"Fear not. Our town has dodged disaster, and I have come out smelling like guestroom soap."Musicians from certain genres can survive scandals that would destroy or cripple other, pure mainstream, artists. For instance, any pop artist who said or did anything politically controversial, or something that was legally reprehensible and possibly career ending, could normally be survived by Alt/Rock, Heavy Metal, or Hardcore Hip Hop/Gangsta Rap artists. Pop artists come under scrutiny and they have to backpedal, clean up their image, etc. With the other aforementioned genres, it probably helps their image. Sure, the Moral Guardians will whine really loudly, but nothing will ever come of it; and with those people opposing you, you're almost guaranteed to look even more cool. The artist's image and fanbase remain intact. This could also be true for actors and athletes who are probably charismatic and charming enough that the general public won't care about whatever scandal is plaguing them — if they don't rally behind their idols for it. A good example is probably David Letterman, as opposed to Tiger Woods. Whether or not this is fair is up for debate. Values Dissonance can also play a part: if you did something long ago enough that you can shrug it off with "It was a different time", or if you have the kind of fans who are not offended by much and indeed expect you to behave a certain way, your target audience will be happy to look the other way. In some cases, this has to do with the kind of image a public figure has. The more honest your appeal and popularity is, the greater the Overton Window for any future scandal, at least in theory. Controversies and scandals are greater when there is something to expose and reveal after all. Compare No Such Thing as Bad Publicity. Contrast Convicted by Public Opinion (where it doesn't matter if someone even was guilty of something wrong, everyone seems to hate him anyway), Contractual Purity. Somewhat related to The Tyson Zone, where celebrities get so bizarre that we stop being surprised about their latest escapades.
—Mayor Joe Quimby, The Simpsons
open/close all folders
- The black metal episode of Bones had Booth offering to charge the various metal band characters with assaulting a federal officer and such in exchange for information. There was a similar bit in an NYPD Blue with a rapper who needed the "street cred."
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has this tension between Will Smith and Carlton. Carlton because of the pressures of being the good son and maintaining reputations suffers greatly for any deviations from his image, while Will can impress and charm people by only a minimal level of charm and intelligence since he invokes lowered expectations.
- Mentioned in Animorphs: When a Yeerk inspector comes to see how Visser Three is doing, they decide to run a major smear campaign, as this often works on humans "but not actors or politicians. They're like immune".
- The trope is played with in The Defenders court drama, coming to an aversion. A rapper is suspected of killing a rival musician, and it doesn't help his name is "Killer D." The next day while performing on stage, he raps about how he killed the guy. The police accept that as a confession and take him in.
- A similar incident occurs on The Boondocks when rapper Gangstalicious is charged with assault and possibly raps about it in a song called "Play it for the Jury", which the judge allows into evidence and is indeed played for the jury.
- The famous "Homer's Enemy" episode from The Simpsons revolves around how Homer's actions are controversy proof within Springfield and he never really suffers undue actual real world consequences (such as unemployment, abandonment or death) for his actions, whereas any attempts to imitate Homer, as in the tragic case of Frank Grimes, will lead to real-world consequences.
- The Telltale Games game Hector: Badge of Carnage has the main character bribe a street punk by offering to frame him for various crimes that will help his street cred. You end up stealing his pants and charging him with indecent exposure. He is quite happy since a sex crime is much better than a run-of-the-mill assault and battery.
- Played with in Bloom County. Bill the Cat is a heavy metal rock star who gets caught in a hotel room with a woman. Only the woman is an ex-missionary nun from Calcutta, and they study the Bible all night. His career is ruined for being so wholesome, but the woman gets a Pepsi endorsement.
- Mentioned in the webcomic Kevin & Kell. His father is in a minimum-security prison. How low is security? "In the next block there's an empty cell for rappers who want to fabricate a criminal past."
