Actors, musicians, YouTube stars, comedians, plenty of high-profile celebrities destroyed their careers in 2018 for a wide variety of reasons. Between serious allegations, big beef, and tempestuous tweets, these stars have wreaked lasting havoc on their futures in the entertainment industry.
Cheaters never win
Evan Felker, frontman of the Turnpike Troubadours, got the chance of a lifetime when Miranda Lambert handpicked his band to open for her on tour. However, when the pair got romantically involved, allegedly while he was married and while she was still dating Anderson East, things got complicated.
A source told People that Felker ghosted his wife Staci when he went on tour, then blindsided her with divorce papers. Unfortunately for Felker, Lambert’s flame for him apparently burned out very fast.
By August 2018, they’d split, with Lambert announcing that she was single and ready to mingle. Days later, Felker quit Lambert’s tour, allegedly because of kidney stones. He later issued a statement on his band’s Instagram,
“We are working through some family and medical issues that have made it impossible for us to be on tour.”
Mo’Nique can’t negotiate
Comedian and actress Mo’Nique may have curtailed her stand-up career after criticizing Netflix for allegedly low-balling her in contract negotiations. She called for a boycott of the service based on what she claimed.
She compared her $500,000 offer with the tens of millions offered to Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Amy Schumer, specifically calling out Schumer’s bankability after her movie Snatched flopped. That, of course, ignored the fact that Schumer’s Netflix contract was signed when she’d sold out Madison Square Garden and was still riding a career-high from Trainwreck.
Perhaps what put the final nail in Mo’Nique’s career coffin was comparing her salary negotiations to being ravaged while speaking to Sway Calloway on his radio show Sway’s Universe.
“Did you ask any of the white women to apologize? When they said they were violated? By Harvey Weinstein?” “Did you ask any of them to be humble?”
Mo’Nique previously accused heavy-hitters like Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry of blackballing her from the industry after she refused to promote Precious, the film that earned Mo’Nique an Academy Award.
Whoopi Goldberg even slammed Mo’Nique’s conduct to her face on The View. Though Netflix has not responded publicly to Mo’Nique’s remarks, she has no specials lined up to date.
James Gunn faced a lot of fallout for old tweets in 2018. The Guardians of the Galaxy director and writer was fired from the hit Marvel franchise for offensive tweets dating back nearly a decade. The posts featured jokes about subjects as dark as the Holocaust and pedophilia. Gunn responded on July 2018 via a series of since-deleted tweets:
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started. I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. I am very, very different than I was a few years ago. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.”
Unfortunately for Gunn, it was too little too late for Disney, and they parted ways with the writer-director after the Tweets resurfaced in July. Even after petitions and protests from the Guardians cast, particularly from Dave Bautista, Gunn’s career with Disney is over. However, DC did hire him for the sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, so perhaps he’ll salvage some standing in the industry.
The Fall of Minaj
Let’s be clear: Nicki Minaj will go down in history as one of the most successful rap artists of all time. That said, she spent the bulk of 2018 tarnishing her legacy with pointless feuds that hurt her bottom line. In July 2018, Minaj got an intern at an entertainment blog fired for tweeting about the direction of Minaj’s music, writing:
“You know how dope it would be if Nicki put out mature content?
She’s touching 40 soon, a new direction is needed.”
Minaj harassed the writer, even targeting her 4-year-old daughter and telling the blogger to kill herself. Minaj also lashed out at rapper Travis Scott on social media for selling his Astroworld album with bundles that included clothing and concert tickets, beating her Queen album for the top spot on the Billboard 200 in August 2018.
She blamed a Nicki Hate Train for her album’s lackluster reception and postponed her tour. Sources told Page Six ticket sales were abysmal. And then there’s her ongoing feud with rapper Cardi B, who is clearly battling Minaj for her kingdom…and winning.
T.J. Miller isn’t making friends
Comedian and actor T.J. Miller seemed to hurt his career in 2017 when he left HBO’s Silicon Valley, but it wasn’t until 2018 that Miller’s conduct on the set was revealed. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Miller frequently fell asleep during filming and often showed up late and unprepared, causing delays. Some insiders hinted that Miller may have had issues with self-medicating and alleged his temper could flare. Miller pushed back. He told THR,
“I’m not high when I work because it gets in the way of the comedy. I also am not a guy who’s blackout-drunk, bumping into things on set. What was occurring was I was out doing stand-up all the time, even if it meant I only got three hours of sleep. So, the thing I have a problem with? It’s pushing myself to do too much.”
