Since the Hollywood Gods have the power to giveth and to taketh away, oftentimes things said or done off-screen can be the reason an actor is never seen onscreen again. Job security isn’t exactly guaranteed in the entertainment industry, and this becomes blatantly clear when characters are inexplicably killed off or there’s an announcement of an actor change mid-season.
Public perception can be a fickle thing, and Hollywood execs often take their cues from how celebrities are perceived by the public. If an actor is seen as “America’s Sweetheart,” she will inevitably be popular selling ticket at the movie theaters. So, it would definitely be appealing to the Hollywood execs doling out the job offers. However, blunderous words or actions can make the public turn on a celebrity, and even get them fired from a steady paying gig.
There aren’t unlimited great roles in the entertainment industry, and the constant award shows every year definitely reminds everyone that it is highly competitive in Hollywood. When one actor finds themselves losing a coveted role, there is always another actor quick to vie for that spot. So, the fact that a celebrity would put their job in jeopardy can be mindboggling.
Job security is a huge factor, in more than just the entertainment industry, and many people would kill to collect those types of paychecks. From characters in film to those sitting back collecting royalties, check out our list of 15 celebrities that got fired from steady paying gigs and remember- a celebrity's off-screen character can get them in trouble.
15 Alec Baldwin
14 Andrew Garfield
13 Suzanne Somers
Hollywood has been known for being biased when it comes to actors' salaries. Even in today’s society, women are often still paid less than their male counterparts. So, when Suzanne Somers became the true breakout star of the hit show, Three’s Company, it’s not too surprising that she wasn’t making equal salary as her male cast member, John Ritter. This was the 1980’s after all, and it’s not as if there were a million female Hollywood execs making all the rules.
12 Pee-Wee Herman
There aren’t many comedic stage actors that have had the success in television and film as Paul Reubens. Performing the Pee-wee Herman character on stage seems like humble beginnings compared to his long-running CBS show, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, not to mention two Pee-wee movies on the big screen. While it seemed like Pee-wee would become akin to other quirky comedians like Robin William’s Mork character from Mork and Mindy, something happened in 1991 that got his series canceled and crippled his film career. After being arrested for indecent exposure in an adult theater, there was public outrage since he represented a children’s character.
11 Curt Schilling
Oftentimes when a star athlete retires, they don’t exactly disappear from the limelight. From going on to managing or being a sports commentator, many sports take care of their own once their players retire. Curt Schilling was a big part of World Series teams in 1993 and 2001, and then became a legend with the Boston Red Sox, winning two titles.
10 Jennifer Esposito
9 Neal McDonough
Oftentimes, the biggest perk to being a television star is the opportunity to film sex scenes with beautiful starlets. However, Neal McDonough didn’t see this as a positive. When he first appeared on Desperate Housewives, he was alleged to refuse sex scenes with his costar Nicolette Sheridan, and his character was then killed off.
8 Paz de la Huerta
7 Patrick Dempsey
While it’s understandable for those outside of Hollywood to have a few gripes about their jobs, there are some instances where it’s better to just keep those reservations to yourself. A hushed conversation between husband and wife is one thing, but posting it for all to see is another. Yet, that’s what Patrick Dempsey did when he allegedly made some comments about how the only reason he was continuing to act on Grey’s Anatomy was “for a steady paycheck.”
6 Columbus Short
Columbus Short seemed to have it all going for him, since he was on the hit television series, Scandal, and an integral part of the show. One of Liv’s most-trusted “Gladiators,” Short’s Harrison character could have lived out his days going from one season to the next. However, after three seasons in, he was unexpectedly and unceremoniously killed off.
5 Isaiah Washington
Grey’s Anatomy is one of those shows that seems to have a cast full of drama, no matter which members come and go. Isaiah Washington was another beloved member of the cast, but an alleged altercation on set caused his early termination from the show. During an altercation between Isaiah and another cast member, Isaiah allegedly made a homophobic comment that called out cast member, T.R. Knight.
4 Gilbert Gottfried
3 Shannen Doherty
2 Hank Williams, Jr.
1 Kevin Clash
If someone were to turn to you and tell you they want to be a puppeteer when they grow up, your inevitable response would be an eye-roll at this “dreamer” who thinks they are actually going to make a living with a puppet. While Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy seem to be doing well for themselves, there doesn’t seem to be much room for new puppets to become the next big thing. However, when Elmo became a standing member of the Sesame Street cast, he was met with joy and acceptance which quickly grew into commercial obsession.
The voice behind the Elmo puppet, Kevin Clash, was introduced to audiences through The Oprah Winfrey Show and was made to look like the modern day American success story. However, when three separate sexual abuse allegations came forward, Clash quickly lost his role on Sesame Street. Being connected with sexual abuse with underage boys isn’t exactly the sort of thing Sesame Street wants to be associated with, and Elmo hasn’t been the same since.
Sources: ew, washingtonpost, huffingtonpost
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