We’re going to go ahead and assume that being a star can be pretty great sometimes. The fame, the fortune, the accolades - there’s a reason that so many young people strive to live in the spotlight. However, being famous has historically proven to be a bit of a bittersweet prospect. Sure, there are perks, but those who climb to the peak of fame almost assuredly worry about far they have to fall. That’s especially true in a business where it’s easier to get a goodie bag full of Apple products than it is to find actual job security.
In fact, 2017 can best be summarized as the year that we learned no star is immune from losing it all. While we’d seen actors, musicians, and other entertainment personalities lose their jobs in the past, 2017 featured a flurry of famous firings that completely shook the foundations of nearly every corner of the entertainment world. While some of these stars did lose their jobs, many more lost their identities, their legacies, and whatever illusions kept the darkness of their lives at bay. What we’re saying is that these firings are far worse than losing a summer job you didn’t really want anyway.
Here are 15 Stars Who Lost Their Jobs In 2017.
15 Jeremy Piven
Jeremy Piven’s uneven on-screen career has long been hindered by rumors that the actor simply wasn’t easy to get along with. The nature of these rumors vary, but the general message seemed to be that Piven was a general kind of jerk that suffered from a bit of an attitude problem.
Then a number of women stepped forward in 2017 to accuse the actor of assault and harassment. Again, the details of these allegations were different, but many of them involved Piven physically assaulting the women in question. Piven went so far as to take a polygraph in an attempt to prove that these allegations were false. Nevertheless, CBS decided to drop his show Wisdom of the Crowd due partially to the fallout over the incidents.
14 Stacey Dash
Stacey Dash started off as a moderately successful television and film actress. Her career really took off in 1995 when she starred in the teen comedy hit, Clueless. Dash continued to act in a variety of films but struggled to raise her profile. In 2014, she shocked many people by joining Fox News as a cultural analysis and commentary contributor.
From there, Dash turned quite a few heads with her sometimes controversial statements. For instance, she once suggested that President Barack Obama didn’t actually care about terrorism. She also called for the end of Black History Month. You might know her for accusing the BET of misleading viewers regarding the boycott of the Academy Awards.
Fox News suspended Dash over her Obama comment and released her from her role in 2017.
13 Danny Masterson
You can argue that Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, and Mila Kunis were all more famous than Danny Masterson during That ‘70s Show’s popularity peak, but Masterson was certainly a fan favorite at that time. Whether or not he would ever become a movie star was up for debate, but Masterson seemed to be on the verge of a long and rewarding career.
However, 2017 seems to have sunk Masterson’s modest career. Last March, four women claimed that they were assaulted by Masterson in the early 2000s. A fifth individual added her voice to the allegations later that year. The incidents are still being investigated, but the evidence against Masterson prompted Netflix to fire him from their popular series, The Ranch. Masterson has also recently been dropped by his talent agency.
12 Kathy Griffin
Considering just how crazy 2017 was in terms of entertainment world controversy, you’re forgiven if you’ve already forgotten that Kathy Griffin helped kick off the insanity. Yet, that’s exactly what she did on May 30, 2017, when Griffin posted a photo of herself holding a prop severed head designed to resemble the face of Donald Trump.
The outrage over the violent nature of the photo was instantaneous. CNN immediately fired Griffin from their scheduled New Year’s Eve broadcast as they felt the photos were “disgusting and offensive.” Griffin also lost some sponsors and had to cancel some tour dates over the controversy. Griffin issued an apology not long after posting the original photo, but she also retracted that apology later in the year after the controversy died down.
11 Louis C.K.
Anyone who has seen Louis C.K.’s comedy routines know that many of his jokes involve his strange appearance, social awkwardness, and fondness for self-pleasure. Indeed, Louis C.K. was initially praised for his stark and sometimes shocking views about being a middle-aged man in the modern world.
While it was long suspected that there was an element of truth in Louis C.K’s comedy routines - his observations were a little too on point at times - many were still shocked to learn that Louis C.K. had committed several acts of harassment. Louis C.K. confirmed that the many of the allegations levied against him in a New York Times investigation and elsewhere were true.
The fallout of these revelations led to Louis losing his deals with Netflix, HBO, and FX. The premiere of his upcoming film I Love You, Daddy was also canceled.
10 Erinn Hayes
If you don’t watch the CBS show Kevin Can Wait - which, based on the ratings, you don’t - then you likely missed out on one of the more surprising and controversial firings of 2017 that doesn’t involve harassment.
Not long after Kevin Can Wait was renewed, it was announced that actress Erinn Hayes - who played Kevin James’ wife on the show - was going to be replaced by Leah Remini in the show’s next season. After the writers unceremoniously killed Hayes’ character off, fans started to ask questions regarding why such a sudden and drastic casting change was made. Based on the information revealed thus far, it seems that the writers simply didn’t have any long-term plans for Hayes’ character and were desperate for a change. Remini was James' co-star in the long-running King of Queens so perhaps CBS is attempting to recapture that.
9 Andy Dick
Andy Dick has always been a controversial comedian. Even if you put aside his outlandish, and sometimes off-putting comedic style, there’s still the matter of his many arrests and public outbursts. From dropping his pants on stage at a comedy club to drug possession charges, Dick’s record speaks for itself.
The comedian’s history of outlandish behavior came to a head in October 2017.
That’s when several people stepped forward to deride Dick for his history of abuse and inappropriate behavior towards women. Dick tried to dismiss the charges as simple misunderstandings, but the nature of the accusations - and the sheer amount of them - led others to think otherwise.
