Actors Who Were Fired Over A Tweet

Social media isn't just a place to post memes and keep up with people you no longer talk to. Whether we like it or not, it is now an extension of our daily lives. If you're not on Twitter, do you even exist? Whether it's fast-food chains using the platform to roast people or the Notes app apology trend among famous faces, the Twittersphere has become the de facto place to either grow or destroy your brand. In this age of hyper-paced news cycles, this is especially true for celebrities in order to maintain their relevance and bring instant awareness about the issues they care about to their respective fan bases. 

However, things can turn ugly pretty quickly if a person with any amount of fame attempts to be too edgy for their own good. Sharing a fake severed head snapshot to make a political point probably isn't the best use of the website, nor are so-called "jokes" about tsunami victims. The main lesson here? Be wary of tweeting, because certain social media fails might just cost you your job. Here are a few actors who were fired over a tweet.

Kathy Griffin

Comedian Kathy Griffin nearly broke the Internet when she posted a gory image of herself holding President Donald Trump's mock-decapitated head in May 2017 (via TMZ). The photo immediately drew backlash from Trump supporters and critics alike, including soon-to-be former friend Anderson Cooper, with whom Griffin began co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve coverage in 2007. "For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in," he tweeted. "It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate." For his part, the president also weighed in, tweeting, "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!" The Secret Service even reportedly launched an investigation into the photo shoot.

In a since-deleted tweet, Griffin issued a video apology, in which she claimed she "went way too far" with the controversial joke, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. Admitting that "it wasn't funny," she added, "I've made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue. I ask for your forgiveness. [I'm] taking down the image." However, the damage was done and she was fired by CNN. The following year, Griffin withdrew her apology during an appearance on The View. "F**k him," she declared at the start of the show. "I'm not holding back on this family. This president is different."

Gilbert Gottfried

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried had long been the voice of the Aflac Duck when Japan suffered a tragic earthquake and tsunami that claimed the lives of over 20,000 people in 2011. In response to the natural disaster, the Aladdin actor decided to fire off multiple inappropriate tweets. "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute now,'" he wrote per BuzzFeed. "I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent," he shared in another. "I said 'is there a school in this area.' She said 'not now, but just wait.'" Yikes.

Once the tweets gained attention, Gottfried lost his gig with Aflac. "Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac," the company's Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). Announcing Aflac's "nationwide casting call" for Gottfried's replacement, he added, "There is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times."

Roseanne Barr

After 21 years off the air, the hit television show Roseanne returned to the small screen in 2018 to massive ratings, critical praise, and a second season renewal following its premiere, according to Deadline. The future looked bright for lead actress Roseanne Barr ... until she decided to tweet, that is. In May of that year, she compared former President Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape, writing, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj" (via The Washington Post). 

It wasn't long before ABC cancelled the show. Meanwhile, Barr's longtime co-star and on-screen daughter Sara Gilbert called her comments "abhorrent," tweeting in part, "I am disappointed in her actions to say the least." While Barr issued an apology — blaming her offensive tweet on sleeping pills — it was too little too late. "It was 2 in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting," she wrote on Twitter at the time (via The Guardian). "It was Memorial Day too. I went too far and do not want it defended. It was egregious [and] indefensible." However, almost a year after the reboot's cancellation, Barr blamed Gilbert for the show's unceremonious end. "She destroyed the show and my life with that tweet," Barr told The Washington Post. "She will never get enough until she consumes my liver with a fine Chianti." ...If you say so, Roseanne.

Shila Iqbal

Shila Iqbal was a rising star on the British soap opera Emmerdale until her past racist and homophobic tweets came back to haunt her in April 2019, just weeks after being made a series regular. According to the Daily Mail, she previously wrote in since-deleted posts, "Do not tweet me you gay" and "I know too many noisy n****s." The media outlet went on to note that Iqbal quickly apologized when the tweets resurfaced, writing, "I am terribly sorry and take full responsibility for my use of such inappropriate language." Claiming that she'd recently become the target of anti-Muslim online attacks herself, she continued, "We live in sensitive times for members of all communities ... I regret that I too have let people down by the use of such language, albeit six years ago. I, like everyone else, have a responsibility about the language I have used on social media as well as in conversation."

However, Iqbal's plea wasn't enough for her network bosses. According to an ITV rep, "As a consequence of historic social media posts ... The [program] took the decision not to renew her contract as soon as these posts were brought to the company's attention." The actress continued to express remorse over the tweets in an appearance on ITV's This Morning, saying, "I'm now a professional and I wasn't at that time ... I do own up to the fact that I used inappropriate language, but I don't do that anymore."

Nicole Crowther

You've probably never heard of Nicole Crowther, whose acting career was over before it even began. As an extra on Glee back in 2011, Crowther tweeted out a major spoiler for the hit show's second season, according to ABC News. Revealing that Chris Colfer's Kurt Hummel would be crowned prom queen next to David Karofsky's (played by Max Adler) prom king, she wrote, "K is PQ and KA is PK." Unfortunately for Crowther, the tweet caught the attention of Glee producer Brad Falchuk, who blasted her on Twitter. "@nicolecrowther Who are you to spoil something talented people have spent months to create?" he wroteadding, "Hope you're qualified to do something besides work in entertainment." This Twitter exchange effectively ended her career as an aspiring actress. 

In addition to appearing on Syfy's The Internet Ruined My Life in 2016, Crowther sat down with ABC News to discuss the ordeal. "I was receiving death threats," she told the news network. "It was devastating." Crowther added, "If I could go back in time and change it, yes I probably would. I probably would have liked to save myself the stress and the pain that I went through."

James Gunn

We all know James Gunn the director, but did you know he also has over a dozen acting credits to his name? Glad we cleared that up. When the multi-talent was set to start filming the third volume of his highly successful Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in July 2018, alt-right troll Jack Posobiec posted several of Gunn's past lewd tweets from 2008 through 2011. The reason? According to The Guardian, Gunn had been an outspoken critic of President Trump.

While Gunn previously apologized for his controversial remarks back in 2012, he addressed them again when they surfaced six years later. "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," he tweeted at the time. "As I have discussed publicly many times, as I've developed as a person, so has my work and my humor." Gunn added, "It's not to say I'm better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over."

However, Disney fired him anyway. While Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn called the actor-director's comments "indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values" in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the Mouse House later rehired Gunn in March 2019.

Jason Biggs

American Pie star Jason Biggs voiced Leonardo on Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — until the children's cable company decided to promote his Twitter account and several of the actor's offensive tweets were unearthed in 2012. According to Uproxx, these included so-called "jokes" about the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, a sexually explicit comment about politician Paul Ryan's wife, and the stereotyping of Asian drivers. In a statement to Breitbart, Nickelodeon admitted that it was a "mistake" to link to Biggs' Twitter feed and "insisted Jason use better judgment and discretion in public communications while affiliated with our brand." However, the actor apparently didn't heed that advice and was later replaced by Seth Green on the animated series. 

Biggs opened up about getting fired during his 2018 appearance on Dax Shepard's podcast, The Armchair Expert. "I tweeted more. I doubled down, and they were like, 'We can't do this anymore. Our phone is literally ringing off the hook,'" he said at the time, explaining that was when Nickelodeon gave him the ax (via Uproxx). "I'm fine with it now, but I think it really f**ked me up," Biggs went on to say. "And for awhile, initially, I didn't think I did anything wrong ... but the truth of the matter is, I f**king did it."