What These Fired Reality Stars Are Doing Today

Mike White, creator of "The White Lotus," has also been a contestant on shows like "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race." When he's not creating prestige television, White has a lot of thoughts about the importance of reality television, which he loves. "...I am a total fan," he told the Los Angeles Times. "There are life lessons that can be derived from reality television." Dr. Eva M. Krockow agrees; the psychologist told Distractify that one reason people love reality TV is because we can compare our own behavior to that of the cast on television. "[Reality television] may offer material for critical discussion and even soul-searching," she said.

That may very well be the case as we're watching reality stars bicker, brawl, fall in love, hook up, break up, and compete against one another for attention and money. However, it may be even more relevant when reality stars behave so badly that they're no longer allowed to misbehave on television. Sometimes fired reality stars are never heard from again, but more often than not, they are forced to pivot, to branch out into other areas of entertainment in an attempt to hold on to their following. 

Read on for a look at what some fired reality stars have been up to since they were let go from their television shows.

Chad Johnson escaped Bachelor Nation

After being eliminated from "The Bachelorette" for his anger issues, Chad Johnson didn't do better on "Bachelor in Paradise." He got in fights with fellow castmates, got drunk to the point where he reportedly soiled his shorts, and screamed insults at host Chris Harrison. "This is my life!" he told the bewildered Harrison. "And you're gonna sit here and you're gonna try to make me look like a b****? F*** you, Chris Harrison. Come at me." He was removed from the resort over his behavior. "I regret everything..." he subsequently told ET. In characteristic fashion, he continued, "But you can't take it back, so whatever."

Johnson still managed to find a career in reality TV despite his "Bachelor" appearances ending in disaster. He was on MTV's "Ex on the Beach," appeared on "Celebrity Big Brother UK," and tried to redeem himself on "Famously Single." He spoke positively about the latter show with MediaVillage since it took the focus off his time in Bachelor Nation. "To be able to get to show a different side of myself was a great opportunity," he said.

In 2020, Johnson was arrested for domestic violence, which he denied in an Instagram video (via ET). "There was never any domestic abuse of any kind," he insisted. "I have never laid hands on a woman any time in my entire life." Shortly after the incident, Johnson revealed in an interview with the Daily Mail that he was focusing on the adult industry, which he had expected to participate in somehow. "At this point," he said, "...why not?"

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.

Brian Dunkleman quit before being fired

Ryan Seacrest built a media empire off the back of his success as the host of "American Idol," but on the show's first season, Seacrest wasn't alone. Brian Dunkleman originally co-hosted "Idol" with him, the spiky brunette to Seacrest's spiky bottle blond. After that mega-successful first season crowned Kelly Clarkson its winner, and it was clear the show would be continuing, Dunkleman's contract wasn't picked up. He recalled to GQ, "I was told by one of my old bosses that it came down to whether to keep both of us or go with one host. They decided to go with one, and obviously I wasn't the one. They told me that I quit before they could deliver the news." He noted that one boss acknowledged Dunkleman's limited experience hosting.

Dunkleman says he spiraled after leaving the show, fearing he'd made a terrible mistake. "I was crippled with depression," he told TMZ. That meant it was a relief to find out he would have been fired, because it wasn't solely his decision to exit.

Since leaving "Idol," Dunkleman has worked as a stand-up comedian. He released a documentary in 2022 about what it was like to be cut from one of the biggest shows of all time (per Heavy). He also made headlines for being an Uber driver, which he defended on Twitter. "I chose to stop doing standup comedy and started driving an Uber so I could be there for my son as much as he needed..." he wrote.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

VPR's Stassi Schroeder has kept busy

When "Vanderpump Rules" launched, mean-girl Stassi Schroeder was one of the most delicious villains on all of reality television. A decade later, the show continues without her, because Schroeder was fired in 2020 for a racist incident involving castmate Faith Stowers. Alongside fellow Witch of WeHo Kristen Doute — see below — Schroeder maliciously called the police on their fellow SURver. "I have grown significantly from the person I was then, and I am still filled with remorse and regret for the hurt I caused," she wrote on Instagram

A few months later, she made a disastrous appearance on "Tamron Hall" to try to prove how much she'd grown. Schroeder said that "the hardest part" of the situation was people thinking she was racist. "Black people are dying, because they have been oppressed for 400 years. All lives can't matter until Black lives matter and that's something that I've realized in doing classes," she insisted while responding to Hall.

Since her firing, Schroeder has kept busy. She gave birth to a daughter in January 2021, but Hartford wasn't all she produced during the pandemic; Schroeder also wrote a book about the backlash she faced over her firing. She made headlines when she and her beau, Beau Clark, got married in Italy; even though they're not on "VPR" anymore, there was major drama about former castmates Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright canceling at the last minute. You can take the girl out of SUR...

