Celebs Who Faced Being Canceled In 2022

Cancel culture has been a buzzword in American culture for years now, and it's become a hotly debated topic. It isn't anything new — celebrities were canceled before we had a pervasive term for it (say, Paula Deen and Lance Armstrong, for example). However, in recent years, cancellations have skyrocketed, and seemingly every week a new star is put on trial in the court of public opinion, the internet acting as the courtroom.

Some demonize cancel culture as problematic and unnecessary while others see it as a way to hold each other accountable. Members of every venerated community in American society, from athletes and politicians to authors and actors, have all fallen victim to cancel culture in one way or another.

Whether or not you agree with the cancellations, it's impossible to deny they've had a profound effect on our culture in its entirety, and almost any misstep by a celebrity can jeopardize their entire career. These are the celebrities who faced being canceled in 2022.

Will Smith can't attend the Oscars for ten years

Will Smith made history at the 2022 Academy Awards. Although he took home the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in "King Richard," his achievement was overshadowed by his behavior. After comedian Chris Rock made a joke at Smith's wife's expense, Smith walked on stage and slapped Rock in the face.

Celebrities and fans watching the broadcast immediately took to social media to reprimand Smith for his actions, and more friends and colleagues of both men reacted in the following days. As comedian Wanda Sykes shared on "The Ellen Show," "I just felt so awful for my friend Chris. It was sickening. It was absolutely [sickening.] I physically felt ill, and I'm still a little traumatized by it." The general consensus was the same, and per the BBC, after the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the body responsible for the awards ceremony, and the Academy banned Smith from attending another ceremony for ten years.

Months later, Smith apologized for the evening. "Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk," he said on his YouTube channel. Despite the altercation, Smith remains eligible to be nominated for and win another Academy Award, per People.

Kanye West lost billions

Rapper Kanye "Ye" West faced intense backlash for a series of incidents in the fall of 2022. The string of criticized behavior began with West wearing a "White Lives Matter" shirt to the fashion show for his Yeezy line and posing for a photograph alongside conservative pundit Candace Owens, who also wore the shirt, as reported by Variety.

Critics quickly voiced their disapproval over his choice via social media, including Jaden Smith, who was in attendance and walked out in protest. "I Don't Care Who's [sic] It Is If I Don't Feel The Message I'm Out," he tweeted after the show. Soon after, West was banned from Twitter after posting an anti-semetic tweet, per Deadline, and prior to that he was banned from Instagram, though that ban has since been lifted.

The tweet garnered widespread criticism from fans and contemporaries alike, including West's ex-wife, Kim Kardashian. "Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end," she said. In addition to the criticism, West was dropped by his talent agency and his lawyer, and as Forbes reported, he lost his status as a billionaire when Adidas cut ties with him over the anti-semetic tweet.

James Corden was banned from a restaurant

In mid-October, Keith McNally, restaurateur and owner of the famed New York City restaurant Balthazar, posted a photo of comedian and host of "The Late Late Show" James Corden with a caption reading, "James Corden is a Hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny Cretin of a man. And the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago." McNally went on to describe two alleged incidents where Corden mistreated Balthazar employees, and noted that Corden had been banned from the restaurant. Several people from the restaurant industry took to Twitter to share their own experiences with Corden. As one user noted, "MANY in the industry are delighted that the pompous James Corden is getting his dues however OTHER execs are so off put by his arrogance and entitlement they hope he's finally cancelled for good."

Not long after the original Instagram post, McNally posted again, sharing that Corden had apologized and was welcome at Balthazar again, but shortly after that, he took to Instagram once more to address Corden's comments in an interview with The New York Times, where Corden said, "I haven't done anything wrong, on any level," wishing Corden would admit to his wrongdoing.

McNally's wish came true when days later Corden apologized on his show. However, in the end, McNally returned to his original stance, saying on Instagram, "I found his TV 'confessional' contrived and phony ... I've given up on James Corden. For Good."

Chris Noth lost an acting role

2021 ended and 2022 began with a celebrity scandal. Chris Noth has starred in dozens of films and television shows over the course of his career, and he's perhaps best known for his role as Mr. Big in "Sex and the City." Over a decade after the hit HBO show ended, three of the main characters reprised their roles for a reboot series, "And Just Like That...," as did Noth. Amid the reboot's airing, allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against Noth, per The Hollywood Reporter. Following the allegations, Noth was dropped by his talent agency and fired from his role on "The Equalizer," and a business deal involving his tequila company fell through.

Per Newsweek, Noth's "Sex and the City" costars — Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristen Davis, and Cynthia Nixon — posted a statement to their Instagram stories. "We are deeply saddened to hear the allegations against Chris Noth. We support the women who have come forward and shared their painful experiences. We know it much be a very difficult thing to do and we commend them for it," they said.

