The entertainment world is rife with scandal, feuds and back stage politics. The story of Harvey Weinstein is just the tip of the iceberg of what really goes on amid the glamour of premiers and shoots. Such shenanigans have been a mainstay of the profession since the first movie was made in 1894.
Even before the advent of “talkies”, the movie world was seen as a hot bed of unsavory goings-on. You only need to check out the stories of Fatty Arbuckle (1921), William Taylor (1922), and Wallace Reid (1923) to see what we mean. These days the scandals are no different in nature but they tend to be hidden from view by devious advertisers and the actors’ henchmen.
But that hasn’t stopped the press from announcing several high profile feuds, legal battles and sexual liaisons between actors on set.
There is no excuse for harassment of any sort, but the world of creative entertainment and in particular filmmaking is renowned for its free and easy attitude towards physical contact.
Actors will argue that the only way to achieve the reality of a scene is by whipping up a close chemistry with their co-star. Some go overboard; some never find the chemistry; some positively hate each other. Let’s look at 15 celebs that got screwed over in some way by their co-star.
15 Victoria Justice
Victorious was a mediocre sitcom which ran from 2010 until 2013. It was created by Dan Schneider and starred Matt Bennett, Elizabeth Gillies, Ariana Grande, and Victoria Justice, among others. The show’s focus was on teenager Tori Vega (Victoria Justice) who studies at a performing arts high school. Ariana Grande played Cat Valentine, an innocent girl short on savvy and somewhat naïve.
The shows abrupt ending was thought by some to be caused by Grande’s commitments to another production but this was denied by the actress who according to zine J-14 commented on Twitter in 2014: “The only reason Victorious ended is because 1 girl didn’t want to do it. She chose to do a solo tour instead of a cast tour. If we had done a cast tour, Nickelodeon would have ordered another season of Victorious while Sam & Cat filmed simultaneously, but she chose otherwise. I’m tired of this bs”.
14 Ariana Grande
This time it’s Ariana Grande who is the butt of a disrespecting co-star. Beginning her singing career in the 2008 Broadway musical 13, Grande is better known as a platinum-award-winning singer. She has has been nominated for countless MTV Video Music and Music Awards and Billboard Music Award nominations. She acted in Victorious with her 13 co-star Elizabeth Gillies before leaving the show to star in Sam & Cat along with Jennette McCurdy.
The relationship between her and McCurdy was not a good one and friction was there from the start. McCurdy had according to J-14 already made a beeline for Grande’s acting ability when she was filming her series What's Next for Sarah? In a rare insight into their relationship McCurdy wrote in 2014: “We aren't better friends because being friends with you takes the 'better' out of me. In fact, I might possibly be the worst version of myself when I’m around you”.
13 Shannen Doherty
There is much news to be found on the internet about Shannen Doherty’s clashes with co-stars. The American actress is best known for her role as Brenda Walsh in the hit TV show Beverly Hills, 90210 which was broadcast in 1990. Even then rumors circulated about her inability to work well with others.
It starred among others Jason Priestley, Luke Perry and Tori Spelling. The American teen drama television series 90210 was produced by Aaron Spelling, Tori’s father. It was immensely popular and ran for ten seasons at times clocking up over 21 million viewers in final episodes.
However, after the third season Doherty was fired from the show over what Tori Spelling said was a “fist fight” between her and Jennie Garth. Naturally, Tori’s relationship to the show’s producer helped greatly in the decision being made, something she later said she felt bad about.
12 Selma Blair
American film, television, and theater actress Selma Blair is perhaps best known for her role in the film noir Brown's Requiem (1998) in which she plays Jane Baker, the sister of a wanted man. From 2012 to 2013 she played Dr. Kate Wales in the TV comedy Anger Management which also starred Charlie Sheen. By that point Sheen had already disgraced himself with an online doped-up tirade against producers of the hit TV show Two and a Half Men, and was still reeling from the media attention.