Matthew Morrison has moved on from SYTYCD

Matthew Morrison is best known for his role on "Glee," playing the much-mocked Mr. Schue. He also has an extensive Broadway background, including originating the role of Link Larkin in "Hairspray" (per Playbill). He seemed like a natural, then, when he was hired in 2022 to judge "So You Think You Can Dance." However, his time on the dance competition series was short-lived. People explained that Morrison had been fired from the judging panel mid-season after a contestant reported Morrison to production for sending her text messages that made her "uncomfortable." "Having the opportunity to be a judge on 'So You Think You Can Dance' was an incredible honor for me," he said in his statement.

However, after the specifics of his alleged infraction were reported, Morrison jumped on Instagram in an attempt to defend himself. He insisted that he hadn't been flirtatious and merely wanted to talk business with the contestant. "It's really unfortunate that I have to sit here and defend myself and my family against blatantly untrue statements made anonymously, but I have nothing to hide," he claimed.

In the months since his firing, Morrison hasn't announced any new projects in the works. Instead, a peek at his Instagram reveals that he is focusing on raising a family. He also helped promote a fundraiser in memory of Naya Rivera, who played Santana on "Glee" and tragically passed away in 2020.

Siesta Key's Alex Kompothecras is raising a family

When the show premiered, Alex Kompothecras was one of the main cast members on MTV's "Siesta Key." After all, his father executive produced the series. Still, his dad's influence couldn't save Kompothecras when his past racist tweets resurfaced amid the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Fans pointed out that Kompothecras had previously used the n-word online, according to Us Weekly. "We've made the decision to cut ties with Alex and are editing the current season to minimize his presence," the official account for the show tweeted. "He will not be in future seasons of Siesta Key."

Kompothecras' fellow cast members seemed pleased with the decision. After one fan said people would stop watching the show if he wasn't on it, Kompothecras' ex-girlfriend Juliette Porter replied, "Sorry we picked trying to get rid of racism instead of thinking about your reality tv needs Mariah."

The former reality star hasn't directly addressed his firing. According to his Instagram bio, he now works as a personal injury lawyer at a firm in Florida. After the state was hit by hurricanes in late 2022, Kompothecras posted an ad for his firm and encouraged anyone affected by hurricane damage to reach out. Otherwise, he seems to be keeping his head down and is focused on raising a child; after all, his daughter (with fellow castmate Alyssa Salerno) was born mere days before he was fired, according to Us Weekly.

The Challenge's Dee Nguyen has a podcast

2020 was a year of reckoning for reality stars who had racist comments and actions lurking in their pasts. Just as bad: offensive comments made in the present. That summer, MTV cut ties with Dee Nguyen, star of "The Challenge," due to social media posts where she mocked the Black Lives Matter movement (after being accused of a performative Black Out Tuesday post). "IDK why some of you think I'm anti-BLM," she tweeted, according to Jezebel. "I've been saying that since the day I lost my virginity." MTV responded on the show's official Twitter account, writing, "As a result of Dee Nguyen's offensive comments on the Black Lives Matter movement, we have severed ties with her. Out of respect for our Challengers, we'll air our season as planned."

Fellow "Challenge" competitor Wes Bergmann posted notes on Twitter to share that he was helping Nguyen focus on her mental health in the wake of the scandal. He said he helped her find "a mental health lodge" for her to recuperate, and that he would assist her in order to "build... an outpatient care program for when she eventually leaves."

People noted that Nguyen returned to Instagram four months later. "I found my zen," she captioned a photo, adding, "A big shoutout to all my fans for still sticking by me." Shortly thereafter, Nguyen launched a podcast called "The Deevine," a health and wellness show. She's still active on social media. On Instagram in a post ringing in 2023, she shared a selfie with the caption, "New year same b****." 

Teen Mom Jenelle Evans is popular on TikTok

Jenelle Evans was one of the breakout cast members from MTV's 2011 show "Teen Mom 2." She stuck with the franchise for nearly a decade, until an incident in 2019 caused her to be fired. People reported that May that Evans' husband, David Eason, had shot and killed their dog. Within a week, Evans had been fired by the MTV show, according to Us Weekly. Evans told the outlet, "I was a little bit shocked but I saw it coming. It's shocking still but I respect their decision..."

A couple years after leaving the show, Evans told Us Weekly that she missed filming and was having trouble moving on with her life. In particular, she felt like her story arc was incomplete and she worried that people had an incorrect view of the type of person she was. "I feel like I need to catch people up and show them the true me and that I wasn't completely a horrible person when we stopped filming," Evans clarified.

