The seriously shady side of TJ Miller

After years of small parts in romantic comedies, voiceover work, and the unfortunate Yogi Bear 3D, T.J. Miller caught a significant break in his career when he was cast in the hit HBO sitcom Silicon Valley as the foul-mouthed, tech guru wanna-be Erlich Bachman. But after four seasons, Miller would shockingly announce his exit from the show in 2017 and then proceed to hurl insults at the series that's responsible for taking his career to the next level. It wasn't the best look, and yet not completely out of character for Miller who's no stranger to controversy.

He criticized Silicon Valley after he quit the show

When the fourth season finale of Silicon Valley aired on the night June 24, 2017, Miller had made it abundantly clear in the weeks leading up to the event that the episode would be the last appearance for his character Erlich Bachman. But the biggest bomb drop would come the following morning when The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with an abrasively blunt Miller.

"The only thing that you can talk down about the show and about Alec Berg, the showrunner for the first couple years, is that it's cyclical." Miller opined. "If they fail, then they succeed, and then if they succeed, they fail. It's over and over. That's an old type of sitcom. That's Seinfeld, where Alec Berg used to work. It's recycling, it's network. This is HBO."

But Miller wasn't done taking shots at Berg. After saying he wouldn't talk to him because "I don't like Alec," Miller made sure that bridge was completely burnt. "I don't know how smart [Alec] is. He went to Harvard, and we all know those kids are f***ing idiots. That Crimson trash. Those comedy writers in Hollywood are f***ing Harvard graduates and that's why they're smug as a bug." Okay…

He threw shade at Thomas Middleditch

As if wasn't bad enough that he openly insulted Silicon Valley showrunner Alec Berg, Miller also threw his longtime friend and improv partner Thomas Middleditch under the bus with some choice comments during the now-infamous THR interview. "I'm not an actor; I'm a comedian. And I don't know how the f*** I hoodwinked Hollywood into giving me a career in this," Miller said. "But I'm not sitting here saying, 'I need more lines. I'm not funny enough.' I'm not Thomas Middleditch."

Ouch. And once again, Miller would take things even further by suggesting he got out of the way as a favor to a spotlight-hungry Middleditch. "I want to step aside. Thomas Middleditch has always wanted to be a star. He's always wanted to be the star of the show. So I thought, really, it's an ensemble show, and if I step aside, the ensemble will each have a little more room."

What makes his comments about Middleditch wanting to be a star especially shady is that during the course of the interview, Miller openly brags about his upcoming projects and how HBO didn't think he had enough star-power to walk away from Silicon Valley. But this wasn't the first time T.J. Miller called out others for acting exactly like T.J. Miller.

He can be hypocritical when it comes to other comics

In 2012, Miller made internet headlines after writing a scathing review of a Dane Cook comedy set at The Laugh Factory. As a stand-up himself, Miller should've known that Cook was testing out new material, which genuinely doesn't land on the first few tries. Instead, Miller took Cook to task for being misogynistic and arrogant.

"He [is] certainly not a comedian," Miller wrote, according to The AV Club. "You've been doing standup for so many years and you still believe it's okay to bomb and talk about your issues? You. Didn't. Earn This."

Here's the thing, Miller's career includes everything he just criticized Cook for: Sexism, arrogance, personal issues. In fact, Miller would find himself being told to "chill with the rape jokes" while appearing on The Jeselnik Offensive a year after his takedown of Cook. Gross, right? And things would only get worse as Miller's popularity grew.

He hurled racist and sexist insults at a tech conference

Shortly after Silicon Valley became a hit series, Miller was invited to host the 2015 Crunchies, a tech world version of the Oscars hosted by Tech Crunch. Once again, Miller would make headlines, but this time around, it was for all the wrong reasons. "Within the span of a few minutes, Miller called a woman a b**** three times and casually threw out a racist remark," The Verge reported. Not good!

The awards show controversy earned so much press that Tech Crunch's parent company, AOL, was forced to issue a statement apologizing for Miller's remarks and made it clear he wouldn't be invited back. However, AOL should've been aware of Miller's penchant for sexist humor by watching his appearances on The Jeselnik Offensive or looking into how he behaved at a sketch comedy festival just a few weeks earlier.

He's not the best at Q&As either

While attending the SF Sketchfest at The 2015 San Francisco Comedy Festival, Miller exhibited the kind of behavior that would land him in hot water at the Crunchies. After being asked about the effects of the real Silicon Valley on San Francisco, "Miller responded with a long, puerile dialogue that involved some talk of 'f***ing his way' through fans in the Tenderloin, a little vague racism about getting treated suspiciously in Japantown and a joke about LSD and the Bay Area that is about 40 years out of date," according to PandoDaily.

Miller would also make a joke at the expense of a female audience member, foreshadowing his controversial decision to call former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's girlfriend a "b****" three times. "You don't belong in Silicon Valley, we tried to make that clear with the lack of important parts for you on the show," Miller said to a woman who said she didn't watch Silicon Valley.

What made this exchange even more interesting is that Miller seemed eager to acknowledge the lack of female roles on the hit HBO show when he could use it to make a joke. But in an interview during the same year, he'd blame the actual Silicon Valley for the show's representation issue.