Dick was fired from the independent films Raising Buchanan and Vampire Dad following the allegations and his behavior on the set of those films.
8 Kevin Spacey
The assault allegations levied against Harvey Weinstein in 2017 will most likely end up being the most historically significant of its era. However, few celebrity scandals last year shocked the world quite as much as Anthony Rapp’s allegation that Kevin Spacey had made inappropriate advances toward him when Rapp was only 14.
That accusation led to an additional 15 other people coming forward to share stories about how Kevin Spacey had assaulted or harassed them at various points during the famous actor’s career. More people stepped forward to share their stories in the days that followed.
The overwhelming amount of accusations directed towards Spacey resulted in him losing his starring role on Netflix’s House of Cards, his leading role in All the Money in the World, and the distrbution of his Gore Vidal biopic.
7 Jeffrey Tambor
Whether you first saw him on The Larry Sanders Show or came to know him by virtue of his tremendous work on Arrested Development, you likely associate Jeffrey Tambor with memorable - if intentionally off-putting - comedic characters. The veteran actor has managed to appear in quite a few notable comedy series over the years and looked to continue his streak by virtue of his performance on Transparent; an Amazon original series about a dysfunctional family.
That show became the source of great controversy in 2017 when two members of the Transparent team accused Tambor of harassment. While the details of these allegations were being investigated by Amazon, Tambor elected to step away from the show. He claimed that the allegations were false and the result of an increasingly politicized atmosphere on the set of the show that gradually forced him out of the position. However, others have supported the claims of the accusers.
6 Russell Simmons
For years, Russell Simmons’ name has been closely associated with the biggest rap artists in the world. The co-founder of Def Jam Recordings has been referred to as a music mogul for years and has long been thought of as one of the most powerful men in the industry.
Simmons’ status in the music business took a major hit in 2017 when women and men accused Simmons of assault. Five women told the Los Angeles Times that Simmons' history of assault dates back to early days of his career and involved some truly shocking incidents. Actor Terry Crews also posted a screenshot of an e-mail Simmons sent him that begged Crews to withdraw Crews' own harassment charges against film executive Adam Venit.
Simmons announced that he was stepping down from most of his companies following these allegations, but it’s believed he was forced out by partners and associates.
5 Steve Whitmire
The name “Steve Whitmire” might not stand out as an instantly recognizable one, but we assure you that you are very familiar with Whitmire’s work. For years, Whitmire has served as the voice of Kermit the Frog on The Muppet Show. Before that, Whitmire was a puppeteer for the popular program.
In July 2017, Disney announced that they’d decided to part ways with Whitmire and would be replacing him as the voice of Kermit the Frog. The news was shocking to many, but those close to the situation suggested that Whitmire had become difficult to work with in recent years and refused to allow an understudy to learn the role of Kermit. Whitmire claims that his release was due to a dispute he had with Disney regarding the direction of the character.
4 Mario Batali
Mario Batali became a celebrity chef at the time before celebrity chefs were all that common. Batali had made a name for himself in the restaurant world by virtue of his cooking skills, but it was his 1996 Food Network show Molto Mario that propelled him into the spotlight.
In 2017, that spotlight revealed Batali’s troubling past. On December 11, four women stepped forward to accuse Batali of sexual harassment. They were joined by four more women by the next day. Batali stated that while the identities of his accusers were not revealed to him, the behavior they described did match the way he had conducted himself in the past.
He was fired from the ABC show The Chew on December 14, and Food Network stopped airing the Molto Mario show shortly thereafter.
3 Jake Paul
Recently, Logan Paul generated quite a bit of controversy when he was caught on camera using the N-word. If you've only recently heard of Paul, just know that the YouTube star has made a career off such shameful antics. He’s no stranger to controversy - his neighbors even tried to get him evicted from their neighborhood due to his extreme pranks.
In fact, Paul was reportedly fired from the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark in early 2017 after Disney reportedly became fed up with his vlog-related antics. The final straw appears to have been the dispute involving Paul and his neighbors. It seems nobody wanted to share a block with someone who would do things like set furniture on fire in his backyard and jump on news vans while harassing reporters.
2 Matt Lauer
Matt Lauer has been one of the faces of NBC’s news division since the early ‘90s. He has participated in some high-profile interviews over the years and introduced a new generation of viewers to the Today Show. To be perfectly honest, he didn't seem like the kind of television personality that you'd associate with shocking allegations.
However, on November 29, 2017, NBC announced that they released Matt Lauer after an NBC employee accused him of harassment. NBC stated that while this was the first formal complaint they had received regarding Lauer’s behavior in over 20 years, they had reason to believe that this may not have been an isolated incident. Later, Today Show production assistant Addie Zinone came forward and stated that the consensual relationship she shared with Lauer was based on her fear that turning him down might end her career.
Lauer was replaced by Hoda Kotb on the Today Show, which has seen a big ratings spike since his departure.
1 Charlie Rose
Like Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose’s career took him to far corners of the Earth and allowed him to meet a variety of exciting people. Rose became one of the faces of 60 Minutes II and 60 Minutes as well as one of the most respected interviewers in the world. He was another broadcast journalist who had avoided major scandals for much of his career. To put it simply: viewers trusted him.
Unlike Lauer, the allegations which sunk Charlie Rose were numerous. Eight women came forward in 2017 to accuse Rose of groping them and making lewd phone calls directed at them. Rose confirmed that many of the allegations were true. He was subsequently fired from PBS, CBS, and Bloomberg.
Are there any other stars who lost their jobs in 2017? Share in the comments!