2017 has been one wild and crazy ride of a year for pretty much everyone in the world. We all thought that 2016 was as bad and as bizarre as things could possibly get, and 2017 only served to show us all how completely and utterly wrong we were. But as always, some people had an easier go of it this year than others, while some others had some totally epic scandals and embarrassments beyond what anyone could have even expected. Of course fame magnifies everything exponentially, so some celebs who made some fumbles may lose their careers over their bad movies, while others have gotten away with doing despicable things for years and now it seems that the chickens have finally come home to roost in a big way.
But out of all of the nonsense and outrageous behavior that has come out of the entertainment industry this year (or at least been exposed after a long period of silence), what is really the worst of the worst that has gone on in this crazy year? Some celebrities have endured major hits to their careers because of some embarrassing or stupid mistakes, and some celebrities have had their careers end practically overnight because of their horrifying and sometimes illegal misdeeds. Some of America’s most famous just had some seriously unlucky breaks while others are finally reaping the poison they’ve been sowing without consequence for ages. But either way, these 15 celebrities have dealt some brutal or fatal blows to their careers in this past year.
15. Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey shouldn’t have gotten away with what he’s gotten away with for nearly as long as he has, so while he’s finally managed to get himself blacklisted by Hollywood, it was also an insanely long time coming. The stories of his harassment and abuse go back for literal decades and his awful behavior has been one of the entertainment industry’s longest open secrets. Spacey wasn’t even particularly interested in hiding what he was doing either. His issues with abusing younger men have already caused delays and problems with at least a dozen projects that Spacey has worked on, and on his former Netflix TV show House of Cards it was such a known problem that the production staff apparently knew enough to keep any younger male employees away from Spacey and had already had to fire quite a few lower level employees because they had been harassed by Kevin.
14. Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner has always been one of the more innocuous members of the whole Kardashian media empire, but the quiet model made a major misstep this year when she appeared in an astoundingly tone deaf Pepsi ad that caused a bit of an uproar because of its absurdity. The basic concept of the ad was that pretty, privileged white girl Kendall would solve world peace by giving everyone a Pepsi. It’s a dumb idea on its face, but it went over especially badly because of the level of instability and violence that was going on in the world at the time, and frankly, anyone who didn’t come from a position of ridiculously over the top privilege would have recognized that. But obviously Kendall has never experienced anything else, and even though the ad was abruptly pulled and Jenner obviously wasn’t responsible for its concept, she fielded the vast majority of the criticism and blame for its idiocy.
13. Dani Mathers
Prior to her major scandal Dani Mathers didn’t have much of an entertainment career to speak of, her major highlight was being the Playboy Playmate of the Year for 2015, but she has certainly ensured that she will never peak higher than that either. Mathers came under serious social and even legal fire after posting a picture of an older woman completely exposed in the locker room of her LA Fitness gym to her snapchat, along with the caption, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” The social media uproar was immediate, and Mathers claimed that she only meant to send the picture and message to one of her friends instead of posting it publicly, but the world wasn’t having it with her excuses (which were horrible excuses, anyway). While Mathers was a model who often posed in revealing photoshoots, she should be able to understand why it’s horrific and wrong to take a picture of someone’s body without their knowledge or permission under any circumstance (let alone to humiliate them for their appearance). If yo don’t, then maybe you deserve the social ostracism and legal ramifications coming your way.
12. Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin is a comedienne who has never shied away from dragging anyone and everyone famous, and has always used outrageous behavior and statements to heighten her profile in the public eye. But in the eyes of many Kathy took her provocative behavior a bit too far when she appeared in a video with a fake severed head modelled off of the American president. Considering that POTUS is ultra conservative and Griffin has always leaned towards the super liberal politically, it’s no surprise that she would go in hard on his administration, but many found this particular stunt to be disturbing and uncomfortable to see. Griffin eventually issued a tearful public apology, but the damage had already been done. She lost a few of her high profile jobs, including hosting New Year’s Eve on CNN with Anderson Cooper, and her longtime friendship with Cooper was also destroyed over the scandal.
