Jamie Foxx's Shadiest Moments

 This article discusses allegations of transphobia, ableism, drug misuse, homophobia, racism, and child abuse.

When it comes to Jamie Foxx's comedy career, it could be argued that he was a bit shady from the start. His birth name is Eric Marlon Bishop, but during his early open-mic night days, he noticed that few women performed at Santa Monica Improv. As a result, they were always called to the stage. So, when writing his name on the sign-up sheet, he used fake androgynous names. This ensured that he would always get picked from the list of hopeful performers. In an appearance on "The Late Show," he explained that he got a standing O the night he used the stage name Jamie Foxx so it's the one that stuck.

Foxx would later play a female character named Wanda on the hit sketch comedy series "In Living Color." This time around, there was no ambiguity — he was clearly a man dressed in drag. The show kept him employed from 1991 to 1994, and a successful movie career followed, culminating in an Oscar for his performance as Ray Charles in the 2004 biopic "Ray." It was the ideal role for a comedian who had already mastered the art of doing impressions of real people for his stand-up routines.

In addition to pretending to be a woman and being an excellent mimic, Foxx told the Daily News that he's learned another secret to getting laughs. "What makes comedy funny is character flaw," he said. And just like anyone, Foxx has his flaws — but his shadiest moments are no joke.

The ending of Miami Vice was changed because of Foxx

Jamie Foxx had already worked with director Michael Mann on the movies "Ali" and "Collateral" when they teamed up again for the 2006 action flick "Miami Vice," an adaption of the popular '80s series of the same name. In a recounting of the movie's turbulent production, Slate describes how the ending was altered when life imitated art too much for Foxx's tastes.

Parts of the movie were filmed in areas of the Dominican Republic that were dangerous enough that armed guards were hired to protect the cast and crew. At one point, a guard shot a man who was perceived as a threat because he had allegedly drawn a weapon of his own near the set. After the incident, Foxx left and would not fly to Paraguay to finish filming the movie there. "Jamie basically changed the whole movie in one stroke," a crew member told the outlet.

While Foxx's unease was arguably understandable, he caused other issues. For one thing, he signed on for an action movie but didn't want to participate in many of the action scenes. "Jamie is more of a diva in the sense that he was afraid of boats, afraid of planes — there were a lot of things where he was afraid for himself," a source said. But one plane he apparently did not fear was the private jet that he demanded himself and the entourage he insisted on bringing with him to Miami.

His transphobic Caitlyn Jenner jokes

Before Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender and shared the story of her transition with the world, Jamie Foxx took notice of the rampant speculation about her gender identity and used it in some of his opening monologue material at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards. While introducing the star, he quipped, "[She's] doing a his and her duet all by [herself]," per Reuters. He also addressed Jenner directly, saying, "Look, I'm just busting your balls — while I still can."

In response to Foxx's transphobic jokes, The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, released a statement saying, "Given all the struggles that LBGTQ youth face on a daily basis, comments like these don't help to promote an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding." Jenner's stepdaughter, Khloé Kardashian, found his comments in poor taste as well. "I just think it's a low blow," she told The Insider With Yahoo. "I think it's very mean." Kardashian also suggested that Foxx was trying to stir up controversy to get attention.

Foxx reacted to the backlash by playing the "I have a friend who is" card, arguing that he couldn't be transphobic because he gave trans nonbinary entertainer B. Scott a show on his Sirius XM Radio channel, The Foxxhole. In a Hot 97 interview, Foxx was unapologetic, saying, "You can't take my comedic license." But then he also joked about not wanting to fight members of the transgender community over his comedy because he thought they'd use high heels against him. 

His behavior blighted Cameron Diaz's big comeback

After filming "Annie" in 2014, the activity on actor Cameron Diaz's IMDb page almost ceased completely. Four years later, she told Entertainment Weekly, "I am actually retired," although she did say that she would be interested in working with her "The Sweetest Thing" castmates Christina Applegate and Selma Blair again. Instead, it would be her "Annie" co-star Jamie Foxx who convinced Diaz to come out of retirement for the fittingly titled comedy "Back in Action." In 2022, Foxx tweeted an audio clip of a phone conversation between himself, Diaz, and the ultimate reluctant retiree, NFL quarterback Tom Brady. "I was talking to Jamie, and he said you need a few tips on how to un-retire," Brady said to Diaz.

But while Foxx did a bang-up job getting the hype machine rolling, according to a March 2023 report by The Sun, his diva behavior during filming threatened Diaz's big comeback. "There have been some issues on set and Jamie has had a major meltdown over it all," an insider said. "He demanded the problems be sorted immediately and sacked four of the production staff." His behavior reportedly earned him the contempt of other crew members, and an insider said that Diaz wasn't exactly having a blast at work, either. "She hates drama and confrontation. This is why she retired from the business in the first place," the source told the Daily Mail. Maybe Brady can give her some re-retirement tips?

