Celebs Who Destroyed Their Careers In 2018

Actors, musicians, YouTube stars, comedians — plenty of high-profile celebrities destroyed their careers in 2018 for a wide variety of reasons.

As the Time's Up and #MeToo movements continue to strengthen, some stars have been forced to deal with the aftermath of trauma they may have caused. Others have learned the hard way that they need to be a lot more careful about using social media. This year has been characterized by an increased level of social justice and sensitivity in Hollywood, as well as in the rest of the world, and that means tolerance for prior offenses — be they merely politically incorrect statements or something far more sinister — is lower than ever before.

Heavy hitters such as TV star Roseanne Barr and blockbuster director James Gunn were nixed over nasty tweets, while YouTube stars like Logan Paul and Laura Lee took the quest for views way too far. Others mixed business with pleasure to disastrous results or mixed business with beefs that didn't sit well with fans. While some celebs' careers can weather big boo boos, it's going to be tough for the following stars to salvage their reputations and rebuild their entertainment empires. In fact, it looks like the dirt associated with these famous faces has wreaked lasting havoc on their careers.  

Logan Paul committed career suicide

YouTube star Logan Paul came under fire in January 2018 after posting a video of a man who'd hanged himself in Aokigahara Forest near Mt. Fuji in Japan — a place commonly referred to as the "suicide forest." Paul apologized for posting the video, but the damage was done. His channels were removed from Google's Preferred list, his ads were suspended, and at least one project he'd been tied to has been shelved. 

While Paul suffered a lot of immediate consequences for the suicide video — and from a subsequent release in which he tasered a dead rat. Despite the #LoganPaulIsOverParty hashtag that trended on Twitter and the widespread mainstream revulsion he has faced, Variety reported in October 2018 that a YouTube original film in which he starred would be released. Time will tell if anyone still wants to watch.

Laura Lee can't even apologize well

YouTube beauty guru Laura Lee's career nosedived after a controversial tweet from 2012 was dredged up in 2018. According to Vox, after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain who thought the unarmed teen was up to no good, Lee took it upon herself to tweet this racist piece of advice: "Tip for all black people if you pull ur pants up you can run from the police faster."

Lee has reportedly lost an estimated 500,000 subscribers, and views dropped by nearly 2 million in 2018. Polygon estimates that Lee stands to lose about $65,000 a year based on her viewership and subscriber reductions. Additionally, Allure reported that she lost several partnerships with brands and makeup retailers, including ColourPop and Ulta. She issued an apology video that didn't sit well with the internet; then she issued another one, and all that did was spawn a slew of copycat clips mocking her alleged crocodile tears. Considering she published a makeup tutorial in 2018 titled "Hate comments do my makeup for me," it's safe to say her future prospects are not pretty.

James Gunn fired over old tweets

James Gunn faced a lot of fallout for old tweets in 2018. The Guardians of the Galaxy director and writer was fired from the hit Marvel franchise for offensive tweets dating back nearly a decade. The commentary featured jokes about everything from the Holocaust to pedophilia. Gunn responded in July 2018 via a series of since-deleted tweets (via Deadline): "Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo ... I am very, very different than I was a few years ago ... My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn't living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it."

It was too little too late for Disney. "The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," said the House of Mouse. Despite petitions and tantrums from the GOTG cast (especially Dave Bautista), Gunn's career with Disney is over. However, DC did hire him for the sequel to 2016's Suicide Squad, so perhaps he'll salvage some standing in the industry.

Mike Colter should have kept his mouth shut

Luke Cage star Mike Colter was looking forward to a third season of the Marvel Netflix series when he made a really inappropriate joke about a pastor at Aretha Franklin's funeral allegedly groping pop star Ariana Grande. "Now this is how you shoot your shot. No f**ks," Colter wrote in a since-deleted tweet, alongside laughing face emojis. The internet did not like this, especially considering the sexual assault trauma themes in Luke Cage's sister series, Jessica Jones. Colter apologized in another since-deleted tweet, writing (via Complex): "Hello all. I apologize about my tweet earlier. In no way do I condone any such behavior. It was intended to point out the absurdity of the act itself. Complete and biting sarcasm. I realized quickly that it was not taken as such. I was at an event all day. Sorry for the delay."

About a month later, it was announced that Luke Cage would not be renewed for a third season. To date, it's unclear if the ax was due to Colter's remarks or to a potential Disney streaming service spin-off with Iron Fist (which was also canceled), but the timing seems uncanny.

Evan Felker may have learned that cheaters never win

Evan Felker, frontman of the Turnpike Troubadours, got the chance of a lifetime when Miranda Lambert handpicked his band to open for her on tour. However, when the pair got romantically involved — allegedly while he was married and while she was still dating Anderson East — things got complicated. Felker's wife, Staci, filed for divorce in February 2018, around the time he reportedly hit the road with Lambert. A source told People that Felker allegedly "ghosted" his wife when he went on tour, then "blindsided" her with divorce papers. 