11. Abby Lee Miller
Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller made her name in the entertainment industry off of her aggressive and nasty behavior that she displayed on her Lifetime reality series, and her hard-driving coaching style when it came to the children she was training in dance made her a divisive figure in reality television from the start. But despite having her own television series as well as her own dance company, Abby filed for bankruptcy in 2010, claiming that she owed over $400,000 in taxes. A couple of years later, Lee Miller started facing multiple lawsuits for physical abuse and emotional distress caused by her unorthodox and aggressive teaching style, and in 2015, the dance instructor was indicted on charges of fraud because she had apparently been hiding significant portions of her income to make it appear as if she were making a lot less money than she actually was. She was taken to trial and convicted of fraud, and as a result has been sentenced to a year in prison, which seems like a pretty effective way to end her career practically overnight.
10. Caitlyn Jenner
Former Olympic champion and Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Bruce Jenner made history when she came out publicly as a transgender woman and transitioned into Caitlyn Jenner in the public eye, and gave the transgender community more visibility and attention than they’d ever had before. It was a landmark event in America, and Caitlyn as well as the rest of the Kardashian clan made Caitlyn’s transition into a part of their brand and basically demonstrated how a family might cope with this in their own lives, which was probably very informative to a lot of people and could have been inspiring to many in the LGBTQ community. However there was a problem. Caitlyn may have changed her gender, but not much else about her changed, and it turns out that if you’re a self-absorbed jerk as a man you are still a self-absorbed jerk as a woman. Caitlyn publicly lashed out at her former family and blamed them for preventing her from coming out earlier, and then essentially cut them off completely, which was not only a jerk move, it was also a pretty terrible professional move since that family has been the source of her fame and income for almost a decade now.
9. Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein managed to avoid the consequences of his insane, awful abuse for a ridiculously long time, but when the consequences caught up with him they certainly hit him incredibly hard. Weinstein apparently had a rock solid system to avoid having to deal with his horrific abuse of the women in his orbit despite the fact that his bad behavior towards them wasn’t much of a secret, and despite the fact that he was openly verbally abusive to many people around him for years. After decades of intimidating and paying off his victims finally a few intrepid reporters began investigating this story and refused to drop it, and once the news was finally confirmed by legitimate journalistic sources Weinstein’s fall was fast and hard. The people surrounding him in Hollywood didn’t hesitate to jump off of his sinking ship (which isn’t very surprising if you treat everyone around you horribly), and Harvey was ousted from his own company within days, his wife announced she’d be leaving him, and he could even be facing criminal charges for what he’s done (and he should).
8. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is still pretty high in the music game, all things considered, but the release of her album Reputation as well as the release of her first few singles has been lackluster considering all of the buildup behind them. Taylor built her whole PR strategy around her attempted spin on the hits that her public reputation had taken after a few bad publicity incidents in the recent past, and while the concept was a good idea, the execution just wasn’t there. Her first couple of singles combined haven’t had the impact that even one of her hits from her previous album, because musically the material just isn’t as strong as it once was. Not to mention, Taylor instituted some new rules for the purchasing of her merchandise and tickets to her shows, which were supposedly meant to give her biggest fans an advantage when it came to collecting her memorabilia and getting prime tickets to her show, but also seemed like a bit of a money grab designed to squeeze her fans for as much cash as possible.
7. Meghan Markle
Fewer actresses have managed to end their acting careers as quickly as Suits star Meghan Markle has, but luckily she has quit the entertainment industry for what is possibly the coolest reason ever. Meghan has ditched the world of cable network dramas and Hallmark Channel movies to become a literal princess, and essentially announced her retirement from acting when she announced her engagement to Prince Harry. Meghan’s engagement to Harry is a history making match in a lot of different ways, since Meghan is American, biracial, and a divorcée, and even if she loves acting I can’t imagine that most people wouldn’t willingly devote their lives to humanitarian and charitable causes if they had the opportunity to make such a huge difference. It will certainly be a big career and personal transition, though, and it must be some serious love between the two of them if they’re both willing to put up with all that they’ll have to put up with as such a public couple and such a radical departure from most English royal pairings.
6. Charlie Heaton
English actor Charlie Heaton was a relative unknown before hitting it big as the elder Byers brother on the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things, but making it that far by the age of 22 is certainly nothing to sneeze at. However the young star made a major misstep this year that could have far reaching consequences if he’s particularly unlucky, because while on his way from England to Los Angeles the actor was actually denied entry into the US because officials at Los Angeles International Airport found traces of drugs on the actor’s luggage. Heaton wound up missing the premiere of the second season of Stranger Things and actually risked being denied entry into the US on a more long term basis, which could have severely affected his employment on Stranger Things as well as significantly hindering his career in general. All young people make mistakes at one point or another, but blowing such a huge opportunity on something so stupid is really a bonehead move.