In early 2022, TV Line reported that some of Noth's scenes in the reboot had been cut, and Page Six revealed that Noth's friends were worried about him. However, later that year, the outlet reported on the actor again, noting that he had begun acting again after the accusations.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Kim Kardashian faced backlash multiple times

Kim Kardashian is no stranger to public backlash. With over 330 million followers on Instagram and a reality television show with a high viewership, essentially everything the star does is scrutinized by someone. In 2022, Kardashian was subject to major backlash on multiple occasions.

In March, prior to the premiere of their show, "The Kardashians," Variety interviewed Kardashian and her sisters and mother. In the interview, Kardashian said, "I have the best advice for women in business: get your f**king ass up and work." The public did not take kindly to Kardashian's advice, and even other celebrities like Jameela Jamil chimed in. "She came up from the mean streets of Beverly Hills with very successful parents/step parents ... but in a *much* smaller mansion. A TRUE GRIND. An inspiration. A photoshop icon," Jamil quipped.

A couple months later, Kardashian attended the Met Gala. To meet the "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" theme, the star wore famed actor Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" dress, and shared in a Vogue red carpet interview that she lost 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the outfit. Once again, people were upset by this news, and some openly criticized her, like actor Lili Reinhart. "So wrong ... To openly admit to starving yourself for the sake of the Met Gala. When you know very well that millions of young men and women are looking up to you and listening to your every word," she said on Instagram, as reported by Glamour.

Jason and Brittany Aldean were dropped by their publicist

In the summer of 2022, Brittany Aldean, influencer and wife of country music star Jason Aldean, posted a video on Instagram with the caption "I'd really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life." Many considered her comment transphobic, and others in the country music community responded, including singers Cassadee Pope and Maren Morris.

"You'd think celebs with beauty brands would see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging. But instead here we are, hearing someone compare their 'tomboy phase' to someone wanting to transition. Real nice," Pope said. "It's so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie," Morris added. The feud continued with even more voices chiming in, like Morris's husband Ryan Hurd and Brittany's husband Jason, who commented in support of his wife on another post of Brittany's.

Just weeks after the initial post, Billboard reported that Jason's publicity firm, The GreenRoom, dropped him as a client. "We aren't the best people for the gig anymore, but will always be big fans of his music — he is one of the greatest live entertainers in country music," The GreenRoom co-owner Tyne Parrish told the outlet, though she did not specify whether the comments made by Brittany were the impetus for the split.

Olivia Wilde had a dramatic movie premiere

Though "Don't Worry Darling" wasn't Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, it was certainly her most talked about. Back in 2020, it was reported that Harry Styles would be replacing Shia LaBeouf as the lead in the film due to a scheduling conflict with the latter. However, later that year, it was revealed that LaBeouf had actually been fired. Fast forward to 2022, LaBeouf emailed Variety claiming that he had not been fired, and he shared an email he sent to Wilde in which he insisted they both knew he quit the film.

In addition to the issues she reportedly had with LaBeouf, Wilde reportedly had issues with the film's female lead, Florence Pugh. Rumblings of a feud began during filming, and they continued thanks to seemingly opposing views on the film given in interviews by Wilde and Pugh, particularly concerning the sex scenes. The purported feud hit a new high when LaBeouf included in his email to Variety a video Wilde had sent him, in which she called Pugh "Miss Flo," which many found condescending.

Fodder surrounding the film continued when it debuted at the Venice Film Festival. Though Pugh was in attendance for the premiere, she skipped all other press. Per People, when asked about the reported feud between her and Pugh, Wilde said, "As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself. I don't feel the need to contribute. It's sufficiently well nourished."

Adam Levine reportedly had multiple affairs

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine keeps his private life just that — private. However, In September 2022, Instagram model Sumner Stroh leaked private messages she shared with the singer, shedding light on his personal affairs — emphasis on affairs.

The scandal started when Stroh posted a since-deleted video to TikTok (uploaded by a fan to YouTube), claiming that she and Levine, who is married to model Behati Prinsloo, had an affair. She included screenshots of messages from Levine, serving as her evidence that she was romantically involved with the band member. Later, in the video, Stroh included another set of screenshots, this time with a message from Levine notifying her that his wife is pregnant and asking permission to name the baby Sumner if the baby is a boy. Yikes.

The video went viral, and Levine responded to the cheating allegations via his Instagram story. Per Cosmopolitan, Levine wrote, "I did not have an affair, nevertheless, I crossed the line during a regrettable period of my life. In certain instances it became inappropriate; I have addressed that and taken proactive steps to remedy this with my family." After Stroh's original video, she posted another since-deleted one in which she apologized to Prinsloo. Meanwhile, per Us Weekly, four other women came forward with cheating allegations. Prinsloo did not make a statement about the alleged affairs. To cap off the week of drama, Levine and his Maroon 5 band members announced a Las Vegas residency scheduled for the following year, per Billboard.