His vulgar remarks about an underage Miley Cyrus

In 2009, Miley Cyrus complained about Radiohead breaking her heart by refusing to meet her at the Grammy Awards. "I left 'cause I was so upset," she said on the "Johnjay and Rich" show (via MTV News). "I'm gonna ruin them." The then-16-year-old's sense of entitlement didn't go over well with many, but Jamie Foxx took his criticism of Cyrus too far when he unloaded on her during an episode of "The Jamie Foxx Show." First, he targeted her appearance, saying, "She's gotta get a gum transplant." And when he offered Cyrus some additional unsolicited advice, she wasn't the only entertainer he insulted. "Make a sex tape and grow up. Get like Britney Spears and do some heroin," he said. "Do like Lindsay Lohan and start being a lesbian. Put some crack in your pipe. Catch chlamydia on a bicycle seat."

Foxx realized he'd crossed a line, and apologized to Cyrus when he appeared on "The Tonight Show" (via Entertainment Weekly). "I didn't mean it maliciously. You know I'm a comedian. You know my heart," he said. The comedian didn't mention the other two women he disparaged. Even though Foxx acted like he didn't really know who Cyrus was on his radio show (beyond what she looks like), according to E! News, Cyrus had met him three months prior to his foul-mouthed rant and was a fan of the funnyman. "That's why it's even more disappointing," a source said.

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He was slammed for mocking sign language

In 2017, during an appearance on "The Tonight Show," host Jimmy Fallon introduced Jamie Foxx as the night's guest, teased a performance by Niall Horan, and begged viewers not to switch channels. As he did so, the actor began moving his hands in what appeared to be an imitation of sign language (via TMZ). It seemed as though Foxx was pretending to be a sign language interpreter, and his random hand movements made Fallon laugh. However, Nyle DiMarco, a winner of both "America's Next Top Model" and "Dancing with the Stars," didn't find Foxx's behavior funny. In a post on Facebook, DiMarco, who is deaf, criticized the comedian for being disrespectful to the deaf and hard of hearing by seemingly mocking sign language. "We simply do not make fun at the expense of other cultures, especially those with a history of being marginalized," he wrote.

On "The Joe Rogan Experience," Foxx confirmed that he was purposely making gibberish signs. He also said, "As I was doing it as a joke, I didn't know that the person that [Fallon] was talking about happened to be deaf." (Foxx presumably thought Fallon had introduced Nyle DiMarco as the musical guest, not Niall Horan.)

"CODA" Oscar winner, Marlee Matlin, also weighed in on Foxx's finger contortions on Twitter, writing, "I'd be happy to give you sign language lessons so you could be funnier." At least Foxx resisted the urge to apologize by belting out "Please Excuse My Hands."

He convinced Robert Downey Jr. to play a Mexican character

In 2016, Jamie Foxx directed his first feature film. The aptly titled "All-Star Weekend" was supposed to hit theaters during NBA All-Star Weekend in 2018, but Foxx wasn't ready to release it by then, per the Daily Beast. Its premiere date kept getting delayed, and as years went by, it became clear that it was stuck in developmental hell.

Foxx would eventually explain that a major casting misstep on his part was one reason why the buddy movie about two basketball-loving truck drivers has never seen the light of day. Even though he realized that it would rub a lot of people the wrong way, the comedian convinced Robert Downey Jr. to play a Mexican character. On "The Joe Rogan Experience," Foxx recalled, "He texts back and said, "I'm nervous to play the Mexican." Foxx then pointed out that RDJ had already worn blackface in "Tropic Thunder," easing the actor's mind.

Foxx also seemed to suggest that many viewers might find some of the film's humor too offensive for their tastes. During a 2022 interview with CinemaBlend, he revealed that he still wanted to get the movie released but said that there would likely have to be a major cultural shift before this could happen. "It's been tough with the lay of the land when it comes to comedy," he said. "We're trying to break open those sensitive corners where people go back to laughing again."

He dated the ex of his Collateral co-star Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx shared the screen in the 2004 thriller "Collateral," and at the movie's premiere, Foxx told ET that they became besties while working together. "He is the most genuine and cool guy," Foxx said of his co-star. "I told him, I said, 'From now on, you've got a friend.' And when I say that, I really mean that." Per Contact Music, Foxx wouldn't have gotten his "Collateral" role if not for Cruise, who had remembered reading with him for "Jerry Maguire" and recommended the star for the part.