5. Danny Masterson
Danny Masterson actually destroyed his career years ago with his actions, but has only had to pay the piper very recently. Masterson has been accused of violating multiple women and essentially intimidating them or using his connections to the Church of Scientology to keep them silent for years. The women have only come out recently because of the spate of abuse revelations that have come out in the entertainment industry that are finally being believed, as well as because of the ardent and aggressive work that anti-Scientologists like Leah Remini have been doing recently in an effort to uncover the church’s bad and illegal behaviors. Unlike with Kevin Spacey, Netflix didn’t immediately fire Masterson once the accusations became public, but after intensifying pressure as well as incredibly poor handling of the situation by Netflix themselves, they finally decided to write Masterson out of his Netflix show The Ranch. Masterson has publicly denied the claims, but it seems unlikely that a bunch of random women would decide to accuse a barely famous actor whose greatest success was a decade ago, and considering what his church has covered up before, it seems like a pretty plausible story.
4. Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner is barely in her 20s, but she has already managed to launch her own mini makeup empire, partially off of her name and frankly partially off of her willingness to get way over-the-top lip injections as a teenager. And despite Kylie Cosmetics having some hit-or-miss products and moments it actually seems like Kylie was having some successful launches of some pretty good quality products (even if they were still pretty pricey in the grand scheme of things). Kylie also managed to ditch her long time leech boyfriend Tyga, so overall things were looking up. But Kylie moved on quickly to Travis Scott, with whom she is now expecting her first child at the ripe old age of 20, and her most recent Kylie Cosmetics launch (a set of makeup brushes that cost nearly $400) has been getting absolutely slammed in the beauty community for its over-the-top expense and relatively low quality.
3. Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon is an entertainer who had been bouncing around in the industry for quite a while, and he was a recognizable face but had never really had his breakout hit until he started hosting the NBC reality show competition America’s Got Talent. The show did consistently well and he was well-received on it, but earlier this year Cannon made some insulting comments about the show on his Showtime standup special that did not go over well with NBC. Apparently the network considered firing Cannon for what he said, but Nick beat them to the punch and said that he wanted to resign from his position because of creative differences between himself and the network. NBC seemed like they might put up a fight over his resignation, but after a somewhat contentious back and forth the network finally accepted it and named Tyra Banks as their new host instead.
2. Rob Kardashian
Rob Kardashian has been having a really rough go of it for quite a while, but his downward spiral has shown no signs of stopping this year. Kardashian has been coping with depression and weight gain for quite a while now, and while that’s totally understandable and nothing to be ashamed of his behavior towards his friends and family has been exceptionally unkind, and his messy breakup and bad behavior towards former girlfriend and mother of his daughter might just be the final nail in his career coffin. Kardashian has removed himself from the public eye for quite a while now, but his relationship with Blac Chyna brought him back out into the world and seemed to improve his feelings about himself. That didn’t seem to last very long though. After having one season of their own reality show, Rob and Chyna had a bad breakup, and Rob started dragging Chyna on social media hard enough that even his family wouldn’t take his side.
1. Robin Thicke
Robin Thicke has been a kind of problematic figure in the entertainment industry ever since he gained fame with his dubious hit song “Blurred Lines,” and his public image has not improved over time. After Thicke’s messy breakup with wife Paula Patton he moved on to a Paula lookalike who was about half his age, and like most dudes in the throes of a midlife crisis who have no idea how embarrassing their behavior is, Thicke knocked up his much younger girlfriend and the pair got engaged soon after getting together. Patton then claimed that Thicke was abusive to their son, Julian, and the custody battle over their child got pretty messy. Robin claimed that the allegations were false and Patton was just doing it for the attention, but that seems to assume that Thicke has a public profile that is both higher than Paula Patton’s and high enough to get significant attention in general. Considering that his one and only hit is 4 years old, that seems like a pretty big overestimation of his fame, and acting a fool has only made his fade into obscurity speed up even faster.
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