His battles with alcohol and drug addiction were beginning to take their toll and Blair - having to act opposite him - took the full brunt of the issues. Sheen’s natural demeanor off-set was too grating for Blair who took her concerns to producers of the show. However, Sheen caught wind of this and managed to have Blair axed.
11 Stacey Dash
Created by Stacy A. Littlejohn the comedy drama Single Ladies was first aired in 2011 and gained a massive popular following. The cast comprises Stacey Dash, LisaRaye McCoy, Charity Shea and Denise Vasi and follows the lives of three friends. But behind the scenes the relationship between the actors could not have been more different.
LisaRaye McCoy and Stacey Dash played opposite each other in the show as best friends. But when the cameras weren’t rolling the pair could not see eye to eye. The coup de grace for Dash came when she began an argument with McCoy and the director about a line in the show. McCoy stepped in to tell Dash not to argue with the director. Afterwards, McCoy talked to the director about Dash’s attitude and complained that she had had enough and Dash was soon dropped from the show.
10 Lucy Liu
It must be a little nervy to act opposite some of the great actors of our time, especially if you are yourself only a fledgling by comparison. When Lucy Liu landed the role of Alex Munday in the hit 2000 film Charlie's Angels all she knew was that she would be acting among such greats as Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Sam Rockwell, and Tim Curry.
She would also soon meet and then try to pulverize Bill Murray. His comments to her about her acting ability were a step too far. It is fair to acknowledge that Murray has a reputation for speaking his mind and for showing little respect of people whom he considers lack talent. According to People in 2000 Murray said to her: “I get why you’re here (addressing Drew Barrymore) and you’ve got talent (about Cameron Diaz), but what in the hell are you doing here?" he said of Lucy Liu. "You can’t act!”
9 Ann Curry
American TV journalist Ann Curry has been reporting on natural and human disasters for years. In 2012 she landed the job of national and international anchor correspondent for American NBC News and the Today show. After Matt Lauer joined her she was co-anchor of Today from 2011 until 2012 at which point her contract was terminated. There were rumors that her co-workers had planned for a long time to get rid of her.
Matt Lauer was allegedly one of those who led the barrage of complaints about Curry to the show’s producers. According to the New York Times in 2013, Curry felt, “the boys’ club atmosphere behind the scenes undermined her from the start” and that there was also “a general meanness on set”. Lauer’s machinations to get rid of Curry were to come back at him with a vengeance as his own career was being quickly flushed down the pan.
8 Shia LaBeouf
For Shia LaBeouf a likely high point in his short acting career was the opportunity to star opposite Alec Baldwin on Broadway and if things had gone well between them, he would gotten to fulfil such an opportunity. But unfortunately for LaBeouf, the might of the Baldwin heraldry led to a prompt dismissal from the cast.
It all began in 2013, during rehearsals for Lyle Kessler’s play Orphans. LaBeouf was cast opposite Baldwin but it was soon apparent that the pair didn’t share the same views on, well, acting. According to Baldwin, LaBeouf had laid into him verbally one night in front of the cast and crew (which for someone who wasn’t yet born when Baldwin began his illustrious film career was probably not the wisest move). Baldwin approached the producers and gave the stereotypical ultimatum: “one of us has to go”. Alas, LaBeouf was sacked and replaced with Ben Foster.
7 Nicki Minaj
It isn’t often that a feud between two celebrities is so active even in the public arena, but this is the case with Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. The two pop giants are not best of friends especially after Carey dissed her American Idol co-star
In 2013 the battle lines were drawn for an epic meeting of egos. The two famously came to blows during the 12th season of the talent show, “with Nicki calling the singer a 'b****' and claiming producers said she was the 'best judge' to ever appear on Idol,” according to the Mail Online in 2016. But this was not the end of the matter. In a 2016 interview when asked about her relationship with Minaj, Carey blanked the interviewer, refusing to say anything nice about her former co-star.
6 Megan Fox
Megan Fox was lined up for Transformers: Dark of the Moon but before shooting began she was sacked, and that was on the say-so of none other than Stephen Spielberg. It all began after Fox had likened her director Michael Bay to Hitler and Napoleon, two names which to those who know their history come with fascist overtones. Understandably, Spielberg caught wind of what Fox had said in an interview and suggested to Bay that he fire her.