- In one episode of Castle a rapper is suspected of being the murderer. He turns out to be innocent but is perfectly fine with them holding him while they investigate since it helps his "street cred". He even brings along the guy who handles lighting for his shows to ensure that he gets a good mug shot.
- In Unhallowed Metropolis, any aristocratic character has to deal with the crap surrounding the Victorian aristocracy... except the ones who take the Black Sheep disadvantage. While they start with a trashed reputation, they can build up a reputation of their own if they have the panache to do so, and the book mentions that they're pretty much immune to minor scandals because they're exactly what everyone expects of someone like that.
- Bill Clinton is the epitome of this trope. Beginning with his first presidential campaign in 1992, his opponents dug up a ton of dirt on him, revealing that he dodged the draft, was a huge pothead in college (which led to the famous "I didn't inhale" comment, and technically true: according to Christopher Hitchens, who was an undergraduate at Balliol while Clinton was on his Rhodes scholarship at University College, Oxford, Bill preferred edibles) and alleging that he had an extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers (which he denies to this day); he still went on to soundly defeat sitting president George H.W. Bush. Then during his presidency he faced down a number of other scandals, the most famous being the Lewinsky scandal, when it was revealed that White House intern Monica Lewinsky was giving him blowjobs in the oval office, which got him impeached (not for the blowjobs themselves—there's no law banning blowjobs, even if you're getting them from an intern and not your wife—but for being economical with the truth about them while under oath). Not only was he acquitted, but he used the scandal to engineer the downfall of opposition leader Newt Gingrich (who was the driving force behind Clinton's impeachment) and went on to serve out his term and leave office with an approval rating over 60%. His popularity has endured and he continues to rank highly in opinion polls of former US presidents.
One thing that certainly helped Clinton was how Gingrich and the Republican opposition used appointed attorney Ken Starr, who was investigating Clinton's involvement in the Whitewater scandal and the suicide of Vince Foster, as their personal dirt digger on Clinton; or, in other words they hoped Starr would discover something scandalous about him that could cause him to lose most of his support so the Republicans can take the presidency. Starr would uncover something that could potentially be controversial and Gingrich would manufacture a controversy around it in hopes of eroding Clinton's political support; the Lewinsky scandal was no exception. That is what saved Clinton's public popularity during his impeachment: he pointed out the aforementioned "fact" and portrayed Gingrich as a Corrupt Politician who was trying to undermine the presidency for his own political gain. It worked, and thus the only political consequence of the Lewinsky scandal was that the Republicans lost a number of seats in the 1998 midterm elections which led to Gingrich being forced out of power by his own party in 1999. Amusingly, Gingrich himself was involved in an affair at the time which eventually resulted in his marriage ending, with Gingrich marrying his mistress and was another factor in his loss of power; his political career never recovered.
- Ronald Reagan earned the nickname "Teflon Ron" because of how the numerous political scandals that surfaced during his presidency never affected his popularity. The Iran-Contra affair is a case in point. It involved the executive branch funneling money and weapons to not one but two groups which were enemies of the United States (specifically, Iran and the Contras, an anti-Communist militia movement in Central America). Any other president would have undoubtedly been impeached and thrown out of office over such a scandal, especially if they were already unpopular to begin with. However, despite the affair being one of the biggest political scandals of the 20th century, and possibly in the entire history of the United States, all Reagan had to do was make a television address to apologize for this action, and he was off scot-free and the scandal did not result in major convictions for participants involved. Critics cite many other black marks of his tenure, namely his poor handling of the AIDS crisis which led many gay activists to percieve that his administration left them to die until the virus started infected straight people. In addition there is the Able Archer crisis, the Bitburg cemetery visitnote , friendly relations to Apartheid-South Africa and the overall corruption of his governmentnote . Yet somehow his presidency is considered a success, largely because of the end of the Cold War happening in the reign of his successor, which retroactively is credited to Reagan's policies rather than the events within the Soviet Union.
