TV Stars Who Treat Their Fans Like Trash

Successful TV stars would not be where they are without loyal fans who help them gain recognition. Although stars owe a lot to their fans, some admirers can take things too far. This has made for some heated moments between TV celebrities and their supporters. 

The effects of being a celebrity are harsh, especially working long hours and being surrounded by people who might not have your best interest at heart. Net-a-Porter interviewed "Gossip Girl's" Leighton Meester on her career as an actor, and she opened up about some of the brutal realities of being famous. "I had to figure it out quickly and with not a completely developed mind to discern between what's real and what's not, who I can trust and who I can't," Meester recalled of fame at a young age. 

It seems that the spotlight can make stars crack under pressure. Still, many fans claim celebrities' struggles do not excuse rude behavior. Distasteful outbursts often ruin celebrities' reputations and can hurt their careers. Is the rudeness really worth it? Maybe these TV stars who treat their fans like trash could answer that question.

Ellen DeGeneres' flaws have come to light

Comedian and daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has faced a decent amount of backlash regarding allegations from employees who claim the "Seriously...I'm Kidding" author allows for a discriminatory and uncomfortable work environment, according to BuzzFeed News. With this information now out in the open, it is no surprise that DeGeneres has not been the kindest to every fan. Audience member Dana Dimatteo shared her bizarre experience with producers prior to joining DeGeneres on stage for a segment. "They tell you ... you can't be smarter or funnier than Ellen. She's the comedian and the star, not you," the fan said in an interview with Inside Edition. She said the experience was "such a letdown." 

A separate incident occurred during the show's "Ellen Reviews Fans' Really Bad Gifts" segment, in which DeGeneres jokingly insults fans' gifts. This segment is typically light-hearted, as fans often send in some pretty ridiculous things. However, the comedian may have taken things too far in a clip posted to the show's YouTube channel. One fan sent over a detailed painting of DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi. The painting didn't seem to have any intended humorous elements, but DeGeneres joked, "It's called Ellen and Portia number 10. He took 10 tries, but he finally got it." The fan who spent time and effort working on the piece must have been so disappointed to see their favorite talk show host make a joke out of their art.

Lea Michele's mistakes on set

As "Glee" fans now know, Lea Michele and her character Rachel Berry have a lot in common. Both ladies' peers might describe them as divas with a mean streak. In fact, Michele's former co-worker, broadway actor Gerard Canonico, said she was a "nightmare" to him "and fellow understudy cast members" — yikes! This criticism (via Twitter) arose in Michele's Instagram comments on the heels of her apology to "Glee" co-star Samantha Ware, who tweeted that Michele "made [Ware's] first television gig a living hell" (via Variety).

Ware originally called out the hypocrisy of Michele's tweet on the killing of George Floyd. In a now-deleted Twitter thread, Ware wrote that Michele directed "traumatic microaggressions" toward her and wanted to "s**t in my wig" (via Variety). Ware found support on social media, and it turns out that extras and fans have had bad experiences with Michele, too.

"Lea would pass by and ignore the extras," a source told Us Weekly. "I saw other cast members mingling with extras and crew." It appears Michele was so intimidating that the show's cast and crew were even afraid to eat cupcakes she brought to set. And as for her supportive audience members? A source revealed to Us Weekly, "While they were waiting to film, a lot of the cast went outside and took pics with the fans. Lea was outside and the fans were yelling for her and she didn't bother to even wave her hand to the fans."

Adam Levine's performances left fans disappointed

Maroon 5 frontman and former "The Voice" judge Adam Levine has a history of on-stage controversies that have left concertgoers disappointed. In 2020, Levine performed a lackluster show for fans in Chile. Following the concert, the TV judge was called out for his seemingly poor vocals and attitude during the concert, per USA Today. He posted an apology video to his Instagram story in an attempt to explain some of his behavior. "To be totally frank, there were some things holding me back sonically last night," he said, in part (via Access). "And I let them get to me, and it impacted how I was behaving on stage, which was unprofessional and I apologize for that."

One low-energy performance is understandable — after all, celebrities have their off days, too — but this was not Levine's only disappointing on-stage moment. In 2021, a TikTok user shared a video of Levine's reaction to a fan who jumped onto the stage and hugged him. When the concertgoer grabbed Levine's arm, his face and body language suggested he was disgusted by the interaction. He also seemingly mouthed the word "f**k" out of annoyance.

Fans criticized the musician for his rude approach to handling the situation, and he took to his Instagram story again to respond. "I was really startled, and sometimes when you're startled you have to ... shake it off and move on 'cause I'm doing my job up there," he explained (via ET Canada). Many fans left comments defending Levine under the original TikTok video, so it seems this controversy doesn't pose a threat to the musician's career.