Bay was at first reluctant to lose his actress but when someone with the sway of Spielberg – who also has a passion for denouncing bigotry and racism – tells you to do something you are best advised to act. The sorry part of all of this is that whatever Fox’s reasons for saying such dumb things it is highly likely that unless she offers a public apology she may not get any more work in Hollywood.
5 Janet Hubert
She played the role of Aunt Viv in NBC’s ultra-popular The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which ran from 1990 until 1996. Hubert’s Viv Banks was a feisty woman, with a somewhat fiery attitude and it would seem it was this attitude in real life that led the cast to turn on her. After the third season, she was unceremoniously replaced. That’s not to say though that her being sacked was unwarranted.
Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro found her hard to work with, the latter recalling that she would, “literally go off on people.” Janet Hubert was replaced with Daphne Maxwell who lasted for the remaining three seasons and was by all accounts perfectly likeable and easy to work with. If there is one sure way to get on the wrong side of those you work with it is to bring the attitude of the character to life!
4 Patrick Dempsey
This American actor is best known for his role as neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd in the hit TV show Grey's Anatomy. The medical drama television series was created by Shonda Rhimes and also stars Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh and Justin Chambers. In January 2014, Patrick Dempsey signed a two-year contract to remain on the show but departed in 2015 after 236 episodes.
His early departure was speculated to have been Rhimes’s decision. In 2015 Entertainment Weekly wrote of the show: "What made Grey's Anatomy a mega-medi-hit? It could have something to do with creator Shonda Rhimes' scalpel-sharp writing or McDreamy's impossibly luxurious man hair. Just saying." But Rhimes-Dempsey was not a professional match made in heaven and rumors abounded that his departure was because he was notoriously hard to work with. With Rhimes holding the mace of power, he didn’t stand a chance.
3 Nicolette Sheridan
A lot of play was made of the feud between cast members of the show Desperate Housewives. The cast certainly comprised its big egos including Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria and James Denton. It is no secret that one of the most loathed of these was Teri Hatcher, who was ostracized by the cast in the early months. Nicolette Sheridan even claimed once that Hatcher was “the meanest woman in the world."
But in the end, it was Sheridan who was dealt a bum hand by the show’s producers. She was released from her contract early for various alleged misdemeanors and is now suing the creator Marc Cherry and producers. Cherry recalled that Sheridan would come to work not knowing her lines and make "insulting comments" during table reads, although he also states that losing Sheridan (who played Edie Britt) was, “the best thing for my show."
2 Naya Rivera
The incredibly popular musical comedy Glee ran from 2009 until 2015 and had several spin-offs including stage shows and films. The original show had a cast of young talented actors including Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, and Cory Monteith with Michele being the principle player. And it was because of Michele’s leading role that she tended to hold sway over some of the casting decisions the producers made.
This was no more obvious than in the case of Naya Rivera who started in season two. Rivera played popular cheerleader Santana Lopez who quickly acquired bigger plot lines and more dialogue, which didn’t sit well with Michele who was known for being critical of others’ performances. The two were competitive and this created a good deal of friction on set. However, producers realized that they could not fire the prima donna of the show and so opted to cut Rivera’s storylines.
1 Shannen Doherty, Again
The hit TV show Charmed ran for eight seasons between 1998 and 2006 and starred a host of well-known actors. The cast included Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano and Greg Vaughan to name but a few. The show’s premise is of three blessed sisters who protect innocent members of the public from dark supernatural forces.
Doherty’s early departure was revealed as essential to the continuation of the show, but not for any creative reason. According to Fandom in 2017, Doherty’s ongoing rivalry with Alyssa Milano and producer Brad Kern eventually forced the production team’s hands in signing her early release from the show. Her comment that there was “too much drama on the set” was oddly enough echoed by Milano in an interview with Andy Cohen in 2013, the allusion being that it was Doherty who brought the drama.