Reality Stars Who Ruined Their Careers On Social Media

The following articles contains references to racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism

In the age of so-called "cancel culture," there are many ways for celebs to ruin their careers. As the ongoing J.K Rowling controversy has shown, the airing of problematic views will cause a major public backlash, or, like Chrissy Teigen learnt, complaining about cancel culture ruining careers can in turn, well, ruin one's career. But one surefire way for a celebrity to destroy their rep is by causing offense on a public platform. Ever since the advent of social media, certain individuals have been far too quick to post offensive content without thinking of the potentially dire consequences.

For reality TV personalities, who live their lives in the limelight, many would assume they'd realize that exposing your indiscretions for all the world to see is not a good look. But these stars didn't get the memo. Accordingly, they were dragged for posting problematic content on social media, or in some cases, outright admitting to crimes.

There's been much debate about the merits and pitfalls of trial by social media. Some have taken issue with the term "cancel culture," positing that it's in fact long overdue accountability, per Forbes. As equality campaigner Farzin Farzad argues, "Cancel culture is a relatively new term developed to insulate the powerful from being held accountable for hateful language. It is a mere propaganda tool that has proliferated in our mainstream discourse."

These celebs ran out of excuses faster than they ran out of Twitter characters. Here's the lowdown on the reality stars who ruined their careers on social media.

Taylor Selfridge lived to regret her tweets

Taylor Selfridge, who has featured in a number of reality shows including "Ex on the Beach," appeared on "Teen Mom OG" when she welcomed a daughter with the show's star, Cory Wharton, per Us Weekly. But her time on the hit reality series was cut short when her past indiscretions came to light.

In 2012, Selfridge posted a number of racist tweets aimed at Black and Asian people, per Deadline. Despite the inflammatory nature of the tweets, which saw the reality star claiming that she was scared of Black people and reducing an Asian relative to racial stereotypes, Selfridge didn't think to delete them before screengrabs could be circulated. Accordingly, the offending posts were unearthed and Selfridge was promptly fired by MTV, with the network stating that it "strongly condemns systemic racism and stands with those raising their voices against injustice." Selfridge was due to appear on a "Teen Mom" special, but that, too, was canceled, as People reports.

In Season 8 of "Teen Mom," Selfridge addressed her past racist tweets when confronted by her beau's ex and baby mama, Cheyenne Floyd. "At the time, because I was younger, I wasn't thinking it was anything negative. I thought 'Oh, this is funny' or something like that, but it's not," she said, according to People, adding, "That's my biggest mistake. I just had to grow up, honestly." Since being canceled, Selfridge has made no new TV appearances, though she is active on Instagram.

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.

David Eason admitted to animal cruelty

Having appeared on "Teen Mom 2" alongside wife Janelle Evans, David Eason ignited the wrath of fans in 2019. In a nation of certified dog lovers, one surefire way to get canceled is by committing animal cruelty. And openly boasting about said cruelty is beyond the pale. In a since deleted Instagram post (via Page Six), Eason admitted that he killed the family dog, Nugget, after it attempted to bite his toddler's face. "I don't give a damn what animal bites my baby on the face ... whether it be your dog or mine, a dog is a dog and I dont put up with that s***," he wrote. Eason was unrepentant in his actions, continuing, "Some people are worth killing or dying for and my family means that much to me. You can hate me all you want."

Evans then posted her anguish at Nugget's death on Instagram, writing that she was in shock and "crying everyday." In a nod to the biting incident, she suggested that Nugget merely needed further obedience training. According to Us Magazine, Eason shot the dog and was subsequently fired from "Teen Mom 2." However, MTV had already cut ties with him a year earlier when his homophobic and transphobic tweets were unearthed, per BBC.

Following his cancellation, Eason has been attempting to make money by posting thirst traps on Only Fans, according to The Sun. This move didn't go down well with his detractors, some of whom branded him "nasty trash."

Dee Nguyen's insensitive remarks

Dee Nguyen appeared on Season 17 of British reality series "Geordie Shore," before starring in "The Challenge." But her time on the latter series ended following some tasteless remarks. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin in 2020, Instagrammers expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by sharing black squares with the understanding that they wouldn't post anything else, per The New York Times.

Despite participating in Blackout Tuesday, Nguyen continued to post her usual content on the 'gram, which was seen as a major no-no, per Today. But that's not the only misstep the reality star took. When her "The Challenge" co-star Bayleigh Dayton commented, "All you posted was a black square and went about your day and posting your lame a** thirst traps. People are dying," Nguyen responded that it wasn't a big deal since "people die every f***ing day." Big yikes. Moreover, in a since-deleted tweet, she made light of the BLM movement, inexplicably linking it to her sexual preferences. She was promptly fired, with MTV condemning her remarks.

