The Shady Side Of Jim Carrey

The following article includes mentions of suicide, addiction, sexual assault, and transphobia.

The zany comic with a face as malleable as his many talents, Jim Carrey has been a Hollywood mainstay since the '90s. Over the decades, the comedic actor has warmed his way into the hearts of stans with his loveable, goofy persona, often resembling a Looney Tunes character. Accordingly, many of his roles have reached iconic status, namely "Ace Ventura" and "The Mask," in which he exhibits the quirky comedic chops that turned him into a superstar. Seemingly harmless and playful, Carrey has amassed a huge fan base and an even bigger bank balance. Who would have thought, then, that behind that cartoonish grin and unmistakable chortle lay a seemingly darker side?

From his boycott of "Kicka** 2" in 2013 due to its depiction of violence (which left some questioning why he agreed to do the movie in the first place?) to his admission that he is planning on retiring from acting in March 2022, the actor never fails to be a prominent Twitter hashtag. But on numerous occasions, he has found himself trending for all the wrong reasons. Yes, Carrey may like to portray himself as a progressive anti-Trumpist these days, posting his idiosyncratic political musings on social media, but things aren't always as they meme.

A series of unfortunate events have blighted Carrey's rep, transforming the lovable jester into the grinch. From problematic interactions with women to giving dubious medical advice, the mask slips as we uncover the shady side of Jim Carrey.

Jim Carrey spread anti-vax conspiracies

Ever since the rollout of the MMR vaccine toward the end of the '90s, millions of lives have been saved every year, per the World Health Organization. However, much like the more recent COVID-19 vaccines, the MMR shot has been met with cynicism — including views that border on conspiracy.

In 2009, Jim Carrey wrote a blog for HuffPost entitled "The Judgment on Vaccines Is In???" — but the outlet has since removed the article "in the interest of public health." As noted by Salon at the time, Carrey asserted that vaccines were responsible for children developing autism and claimed that they contained things like anti-freeze or ether, allegations that are entirely false. His ex, Jenny McCarthy, is a vocal critic of what she terms unsafe vaccines, blaming them for her son's autism, per PBS. Accordingly, she and Carrey teamed up to spread their vaccination skepticism, heading a "Green Vaccine" rally in 2008, per ABC News. The outlet notes that McCarthy's end goal was to cure autism, which autism acceptance advocates say is an inherently harmful and ableist view.

Years later, Carrey remained unrelenting in his vaccine stance. In a series of tweets in 2015, he likened life-saving shots to poison and claimed that California was under fascist rule due to vaccine mandates. Carrey's spread of misinformation was condemned and debunked by leading scientists. Writing for WebMD, Dr. Steven Parker countered Carrey's assertions: "UNICEF estimates that more than one third of the 10,000,000 children who die world-wide every year would live if they were properly vaccinated."

He made inappropriate comments about a reporter

As a Hollywood veteran with over three decades in the business, one would think that Jim Carrey knew how to conduct himself in interviews. However, even the most seasoned vets slip up every now and then. Look no further than Carrey's cringeworthy interview with reporter Charlotte Long. In a 2020 sit-down for Heat, Long asked Carrey if he had anything left on his bucket list after a glittering career. "Just you — that's it," he replied, as Long laughed uncomfortably. Thereafter, the actor told the reporter to "just own it" before she swiftly changed the subject. Accordingly, Carrey was slammed for what many deemed a creepy and inappropriate remark.

"Look up 'sleazeball' in the dictionary and there's a photo of @JimCarrey," one Twitter user wrote, according to Page Six. Another tweeter revealed that they had lost all respect for the actor following the interview. However, a rep for Carrey told HuffPost that the comment was in reference to the interview itself, as opposed to Long, though this claim seemed to be contradicted by the reporter's apparent embarrassment after Carrey made the bold declaration, making many wonder if he was indeed a liar liar.

This wouldn't be the first time the actor displayed seemingly inappropriate behavior toward a female interviewer. At New York Fashion Week in 2017, Carrey repeatedly circled round an E! reporter, moving close toward her, before lamenting the meaninglessness of the event, which he bizarrely branded "the lowest aiming possibility."