- Likewise, Reagan's partner in crime-Lt Colonel Oliver North ended up walking away from the Iran-Contra scandal pretty much scot-free(with the exception of having to resign from the Marines) from severe charges of high treason due to the ACLU appealing on his behalf(ironic considering how much right-wing people tend to hate the ACLU) and getting all charges dropped. Since leaving the Marines, North has had a succesful career writing novels, getting his own FOX show which ran for 16 years-War Stories with Oliver North, and even getting involved with popular video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 of all things(he was a production assistant and voiced himself in one of the missions set in the 1980s)
- A definite example would have to be Black Metal. People like Varg Vikernes have had their images boosted (in the minds of fans) thanks to convictions for arson and murder.
- Although there are still, and probably always will be, people who regard Punk Rock as the Caucasian counterpart to Gangsta Rap - artless, thuggish, and disrespectful of authority - with each passing decade such an attitude seems to become more irrelevant. Punk lyrics contain too much passionate political content, and the subculture itself has been too progressive in its advocacy of social equality (especially in the realms of gender and sexuality), for its influence to be easily dismissed as frivolous. Unless you are living in a very provincial part of the world, mocking punk or calling it "garbage" is a sure way to get yourself accused of being a bigot.
- Heather Locklear (the previous Mrs. Tommy Lee) publicly warned Pamela Anderson (then the about-to-be Mrs. Tommy Lee) about Tommy Lee, on the basis that, as a bad boy rocker, Lee was controversy-proof and therefore had nothing to lose by doing stuff that could damage Anderson's career. One sextape later, Locklear could say "I told you so", although it doesn't seem to have done Anderson's career that much harm.
- Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian only became more famous after the sort of revelation that put Rob Lowe into obscurity for a decade.
- Ever since 1987, Michael Jackson's public image had been tarnished by his face lifts, ever-whitening skin color and allegations of sexual intercourse with underage boys. In 2002 he dangled his baby son outside the balcony of his window, causing even more controversy. Yet, when a court case rendered him not guilty of sexual abuse of minors in 2005 this resulted in a public reappreciation of the man and his music. Radio stations who formerly had put a ban on playing his music started giving him airplay again. Many high-profile people publicly admitted liking his music again, without having to distance themselves from his behaviour and even most black people hailed him again as one of their own, in high contrast with the scorn Jackson received by some for allegedly whitewashing his black skin. When Jackson died in 2009 he became a prime example of Dead Artists Are Better and Never Speak Ill of the Dead. All the hate, ridicule and scorn against the man's private life vanished and he was hailed as a musical innovator and hero again. It says a lot that his album Thriller turned up in many annual Album 100 lists, even on radio stations that had never had any Jackson record in those charts. Today Jackson remains controversial in some circles, but it's no longer embarrassing to express a liking of the man and his work.
- R. Kelly is a good example. People thought his career was doomed thanks to his statutory rape/and child porn case. But then he released his album Chocolate Factory which became one of his biggest albums amidst the controversy - so much so the media stopped scrutinizing him when they realized he wasn't going to be another sensationalized Michael Jackson train wreck.
- Look no further than Madonna. This woman survived countless scandals, most of them created by herself, and is still on top of public appreciation. A prime example of No Such Thing as Bad Publicity.
- Whereas his Mickey Mouse Club costars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera (the former more than the latter) had to struggle with the expectations of Contractual Purity, as have nearly every Disney star to come after them, Justin Timberlake has proven scandal-proof. Look no further than "Nipplegate", the infamous Super Bowl halftime show performance that popularized the term "wardrobe malfunction". In the performance JT and Janet Jackson performed a duet on one of his songs, featuring the line "gonna have you naked by the end of this song", and he removed a piece of her outfit, revealing her breast. (The real malfunction was that the pasty that was supposed to be underneath came off with it and so the nipple ended up showing.) Jackson was dogged by the scandal for a long time, but Timberlake's part in it was more or less forgotten after a week and he went on to make songs with even more suggestive lyrics and then sing about his "Dick in a Box" on Saturday Night Live.
