child molester who spent a decade in prison.
Mama June clearly did not get the message and shortly after the report came out that she was hooking up with Mark McDaniel, TLC issued the following statement
“TLC has canceled the series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ and ended all activities around the series, effective immediately. Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being.”
2. Charlie Sheen’s Departure From Two And A Half Men
You would have had to be living under a rock in 2010 to not have at least heard of the Charlie Sheen meltdown that caused the end of his contract with Two and a Half Men.
It started when Sheen, following a stint in drug rehab, rejected an offer for $1 million an episode and quit the show. After some deliberation, Sheen signed on for 2 more seasons at $1.78 million per episode.
However, in January 2011 Sheen was sent back to rehab and the show went on hiatus.
Sheen’s character was killed off the show and Ashton Kutcher came in to replace Sheen.
1. Martin Lawrence Harasses Co-Star Tisha Campbell
One of the most popular shows in the 90s was Martin and most prominently starred Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, and Carl Anthony Payne. Campbell and Lawrence were allegedly getting busy with one another offset but things got complicated when Tisha got engaged to Duane Martin.
Carl Payne spoke out on the matter, saying,
“Martin and Tisha had an affair, but Martin fell in love and she didn’t. Martin used to bad mouth Duane all the time. He always told Tisha ‘Your man is soft.’”
Campbell ended up filing a lawsuit against Lawrence citing sexual harassment. The fallout led to Campbell not appearing in the show for most of season 5 and when she did appear for the series finale, it was in her contract that she would not share any scenes with Lawrence.