Actors At Their Weakest Career Point Right Now

We'd be lying if we said we don't have an appetite for drama, but there's a difference between obsessively binging a campy TV show and witnessing your favorite stars' dirtiest laundry being aired online. Some controversies, despite their severity, become mere drama du jour (remember the short-lived drama that ensued from Kim Kardashian's dramatic weight loss? Or Ariana Grande's "Asian-fishing" debate that got little coverage?) Others metastasize into trending topics so memorable that they dismantle someone's celebrity

Over the years, especially during the pandemic when cancel culture was all the rage, chances are that at least one of your favorite celebrities has been canceled. Ellen DeGeneres signed off from her wildly popular show after a series of allegations that she fostered a toxic workplace environment, per The Guardian. Actor Ashley Judd was blacklisted in the wake of her abuse allegations against the disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. Even before the wave of cancellations hit, if you remember, Winona Ryder basically disappeared from Hollywood after her infamous shoplifting scandal became tabloid fodder. These are but a notable few on the list of many other stars who suffered major career blows in the wake of scandals. Here, we have rounded up a list of stars who are at their weakest career points right now for some scandalous reason or the other. 

Will Smith

The Fresh Prince dominated the news cycle following the 2022 Academy Awards in March, and it wasn't because of his family's entanglements for a change. Will Smith, who won an award in the best actor category for his role in "King Richard" that night, slapped Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. Rock's "G.I. Joe" joke initially elicited a laugh from Smith, but when he saw his wife's stern reaction to it, the actor got up on the stage and gave Rock a tight slap. Here's the infamous slap in case you wanted to revisit it.

While Smith apologized for his behavior, the damage had been done. The actor ultimately resigned from the Academy and faced a decade-long ban from the Oscars, per BBC. The repercussions didn't stop there. According to TheWrap, an unnamed top talent agent said that he was "mortally wounded" and his brand is "permanently tarnished." Page Six reported that the future of some of his upcoming projects was in jeopardy following the Oscar incident. Netflix dropped his upcoming movie "Fast and Loose," per Hollywood Reporter. Multiple outlets also reported that "Bad Boys 4" was indefinitely on hold, but Sony Chairman Tom Rothman confirmed to Deadline that the movie would be released after all. "That was an example of a very good person having a very bad moment, in front of the world," he said.

Alec Baldwin

On October 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin inadvertently took someone's life. According to BBC, the actor and producer fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when he fired a prop gun on the set of the movie "Rust." Deadline reported that Hutchins was taken to a hospital in Albuquerque, NM, where she took her last breath. The stray bullet also injured director Joel Souza, who recovered in a local hospital.

The producers of "Rust" were accused of a willful violation of safety protocols, an allegation that they vehemently denied, per BBC. Speaking to ABC News about the incident, Baldwin said the gun wasn't supposed to be loaded, saying, "Someone is ​responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me." He also assured that he would do anything to mitigate such risks in the future. In October 2022, Baldwin shared he reached a settlement over the shooting case and maintained that it was a "terrible accident" (via BBC).

The fateful incident severely damaged Baldwin's career. In an interview with CNN, Baldwin said he had lost five projects in the wake of the accidental shooting. He also said that if it wasn't for his wife's support, he would've probably given up everything. "If I didn't have her, I probably would have quit, retired, gone off, you know sold everything I owned, got a house in the middle of nowhere, and just you know did find something else to do, sell real estate," he said. 

Amber Heard

When Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's divorce was finalized with a $7 million settlement awarded to Heard in 2017, it seemed like the two were ready to move on from their stormy past for good. That was until Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post where she talked about being a "public figure representing domestic abuse." With that, she started one of Hollywood's messiest post-divorce dramas of the generation.

Although Heard hadn't named names in her essay, Depp sued her for $50 million in damages. Heard countersued, asking for $100 million after Depp accused her of physical violence towards him. In the end, Depp won the defamation lawsuit and was awarded a total of $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages, per CNBC. Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages.