Four months after being fired, she returned to Instagram, claiming that she had time to reflect on her actions, per People. It seemed that she didn't quite learn, however, as soon enough she took to TikTok to mock Kyle Montgomery, a quadriplegic, for asking her on a date, per the Daily Mail. After Montgomery said he was hurt by her "harmful, casual ableism," Nguyen claimed she DM'd him to apologize.

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.

Derick Dillard's transphobia saw his career end early

There certainly isn't any shortage of controversy when it comes to the Duggar family, and Derick Dillard is no exception. Dillard appeared on "Counting On" with his wife Jill Duggar, but he faced a huge backlash after making a number of unsavory remarks. In 2017, he directed an invective at transgender reality star Jazz Jennings, who was just 17 at the time, as USA Today reports. In one tweet, he misgendered Jennings, resulting in widespread criticism. Responding to Dillard's continued attacks, Jennings tweeted, "Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story. Today was no different." Per People, TLC fired Dillard following the remarks.

Not only did Dillard make a number of transphobic comments online, but he defended his behavior by claiming that his "view is no different than most Americans." A year after being axed, he continued with his anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric when he came for "Nate & Jeremiah by Design" star Nate Berkus, tweeting (via People), "What a travesty of family. It's sad how blatant the liberal agenda is, such that it both highlights and celebrates a lifestyle so degrading to children on public television as if it should be normal." 

Twitter users called out Dillard for his views, with many noting that Berkus' children seem mighty happy being raised by two loving fathers. It's safe to say that TLC won't be calling Dillard back any time soon — he hasn't appeared in a reality show since his contentious outbursts.

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.

Danny Bibby was ousted from Love Island

British reality show "Love Island" is famed for its veritable cast of colorful characters, each competing to win £500,000 ($600,000) as they navigate love and life on a Mediterranean villa. In 2021, Danny Bibby joined Season 7 and boasted that he was the "alpha male" the show so desperately needed, per Radio Times. But Bibby's hopes of winning the competition were dashed when it was revealed that he had made a racially insensitive social media post a couple of years earlier, per the Daily Mail

Dibby called one of his friends, who is white, the n-word in a comment on Instagram. When his use of the slur was exposed, Dibby's appearance on the hit reality show resulted in 1,081 complaints from viewers. After exiting the series, he posted a lengthy apology on Instagram in which he claimed that he didn't know how offensive the n-word was at the time. "I understand more that the use of the word, even in the way it was written and intended, is deeply offensive to people and I am truly sorry for using that word," he wrote. "I was always aware that written in the other way was a vile term, and I would never use it."

In addition to being ousted from the titular island, Dibby claimed that he lost sponsorships in the aftermath of the controversy and had to return to his old job as a plumber, per Closer.

Caitlyn Jenner wasn't asked to appear in The Kardashians

When she came out as transgender, Caitlyn Jenner was hailed as a role model, with her own reality show "I Am Cait" soon following. But while many assumed Jenner would begin raising awareness of transgender rights, something she alluded to when interviewed by Sports Illustrated, she ended up doing quite the opposite.

In addition to fervently supporting Donald Trump, Jenner has devoted endless Twitter characters to promoting anti-trans legislation, namely her belief that trans women shouldn't compete in women's sports. When transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won the NCAA Division I championship, Jenner tweeted that runner-up Emma Weyant was the rightful winner. Pink News labeled her views "disgraceful," with Jenner replying, "No, I just had the balls to stand up for women and girls in sports." Jenner didn't hide her glee when FINA voted to restrict trans women from competing in women's sport, once again taking to Twitter to voice her controversial stance, writing, "It worked! I took a lot of heat — but what's fair is fair!" 

In light of Jenner's divisive views, Vanity Fair accused the reality star turned right-wing pundit of "draping herself in the American flag and giving reassurances that she's supportive of Republicans' assault on LGBTQ+ rights." Owing to her various controversies, Jenner wasn't asked to appear in "The Kardashians" reality series, something that upset her deeply, per People. Now struggling to reclaim her once glittering career, she has apparently begged the Kardashian clan for career help, per BuzzFeed News.

Tila Tequila was dragged for Nazism

When Tila Tequila first landed on our screens in the late 2000s with "A Shot at Love," she charmed fans with her quirky persona. Already a social media star — she initially found fame on MySpace, the aughties' answer to Facebook — the series propelled her toward stardom. Thereafter, she scored further reality TV appearances, not to mention a number of high-profile lovers, apparently including, of all people, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. But in spite of her cheery disposition, it turned out that Tequila was hiding some rather nefarious views.

