Celebrities need to stop talking up Adolf Hitler. It just never ends well.
Even when they use it in a negative sense (“He’s worse than Hitler/”This ain’t Nazi Germany”), they leave themselves open to accusations of bad taste, insensitivity, and racism.
Honestly, if you have to compare your enemy or rival to any dictatorial killer, chose Mussolini. That doesn’t seem to generate near as much controversy.
Of course, there are celebrities who have used the H-word in a positive manner, admitting in tweets, photos, interviews and drunken videos that they kind of like Adolf. Maybe it's just his public speaking style or ability to rally a crowd to evil. But not always.
Invariably, those celebrity statements are followed by retractions or explanations that only further infuriate people.
Problem is, once a celebrity has had that public Hitler moment, it just doesn’t go away. It’s with them forever and easily regurgitated on the internet whenever that celebrity name comes up. Here are just a few of those awkward celebrity moments they can never take back.
15 Arnold Schwarzenegger Admired His Rise To Power
While running for California Governor in 2003, Terminator actor Arnold Schwarzenegger vehemently denied he had praised the Nazi leader in a 1975 interview. But by 2012, while out promoting his autobiography Total Recall, the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger had changed his tune. Suddenly, he remembered his quote, poo-pooing the comment and pointing out he didn’t exactly praise the man, just his speaking style.
Really? You like his speaking style? For those who don’t speak German, his speaking style appears a lot like yelling combined with more yelling.
Turns out, the actual Arnie quote was a bit stronger than Schwarzenegger characterized it.
“I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power,” Arnold said. “I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it.”
14 David Bowie Thought He Was A Rockstar
The Let’s Dance icon flirted heavily with fascism – both in words and in his on-stage performances in the 1970s. But it was an interview with Playboy in 1974 where he most clearly defined his thoughts on A. Hitler, dubbing him “one of the first rock stars.“
And he went on...
“Look at some of the films and see how he moved. I think he was quite as good as Jagger. [Hitler] used politics and theatrics and created this thing that governed and controlled the show for those twelve years,” said Bowie, digging himself a deeper hole,
“The world will never see his like again. He staged a country.”
In the upcoming years, Bowie would continue with the same theme, saying he wanted to do away with decadence while predicting “There will be a political figure in the not too distant future who’ll sweep through this part of the world like early rock ’n’ roll did. You probably hope I’m not right but I am. You’ve got to have an extreme right front come up and sweep everything off its feet and tidy everything up. Then you can get a new form of liberalism.”
Uh huh. I liked it better when Bowie just liked Hitler's dance moves.
13 Michael Jackson Thought He Was A Great Showman
The King of Pop was weird, but an admiration for Hitler? That takes weird to a new level. But that’s what Michael Jackson told friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in a series of taped interviews that were only released after Jackson’s death.
“Hitler was a genius orator,” Jackson said in the interviews, which were released in book form in 2009 as The Michael Jackson Tapes. “To make that many people turn and change and hate, he had to be a showman and he was.”
Jackson went on to tell the rabbi that, had he been given an hour to sit down with him, he would have been able to change him. “Absolutely. I know I could,” Jackson insisted.
Now there’s a meeting we’d love to have seen.
12 Megan Fox Compared Michael Bay To Him...And He's Endearing For It?
We’ve probably all called our boss Hitler at one point or another – though likely in private, not in an entertainment magazine. But that’s what Transformers actress Fox did in 2009. In talking about her director Michael Bay, Fox told Wonderland Magazine that Bay was “like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation.”
But she went on, “He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. He’s a nightmare to work for but when you get him away from set, and he’s not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he’s so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. And it’s endearing to watch him.”
So, he's a misunderstood Hitler?
When Fox wasn’t hired for the third Transformers movie, the actress claimed it was her decision. But in 2011, Michael Bay revealed that it was Transformers' Executive Producer Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List) who told Bay to fire Fox for the comment.
11 Kirk Cameron Brought Charles Darwin Into The Mix
Sitcom star Cameron has made a habit of ruffling feathers as the celebrity spokesperson for all things evangelical. But never has he upset so many folks, especially academics, as in 2009 when he slammed Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species as untrue, inherently un-Christian and the driving force behind some of the most horrendous catastrophes of the 20th century. Included among those disasters was his plan to destroy “inferior races.”