- CM Punk was like this in his early Indie wrestling days: his willingness to cross several lines (insulting audience members with below-the-belt comments, homophobic references, casual swearing, and other mean-spirited insults and put-downs) in order to get the crowd to boo him didn't do much to hurt his standing as one of the top wrestlers in the country. Which in turn led to an incident in 2011 (when Punk's contract was about to expire and the WWE was deciding whether or not to renew it), when Punk yelled at a fan and called him homo and the video of the incident ended up on TMZ. The WWE and Punk quickly apologized and it didn't hurt Punk's image at all with fans or his standing with the WWE, who promptly re-signed Punk to a lucrative new contract.
- The backlash against Body Count for their song Cop Killer was initially No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, leading their debut album, Body Count to go gold. Long-term, though, they quickly faded from the mainstream, although they have released several albums since. Former lead singer Ice-T now enjoys a second career as an actor, most recently on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where he plays... a police detective. Although it could be argued that his solo career was damaged by the controversy as most major labels didn't want to have anything to do with him. On his Behind the Music episode his original label said they regretted not standing by him.
- Rapper T.I. still has a very strong career despite all of his run-ins with the law, though his arrest in 2010 is certainly taking a toll on his fanbase.
- Jeremy Clarkson caused scandal after scandal after scandal during his tenure at Top Gear, yet the programme remained one of the BBC's most successful with a massive global fanbase. Deconstructed after he was eventually sacked for punching a producer in the face; the show's fans were enraged by the decision and continued to defend Clarkson to the point of sending death threats to the guy he'd punched even though Clarkson himself had been the one who reported the incident. He and his co-stars eventually signed a lucrative deal to create their own motoring show for Amazon Prime, proving that the whole ordeal hadn't hurt his career or his fanbase one little bit.
- Child porn and other crimes overwhelmingly viewed as heinous by the public will kill the career of most. The few exceptions like Pete Townshend and Pee-Wee Herman still carry the stigma of the accusation.
- When Margaret Cho appeared on Dancing with the Stars, some tabloid ran an article about how the stars were scandalous backstage, and she was included. But since this is Margaret Cho we're talking about, the effect wasn't really the same.
- Chris Brown is managing to pull his career back together after his arrest for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna and his sentence to five years probation. His image is not completely as clean as it was before, but he definitely still has a fanbase despite being in and out of jail/rehab.
- Charlie Sheen has proven to be incredibly resilient to bad press and controversy. What would kill most other actors' careers dead just made Sheen a greater celebrity. His first run-in with drug issues came in the '90s, when his father Martin Sheen had to hold a live press conference to beg his son to stop using. Many people thought he was burned-out... and then he came back with a vengeance on Two and a Half Men, where he essentially played a caricature of himself (and wound up become one of the highest-paid actors on television). Then he went on a tear by sleeping with hookers, hiring two porn stars to live with him as his "goddesses", took potshots at CBS and TAAHM creator Chuck Lorre (which got him fired) and generally went batshit crazy (so much so that he was a media punchline). The end result of that was CBS paying him an incredibly handsome sum of money for the unproduced episodes of his show, Sheen becoming an internet hero thanks to his first televised interview after his meltdown, praise from fellow celebrities and fans, and a lucrative deal with the FX Network to develop a series based on the 2003 film Anger Management. Apparently, it's good to be Charlie Sheen...Except he's now revealed he's HIV-positive, so there are consequences.
- Mario Lopez has continued to host numerous TV shows (such as Extra) since his Saved by the Bell days ended even though he infamously cheated (if not well throughout the relationship) on his wife Ali Landry virtually a day after their wedding (the marriage was annulled shortly thereafter).