In 2015, Tequila was ousted from the U.K. version of "Big Brother" after her anti-Semitic Facebook posts surfaced. Per the Toronto Sun, she wrote that Hitler wasn't a bad person, and she posed in a Nazi uniform. Though she apologized, insisting that she was not a Nazi, Tequila would soon dig herself deeper. Once a reality TV queen, her career was seemingly ruined overnight by her overt support of white supremacist ideology. On Twitter, she described herself as "Alt-reich queen! Literally Hitler!" 

As BuzzFeed points out, she was photographed sieg heiling with two men, tweeting happy birthday to Hitler, whom she called her "soulmate," and posted snaps of her daughter donning a Hitler mustache. After one too many racist posts on Twitter, and following her appearance at a white nationalist convention, Tequila's account was suspended, per The Washington Post. Due to these revelations about her involvement with the alt-right, her reality TV career has effectively ended.

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.

Kristen Doute publicly accused a Black cast member of stealing

"Vanderpump Rules" was at the center of a major controversy in 2020 when it was revealed that stars Kristen Doute and Stassi Schroeder repeatedly called the police on Black cast member Faith Stowers for a crime that she did not commit. Two years earlier, the pair saw a photo of a woman accused of stealing in the Daily Mail and inexplicably accused Stowers of being said woman, per Insider. Doute made matters worse by actually tweeting a photo of the accused and claiming that she bore a resemblance to Stowers, despite the fact that the women looked nothing alike. "Hey tweeties, doesn't this ex #pumprules thief look familiar?" Doute tweeted. "Someone put her on mtv & gave her a platform for press. I didn't wanna go there but I'm going there."

As Stowers explained during an Instagram Live (via Us Magazine), it was bizarre that her cast members mistook her for the alleged robber since she was light-skinned and heavily tattooed, neither of which Stowers is. "They thought it was me because it was a Black woman with a weave. So they just assumed it would be me, and they called the cops on me," she said.

After being fired, Doute dragged herself further by suggesting that cancel culture was to blame. The former reality star shared a video on social media of Jameela Jamil arguing that people deserved a second chance as opposed to being outright canceled, per The Blast.

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.

Brandi Redmond promoted anti-Asian rhetoric

Brandi Redmond appeared on "The Real Housewives of Dallas" as an all-American former cheerleader archetype. But in 2020, she found herself in hot water when an Instagram video from three years earlier surfaced. As NBC News reports, Redmond mimicked an Asian accent in the video and made fun of Asian people's eyes. In the wake of the leak, blogger Tina Craig told NBC that Redmond's actions, which were apparently committed with her children present, contributed to the racist bullying Asians have faced for decades. "I hope by speaking out against this behavior, young Asians today won't feel ashamed to be who they are and Caucasians would think twice before making 'harmless jokes,'" she said.

Redmond apologized on Twitter, but the end was nigh. A year later, Page Six confirmed that "Real Housewives of Dallas" would be taken off air, precipitated by the revelations of cast members' anti-Asian sentiments in Season 5. Tiffany Moon, who had educated Redmond on Asian discrimination in Season 5, suggested that she was done with the series prior to its cancelation.

In the show's final season (via The Sun), Redmond claimed that the backlash made her suicidal. "The reaction of people was to cancel me, that I was a horrible person, a horrible mother," she told fellow cast member Stephanie Hollman. "I went away for treatment because I was suicidal. I had so much guilt and shame. I needed help." Following the show's end, she has not made any other TV appearances.

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.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Brett Caprioni was exposed for racism and misogyny

The Kristen Doute stealing saga wasn't the only controversy faced by "Vanderpump Rules" in 2020. Brett Caprioni had just started out on the reality series when his racist and sexist tweets resurfaced. The newbie tweeted the n-word many times and also used the hashtag "#womensuck," per People. Accordingly, the aspiring star's reality TV dreams were cut super short as he was fired soon after making his debut on the show. Per TMZ, producers also heavily edited his appearances to keep them at a minimum in the aftermath of the controversy. 

Despite the racist and misogynistic remarks he made, Caprioni insisted that he is a nice guy. "I appreciate Lisa for the opportunity she gave me. It all started with her. Her constant support through this journey has meant a lot to me," he told Entertainment Tonight. "She understood that I was a good guy who made a mistake. And, she also believed in my capacity to learn from it and change." We can't help but feel that Caprioni's apology would appear on r/niceguys.

Since being fired, Caprioni hasn't been asked onto any other reality shows, though he has attempted to embark on a career as a YouTuber, posting videos such as "I got plastic surgery on my face" and "How to lose weight fast."

Alex Kompothecras' animal cruelty and racist memes

Law student Alex Kompothecras was a mainstay on MTV's "Siesta Key," using his good looks and wealth to charm the women of the titular island. Hailing from a rich family (The New Yorker notes that his father funded the series premiere), Kompothecras starred in the reality show in spite of the controversies surrounding him. When the series first aired in 2017, Kompothecras faced a major backlash amid accusations of animal cruelty. According to CBS News, he was believed to have pulled a shark out of the water before shooting it twice. He even posed with a shark's corpse on Instagram, while grinning and giving a thumbs-up (it is unclear, however, whether it's the same shark that was shot dead).