The suicide of his girlfriend led to two lawsuits

Jim Carrey is renowned for being unusually open about his love life. Previous noteworthy partners include Oscar winner Renée Zellweger, whom he once declared the greatest love of his life. Come 2012, Carrey began dating Irish national Cathriona White, per The Telegraph. In contrast to his previous high-profile relationships, White was a relatively unknown makeup artist. And with an age gap of 23 years, they made an unlikely pair.

The relationship ended in tragedy when White died by suicide in 2015; she was just 30. Following White's death, a number of unsavory accusations came to light. As reported by The Guardian, White's ex-husband, Mark Burton, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Carrey, alleging that he provided White with the drugs that would ultimately end her life. "After her death, Mr. Carrey took steps to conceal and obfuscate his involvement and culpability in Ms. White's untimely and tragic death," alleged Burton's suit. This was in reference to a seemingly suspicious text Carrey sent White when she died, asking where his pain medication was. He also claimed that Carrey was manipulative and "controlling" over his ex amid allegations that the actor installed round-the-clock surveillance in White's home.

A second wrongful death suit was then filed by White's mom, Brigid Sweetman. Per E!, Sweetman accused Carrey of subjecting her daughter to mental abuse and giving her STDs. The lawsuits were eventually dismissed, with Carrey claiming in a countersuit that Burton and Sweetman merely sought to extort money from him, per The Hollywood Reporter.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Jim Carrey was criticized for defending Ace Ventura

In recent years, there's been a re-evaluation of popular movies and TV shows of the not too distant past. For instance, "Friends," although extremely popular, has been critiqued for its white-centric and unrealistic depiction of life in multicultural New York. Another hallmark of '90s pop culture is "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," which also failed to age gracefully. 

The 1994 comedy contains scenes that are now perceived as deeply transphobic. Namely, Carrey's titular protagonist strips a transwoman, played by Sean Young, and exposes her genitalia, as onlookers are repulsed. As reported by Pink News, Joe Rogan slammed the film as "insanely transphobic." Meanwhile, The New York Times argued that the movie helped to make transphobia mainstream via "nose-holding disgust." When discussing the problematic aspects of the film, Carrey made matters worse by defending the notorious scene. During an appearance at the Television Critics Association in 2019 (via Showbiz CheatSheet), Carrey said, "That was an honest completely homophobic reaction from that character. It was basically making fun of homophobia. It's ridiculous. I've got a plunger on my face because I kissed a dude." 

Subsequently, Twitter users lamented Carrey's refusal to condemn the film. Instead of denouncing the transphobic scene, Carrey claimed that the plotline was so absurd that it had to be making fun of homophobia, an argument which itself implied the character was a man, not a woman (Carrey previously made the same misgendering assertion about Young's character in a 1994 Los Angeles Times interview).

If you or a loved one has experienced a hate crime, contact the VictimConnect Hotline by phone at 1-855-4-VICTIM or by chat for more information or assistance in locating services to help. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

He accused Tiger Woods' wife of being complicit in his infidelity

When golf champ Tiger Woods was embroiled in a notorious cheating scandal, his antics received widespread condemnation and ridicule. However, Jim Carrey had an entirely different take on the matter. The actor headed onto Twitter to offer his two cents, defending Woods and arguing that the golfer "owes nothing 2 anyone but himself." In another tweet, he seemingly blamed Woods' wife at the time, Elin Nordegren, for the affairs. "No wife is blind enough to miss that much infidelity. Elin had 2 b a willing participant on the ride 4 whatever reason. kids/lifestyle," he wrote, followed by a wink emoji.

A backlash ensued, with The Daily Beast branding the remarks "an irrelevant Twitter rant that was clearly ghost written by a misogynistic 12 year old." The outlet then suggested that the bizarre tweets were indicative of Carrey's downfall, which coincided with his split from Jenny McCarthy. Carrey went on to (sort of) apologize for blaming Nordegren, though he only ended up digging himself deeper. Per Express, he said that while he doesn't condone cheating, he felt that both Woods and Nordegren shared responsibility for the golf pro's affairs. 