- Sports announcer Mike Tirico is one of the top personalities on ESPN (calling Monday Night Football, the PGA Tour, the NBA, etc.) even though back in the early 1990s, he was suspended by ESPN for sexual harassment. In fact, Tirico's perverted tales have been documented in several "behind the scenes" books regarding ESPN.
- The Dixie Chicks made the mistake of publicly announcing their distaste for the current president overseas. For reference, the Dixie Chicks are a country music act, and the current president at the time was George W. Bush, who at the time had broad national appeal with the type of folks that listen to country music. On the other hand, Willie Nelson gets far less controversy for his political views (especially as a strong advocator for marijuana legalization) despite having many of the same views as the Dixie Chicks, primarily because of his "outlaw" image.
- Jesse Ventura is an actor and former professional wrestler who entered politics and ran for Governor of Minnesota. During the campaign, it became known that he'd spent a weekend with one or more prostitutes. This kind of sex scandal would be the death of any normal, clean-cut political campaign, but in Jesse Ventura's case it almost seemed to help him get elected.
- Zigzagged with Lindsay Lohan; while her career opportunities have been negatively affected by her run-ins with the law, she still gets more offers then you'd think and pretty much anything with her name is attached to will get plenty of attention. For example, out of all the SNL episodes in 2012, the one Lindsay hosted got the highest ratings. In some ways her controversy makes her a selling point — her latest film The Canyons (penned by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader) probably wouldn't have gotten nearly as much attention if she wasn't involved. Then in 2014 she starred in David Mamet's critically acclaimed London play "Speed the Plow" and her performance received positive reviews. Since then she's largely stayed under the radar due to living overseas(where paparazzi are much less of a problem) and her past run-ins with the law have been mostly forgotten.
- Probably the first example of this was Robert Mitchum, whose conviction and brief imprisonment for cannabis possession in 1948 was expected by some to destroy his career. It caused nothing of the sort, proving for the first time that actors known for playing anti-heroes and villains can get away with the odd legal hassle.
- Marilyn Monroe saw her career survive the kind of scandals that would have ruined careers before, after she publicly admitted to posing nude for a calendar, which no Hollywood actress had ever done before (admit, that is). One reason was that it fed to the "blonde bimbo" image projected on the tabloids, Marilyn was seen as naive and dumb, and while she was none of those things, she did take advantage of people projecting that image. Likewise, the studio system that exercised totalitarian-like control over actress images had withered in The Fifties. She was still highly controversial but her commercial success and her natural charisma made her a box-office star which meant that even her bad behaviour with directors on film sets, the control she allowed her "Acting Coach" to exercise over directors and her marriage to controversial playwright Arthur Miller, and conversion to Judaism did not ruin her career. Her early death made rumors of her private life and other flaws, a point of sympathy and compassion rather than condemnation.
- Back in the 90's, Woody Allen went through an ugly breakup with Mia Farrow after he left her for her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, during which accusations surfaced that Allen had sexually abused Farrow's daughter Dylan. Despite being cleared repeatedly by various legal organizations and carefully vetted by child service organizations, the media still brought it up as something for which Allen can Never Live It Down. Yet this hasn't affected Allen's ability to make movies at the same rate as before, nor halt his ability to attract name actors to work on his movies, nor prevent many of them from being commercial successes. Some argue that Allen's image of an on-screen nebbish-weirdo with sexual hangups prepared audiences for such allegations since Allen was never really a Straight Edge type.
- Zig-zagged in the case of various Youtubers such as Sam Pepper, Jason Sampson and Alex Day. While their involvement in the ongoing sexual abuse scandal on Youtube has certainly tarnished their image and ensured that their careers will never be as high-profile again, they have somehow managed to keep loyal (if rather small) fanbases that will defend them regardless. Alex in particular is still managing to make money from selling his music independently, making and selling new Sopio decks and publishing his book independently.
- Despite having admitted to being emotionally and sexually abusive to his former girlfriend, Youtuber Luke Conard has been able to return to Youtube and regain some of his fans, though he has faced opposition in doing this.