Rachael Ray was sued by a teenager

Rachael Ray was once accused of exploiting a fan. Christina Pagliarolo attempted to sue "The Rachael Ray Show" in 2013 for putting her through intense and painful workouts as part of a weight-loss segment. According to E! News, the lawsuit alleged that fitness trainer Eric Viskovicz "yelled and screamed at" Pagliarolo when she fell from a Stairmaster (she had an "extraordinarily weak and painful" feeling in the legs from previous workouts). The suit also claimed the teenager fell and injured her legs during a hike. The alleged brutal treatment of Pagliarolo brings into question whether she was pushed to the limit for entertainment purposes.

Ray's bizarre, allegedly inconsiderate behavior is not exclusively felt by fans, though. Years later, crew members of "The Rachael Ray Show" claimed their employment was abruptly terminated due to the pandemic. Variety reported that over 20 crew members were let go and were not paid for work they were scheduled for in the future, when the show was filmed remotely in 2020.

A CBS spokesperson shared a statement with Variety that read, in part, "When COVID-19 forced our studio production to shut down in March, we started shooting 'Rachael Ray' at Rachael's home out of necessity." They went on to share that the network was working toward solving the issue. Ray later released her own statement to Instagram sharing that she felt the allegations were "disturbing" and not "accurate" as she expressed a desire to "provide for" her crew (via Us Weekly).

James Corden's Reddit backfired

James Corden's reputation with fans is almost as bad as critics' reviews of his performance in the musical film "Cats." The talk show host's alleged rudeness came to light when he and a few team members encouraged Reddit users to ask questions on the platform. The request quickly backfired when fans began to detail their experiences with Corden in the comments. One user wrote, " and my friends sat at a table next to you and Harry Styles + some others in Manchurian Legends in London's Chinatown about 6 years ago. We didn't bother you but you were a massively entitled c**t who yelled and treated the waitstaff like s**t..." Other users chimed in with their opinions on the TV personality, and few were positive.

Corden offended fans again when a clip about K-pop band BTS was uploaded to the "The Late Late Show" Twitter account. In the now-deleted video, the talk show host shared his opinion on BTS' appearance at the United Nations General Assembly. He said, "It actually marks the first time 15-year-old girls everywhere found themselves wishing that they were Secretary General António Guterres," in reference to the event. Via Cosmopolitan, this was not well received by BTS fans, who didn't appreciate Corden's assumption that only "15-year-old girls" enjoy the group. James Corden exudes charisma and charm on "The Late Late Show," but it seems that some fans think he isn't always so friendly.

Jennifer Lopez can be a diva

Jennifer Lopez is known for her stunning looks, iconic TV and movie roles, chart-topping songs, and her reputation as a diva. It is rumored that Lopez refuses to talk directly to staff and only communicates through her team. The "Love Don't Cost a Thing" singer allegedly ignored a flight attendant when they asked a simple question. "I just said, 'What can I get you to drink?' But Jennifer refused to even acknowledge me," the flight attendant told Star magazine (via Radar). "She turned her head away and told her personal assistant, 'Please tell him I'd like a Diet Coke and lime."

Lopez was also accused of getting a hotel Meliá Düsseldorf housekeeper fired for requesting an autograph. According to Us Weekly, these claims reached the media when the housekeeper, Pray Dodaj, took to Germany's Bild newspaper to share her experience: "I am an incredibly big fan so I took all my courage and rang the bell to get an autograph," Dodaj claimed (via Us Weekly). The fan then alleged that her employer fired her because Lopez complained about the incident.

The hotel later released a statement claiming Dodaj's accusations were false. Still, it seems Lopez's past prima-donna behavior left fans with little faith in the singer, at least those fans who assumed the incident did actually occur. Lopez tweeted out a clarification statement herself. "C'mon thought you knew me better than this.. Would never get anyone fired over an autograph. 1st I heard of this was on twitter. #hurtful," the pop star wrote.

Shia LaBeouf has a short temper

Like many not-so-friendly celebrities, Shia LaBeouf has shown that he doesn't always appreciate fans who interact with him in public. In 2013, one public interaction escalated into a bar fight. According to Page Six, the fight (originally reported by The Sun) broke out because a man did not appreciate LaBeouf upsetting his girlfriend. The former Disney star could reportedly be heard telling the man, "I can get you killed," following the fight. A witness noted that the actor "looked out of control."