“You can see where [Hitler] clearly takes Darwin’s ideas to some of their logical conclusions and compares certain races of people to lower evolutionary life forms,” Cameron said. “If you take Darwin’s theory and extend it to its logical end, it can be used to justify all number of very horrendous things.”
On the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, Cameron took his crusade to campuses, distributing copies of Darwin’s book with a 50-page intro that debunked it. So if it’s not true, why do I want the book, Kirk?
10 Aubrey O'Day Was Open About How Brilliant He Was
This somewhat obscure singer/reality show star stepped into the whole “I don’t condone what he did, but…” Hitler conundrum in an interview on Fox News in 2009. Brought on to argue whether Fidel Castro was a smart man, O’Day took the discussion to a new level, saying 'I'm not defending his behavior on many incidences but I will 100% agree he is an incredibly brilliant man.”
Fox host Sean Hannity saw an opening and asked O’Day if she thought he was a brilliant man as well.
“Listen, I don’t condone Hitler one ounce, but yes he was a brilliant man,” she said.
The comments caused a firestorm of criticism, leading to O’Day to issue another statement a few days later,
“In my opinion, you can't have a low IQ and wreak that much havoc on the world. What he succeeded in doing was deplorable. And I hope we never see such an abusive use of power again.”
9 Lars Von Tier Says He Understands Him
The Melancholia director has always been a bit of a flake (Just watch his movies for proof of that). But he seems to delight in saying things in public that are quite outrageous. At a 2011 Cannes Film Festival press conference, he took it up a notch.
“For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew,” he began, “then I met (Danish and Jewish director) Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family was German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler. I sympathize with him a bit.”
That’s pretty clear. But then he muddied the waters a little bit, saying “I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass but…”
Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg – sitting on either side of Von Tier – looked pretty shocked by it all. Von Tier seemed to sense that it was time to get out of the discussion.
“Now how can I get out of this sentence? Ok. I’m a Nazi,” he concluded.
8 Tila Tequila Thinks Hitler Is Her True Love
Keeping up with this pint-sized reality star’s admiration is a full-time job. First, she loves him, then not so much, then she’s back to loving him. It’s like they’re dating in high school.
But, let’s just take the recent stuff. After getting kicked off of Celebrity Big Brother on the first day for her Hitler-loving, Tequila took to Twitter repeatedly, writing “Happy birthday to my past life historical figure, most epic legend of all time, Mein Furhor, Adolf Hitila! The MOST HIGH!" Tila has also posted pics of herself doing the Nazi salute and her daughter dressed as the Nazi leader. And just last year she got kicked off of Twitter with another profanity-laced love letter that began: "I love Hitler so much!.”
Aww, how sweet. Tila has periodically blamed her career-ending behavior on drugs and alcohol, only to do the Hitler dance yet again.
7 John Galliano Drunkenly Said He Loved Him
A real repeat offender. British fashion designer Galliano found himself facing charges - and suspension from Christian Dior – over alleged anti-Semitic comments he made not once, not twice, but three times. In one instance, a video emerged on the internet in which an apparently drunk Galliano tells a Jewish and Asian couple in a bar that “I love Hitler. And people like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be... gassed and... dead."
The couple continues to argue with Galliano as the camera rolls and the fashion designer shouts “Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead", and "F*cking Asian bastard, I will kill you."
His lawyer blamed the incidents on stress and multiple addictions. Galliano was let go from Christian Dior and paid a small fine. His career goes on.
6 Will Smith Said He Just Needed Reprogramming
Not the Fresh Prince of Bel Air! Yep, it happened. Talking to a Scottish newspaper, the Men In Black star got into a philosophical discussion about evil.
“Even Hitler didn't wake up going 'Let me do the most evil thing I can do today'. I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good'. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming,” said Smith.
Unfortunately, those comments were twisted a little as they moved their way through the media wires. Eventually, Will Smith found himself suing the British celebrity news service WENN after it claimed Smith had asserted he was “good”. No, he did not, he insisted. Not exactly. Either way, he thinks Hitler was evil.