Evans did that interview to promote a new podcast she was to co-host, called "Girl S#!t." However, before the pod was released, Evans found herself fired from that, too, according to The Ashley's Reality Roundup. Instead, Evans launched "The Jenelle Evans Podcast," where she discussed the still-airing "Teen Mom" universe. That pod appears to have aired three episodes before petering out. She is, however, active on TikTok, where she has 2.8M followers.

VPR's Kristen Doute is podcasting now

Like Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute was fired from "Vanderpump Rules" for her involvement in a racist incident involving castmate Faith Stowers. Bravo let her go in 2020, amid the Black Lives Matter protests that summer (per Variety). She has since deleted her Instagram apology, but quotes in People live on! While Doute insisted,"My actions were not racially driven," she allowed, "It never was my intention to add to the injustice and imbalance. I'm ashamed, embarrassed, and incredibly sorry. I will do better. I have to do better."

Unlike Schroeder, Doute has kept a lower profile. She made gossip headlines in 2021 when she sold off her L.A. home for $1.3 million, even though purchasing the house was a big part of her storyline on her final season of the reality hit. She also had the misfortune to release a memoir, called "He's Making You Crazy," the very same week she was fired. "It was hands down the most rewarding and therapeutic thing I've ever done," she told People mere days before her time on television came crashing down.

Doute has also made moves into a space many former reality stars go when their television shows leave them behind: podcasting. In late November 2022, Doute launched a podcast called "Sex, Love, and What Else Matters" (with co-host Luke Broderick). Guests have included Doute's social media manager, her therapist, and her former "VPR" co-star Tom Schwartz.

Rozlyn Papa didn't get a rose from The Bachelor

During the tenth season of "The Bachelor" — Jake Pavelka's season — contestant Rozlyn Papa was cut from the cast during filming. Though she denied it, Papa was accused of having an inappropriate "physical relationship" with one of the show's producers. Host Chris Harrison told People that it definitely happened, insisting, "Other girls on the show saw it. The producer confessed more than once and to more than one person." Papa was confronted at the show's reunion, according to E! News. Harrison told her, "I hope truly in my heart that you have learned a life lesson and I hope you will become a better person from this." Seems to us like there might be a power imbalance involved in producer/contestant relationships that would have been handled very differently post-#MeToo, but we digress.

Papa did the media rounds after her firing, joking on a radio show (via Us Weekly), "I did not get any out of this big sex scandal that supposedly happened. If I had known that I was going to get accused of it, maybe I would have gone for it!" Otherwise, she lives a relatively private life these days; she barely tweets, and her Instagram is private. Her Twitter bio says she is a marketing director.

In 2022, Papa appeared on a podcast called "Edge of Reality" to discuss her time on reality TV. Two contestants from her "Bachelor" season have died by suicide, according to Us Weekly.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Taylor Selfridge might be returning to TV

Like a lot of reality stars, "Teen Mom OG" star Taylor Selfridge found her past racist statements coming back to haunt her in June 2020. MTV planned a special about Selfridge's life during COVID-19, following the final weeks of her pregnancy with fellow MTV star Cory Wharton, but the special was pulled from the air when Selfridge's racist tweets recirculated online. "MTV pulled 'Teen Mom OG At Home: Cory & Taylor's Baby Special' from its Tuesday schedule and is ending our relationship with Taylor Selfridge in light of her past racist statements on social media," the network told People.

Selfridge apologized in a since-deleted Instagram post. "With current events being what they are and reality tv being selective in who they apply rules to or what is considered acceptable behavior, I do not have any further respect," she wrote, claiming she's the one who made the decision to no longer film. Nowadays, Selfridge seems to make a living doing sponsored content on Instagram. She and Wharton have a YouTube channel where they share videos about their family life, including chronicling the health struggles faced by their youngest daughter, who was born in 2022. According to People, Maya Wharton was born with a congenital heart disease.

In a cryptic post shared to his Instagram Story in late 2022 (via The Sun), Wharton hinted that Selfridge might be headed back to television. "Ooooo somebody is back filming!" he wrote, adding, "...you'll be getting the whole Wharton family now." 

Willam was in a major motion picture

"Nip/Tuck" star Willam Belli appeared on the fourth season of "RuPaul's Drag Race," vying for the title of America's Next Drag Superstar. Although Willam was an early fan favorite, she was disqualified halfway through the season, accused of an unspecified rule break. At the season's reunion episode, Ru asked Willam to tell the audience what she'd done, and she admitted to having conjugal appointments with her husband even though she was supposed to be sequestered during filming. According to Entertainment Weekly, Willam even said in an unaired moment that she herself confessed to producers. "I could have been getting banged out and not told," she joked. 