He accused the tech industry of being the real sexists

In an interview with Salon, Miller would become frustrated by frequent criticism about Silicon Valley's lack of female characters and would lay the blame at the feet of the tech industry in general. "It's ridiculous," he said. "We're trying to reflect Silicon Valley to the rest of the world accurately, and [in] making fun of it, obviously we had to take some liberties through comedy. But I thought it was so interesting that people attacked the show for not having enough women, instead of attacking Silicon Valley for not having enough women."

Miller would become even more agitated and essentially imply that the real sexism is being asked to include more women in the show. "I was surprised no one said, well, it's a really accurate representation. They just said: 'Why don't you just stick more women in there?' That's really the grossest thing. To to be like, 'put some f***ing women in there! Who cares, just get some women. We need a couple more women objects in the thing. Go grab some women props, put them in the show.' That's the weird thing for me."

If you're starting to notice a trend, it's that Miller loves to dish out criticism, but he's not so good at taking it.

He gets offended easily for an offensive comic

Following the Crunchies controversy, Miller would not only complain about the backlash in at least three separate interviews with Salon, Esquire, and Vulture, but he'd actually go so far as to say calling a woman a "b****" (three times) was the right thing for him to do at an awards show.

"Behind the scenes, people kept saying, 'Do you know who you're making fun of? That's Travis Kalanick's girlfriend.' I'm like, 'Who's Travis Kalanick?' They're like, 'What?! That's the CEO of Uber!' Like, don't you realize that's why I should be laying into his girlfriend." Miller explained to Vulture. But he wasn't done with the topic and would circle back to the Crunchies during an unrelated question about the first season finale of Silicon Valley.

"They came at me at the Crunchies for using 'the B-word,' and that was so insane to us, that 'the B-word' even existed. We just call it "b****." My wife called me a b**** yesterday because I was being a little b**** about something. It's just vernacular, and we laugh about that a lot. She calls me 'b****' more around the house because of [the situation]. Which I'm fine with, because I'm not an easily offended Silicon Valley wannabe CEO or something." We think the totally not offended comedian doth protest too much.

He's become a name-dropper

For a guy who criticized Dane Cook for being arrogant after finding success with his career, Miller has developed a habit for name-dropping especially after announcing his exit from Silicon Valley.

"I've been working in the trenches," he told Inverse. "This is the way I get to have a movie with Dreamworks, which I'm writing, and to have Spielberg put me in Office Christmas Party and then Ready Player One. I told Spielberg my plan, actually, why I was on so many platforms and taking so many roles, and he said, 'Oh I know, I'm watching. I've seen everything you've done.'"

And while there's nothing wrong about taking pride in the work Miller has put into his career, we start to get concerned when he claims The Emoji Movie is just what's needed "in this administration, in this climate," an obvious reference to Donald Trump. Miller makes a similar claim in his THR interview where he says he "needs to talk to the American people." By starring in a movie about the Poop Emoji? We're not quite sure how that's going to help, and Miller doesn't have the best history when it comes to political discussions.

He allegedly slapped an Uber driver

Despite giving several interviews trashing the company after the Crunchies, Miller called an Uber to pick him up after the GQ Men of the Year party in December 2016. But things didn't exactly go well with his driver.

"During the ride they got into an argument about President-elect Donald Trump. The driver claims T.J. slapped him in the head when they got to his house," TMZ reports. "We're told the driver got pissed and decided to make a citizen's arrest. He called cops who showed up and took T.J. into custody."

The situation would only go from bad to worse for Miller when the driver accused the comedian of being high on nitrous oxide. In the end, Miller would make a deal with the L.A. City Attorney's office and avoid charges. He'd later battle the driver in court and claim the entire incident was an attempt at extortion, which seems pretty messy for a simple political argument. Then again, maybe Miller learned a valuable lesson about what not to do when talking about Trump, and he's the voice America needs. Stranger things have happened.

He charts his own course

While Miller's career is spotted with shady moments and a stubborn refusal to recognize his own mistakes, that's also part of his appeal with fans. He doesn't put on airs or change his personality to fit the situation. But with his expanding career working with the likes of Spielberg and his genuine love for making children movies with Dreamworks, maybe we'll see a more reflective Miller as time goes on. At the end of the day, his heart seems to be in the right place. He just needs to work on sticking the landing.

He claimed women aren't as funny as men

In yet another jaw-dropping interview, this time with Vulture, Miller argued that women aren't as funny as men. "They're taught to suppress their sense of humor during their formative years," he told the magazine in July 2017.

After the interview was published and the internet went crazy, he clarified his comment in a series of tweets in which he alleged it was simply being used for click-bait purposes and that "everyone and their parents missed the point." Okay.

He likes to stir the pot

In a bizarre defense of his disastrous interview with The Hollywood Reporter  interview, Miller concluded that "people need a villain" and he is simply "occupying that space."

"After the election, I realized that there was a gap," he told Vulture in July 2017. "Nobody right now is publicly the Lindsay Lohan–train wreck–but–not–quite person. If I'd just said it was an honor to work on Silicon Valley and was thankful to Alec Berg, I would have disappeared. Instead, by being just a little authentic, I infected the news cycle."

"It's more important to be polarizing than neutralizing. That's my position," he concluded.

Good luck with that!