Then in July 2018, former Silicon Valley actress Alice Wetterlund accused Miller of bullying her on set, which he also denied. But regardless of what Miller did or didn’t do while filming Silicon Valley, something much more disturbing happened a few months before Wetterlund’s accusations.
Miller was arrested on April 2018 for allegedly reporting a fake bomb threat on an Amtrak train, causing massive delays. The Blast reported in September 2018 that Miller may be pursuing a plea bargain in the case.
Something Special from Fergie
At the NBA All-Star Game in February 2018, Fergie decided to, quote, “try something special” during the national anthem. It was special all right.
Her weird vocal runs, jazz inflections, and bizarre gestures made her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” go viral for all the wrong reasons. A lot of viewers were less than impressed with Fergie’s rendition.
The singer responded by telling TMZ,
“I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.”
But some sources say she wasn’t apologetic at all. An insider told US Weekly,
“Neither Fergie nor her team thought anything was wrong with her national anthem rendition. That’s the way she sings a lot of her songs.
She loves adding a little and being different with her riffs.It was meant to be jazz-inspired.She wanted to stand out.”
Yes, because what a song about war and patriotism needs is a little more.
Repellent and stupid
Sean Penn is an Oscar-winning actor, but it’s not his onscreen skills that are dead in the water. It’s his budding career as a novelist. The notoriously temperamental star released his debut book, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff,
in which he attempts to satirize American culture and even mocks the #MeToo movement. The book hasn’t sold well, and critics have not been kind. The Guardian called Penn’s debut novel,
“repellent and stupid.”
The New York Times labeled it,
“plotless [as well as] conspicuously un-fun”
The Washington Post wondered what the heck Penn was thinking, and Huffington Post called it a,
We’re not saying Penn should necessarily stick to acting and leave the novel-writing to someone else. We’re just saying it sounds like as a writer, Penn’s a really good actor.
Woody may finally be out
Acclaimed director Woody Allen was accused of abusing his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, more than 20 years ago. The Los Angeles Times reported that abuse experts and police investigated the allegations. But prosecutors and Dylan’s mother, actress Mia Farrow, didn’t want to pursue charges against Allen for fear of traumatizing then-7-year-old Dylan.
A judge in the case said Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was “grossly inappropriate.”Allen has denied the allegations repeatedly. All of that, in addition to Allen’s controversial marriage to Mia’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, hasn’t been enough to stop Allen’s success in the industry, but an incredibly tone-deaf interview he conducted in June 2018 might do just that.
While being interviewed for the Argentinian news program Periodismo Para Todos, Allen called himself a, quote,
“poster boy for the #MeToo movement.”
Allen went on to say,
“I have worked in movies for 50 years.I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses and not a single one ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all.I’ve always had a wonderful record with them.”
Allen’s claims of a spotless record aren’t entirely true: Mariel Hemingway, who starred in 1979’s Manhattan, alleged in her memoir Out Came the Sun that Allen attempted to seduce her when she turned 18, and he was 44.
In 2018, numerous stars of past Allen films renounced working with him ever again. Sources told Page Six in August 2018 that Allen’s latest film A Rainy Day in New York may never see the light of day.
Luke Cage star Mike Colter was looking forward to a third season of the Marvel Netflix series when he made a really inappropriate joke about a pastor at Aretha Franklin’s funeral allegedly groping pop star Ariana Grande. In a since-deleted tweet, Colter wrote, alongside laughing face emojis,
“Now this is how you shoot your shot.No f—-s.”
The internet did not like this, especially considering the trauma themes in Luke Cage’s sister series, Jessica Jones. Colter apologized in another since-deleted tweet, writing,
“Hello all.I apologize about my tweet earlier.In no way do I condone any such behavior. It was intended to point out the absurdity of the act itself.
Complete and biting sarcasm.I realized quickly that it was not taken as such.”
About a month later, Netflix announced that Luke Cage wouldn’t be renewed for a third season. It’s pretty unclear if the ax had anything to do with Colter’s remarks but the timing seems uncanny.
A beef with a beefcake
Tyrese Gibson did his career no favors in 2017 when he repeatedly and publicly slammed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for starring in a Fast & The Furious spin-off with Jason Statham called Hobbs and Shaw. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that Gibson apparently realized he’d hit rock bottom.
Gibson acknowledged as much during Van Lathan’s Red Pill podcast on July 2018, Though it sounds like Gibson wants to make amends, he may be motivated by a need for cash rather than friendship. The actor’s ex-wife claimed in court documents that he’s suffering financially, in part, because he foolishly picked a fight with The Rock.