The drag superstar has enjoyed a robust career ever since. Highlights include her participation in DVW, a girl group featuring fellow drag queens Detox and Vicky Vox — we defy you to listen to "Chow Down (at Chick-fil-A)" without getting it stuck in your head. Willam also appeared in "A Star is Born" with her "Drag Race" sister Shangela, acting opposite Lady Gaga. She told IndieWire that Bradley Cooper, who directed the film, encouraged the queens to improvise on set. "Not only does he let a couple [jokes] in, he let a few really good chuckles in. I was like, 'Godd***, man,'" Willam recalled. "He took care of me." When she's not acting or singing, Willam co-hosts popular podcast "Race Chaser" with fellow "Drag Race" legend Alaska, where they spill behind-the-scenes tea about the show.

Mama June has remained on television

"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" was a sensation in the early 2010s, following the familial exploits of the boisterous star of "Toddlers & Tiaras." However, the show had some darkness lurking around the edges. The TLC series was canceled in 2014 when it was uncovered that Honey Boo Boo's mother, who went by "Mama June" Shannon on the show, was in a relationship with someone convicted of child molestation. In a since-deleted video on Facebook (via E! News), Shannon insisted that the relationship was done. "I would not ever, ever, ever put my kids in danger. I love my kids too much. That is my past," she claimed. "I have not seen that person in 10 years and don't seem to want to see that person."

Since the flagship show was canceled, Shannon has nonetheless had multiple returns to the reality spotlight. In 2019, she appeared on "Mama June: From Not to Hot," which chronicled her weight loss. She talked about her cocaine addiction and recovery with Andy Cohen as part of "For Real: The Story of Reality TV," admitting (via E! News) that she estimates spending more than $1 million on the drug between herself and her ex. "Addiction is real, guys," she said. "I'm a real person, I have real issues and that's what I share with people."

In 2021, "Mama June: Road to Redemption" saw her try to win her famous daughters back. "After destroying our family, we aren't sure if we want her in our lives," Pumpkin admitted in the show's trailer (via E! News).

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Phaedra Parks is a housewife again

Phaedra Parks joined the cast of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" in the show's third season, mixing with big personalities like NeNe Leakes and Kandi Burruss. She held her own until she was nixed from the "RHOA" cast in the ninth season after she spread rumors that Burruss was planning to drug and rape a fellow castmate. According to TMZ, the rumor wasn't aired on the show because it went too far (and Burruss allegedly "threatened" the network). The reunion episode dealt with fallout from Parks supposedly calling Burruss a "lesbian."

A few years after she was fired, Parks told Page Six that she was working on a book about her mental health struggles that resulted from being let go. "I went through ... depression and a lot of emotions because 'Housewives' can give you PTSD," she revealed. "I think anyone that's been on it for over four to five years will experience some PTSD because it can be very traumatic." 

However, enough time seems to have passed that Bravo welcomed her back in 2022. Parks appeared on the second season of "Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip," telling Entertainment Weekly that it was good to be back. She also added that she didn't try to be the star of the show. "Everyone should be concerned with being the best representation of what they are good at," she said of reality ensembles. "Only one person can be you. And there's no other Southern belle like me."

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).

Farrah Abraham finds the spotlight

You didn't think we'd get through this list without discussing the queen of "Teen Mom," did you? From Farrah Abraham's then-mocked, since-reevaluated hyperpop album "My Teenage Dream Ended" to her string of assault charges, the headline-grabbing star has been able to parlay her MTV fame into tabloid notoriety like few others. One career move, however, went too far; in 2017, Abraham revealed that she had been fired from the "Teen Mom" franchise over her work in the adult entertainment industry. "Viacom let me go because as a Business Mogul I act like an adult and part take in adult promotions and activities that other adults do for FREE or in private !" she wrote on Instagram. She added, "...Sad such a phenomenal show will no longer have its biggest talent on the show because of women hating, sex shaming, hate crimes, selfish, Weinstein company power trip behaviors against a professional hard working, honest mother."

Even after her firing, Abraham has stayed in the public eye. In 2021, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that she was one of nine women to make allegations of sexual misconduct or assault against Dominic Foppoli, mayor of Windsor, CA. He wound up resigning shortly after the news broke. The following year, TMZ broke the news that Abraham had been arrested for an alleged altercation with a nightclub security guard. The former reality star also makes headlines for fans' regular reactions to her surprising appearance, possibly due to plastic surgery.

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).