Neither Depp nor Heard's career was unscathed in the aftermath of the publicly broadcasted lawsuit. According to what a talent agent told Vanity Fair in June 2022, Heard's career "is over." A publicist believed otherwise, saying, "If she did a terrific indie with a terrific part and showed her chops, I think she could come back from this." Only time can tell. 

Heard was rumored to have been cut from the 2023 "Aquaman" sequel, but her reps denied the reports. Depp's fans called for her to be slashed from the film with a petition that garnered over 4.6 million signatures.

Johnny Depp

From the moment Amber Heard claimed that Johnny Depp had been abusive towards her throughout their relationship, Depp's life went in a downward spiral. He was labeled a "wife-beater" and, in his own words, he lost "nothing less than everything" even after winning the $50 million lawsuit against Heard (via The Independent). 

It'd be difficult, even for an actor of Depp's caliber and sway, to bounce back from the public unfolding of such a case given its magnitude. His brand was irrevocably damaged and studios flinched at the idea of working with him again. According to his talent manager Jack Whigham, Depp lost his iconic "Pirates of the Caribbean" role following the release of Heard's op-ed and lost a reported $22.5 million (via The New York Times). According to Time, Depp has lost nearly $40 million since then. 

Warner Bros., despite initially abiding by its decision to continue its association with Depp, ultimately axed the actor from its "Fantastic Beasts" franchise. In a post announcing his exit on Instagram, the actor extended his appreciation to his supporters and further wrote, "My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time." 

Armie Hammer

Armie Hammer dominated the celebrity news cycle for the latter half of 2020 after a woman accused him of violent sexual crimes in a series of screenshots of messages he sent to her throughout the course of their alleged four-year affair, per Complex. While the texts were mostly one sided, the severity of her accusations and the evidence depicting Hammer's explicit messages sent social media into a frenzy. Over the course of a few months, after the screenshots were released, several women came forward and accused Hammer of being aggressive in bed and claimed he had cannibalistic fantasies.

Hammer lost project upon project after the controversy. The actor voluntarily stepped away from a role in "Shotgun Wedding" alongside Jennifer Lopez in January 2021, per Variety. He subsequently dropped out from the Paramount+ series "The Offer," The Independent reported. Hammer's career continued to nosedive. In March 2021, he was booted off from the thriller "Billion Dollar Spy," per Variety. Despite his rapid downfall, Hammer did appear in the 2022 movie "Death on the Nile"' in which he starred alongside Gal Gadot, Kenneth Branagh, and Annette Bening. 

After losing multiple projects and being dropped by his agent and publicist, Hammer reportedly took a job as a timeshare salesman in the Cayman Islands in July 2022, TMZ reported.

Ezra Miller

In August 2022, Ezra Miller, who is one of the most famous nonbinary actors in Hollywood, gave a statement to Variety saying that they were sorry to have caused distress with his questionable behavior. "Having recently gone through a time of intense crisis, I now understand that I am suffering complex mental health issues and have begun ongoing treatment," they said. Miller's apology seemingly meant to cover all grounds — over the course of three years since 2020, he had been accused of choking a fan, grooming an underaged girl, harassing people, forming a sex cult, and injuring a woman among other bizarre tales of his exploits. 

As a consequence, Miller's future with Warner Brothers and DC was jeopardized. Deadline reported that the actor was unlikely to be assigned further DC projects. However, the studio only cut ties with him partially since he still appears as Barry Allen in "The Flash." Whether or not the character will be written off or recast from future films is yet to be seen. 

Even TIFF had enough of the bad press surrounding Miller. He was omitted from the official announcement from the cast list of "Daliland," which premiered during the closing fest of the Toronto International Film Festival, per The Hollywood Reporter. He played the young Salvador Dalí in the movie.