- Vine star Curtis Lepore managed to somehow survive the allegations of sexually assaulting his girlfriend and is still a fairly well-known personality on there, although he subsequently lost deals to be in a TV series and the Youtube community at large has tried to ditch him.
- Despite having been accused of blatantly abusing his ex-wife and claiming that she could not legally be raped because she had been with twenty partners, "Onision" has somehow managed to not only stay on YouTube, but his subscriber count is still growing rapidly, in spite of efforts to unsubscribe from alleged abusers en masse. He has been banned from Vidcon, but appears to be surviving.
- Donald Trump, over the years, cultivated a large, boisterous, attack-anything-that-moves, take-no-prisoners personality. When he entered the Republican race for President in 2015, he quickly shot to the top of the polls, and stayed there even after insulting Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly, then expecting her to apologize to him. This is only one of many things to follow, none of which proved capable of eroding his support in any meaningful fashion. Trump himself pointed this out, saying that he could shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose any voters. Many note that he's even more Teflon than Ronald Reagan, getting away with stuff that even Reagan wouldn't walk away from. This is usually attributed to the volume of his gaffes; any one gaffe would sink a campaign, but Trump did many on a regular basis and was so unapologetic about it that others couldn't make him look any worse. During the general election, however, this strategy proved less than effective, putting off voters who didn't already support him, including many Republicans who outright refused to vote for him and normal Republican donors refusing to support him. His reputation took a major hit following the leak of footage of Trump taken during filming for Access Hollywood, in which he made highly lewd comments about women which were seen as predatory and impossible to be spun into conservative rhetoric. This drew widespread condemnation from the Republican party and even those in his own campaign, leading to a historic loss of support from conservatives (including several well known GOP politicians like John McCain and Paul Ryan). This was followed by a significant drop in the polls. While it failed to completely derail his campaign, it significantly diminished his chances of winning the election.
- The Founding Fathers benefit from this a great deal. The general public has known for so long certain truths about them (that Thomas Jefferson and several others were slaveowners, for example, or that Alexander Hamilton was hardly a friend of the common people and in fact was just over the line from being a British sympathizer) that any righteous ranting about those truths will be quickly shrugged off as having been "in the past", (though of course they would certainly not be tolerated today) or even countered with "What with everything they did that was good, you should be grateful." When, for example, DNA evidence confirmed that Jefferson had a child with his slave Sally Hemmings, most of the public acted as if they had known all along, or at least suspected the truth. Some even tried to cite the tryst as proof that Jefferson was not a racist after all if he could love a black woman, overlooking how fallacious that logic is note .
- Robert E. Lee has a reputation as a Worthy Opponent, focusing on his personal kindness and reputation among his soldiers. While his reputation in the Southern States makes some amount of sense, what is strange is how Northern and international writers, such as Historical Fiction writer Bernard Cornwell, play down his many dubious actions. Lee is often stated to have been anti-slavery citing a single letter where he expresses temporary reservations against the institute, yet Lee treated his disobedient slaves harshly by sewing their wounds with brine, his soldiers also sold African-American Union soldiers back into slavery rather than treat them as Prisoners of War, and Lee did this at Gettysburg. In terms of his qualities as a general, everyone notes that for all of Lee's vaunted battle prowess, his tactics resulted in massive loss of manpower. Of all Civil War army commanders, Lee's troops suffered the highest percentage of combat casualties. Some have even argued that Robert Lee was a traitor since despite being an officer with the United States, he rejected his oath to the Constitution and took a senior position with the Confederate Army, when many of his relatives and fellow Virginians remained loyal to the Union.