Unfortunately for Felker, Lambert's flame for him apparently burned out very fast. By August 2018, they'd split, with Lambert announcing to The Tennessean that she was single and ready to mingle. Days later, Felker quit her tour, allegedly because of kidney stones. He later issued a statement on his band's Instagram: "We are working through some family and medical issues that have made it impossible for us to be on tour..." Family issues, huh?

Nicki Minaj may not be royal anymore

Let's be clear: Nicki Minaj will go down in history as one of the most successful rap artists of all time. That said, she spent the bulk of 2018 tarnishing her legacy with pointless feuds, and all that beef seems to be hurting her bottom line. In July 2018, Minaj got an intern at an entertainment blog fired just for tweeting a somewhat critical comment about the direction of her music, reported The New York Times. "You know how dope it would be if Nicki put out mature content?" the writer said. "... She's touching 40 soon, a new direction is needed." Minaj and her Barbz proceeded to harass the writer, even targeting her 4-year-old daughter and telling the blogger to kill herself. 

Minaj also lashed out at rapper Travis Scott on social media for selling his Astroworld album with bundles that included clothing and concert tickets, beating her Queen album for the top spot on the Billboard 200 in August 2018. (Minaj also sold bundles for Queen.) She blamed a "Nicki Hate Train" for her album's lackluster reception and postponed her tour. Sources told Page Six ticket sales were "in the toilet." And then there's the can of worms that is her ongoing feud with rapper Cardi B, who is clearly battling Minaj for her kingdom ... and winning.

Mo'Nique doesn't know how to negotiate

Comedian and actress Mo'Nique may have curtailed her stand-up career after criticizing Netflix for allegedly low-balling her in contract negotiations. She called for a boycott of the service based on what she claimed was racism and sexism. She compared her $500,000 offer with those in the tens of millions offered to Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Amy Schumer, specifically calling out Schumer's bankability after Snatched flopped — ignoring the fact that Schumer's Netflix contract was signed when she'd sold out Madison Square Garden and was still riding a career high from Trainwreck.

Perhaps what put the final nail in Mo'Nique's career coffin was comparing her salary negotiations to being raped: "[People say] 'Mo'Nique needs to just let it go. Mo'Nique needs to be humble. Maybe if she apologizes, they'll let her back in.'" Mo'Nique said "white women" weren't asked "to apologize when they said they were violated by Harvey Weinstein? Did you ask any of them to be humble?' Did you tell any of them, 'If you speak too loud, it doesn't mean you're right?'"

Mo'Nique previously accused heavy-hitters Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, and Tyler Perry of blackballing her from the industry after she refused to promote Precious – the film that earned Mo-Nique an Academy Award. Whoopi Goldberg even slammed Mo'Nique's condcut to her face on The View. Though Netflix has not responded publicly to Mo'Nique's remarks, she has no specials lined up to date.

Sean Penn's work has become 'repellent and stupid'

Sean Penn is an Oscar-winning actor, though his television work reportedly isn't doing too well, but it's not his onscreen skills that are dead in the water. It's his budding career as a novelist. The notoriously temperamental star released his debut book, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, in which he attempts to satirize American culture and even mocks the #MeToo movement. The book hasn't sold well, and reviews have been awful. The Guardian called it "repellent and stupid." The New York Times labeled it "plotless" and "conspicuously un-fun." The Washington Post wondered what the heck Penn was thinking, and The Huffington Post called it a "garbage novel."

We'd tell Penn to stick with what he knows, but what he knows may actually be harmful and terrifying to women, so we'll just suggest he either stick to acting or go on an indefinite hiatus from the spotlight.

Asia Argento got axed from X Factor

Italian actress Asia Argento became a notable figure in the #MeToo movement, praised for her bravery and strength battling movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who she publicly accused of raping her decades ago. She also became a judge on X Factor Italy, but that bold image came crashing down in August 2018, when Argento was accused of sexually assaulting actor Jimmy Bennett when he was a minor. Argento and Bennett met when he played her son in 2004's The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things.

Argento vehemently denied Bennett's allegations, but Variety reported that she was given the ax from the music competition series and her activism was also affected. Argento is suing fellow Weinstein accuser and former friend, actress Rose McGowan, and McGowan's partner, Rain Dove, for speaking out against her and revealing supposed text messages about the alleged sexual assault on Bennett to police, reported Page Six. "Argento had been accused of paying Bennett $380,000 to keep quiet about allegedly assaulting him in a California hotel" when he was 17, the tab reported. According to Page Six, Argento reportedly acknowledged that "she had slept with Bennett — but claimed he had sexually assaulted her."

T.J. Miller added some nails to his career's coffin

Comedian and actor T.J. Miller severely hurt his own career in 2017 when he left HBO's Silicon Valley, but it wasn't until 2018 that the chaotic environment on the show's set — and the extent of Miller's conduct — was revealed. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Miller frequently fell asleep during filming and often showed up late and unprepared, causing delays. Some insiders hinted that Miller may have had issues with self-medicating and alleged his temper could be volatile.