When these comments caused further outrage, Carrey doubled down and reveled in his newfound troll status. "To anyone whose grievances have chosen me as their cause ... you'd see that your resentment has been misplaced," he said in a statement (via Parade), adding. "Now, I'm going to re-enter the Twitter stream and see if there is anyone left to offend!"

Jim Carrey kissed Alicia Silverstone without her consent

When Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, just about everyone had an opinion on the matter. Jim Carrey was no exception. Speaking with Gayle King on "CBS Mornings," he made no secret of the fact that he was staunchly on Team Rock. "I was sickened by the standing ovation," he declared of the audience's reaction to Smith winning an Oscar moments later. "I felt like Hollywood is just spineless — en masse."

When King brought up the fact that Rock had no intention of filing charges against Smith, Carrey unleashed an odd rant in which he claimed that the comedian should sue the "King Richard" Oscar-winner for hundreds of millions of dollars. He added that no one has the right to walk on stage and put their hands on another human being. Well, Carrey would soon eat his words, learning the hard way that those in glass houses probably shouldn't throw shade.

After Carrey's tirade against Smith, details of his own problematic past resurfaced. Making the rounds on Twitter was a video of Carrey, then 35, kissing Alicia Silverstone without her consent at the 1997 MTV Movie Awards, leading to accusations of sexual assault, as detailed by the Daily Mail. Silverstone, who was just 20 at the time, was visibly upset after the ordeal. Per the Independent, she deemed the kiss humiliating and Carrey later apologized to her backstage. Carrey was also spotted trying to forcibly kiss Will Smith at the same event, grabbing the actor by the neck and sticking his tongue out at him.

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).

The actor shaved a woman's head on Kimmel

Of all the late-night shows, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" has found a niche for stunts involving the general public. Walking by Hollywood Boulevard, titular host Jimmy Kimmel often accosts members of the public into impromptu stunts, including pranking people into believing that beloved celebs have done unspeakable things. Joining in on the show's escapades, perennial prankster Jim Carrey was a guest on a 2014 episode in which members of the public were given "Dumb and Dumber"-esque haircuts. 

After giving a man an admittedly terrible, albeit fixable, bowl cut, it was time for Carrey to work his, ahem, magic on a woman named Deanna. Things got off to a somewhat inappropriate start, with Carrey reassuring the nervous-looking guest in reference to his character, "It's completely sexless, the Lloyd thing." After Deanna reminded Carrey to use a bowl on her head, as he did with the previous participant, the comic decided to eschew the apparatus and improvise. He began brazenly chopping off Deanna's long locks, and the surprised guest insisted that she'd "feel more comfortable with a bowl." Alas, her request went unheeded: Carrey completely shaved her head, which was not part of the initial plan (Deanna had only come to the studio to get an autograph). "It symbolizes the control I have over the mind of my fans," Carrey declared while revealing the newly bald Deanna. 

Several YouTube commenters felt Carrey took things too far and that Deanna appeared upset, with HuffPost noting that even Kimmel, who is accustomed to grand stunts, seemed genuinely shocked by the incident.

Did Jim Carrey disrespect Aretha Franklin's legacy?

Aretha Franklin was one of the most renowned and respected artists in popular music, influencing a myriad of musicians and winning scores of admirers, including Jim Carrey. When Franklin died of cancer in 2018, numerous artists paid homage to the Queen of Soul. For instance, Aussie star and all-round nice guy Hugh Jackman posted a sweet tribute to Franklin on Twitter, recalling his moving duet with the soul superstar, which he deemed one of his career highs. Carrey, however, decided to pay tribute to the late icon in a peculiar way.

The "Ace Ventura" star is famed for his knack for art; subsequently, he felt that showcasing his painting of Franklin would be an apt way of honoring the sadly departed singer. There was just one problem: his artwork depicted the iconic Black singer with white skin. Inevitably, a backlash ensued, and many questioned the actor's motives amid accusations that he'd whitewashed Franklin.