- Marie Antoinette has somehow developed this reputation in The Noughties and The New Tensnote . This revisionism is ironically based on the continued life of revolutionary propaganda in popular memory: invented allegations that exaggerated and castigated Antoinette for her excessive fashions, her airhead personality and political cluelessness, which led historians debunking these propaganda to argue that she was in fact a scapegoat and victim, and even a feminist icon. This is strange for people keyed to actual history since Antoinette was in fact a traitor to her own subjects, conspired to invade and attack France with a foreign army and later played a role in sparking the 1792 War, actions paved the way for the Reign of Terror. As for feminist icon, one would presume that the protestors of the Women's March to Versailles, poor market women who braved the Royal Guards and decisively shifted the balance of the revolution, are better candidates, all the moreso since Antoinette hated them with every fiber of her being.
- Winston Churchill is also invoked as a consensual great man in both England and in America. This is based on Churchill's inspiring leadership during the Blitz, in the years between the Phoney War and the Russian and American entry into World War II, which is indeed commendable and worthy of praise. However, Churchill was considerably controversial before, during and after the war and involved in many dubious actions including his unrepentant imperialism (which only gave way because of Franklin D. Roosevelt's firm support of decolonization and the British electorate voting for Labour), his militarily dubious plans (a Second Front through the Meditteranean) and his betrayal of ELAS partisans and installation of pre-war fascists and collaborators in Greece. In his early career, Churchill also played a role in organizing the universally despised Black and Tan goon squad in Ireland and the military disaster of Gallipoli.
- Because the cause for which Martin Luther King Jr. labored was so noble, and because he went about it in so Christlike a manner (and was so sincere about the Christlike-ness, too), any quibbles about his politics note or private life will be dismissed as nit-picking - at best. J. Edgar Hoover is almost universally regarded as a monster - or at least a fool - for making King the target of an anticommunist witch hunt, and those few mainstream figures note who criticize King are cheerfully ignored, so much so that they have often ceased to be mainstream. (The same can be said of Mahatma Gandhi, or for that matter Jesus Christ himself.)
- John F. Kennedy is also often regarded as an Unacceptable Target, despite his many moral failings, both because he did so much good for the most part and because he was assassinated - and being good-looking certainly helps, too.
- As with Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela became very much an Unacceptable Target after his death, while before many right-wing politicians in the U.S. during Apartheid branded him a terrorist, even though he had long since disavowed the ANC's early use of violence. (He was only taken off the U.S. terrorist watch list in 1998.) As with Dr. King, his left-wing political commitments during his lifetime tend to get swept under the rug.
- Brett Favre and Peyton Manning are both NFL players who have been accused of sexual assault and still have a lot of public support. This might be because people expect male athletes to be sexually aggressive, but Manning has cultivated a Good Old Boy image. Of course, the fact that there have been several contradictory claims in the incident involving him probably helped.
- Former mayor Rodrigo Duterte is notorious for practicing vigilantism (dubbed as "Davao Death Squad" or DDS) in Davao City, Philippines which got a lot of attention from human rights groups. However in 2015, many Filipinos want him to run for President because they are fed up with the unjust and corrupt bureaucracy that had been plaguing the country for years and believe that Duterte's methods are right. During the campaign period, Duterte earned more controversies such as his potty mouth, his jokes such as the infamous rape joke on the dead Australian missionary, his disparage on the Moral Guardians, Pope Francis, feminist groups and several foreign ambassadors, his close ties to communist groups in the country and his hidden bank accounts. In fact, these issues could probably make him as a socialist dictator which John Oliver even called him the "Trump of the East". But he's still popular among voters and when the results of the elections are up, it's fair to say that Duterte won.
- Bill Cosby ultimately subverted this trope in 2015, when 60 women came forward with sexual assault allegations against him, but up until that point he'd played the trope straight. The 2015 allegations were far from the first; Cosby had rape accusations leveled against him for decades before any of them actually stuck. Most of the allegations, for various reasons, simply never got traction in the press and even when one made it to trial in 2004 (ultimately settled out of court), no one seemed to pay it much mind. Up until 2015, he was still considered a well-regarded, family friendly icon.