But Foxx would test their friendship in a major way by starting a low-key relationship with Cruise's ex-wife, Katie Holmes. The pair were first spotted dancing together at a party in 2013, and as sightings of the couple continued over the years, it became clear that their relationship was pretty serious. "Tom is shocked and upset that Katie is dating a costar he once considered a close friend. He feels betrayed by both of them," a source claimed to Hollywood Life in 2017. Two years later, the webloid reported that Cruise was still finding it a "Mission: Impossible" to accept their relationship. "Tom always got along well with Jamie, so while he does wish him well, he does feel a tinge of disloyalty," an insider told Hollywood Life. We wonder if Cruise jumped on a couch when Foxx and Holmes split a few months after this update on his misery?

He was accused of being a bad boyfriend to Katie Holmes

After Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx called it quits in 2019, the tabloids conducted a post-mortem on their romance. Us Weekly pointed to alleged infidelity as one big issue, with an insider telling the mag, "It has been many years of him stepping out with other women. He's disrespectful and their lives were different. His partying ways don't fit with hers."

In 2016, Radar published a photo of Foxx holding hands with an unidentified blond woman at a hotel in Miami. A year later, InTouch reported that he had been spotted dancing with a brunette who wasn't Holmes at a Fourth of July party. "When Jamie is out, Katie becomes an afterthought," a source said. "Jamie treats her like a booty call. He just won't commit." Sources claimed to Radar that Foxx attempted to correct the tension caused by his rumored behavior by asking Holmes to open up their relationship. "There are other women in his life he's not prepared to give up," an insider dished.

InTouch also reported that Foxx's love of going out and having a good time was a point of contention between the exes. "She's finally come to the conclusion that she wants to be with a guy who's more mature and ready to settle down," a source said of Holmes. You could say the "Dawson's Creek" star didn't want to wait and see – will it be yes, or will it be sorry?

An In Living Color castmate accused him of being cruel

On "In Living Color," Tommy Davidson and Jamie Foxx portrayed the dynamic duo Ace and Main Man. But while they appeared to play off of each other so well when the cameras were rolling, Davidson claims that Foxx was not a fun guy to work with. "Jamie was competitive, and his brand of humor was being mercilessly mean," Davidson writes in his memoir, "Living In Color: What's Funny About Me." According to Davidson, Foxx relentlessly roasted him in the writers' room to get laughs. During one of their "Ugly Wanda" sketches, Foxx also tried to embarrass his co-star by attempting to yank off the Speedos Davidson was wearing. "For two seconds, I turned around and I was like, 'I'll break your nose,'" Davidson recalled in a Vlad TV interview. But he quickly calmed down and decided that Foxx manhandling his mankini bottoms was comedy gold.

In his book, Davidson accuses Foxx of getting physically aggressive with him again while they were shooting the 1997 movie "Booty Call." During a break, Foxx decided to take advantage of the basketball court set they were using by challenging his co-star to a one-on-one match. Davidson was within a few shots of winning without his competitor scoring a single point when Foxx purportedly decided to play dirty by tackling Davidson. "If I had hit my head on the hardtop concrete, that would have been the end of me," he writes.

His history of defending controversial singers

In 2016, a video of singer Kim Burrell making homophobic remarks went viral. In it, she says, "That perverted homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion and has deceived many men and women." Ellen DeGeneres decided to cancel Burrell's appearance on her show after seeing the video, but Burrell claimed that Jamie Foxx reached out to DeGeneres and begged her to reconsider. On "The Tamron Hall Show," Burrell recalled (via Entertainment Weekly), "My friend Jamie Foxx felt the need to call Ellen and say, 'You got this one wrong. She has been more to our community than what the world is willing to see.'" DeGeneres didn't relent.

Foxx also defended Kanye West after his "Gold Digger" collaborator told TMZ that slaves had to be choosing to remain enslaved because it took so long for slavery to be abolished. The same outlet later shared a video of Foxx saying that he would not condemn Ye over his controversial remarks. "TMZ knows they shouldn't be doing that s*** man, to a good friend of ours," Foxx stated. "They put that boy on display man, don't believe that s***."

As for Chris Brown, Foxx told E! News that he supports the controversial entertainer who plead guilty to assaulting Rihanna in 2009 because the singer spends time with his daughter instead of simply paying child support. Foxx further explained, "He would come to my house and kick it and party with my sister who has Down syndrome."

He gave corporal punishment credit for his Oscar win

During his 2005 Oscars acceptance speech, Jamie Foxx raised a few eyebrows by suggesting that he benefited from his grandmother spanking him when he was a child. He was speaking fondly of the woman who raised him when he recalled, "When I would act the fool, she would beat me. She would whup me. And she could get an Oscar for the way she whupped me because she was great at it." Foxx said that his grandmother would then explain to him that the purpose of these beatings was to shape him into a well-mannered man.

