Hollywood can be a tough place for even the most seasoned performers to survive, especially for an extended time. Being in the spotlight means that people are judging your every move and all it takes is one poor decision, tweet, or statement to bring the dream crashing down. Just ask these stars – they all found themselves shunned by Hollywood for one reason or another.
The Hollywood blacklist is real, and once stars find themselves on this infamous list, the chances that they will get work or recognition drops well below zero. The blacklist first came to light in the late 1940’s when prominent screenwriters, actors, directors, and musicians ran the risk of landing up on the list if they were accused of having Communist ties or sympathies. These days it’s not political affiliations that land performers on the list, rather it’s their public personas and their relationships with Hollywood shot-callers that determine their career path.
While some of them seem deserving of this type of punishment, there are those who seem to have gotten the short end of the stick, and once they’ve been shunned it’s difficult for them to break back into the industry and most never succeed. Here are 10 stars who’ve been blacklisted by Hollywood and 5 who might find themselves on the list soon…
15 Katherine Heigl Couldn't Keep Her Mouth Shut
Heigl rose to fame as Izzie on Grey’s Anatomy, a role which earned her an Emmy in 2007, but when she was nominated for a second Emmy for the role in 2008 that’s where things started to go wrong. Instead of just accepting her nomination and enjoying the spotlight, she withdrew her name, stating that she felt the writing for the character had been poor and undeserving of the nomination. The producers of the show were so offended that they soon wrote her out of the show. She was lucky enough to land a role in Knocked Up but after the film’s release, she called it “sexist”, further alienating herself from potential employers.
14 Few Execs Will Work With Kirk Cameron
But during his teens, Cameron underwent a major change; he went from being an atheist to being a Christian. Now, while actors come from a range of spiritual backgrounds this shouldn’t have been a problem, but Cameron seemed to feel that the world needed to change along with him. He started to insist on wholesome storylines only for Growing Pains and it wasn’t long before the show was canceled.
Since then he’s only worked on Christian projects, some of which have done well such as Fireproof, but the controversy over his extreme religious views (like saying that homosexuality is unnatural and destructive) means that there are few mainstream executives who will consider working with him.
13 Could Be Next: Jim Carrey's Personal Drama Might Land Him On The Blacklist
And when his former girlfriend Cathriona White was found dead of a prescription drug overdose in 2015, Carrey suddenly found himself in the spotlight again – but this time for all the wrong reasons. Now White’s ex-husband and her mother have both filed wrongful death suits against Carrey claiming that he used his wealth and status to illegally obtain the drugs involved in Cathriona’s death.
The case is scheduled for next year and there’s no telling what might happen to Carrey and his career if the outcome is negative. Will he be the next entry on the Hollywood blacklist?
12 Mel Gibson Was On The Blacklist For A Decade
In 2006 Gibson was arrested for driving under the influence (he’s admitted to a serious drinking problem) and as if that wasn’t bad enough for his public image he made matters worse for himself by launching into an anti-Semitic rant in front of the arresting officers.
When TMZ later leaked the story that Hollywood shot callers were not impressed and ended up putting him on the blacklist for almost a decade. Thankfully friends like Robert Downey Jr. have been advocating for forgiveness for Mel, but there’s still a long road ahead.
11 Could Be Next: Should Hilary Duff Stick To Writing?
10 Thora Birch Upset One Too Many Folks In Hollywood
In the early 2000’s with both a Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination under her belt, she looked set to become Hollywood’s next sweetheart but instead, she’s slowly faded –almost into obscurity. While she’s still working her projects are low-key and as such don’t get that much attention. So what happened? Was Thora blacklisted? And if so, why?
According to Thora, she feels Hollywood kicked her out because of her difficult behavior. “I pissed a lot of people off over a long period of time and they found a way to upset me, hoping that upset would bring a change in my behavior. Like a distancing…But I’m done, I’m done. People wanted me to be not fine. A lot of it was bulls***,” she said.
9 Could Be Next: Is Jennifer Lopez Already On The List?
She’s still working in film and television, but her roles are smaller and she’s taken quite a few voice parts to fill out her filmography.
But why? Did she just not have the talent to make it any further or was it her diva-like behavior on set that gave her a bad reputation? According to insiders, she is notoriously difficult to work with and has a long list of demands she needs to be met to appear in a film. This and the tantrums she throws when things don’t go her way might explain her notable absence.
8 Isaiah Washington's Slurs Put An End To His Career
Allegations that he insulted co-star T.R. Knight with a homophobic slur got him some unwanted attention and he later made matters worse by using the same term again at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards during a red carpet interview. Shortly after the incident, he was written out of the show and found himself on the outs with Hollywood.
He’s managed to stay in the industry by doing independent and Hallmark films and he’s enjoyed some moderate success; he was nominated for two independent film awards for his performance in Blue Caprice in 2013, but his road to the A-list seems well and truly blocked off forever.
7 Jessica Biel Can’t Draw A Crowd
At one time it looked like Jessica was set to have a promising career, but a string of flops and bad role choices has seriously damaged her chances to ever be a leading lady. Hollywood wants actresses who can fill a movie theatre and sadly Jessica just doesn’t seem to have what it takes.
But according to her, the lack of leading roles has nothing to do with her acting, she feels that her good looks have hampered her career.
6 Could Be Next: Megan Fox Might Be Headed For Disaster
Megan was fired from Transformers 2 when she compared Michael Bay to Hitler during an interview with Wonderland magazine, trying to make light of the fact that he was difficult to work with. Steven Spielberg was so enraged that he called for her to be fired on the spot. Then it looked like the pair had made amends and Bay hired her again for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, but since then she’s not getting much work. Could that have to do with that off-handed remark? Has it maybe landed her on the “Don’t Hire” list?
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3 Could Be Next: Taylor Lautner Needs To Deflate His Ego – And Quick!
According to insiders the success of Twilight overinflated his ego to an almost insufferable degree and he’s been demanding some pretty outrageous sums for movie roles – hence why we haven’t seen him much lately.
He apparently demanded around $7 million to star in Stretch Armstrong and a jaw-dropping $10 million to star in David and Goliath. For an actor without that much on his resume, these requests are laughable and the studios thought so too – hence why he lost out on both roles. If he’s serious about an acting career Taylor will need to tone down that ego and soon.
2 Did Jennifer Grey’s New Nose Ruin Her Career?
The problem was that after the plastic surgery she looked so different that even her fans didn’t recognize her – and that’s a big problem when you’re an actor. “I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous,” she said. “It was the nose job from hell. I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes because of a nose job.” Ouch.
1 Hollywood Can’t Forgive CeeLo Green For His Offensive Tweets
But it was the sexual assault charges and drugging charges levied against him in 2012 that basically destroyed his public image and this performer has been very quiet since then. It wasn’t just the charges themselves that caused problems for him, it was more the way that he responded to them that made people angry.
With tweets like "People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!" and "If someone is passed out they're not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent", it’s no surprise that CBS canceled his show and that no-one wants to work with him now.