Miller pushed back. "I'm not high when I work because it gets in the way of the comedy. I also am not a guy who's blackout-drunk, bumping into things on set," he told THR. "...What was occurring was I was out doing stand-up all the time, even if it meant I only got three hours of sleep. So, the thing I have a problem with? It's pushing myself to do too much." In July 2018, former Silicon Valley actress Alice Wetterlund accused Miller of bullying her on set, which he also denied. Regardless of what Miller did or didn't do while filming the show, there's no denying the following piece of very disturbing behavior: Miller was arrested in April 2018 for allegedly reporting a fake bomb threat on an Amtrak train, causing massive delays. The Blast reported in September 2018 that Miller may be pursuing a plea bargain in the case.

Fergie cooked up 'something special' for America

At the NBA All-Star Game in February 2018, Fergie decided to "try something special" during the national anthem. It was special all right. Her weird vocal runs, jazz inflections, and bizarre gestures made her performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" go viral for all the wrong reasons. Some dubbed it the "worst rendition ever." She told TMZ, "I'm a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best."

But some sources say she wasn't apologetic at all. "Neither Fergie nor her team thought anything was wrong with her national anthem rendition," an insider told Us Weekly. "That's the way she sings a lot of her songs. She loves adding a little sexiness and being different with her riffs. It was meant to be jazz-inspired. She wanted to stand out." Yes, because what a song about patriotism and war needs is more sex appeal.

Tyrese Gibson beefed with the wrong beefcake

Tyrese Gibson delivered a People's Elbow to his own career in 2017, when he repeatedly and publicly slammed Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for starring in a Fast & The Furious spin-off with Jason Statham called Hobbs and Shaw. However, it wasn't until 2018 that Gibson apparently realized he hit, well, rock bottom. Gibson acknowledged as much during Van Lathan's Red Pill podcast in July 2018. "Everything about going against The Rock publicly [was from] psych meds ... Everything was just f**king bad. I have yet to talk to The Rock to this day...," he said. 

Gibson also insists that he's not the only one with extremely strong feelings about the Skyscraper star. "I found myself being the messenger on behalf of various people associated [with] the franchise, but stupid me was the only one who went public about those feelings, and that's my own fault," Gibson said. "It's not professional. It's not cool." Though it sounds like Gibson wants to make amends, he may be motivated by a need for cash rather than friendship. The actor's ex-wife claimed in court documents that he's suffering financially, in part, because he acted like a jabroni picking a fight with The Rock.

Woody Allen may finally be out of the movie industry

Acclaimed director Woody Allen was accused of molesting his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, more than 20 years ago. The Los Angeles Times reported that sexual abuse experts and police investigated the allegations, but prosecutors and Dylan's mother, actress Mia Farrow, didn't want to pursue charges against Allen for fear of traumatizing then-7-year-old Dylan. A judge in the case said Allen's behavior toward Dylan was "grossly inappropriate." Allen has denied the allegations repeatedly. All of that, in addition to Allen's controversial marriage to Mia's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, hasn't been enough to stunt Allen's success in the industry, but an incredibly tone-deaf interview he conducted in June 2018 might do just that. 

Allen actually called himself a "poster boy for the #MeToo movement," lamenting, "I have worked in movies for 50 years. I've worked with hundreds of actresses and not a single one ... ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all. I've always had a wonderful record with them." That's not entirely true: Mariel Hemingway, who starred in 1979's Manhattanalleged in her memoir, Out Came the Sun, that Allen attempted to take her on a trip without her parents in an effort to seduce her when she turned 18 (and he was 44.) In 2018, numerous stars of past Allen films renounced working with him ever again. Sources told Page Six in August 2018 that A Rainy Day in New York, starring Selena Gomez, may never see the light of day.

Roseanne Barr tweeted away the No. 1 sitcom in America

Roseanne Barr had the No. 1 sitcom on TV with her reboot of Roseanne, but in May 2018, she threw it all away with a racist tweet: Barr took to social media to compare former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett's looks to the characters on Planet of the Apes. "I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better..." Barr tweeted after the show's cancellation, but despite her mea culpa, the comic couldn't get her job back. Insiders called her tirade "unsurvivable."

The rest of the cast was eventually rehired for The Conners, a spin-off of Roseanne that kills off her character with an opioid overdose. Since then, Barr has reportedly lost contact with everyone she worked with on the series. "I don't keep in touch with anyone on the show," she told Vice News Tonight in October 2018. "I've been removed from the process of my life's work. It's like, the worst thing they could have possibly done to me was to fire me from my own show and let other people write my life story. I'm not going to watch it and I'm not going to condemn it or say anything bad about it either. I'm just moving on from it, 'cause I've always been a go-getter, and now I'm a ... I don't know what I am."