As a result, death threats were made against Kompothecras, and the "Siesta Key" screening party had to be canceled. Addressing the animal cruelty claims (the hunting enthusiast also posted photos of himself posing with deer and alligators he apparently killed illegally), Kompothecras told People, "There are images of me and I feel horrible. I am embarrassed and it won't happen again."

But the controversy didn't end there. In 2020, it was revealed that Kompothecras had made a number of racist posts on Instagram years earlier, including offensive memes of Barack Obama and repeated use of the n-word, per Tampa Bay Times. Subsequently, MTV fired him from "Siesta Key" and also minimized his appearances in the episodes he filmed prior to his departure.

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.

Katie Hopkins was fired for calling coronavirus a hoax

Once a rising star hot off her success on "The Apprentice," Katie Hopkins has committed her own career assassination by posting various offensive remarks on social media, effectively making her persona non grata. With there being seemingly no end to her controversies, Hopkins' WTF moments include invoking Hitler when discussing her issues with Muslim migration to Europe (she tweeted "we need a final solution" following the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester), mocking people who died during a heatwave, and blaming the Chief Rabbi following the Pittsburgh synagogue attack. 

The final straw, which resulted in her permanent suspension from Twitter, came in 2020 when she likened rugby player Ashton Hewitt to a baboon, per South Wales Argus. Regarding her downfall, The Telegraph argued that Hopkins wasted her potential by pledging her allegiance to trolldom: "While no one particularly expected her to end up sharing stages with Holocaust deniers, she did at one point in time make for a spectacular reality TV villain."

After being given a second chance at reality TV fame with an appearance on Australian show "Big Brother VIP" the following year, Hopkins once again failed to bite her proverbial tongue on social media. When producers discovered that she posted an Instagram video in which she boasted of breaking COVID-19 quarantine rules and called the deadly virus a "hoax," she was promptly fired, per The Guardian. As Liverpool Echo points out, Hopkins has gone from reality star to professional troll.

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.

Alina Kozhevnikova was axed from 90 Day Fiancé

Russian native Alina Kozhevnikova was initially a welcome addition to "90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days," being the first ever disabled cast member, per InTouch Weekly. However, it wouldn't be long before Kozhevnikova's past came back to haunt her. In 2022, The Ashley's Reality Roundup published screenshots of her racially insensitive social media posts; Kozhevnikova used the n-word eight times on Facebook and mocked Middle Eastern people on Instagram while appropriating traditional attire. 

A source who spoke to the blog suggested that showrunners needed to do a better job of checking the backgrounds of cast members to prevent such controversies in future. "The producers are horrified that this stuff keeps coming out, and keeps getting worse and worse," the insider said. "Despite what some people think, they don't do an extensive dive into the cast member's backgrounds, so that's how this went undiscovered during filming."

A TLC spokesperson confirmed to TMZ that Kozhevnikova would be axed from the series due to the offensive posts. The outlet notes that in addition to the aforementioned posts, the disgraced star also lamented the fact that Hugh Grant, her crush, had children with an Asian woman. On YouTube, she posted a lengthy apology in which she claimed that she assumed it was okay to use the n-word since none of her American friends told her it was offensive. She stated that she has since learnt from her mistake and would never use racist language again.

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.

Martha Kalifatidis' career was hampered by her lip-syncing

Martha Kalifatidis appeared on "Married at First Sight Australia," where her romance with co-star Michael Brunelli sent tongues wagging. Following her stint on the reality TV series, Kalifatidis looked set for a lucrative career as a brand ambassador and influencer. That all changed, however, when she was found to have used racist slurs.

Unlike the majority of the other reality TV stars who ruined their careers on social media, Kalifatidis' use of racist language was not historic. In 2022, she posted a video on Instagram in which she sang along to Nicki Minaj's song "Only," which contains the n-word, per the Daily Mail. Accordingly, she was dragged by fans for using the slur and ended up blocking one Insta user for calling her out on her use of offensive language.

As a result, she was dropped from her lucrative partnership with major haircare brand GHD, who stated they "will not be partnering with Martha Kalifatidis in any capacity moving forward," The New Zealand Herald reports. Kalifatidis issued an apology, explaining, "I'm sorry to any person I've offended. I am learning and listening and am treating this experience as a learning curve." She added that she "loves and appreciates every color." After experiencing a major backlash — and a lull in her reality TV career — she appears to be slowly bouncing back, having worked with the popular fashion brand Pretty Little Thing on Instagram since the controversy.