Lizzo changed the lyrics of her song

In July 2022, Lizzo released her fourth studio album, "Special." It was a much-anticipated release as her most recent album prior came out in 2019. The album's lead single, "About Damn Time," went viral on TikTok and became the singer's second number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, another song on her album, particularly the use of one word, was met with heavy criticism.

In the song "Grrrls," Lizzo included a word that many people, particularly in the United Kingdom, consider an ableist slur. Fans took to social media to urge the singer to change her lyrics. "Pls change ur new song to take out the ablesist [sic] slur. It is not too late to humbly listen and remove a word that is derogatory and harmful and painful. there is no feminism that excludes disabled folks so pls," one user tweeted. Lizzo responded to the backlash on Instagram, saying, "I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, I've had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have," adding that she had released a new version of her song with a lyrical change. "This is the result of me listening and taking action," she said.

Lizzo's year wasn't only filled with controversy. In September 2022, the singer nabbed her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Competition Program for her television series "Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls."

Andrew Tate was banned from social media

Former kickboxer Andrew Tate gained notoriety outside the sports world thanks to his short-lived appearance on the British version of "Big Brother," his website offering videos and networking opportunities, as well as a large social media presence and podcast. Tate has received backlash for his actions and opinions many times during his career, notably in 2016 when he was kicked out of the "Big Brother" house for violence outside the house.

Tate had a large following on social media, and many clips from his podcast went viral, as did a clip of him appearing on "BFFs with Dave Portnoy, Josh Richards, and Brianna Chickenfry." "I'm not saying they're property. I'm saying they're given to the man and belong to the man," he said.

After significant backlash, in August 2022, Tate was banned from Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, per NPR. A spokesperson from TikTok released a statement to the outlet reading, "Misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated on TikTok." Tate released a video on Vimeo in response to the bans. "Because a small clip was taken out of context, and used against me and weaponized, now I look like I've said things I did not say," he said.

Amber Heard lost public support

For months in the spring of 2022, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard had the world's collective attention. Depp had sued Heard for defamation and sought $50 million in damages, while Heard countersued Depp in pursuit of $100 million in damages (via Vanity Fair). In a rare twist of events, the judge allowed cameras into the courtroom, giving fans a front-row seat to one of the most publicized cases of the year.

During the trial, both Depp and Heard took the stand, and each revealed unsettling details about their past relationship, mostly concerning alleged abuse. Amid the trial, fans on social media took sides, and Depp was heavily favored. "People like Amber make a mockery of a very real tragic problem in society, that of domestic violence... and because of such people the real victims find it hard to get justice," one user commented.

Both parties were awarded damages in the end, but Depp's awarded payment of $15 million was much higher than Heard's of $2 million. Per Page Six, sources claim "it will be very hard for [Heard]" to make a career come back after the trial. Per Forbes, despite Heard's request, there will not be a new trial.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Sydney Sweeney faced backlash twice

Sydney Sweeney is best known for playing Cassie on "Euphoria," but thanks to some of her other work, as well as her social media presence, she became a bona fide celebrity in 2022. But it's also her status and online prowess that led to some backlash the same year.

First, in July, Sweeney was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, in which she said, "If I wanted to take a six-month break, I don't have income to cover that." Critics did not take kindly to Sweeney's comment, with many noting that most of the public can't take a six-month break either. Sweeney spoke to Elle about the interview and said, "it was kind of skewed with the public and taken out of context."

Sweeney faced backlash again when she posted photos of a birthday celebration to Instagram, on which users left comments accusing Sweeney and her family of racism, after some members of her brood were spotted sporting MAGA hats (those specific photos have since been deleted). "An innocent celebration for my moms milestone 60th birthday has turned into an absurd political statement, which was not the intention. Please stop making assumptions," Sweeney tweeted in response.

Matthew Morrison was fired from his job

Actor Matthew Morrison rose to fame in the late aughts when he starred as Will Schuester on "Glee." Most of his work in television after the series ended was limited to multi-episode arcs and appearances in series like "The Good Wife" and "Grey's Anatomy," and in 2022, he lost what might have been his next major gig.

In late May, it was reported that Morrison would no longer be acting as a judge on Season 17 of "So You Think You Can Dance." "After filming the audition rounds for the show and completing the selection of the 12 finalists, I did not follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly," he shared in a statement. However, it was later revealed that Morrison did not leave on his own volition, but was fired due to his pursuance of an inappropriate relationship with a contestant. A source close to the show told People, "They didn't have sex, but he reached out to her through flirty direct messages on social media. She felt uncomfortable with his line of comments and went to producers."

Morrison responded to his firing with a video posted to Instagram. He began by reading the message he sent to the contestant, and followed with, "I was trying to help her get a job as a choreographer on the show ... Gossip is toxic and it is destroying our society, and we need to do better."