Smith won an apology from WENN and undisclosed damages, though his comments continue to swirl on the internet.
5 Victoria Jackson Was Not A Fan Of Barack O'Hitler
Never one to shy away from a controversial internet rant, the former Saturday Night Live star has been at the forefront of the right-wing unhinged camp for some time now. She got a lot of attention for her repeated comparison of President Obama to Hitler in 2009. Basically, her blather goes something like this: “Obama legally kills babies and now he can legally kill grandmas! Hitler did this. He killed the weak, the sick, the old, and babies and races/religions he didn't like. Hitler also controlled the media.”
Jackson upped the ante by claiming Obama’s health act create a private army (She may have been referring to that team of medical professionals at the Public Health Service) to kill all opposition – including her.
Yes, I’m sure Obama lost a lot of sleep devising schemes to silence Jackson.
Comparing presidents to Hitler is hardly new. Just look at all the dubious Trump/Hitler comparisons floating around these days. But to be fair, Trump has given as good as he has got, occasionally comparing opponents to Hitler and America itself to Nazi Germany.
4 Jesse James And His Cosplay
The Monster Garage host seems to have had a lot of associations with Nazis and white supremacists. To be fair, most of these revelations came out in the wake of him being outed for cheating on his wife Sandra Bullock in 2010. Everyone was mad at him for that, so no surprise less-than-flattering stuff appeared. Heck, even his step-mom claimed he was an animal-torturing kid obsessed with Hitler.
James’ mistress, Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, had posed for photos in Nazi gear, and has a tattoo that says “W.P.” which some said meant “white power”. She claimed it meant something dirty but definitely not racist. Her ex-husband begged to differ.
As for Jesse James, a photo emerged of him posing in a Nazi hat doing a Nazi salute back in 2004. But does he admire Hitler? His spokesman said the salute was a joke and just part of “biker culture”. Oh, right. Folks should just refrain from lifting your right arm when cell phones are in the room (Are you listening, President Trump?). It’s not a good look.
3 Mario Batali Compared Bankers To Him
The celebrity chef and restauranteur fell into the “as bad as Hitler” comparison trap. That’s when a celebrity blurts out that someone or something is as bad or worse than the Nazi leader. In this case, Mario Batali was on a public panel discussing who should be Time Magazine’s Person of The Year in 2011 when he let loose with this criticism of bankers. “So, the ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys. They're not heroes, but they are people that had a really huge effect on the way the world is operating,” he ranted.
Of course, the bankers were none-too-pleased, taking their anger to the stock market floor where an email was circulated listing all of Batali’s restaurants and calling for a boycott. Batali went into full apology mode in less than 12 hours, saying "it was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin, two of the most evil, brutal dictators in modern history."
Maybe not your intention, but that’s exactly what you did.
2 Andy Richter Uses Him As A Punchline
Call this one praising Hitler ironically. Richter, the longtime sidekick to TBS late night host Conan O’Brien, occasionally gets in a good joke while tweeting. Suffice to say, he’s also not a fan of President Trump. One of his funniest Adolf quips came following Trump's speech to Congress. Washington Post political journalist Chris Cillizza posed this question: “Why can’t Trump be praised for delivering a good speech?”
Reacting to the post more than eight hours later, Mr. Richter tweeted back, saying “Yeah, and Hitler was nice to his dogs.”
You got to admit, that is a funny line. Funnier still was the tweet response from follower Andrew Dalton, who agreed that Hitler was nice to his dogs, “until he shot one and poisoned the other”. Not just funny, but true.
1 Charles Lindbergh Wanted To Keep Appeasing Him
A lot of Americans wanted to stay out of World War 2 and one of the highest profile isolationists was flying legend Lindbergh. He was a big fan of Germany, Hitler and their air force – which he personally inspected along with German air commander Hermann Goering. Heck, Goering even presented him with the Order of The German Eagle. It was Lindbergh’s belief that Germany was too strong to fight.
As a member of the America First Committee – along with Henry Ford and Walt Disney – Lindbergh gave speeches against entering the war. They tended to dip into anti-Semitism, as Lindbergh blamed the American Jews for pushing for war. Justifiable, as he pointed out, but wrongly.
Of course, all this talk ended in December 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and America First was disbanded.