The celebrity platform can be both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, everybody gets to hear what you have to say. On the downside, EVERYBODY gets to hear what you have to say. All your words and actions are publicized, scrutinized and criticized by the masses and that can mean backlash, especially if those words and actions are intended or interpreted as intolerant. These celebs got their share of hot water for making rac1st, sexist, and/or homophobic comments.
Check out this list of 15 celebrities accused of being intolerant, and we don't mean lactose....
Rapper-turned-businessman 50 Cent has come under fire in recent years for homophobic tweets. Shortly after a string of gay teen suicides in 2010, Fiddy tweeted, "If you a man and your 25 and you don't eat p---y just kill your self damn it. The world will be a better place. Lol." In response to an insult by Perez Hilton later that year 50 Cent tweeted, "Perez Hilton called me a douchebag so I had my homie shoot up a gay wedding. Wasn't his but still made me feel better." However, the rapper has since expressed that he has no problems with gay people and even admitted that his mom was a lesbian.
In June 2013, cooking maven Paula Deen was slapped with a racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit by a white female employee whose children are bi-racial. In the deposition for the case, Deen admitted to using the N-word throughout her life but not in a "mean way." The accusation of racism led the Food Network to not renew its contract with Deen and cost her several endorsement deals including Smithson Foods and Walmart.
Miley's earned herself much negative criticism for posing in a picture with her friends that appeared to make fun of Asian people. Miley and Co. are seen in the photo pulling at the corners of their eyes to make them look slanted. The then-teenaged starlet issued a sort-of-apology for the photo saying, "Well, I'm sorry if those people looked at those pics and took them wrong and out of context! In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face."
For all his work as an actor and director Mel Gibson just might be considered the king of intolerant remarks. A drunken Gibson has spewed anti-Semitism (blaming Jews for all the wars in the world), called a police woman "sugar tits," used the term "wetbacks" in a phone argument with his ex-girlfriend, told her she deserved to be "raped by a pack of N----rs," and insulted gays, saying "They take it up the a**." Still, his close friends in Hollywood insist he is not that man...
Former Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington came under fire in October 2006 when a story leaked that he had called his gay co-star T.R. Knight a f---ot. Washington insisted that he never called Knight such a thing but instead used the term in an on-set argument with his other co-star Patrick Dempsey, telling Dempsey to stop treating him "like a f---ot." Still, Washington issued an apology but only seemed to make things worse in interviews on the controversy. He was fired from Grey's Anatomy in June 2007.
During a 2006 performance at the Laugh Factory comedian/actor Michael Richards, famous for playing Kramer on Seinfield, shouted a racial slur at a group of black audience members who were reportedly heckling. Richards made comments like "He's a N-Word" and "Look at the stupid Mexicans and blacks being loud up there." The comedian said he was deeply sorry for the comments and that he's "not even a rac1st," but was merely trying to defuse the heckling by being outrageous. Richards retired from standup in 2007 and admitted in 2012 that the comedy club incident was a major factor in his decision.
The debonair Sean Connery may be a gentleman, but he won't tolerate a woman continually running her mouth. In a 1965 Playboy interview the King of cool accents said, "I don't think there is anything particular wrong with hitting a woman--although I wouldn't recommend doing it in the same way that you'd hit a man. An openhanded slap is justified if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning." But that was 1965, surely he would see the error in his thinking in the future but... nope. In 1987, Barbara Walters brought up the subject in an interview and Connery was unwavering, saying "I haven't changed my mind."
Bill Maher is known for being a male chauvinist and lording his intelligence over those lesser beings called "women." The political comedian often points out the oppression men face in a woman's world, saying at one point in a standup act "It is sort of politically incorrect just to be male in this country now," then sarcastically remarking, "Women are smarter than men. If women ran the world, there'd be no wars." He adds that these are, "... things we don't really believe but we pretend to believe because it's easier to make women nod than to live in the doghouse." Yup, this one's a catch, ladies.
....And the award for most sexist celebrity goes to...Tom Cruise! No really, Tom Cruise was voted the most sexist celebrity in the 2006 Ernie Awards, an Australia annual event honoring the most misogynistic comments made by public figures. What comment earned Cruise such an esteemed honor? His saying, "I've got Katie tucked away so no one will get to us until my child is born ... [Katie's] life from now on was going to be about being a mother..." Sad thing is he probably didn't even know he was being insulting.
Shock jock Howard Stern has made a career of exploiting women on his radio/TV show through having them appear unclothed and making demeaning remarks about the female gender. His latest comments about Girls creator Lena Dunham are more of his standard fair, calling the writer/director/actress “a little fat girl who kinda looks like Jonah Hill, adding "...and she keeps taking her clothes off, and it kind of feels like rape…I don't want to see that." At this point in his career comments like that from this "shock jock" aren't really all that shocking.
Dog Bounty Hunter
A&E reality star Dog the Bounty Hunter (Duane Chapman) really dug himself a ditch in a taped telephone conversation with his son Tucker. In the convo Dog berates his son for dating a black girl, "not because she's black," he says, but because the Chapman family likes to use the word N-Word a lot, and he doesn't want them to get caught saying it around a black person. "I’m not going to take a chance ever in life losing everything I worked for for 30 years cause some f---king N---er heard us say N----er and turned us in to the Enquirer magazine," Chapman can be heard saying on the tape. We'll, he was right about one thing: he was turned in to the National Enquirer, but it wasn't a black person who did it, it was his son. Ouch!
John Mayer's diarrhea of the mouth syndrome went to a whole new level in 2010 when he told Playboy that he essentially didn't date black women because he hasn't really found them sexually attractive, saying "I've got a Benetton heart and a f---ing David Duke." He also used the term "N---er pass" to talk about a "hood pass," though he didn't use the term to be offensive but to make a point. Mayer apologized via Twitter, saying "I am sorry that I used the word. And it's such a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself." He later issued a teary apology to his fans and his mostly-black band at a concert. Following the incident, Mayer withdrew from the public eye and vowed never to do interviews again. It's a shame it took being labeled as a rac1st to make him realize that maybe he should just shut up sometimes.
All that tiger blood must have made Charlie Sheen a little umm...rac1st? The self-proclaimed Adonis left a heated voicemail for his Caucasian ex-wife Denise Richards, calling her the N-Word. That is rac1st...right?
After he posted the supposed home address of George Zimmerman on Twitter in 2012, director Spike Lee was publicly criticized for attempting to encourage a lynch mob of the white Hispanic Zimmerman and his family. The incident drew even more attention when it was discovered that Lee had the wrong George Zimmerman's information instead of the George Zimmerman who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The controversial director has been accused of racism in the past given movies like Do The Right Thing which depict black Americans violently reacting to the racial tensions of the time.
Former teen-idol-atheist-turned-evangelical-Christian Kirk Cameron upset a lot of people in a 2012 Piers Morgan interview when he asserted that homosexuality is "unnatural... I think that it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization." He also told Piers that "Marriage was defined by God a long time ago. Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve -- one man, one woman for life til death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don't think anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don't." Though he made a bold, and some would say, brave stand with an unpopular opinion, many people consider Cameron a bigot.