Matthew Morrison

Season 17 of "So You Think You Can Dance" finally aired in 2022 after much delay due to the pandemic. JoJo Siwa, Matthew Morrison, and the show's finalist Steven "tWitch" Boss, made the new panel of judges. After filming the audition rounds and selecting 12 finalists, Morrison took his fans by surprise by announcing that he would no longer be a part of the show because he had failed to follow production protocols and the infraction prevented him from judging fairly. "I cannot apologize enough to all involved and I will be watching alongside you all on what I know will be one of the best seasons yet," he said in a statement to Us Weekly. According to a source, the infraction was minor. 

A source later spilled to People in May 2020 that Morrison had been fired from the show after he sent a flirty message to a contestant. "She felt uncomfortable with his line of comments and went to producers, who then got Fox involved," they said. 

Morrison set the record straight in June 2022 with an Instagram clip where he maintained that the message was well-intended and he wasn't trying to make a pass at the contestant. The alleged direct message read, "Hey, it's Matthew. If you don't mind, would love to get your number and talk you through some things." Morrison explained that he was simply trying to help the contestant get a job. "Gossip is toxic and it is destroying our society, and we need to do better," he added.

Fred Savage

"The Wonder Years" fans might remember the ingenuous, goody two shoes Kevin Arnold, a lovable character portrayed by a young Fred Savage in 1988. A reboot of the hit show aired in September 2022 featuring a middle-class Black family with Savage as the executive producer and director, USA Today reported. In a shocking turn of events, the former child actor was fired from the set on the grounds that he had mistreated and even abused women in the past. 

The Hollywood Reporter reported that Savage was given the boot from the show after six women on the production crew came forward to voice their concerns over his objectionable conduct. After further investigation, the actor was dismissed. In a statement to the outlet, the actor said it was "devastating" to learn that he had failed to create a safe work environment for anyone he has worked with. "While there are some incidents being reported that absolutely did not and could not have happened, any one person who feels hurt or offended by my actions is one person too many," he added. 

Sources who reached out to The Hollywood Reporter described him as controlling, manipulative, and erratic. While the accusations against him came as a shock, it wasn't the first time the actor came under fire for his lewd and lascivious acts. In 1993, the Los Angeles Times reported that Monique Long, a costume designer for "The Wonder Years," had accused Savage and co-star, Jason Hervey, of physically and verbally harassing her. 

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Once a prominent actor in Hollywood, "Jerry Maguire" star and Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr.'s fall from grace started in 2019. Back then, Page Six reported that a woman had accused the actor of groping her at a Manhattan club. According to the victim, Gooding was "highly intoxicated" when the incident took place. 

The NYPD performed a comprehensive investigation of the case and arrested Gooding in June 2022. Nearly three years after the case was filed, the actor pleaded guilty to forcibly touching the victim. USA Today reported in April 2022 that he also admitted to inappropriately touching two other women.

Gooding was previously accused of getting "beyond frisky" with girls in a club in 2016, Page Six reported. "He was handing his room key to girls and telling them to meet him upstairs. He was texting girls he met earlier at the bar at 5 am," a source told the outlet at the time. The allegations against him for violating or mistreating women go as far back as 2005, per USA Today. Needless to say, controversies like these and Gooding's alarming behavior are why Hollywood won't cast Cuba Gooding anymore

Danny Masterson

In December 2017, CNN reported that Danny Masterson, who found fame playing Stephen Hyde on "That 70s Show," was fired from the Netflix series "The Ranch" after he was accused of raping a woman. Masterson told CNN that he was disappointed in the production company for their decision and claimed to be innocent, saying, "I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused."

Nearly three years later, Masterson was charged with three counts of rape, Variety reported. He allegedly forced himself on three Scientologist women between 2001 and 2003. A month later, another unnamed woman came forward to accuse him of raping her in the early 2000s, per The Huffington Post. If convicted, Masterson could face 45 years in prison. 