As detailed by SFGate, confused tweeters slammed the painting, with a number of people suggesting that the depiction resembled "Misery" actor Kathy Bates as opposed to the Queen of Soul. One user made a far more alarming comparison, believing that the artwork bore an uncanny likeness to British far-right commentator Katie Hopkins: "Bruh, Jim Carrey tried to paint Aretha Franklin and ended up painting this racist white woman instead." It seems that Jim needs to learn to give Aretha some r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

His first wife accused him of cheating with Lauren Holly

Hollywood is renowned for being a hotbed of various affairs and scandals. But not everyone falls into that salacious trap. There are many long-lasting celeb couples, such as Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson or Jeff and Susan Bridges, who have spent most of their lives together. However, in Jim Carrey's case, he unfortunately seems to follow the stereotypical shenanigans that we associate with A-list Hollywood bigshots. Well, at least that's what his ex-wife asserts.

Carrey and his first wife, waitress Melissa Womer, tied the knot in 1987, per the Daily Mail. Amid the couple's divorce proceedings in 1995, Womer alleged that her estranged husband had an extramarital affair with actor Lauren Holly, whom he had soon begun dating. "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what happened," she told the New York Daily News (via The Spokesman-Review). "I personally think she may have been involved a lot sooner than they are letting on." She also accused the star of neglecting the couple's daughter, Jane, then aged 7, and denying her the appropriate amount of alimony.

In addition to revelations regarding Carrey's alleged affair with Holly, Womer claimed that her once doting husband had grown to hate her. "Does he hate me? I believe he loathes me," she asserted. Speaking with Rolling Stone, Womer lamented that once Carrey experienced the highs of fame and fortune, he allegedly wanted nothing to do with his wife and child. "He decided he wanted to enjoy success from the perspective of a single man," she stated. 

The star made shocking reveals about his mom

As noted in Matt Green's biography of the star, Jim Carrey grew up in poverty — becoming homeless for a time — and had to struggle against increasingly hopeless odds to survive. Subsequently, his resentment seemed to be squarely focused upon his mother, Kathleen, as Carrey felt he was forced to grow up before his time due to her various personal demons. By his own admission, his subconscious mind even contemplated killing her.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Carrey opened up about this particularly difficult point in his life. As his mom and dad struggled, Carrey conceded that "from about age 19, I became the parent in my family." Accordingly, he revealed that he financially supported his parents, allowing them to live with him until he went bankrupt. Then, plagued by financial and emotional problems, he began experiencing some extremely disturbing ideation. "I ran out of patience, and I had to move them back to Canada," he said. "I was having bad dreams — I was strangling my mother in my sleep."

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Carrey further discussed his strained relationship with his mother, which lay at the heart of his troubling fantasies. Kathleen was addicted to painkillers, and this negatively impacted her ability to care for her son, who felt abandoned. As a result, he fell into destructive behaviors. "Everybody had daggers and knives, and I was in the middle of the madness," Carrey revealed. "And I wasn't shrinking from it at all. I wanted to fight."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Jim Carrey was accused of creeping on young actors

As a funnyman, Jim Carrey is known for delving into uncomfortable comedic forays (his unpalatable painting of a newly ousted Melania Trump being a testament to this). But sometimes, his candor is seen as crossing the line into the creepy. When it comes to young actors, for example, Carrey has a history of making inappropriate comments.

During a 2020 appearance on "The Graham Norton Show," Carrey made some admittedly ungentlemanly observations about fellow guest Margot Robbie. "It's incredible you got as far as you have with your obvious physical disadvantages," he quipped flirtatiously, adding, "That's just pure talent there. That's a talent override there." Critics argued that Carrey was deriding the Aussie actor by reducing her to a sexualized object, thereby dismissing her many achievements as merely being the result of her good looks. Branding the remarks creepy and sexist, for example, The National News wrote, "Had Robbie's former co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt also been on that couch, would Carrey have made those same comments to them? I'm going to go out on a limb and say no."

Around this time, footage of Carrey seemingly acting like the creepy uncle toward Emma Stone resurfaced. In a 2011 clip posted on his website, Carrey declared to the redheaded actor, who is 26 years his junior, that if they were closer in age, he'd wanted to marry and "have chubby little freckle-faced kids" with her, before musing about their potential sex life. Per HuffPost, Carrey later confirmed that it was a bit, but that he meant every word. Big yikes.