Such behavior became a pattern for LaBeouf, who, in 2021, reportedly checked into an in-patient treatment facility following an abuse lawsuit involving ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs (via Variety). A separate legal dispute involving battery and petty theft charges landed the actor in court-ordered therapy. E! reported that the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office required LaBeouf to stay sober, attend weekly sessions, and meet other qualifications as part of his treatment. 

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).

Chevy Chase's bad attitude hurt his career

"Community" and "Saturday Night Live" star Chevy Chase was on track to become a megastar until his bad attitude seemingly cost him his career. The Washington Post published a piece revisiting Chase's career in the years since his "Saturday Night Live” success, and it seems he never quite rid himself of his controversial image. When asked about his opinion on the heightened success of "SNL" following his departure from the show, the comedian said, "That means a whole generation of shitheads laughs at the worst f***ing humor in the world. You know what I mean? How could you dare give that generation worse s**t than they already have in their lives? It just drives me nuts."

Apart from not speaking very fondly of the show that launched his stardom, what makes Chase so controversial? Well, he is not known to be the kindest to fans, even when they're celebrities themselves. According to New York Magazine, comedian Rob Huebel alleged that Chase got physical with him during their first interaction. The comedian explained that he introduced himself to Chase because he was a longtime fan, but Huebel was met with an unexpected slap across the face in return. "He tried to make a joke afterward, something to the effect of, 'Don't interrupt me when I'm talking, ha ha ha.' And I just stood there," Huebel said of the moment after the incident.

True Detective star Woody Harrelson punched a fan

Woody Harrelson of "True Detective" has a history of physical altercations with those who snap his photo without permission. One such incident involved an onlooker who appears to have started the conflict. The Washington Post reported that Harrelson became frustrated when a man allegedly began taking pictures of him and his daughter on a Washington, D.C., rooftop. A police report relayed Harrelson's account that the perpetrator lunged toward the star "in an attempt to grab his neck" (via NBC Washington). Harrelson struck the fan but faced no legal repercussions for his self-defense.

Harrelson's first public altercation of this nature didn't end as well for him. Back in 1998, The actor had to pay a hefty fine of nearly $5,000 following a brawl with paparazzi (via Tampa Bay Times). In the 2000s, the Primetime Emmy Award winner attacked a paparazzo who followed him around a New York airport parking lot. A TMZ video captured the altercation, in which the videographer says Harrelson damaged property and assaulted him. The actor shared a statement that read, in part, "I wrapped a movie called 'Zombieland,' in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character," in regards to the incident (via CNN Entertainment). He went on to say he "mistook" the videographer "for a zombie" ... completely understandable, right?

Amy Schumer is not fond of fan photos

Amy Schumer is known for her witty humor and hilarious movie and TV roles. The actor is also known for publicly shaming a fan who filmed her without her permission. Fans may recall that when Schumer took to Instagram to detail this incident, the post (which has since been deleted) quickly went viral. The caption read, in part, "This guy in front of his family just ran up next to me scared the s**t out of me. Put a camera in my face. I asked him to stop and he said, 'No, it's America and we paid for you.' This was in front of his daughter. I was saying 'stop' and 'no.' Great message to your kid" (via Page Six). Schumer also blamed this fan for her decision to stop taking photos with supporters. She later clarified her feelings in a statement she shared with People. "I am grateful to people who like my work and support me but not the ones who think that behavior is ok," the star said.

The fan, Leslie Brewer, spoke to WYFF News 4 following the situation. "I didn't say that 'we own her,' or she has to do anything, but you're a public figure, at the end of the day, if you're running, all she had to say was, 'I'm busy you guys, nice meeting you,' and keep moving," he said. Brewer also labeled the situation as "cyberbullying." Some agreed with the fan's statement, while others thought he did not respect Schumer's boundaries.

Guy Fieri disappoints fans

On TV, Guy Fieri is a fun-loving chef who seems like he could get along with anyone. It turns out that his on-screen persona might not represent the real Fieri completely. A 2013 TMZ video exposed a brawl between the "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host and his hairdresser, Ariel Ramirez. There is no clear explanation of what caused the fight, but TMZ reported that a representative for Fieri claimed, "A bunch of guys were messing around. Things got a little out of hand, but they're all good now."

Another incident involving one of Fieri's restaurants likely left fans disgusted. According to Radar, health inspectors found that Guy's American Bar & Grill restaurant in New York had bug infestations on multiple occasions. One inspection report read, "Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated flies present in facility's food and/or non-food areas." Of course, this news hurt Fieri's professional reputation.

However, the chef is still one of Food Network's top guys, and his heart was in the right place with a National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation partnership fund to assist restaurant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (via Mashable).