The Los Angeles County district attorney initially claimed there was "compelling evidence" against the actor, per The Huffington Post. Jurors working on the trial said they were deadlocked in November 2022 after an inconclusive vote, and the case would resume after the Thanksgiving holiday (via AP News). In December 2022, a judge declared a mistrial amid claims that the Church of Scientology had become a de facto defendant in the case, per The Guardian. Masterson asked for the case to be dismissed in early January 2023, per The Hollywood Reporter

Laura Osnes

The 2008 winner of "Grease: You're the One That I Want!" Laura Osnes has had an impressive career on Broadway, but in August 2021, Page Six reported that the actor had been fired from a production of "Crazy For You" after refusing to vaccinate herself against Covid-19. According to the outlet, the theater required the performers and staff to be vaccinated, but Osnes allegedly didn't comply. "We're sorry not to have Laura on this, [and] we will look forward to working with Laura again," Josh Gladstone, the theatre's artistic director, told Page Six. 

Osnes refuted the claim that she was fired. Taking to Instagram, she clarified that she had made the choice to withdraw since she wasn't vaccinated at the time, per People. A year later, she hit The Post with a defamation lawsuit. "In filing this complaint, we are aiming to hold The Post accountable as the repercussions of this reckless, false reporting have been, and continue to be, life-altering. I never want another person to go through this kind of experience," Osnes said in a statement. 

In response, The Post and two of its reporters motioned for dismissal of the suit, per Broadway World. Since The New York Post is protected by an anti-SLAPP law that protects it against lawsuits brought on by public participation, the requirement would be that Osnes proved the article was published with malice in order to win the case.

Gina Carano

Former MMA fighter and actor Gina Carano has had her fair share of controversies over the years. She's known for being outspoken, a trait that hasn't always served her. In 2020, the "The Mandalorian" actor found herself in hot water after she was accused of sharing transphobic posts on the internet, The Independent reported. She ruffled many feathers after she added the words "beep/bop/boop" to her Twitter profile as a response to a request to add her pronouns in her bio. 

Another controversy followed in early 2021 when Carano shared a post on social media that likened being Jewish during the Holocaust to being a republican in today's environment, the New York Post reported. She was subsequently fired from the "Star Wars" spinoff "The Mandalorian" over the post. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Lucasfilm revealed it had no plans to rehire her in the future, adding, "Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable." Carano was also dropped by UTA, her agency. 

A source told The Hollywood Reporter that the production company did not make the decision out of the blue. "They have been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw," they said. 

Chris D'Elia

In June 2020, actor and comedian Chris D'Elia was accused of grooming and sexually harassing underage girls, per Entertainment Weekly. A few months later, three women, including actor Megan Drust, came forward and alleged that the comedian had exposed himself to them without their consent, CNN reported. 

Comedian Bill Dawes told the outlet that D'Elia would often expose himself to people. "He would expose himself in front of other women when other guys were in the room with him," he said. Another fellow comedian who wished to remain anonymous said the comedian would take a "demeaning and disrespectful" tone while speaking about women. D'Elia's attorney Andrew Brettler refuted the claims against him, saying that every sexual encounter he has had with any woman has been consensual, per USA Today

In light of the allegations, Netflix canceled a prank show featuring D'Elia, Entertainment Weekly reported. The comedian spoke out about the harassment allegations in a statement and maintained that all of his relationships were with adults and have been consensual. "That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That's MY fault. I own it," he said (via Deadline). D'Elia also shared a video on YouTube where he reiterated that he hadn't done anything illegal and also admitted to having an addiction to sex. Di'Elia continues to suffer the consequences of his actions and his career is at an all-time low.

Sharon Osbourne

In March 2021, journalist Yashar Ali published a story accusing "The Talk" host Sharon Osbourne of making racist and homophobic remarks about her former colleagues on the show. According to Ali, multiple sources including former co-host Leah Remini claimed Osbourne would refer to her former co-host Julie Chen as "wonton" and "slanty eyes." Osbourne would also allegedly verbally harass lesbian co-host and executive producer Sara Gilbert. 

Osbourne's spokesperson Howard Bragman denied all accusations against her, saying, "For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name" (via CNN).

Amid the scandal, Osbourne was fired from "The Talk," Deadline reported. CBS released a statement saying her actions went against their values and added, "We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts." Osbourne was the last remaining original host of The Talk" and had co-hosted the show since 2010.