While Foxx was clearly trying to paint his grandmother in a positive light, on "The View," co-host Joy Behar worried that his comments sent a harmful message to parents. "It hurts my feelings to hear somebody talk like that and to give people an excuse to hit their children," she said (via the New York Post). "There are abusive people everywhere saying, 'I could whup my kid and it's good for them.'"

According to an expert on how corporal punishment affects kids, "Hitting children does not teach them right from wrong." It can also make kids more aggressive. "We don't allow aggression among adults. It's a sad double standard that we don't give children the same protection against violence," Elizabeth Gershoff, PhD, pointed out to the American Psychology Association. So Foxx might want to choose a happier memory for his next acceptance speech.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

The snooping dad had Snoop Dogg threaten his daughter's date

Jamie Foxx has such a close bond with his oldest daughter, Corinne Foxx, that they appear on the game show "Beat Shazam" together. However, Jamie likely had Corinne ready to get as far away from him as possible when she brought a date home as a teenager. While promoting his sitcom "Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!," Jamie praised Corinne for always being on her best behavior when she was in high school, telling E! News that she never got drunk or stayed out late. However, this didn't stop Jamie from going out of his way to make one of her first dates a mortifying memory. First, he did his research. "By the time she got the person there, I already knew everything about him," Jamie said.

His friend Snoop Dogg just happened to be visiting, so Jamie asked the rapper to help him intimidate Corinne's date. "I say, 'Yo, Snoop, there he is right there. Shake him up,'" Jamie recounted. Luckily, the Doggfather's scare tactics didn't involve any actual shaking.

Jamie would later discover another way of embarrassing his daughter — going clubbing while pushing 50. On "The Graham Norton Show," he recalled being outside a club and hearing some girls yelling at him. "I'm like, 'What's up?'" Jamie said. They responded, "We go to school with your daughter!" Embarrassed, he concluded to the show's host, "So I just have to be careful." Sounds like Corinne needs to have Snoop shake her dad up.

Jamie Foxx's infamous fight with LL Cool J

When LL Cool J and Jamie Foxx were filming "Any Given Sunday" in 1999, they didn't have to dig deep to make it seem like they disliked each other. Their characters are professional football players playing on the same team, but they act more like bitter rivals. In one scene, their tension boils over and they start fighting on the field. In an appearance on "All the Smoke," Foxx recalled, "That mothaf***a pushed me in the scene, bro, and I swear to god, I landed in somebody's else's set." 

LL Cool J shared more details about what went down in an interview with "Drink Champs." He said that he started slapping Foxx and got too aggressive for the comedian's liking. "He got upset and he's like, 'Yo, stop being so rough with me,'" LL Cool J recalled. He didn't respect Foxx's wishes, explaining, "That didn't compute." And so Foxx decided to punch him the face. LL Cool J then retaliated by lifting Foxx's helmet up with one hand and punching him in the jaw with the other, knocking him out cold.

One of the actors' other co-stars, Bill Bellamy, told "Drink Champs" that the fight started with trash talk, saying that Foxx was boasting about playing football in high school before throwing a punch at his co-star. Bellamy recalled, "LL Cool J turned into The Hulk. He was so mad." The rapper-slash-actor's counterpunch allegedly resulted in Foxx requiring 16 stitches to his tongue. 

The dad used Disneyland as a parenting band-aid

Jamie Foxx has admitted to making some pretty big parenting mistakes. Speaking to NPR in 2021, he said that he didn't spend enough time with his oldest daughter, Corinne Foxx, when she was younger because he was so busy performing at comedy clubs. His solution was to take Corinne to The Happiest Place on Earth. "I thought Disneyland could help me raise my daughter. Let Mickey Mouse handle it," he said. But this didn't make Corinne feel any happier about her dad being away all the time. "She said, 'Dad, I want to go to therapy,'" Jamie recalled. "And you know the first thing I said. 'Well, Black people don't go to no therapy. I took you to Disneyland. What you need?'" So again, a big swing and a miss.

But Jamie did go to therapy, and he had a real breakthrough when he listened to Corinne explain to him that Mickey Mouse was not who she wanted to spend time with. This inspired Jamie to start bringing Corinne to work with him. "Look at how it comes full circle. Now we do a television show together. She's the executive at my company," Jamie said of the end result of realizing that he was in the wrong and doing something to make it right. He's also earned some high praise from Corinne. "Just in general, my dad is like the most ... supportive dad in the world," she told People in 2019.