Overshadowed by Controversy

"Hounddog: Don't remember it by title? Don't worry, neither did we, and now the Cracked IT guys are asking why we have "Dakota Fanning rape" in our Google cache."

There are some well-known works that gathered controversy throughout the years, and there are also famously controversial works in which the controversy, whether rightful or not, would overshadow most other aspects. Which isn't to say that works in the latter category have no other redeeming factor, just that most people would know little else aside from the controversial aspects.

Bad reviews alone do not make a controversial moment, and in fact some works can be well-regarded by critics and those who watched, read, or played the work, and not all works listed here are either laughably bad or just downright terrible. Plot-related twists are generally not what makes up the category either, even if such cases are subjective. The major qualifier is that the works would be known beyond the fans of a particular genre that there's little knowledge of some other parts of a work to the general public.

Controversies can be a result of the following:

See also Never Live It Down, Colbert Bump, Dancing Bear, Just Here for Godzilla, Mainstream Obscurity, Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch, Watch It for the Meme, Ruined Forever, Contractual Purity, Music Is Politics, Yoko Oh No, Cowboy BeBop at His Computer, All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game", Audience-Alienating Premise, and Tainted by the Preview. Compare and contrast No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, Controversy-Proof Image, and Deader Than Disco. When a whole genre gets held under controversy, it would become The New Rock & Roll. Sometimes may overlap with Bile Fascination, in which an audience is drawn towards a work because of their curiosity about the uproar.

Keep in mind that, despite how it is usually used, "controversial" is not the same thing as "offensive." You can have a completely family-friendly and non-political work that still provokes dissent, especially if the work is aiming for realism. In addition, please be cautious when editing this page.


Examples with their own pages:

Other examples:

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    Advertising 
  • This French Orangina ad. It barely raised an issue in France, but when a few activists showed it to the U.S., people were so shocked by all the YIFF they saw that one of the later Orangina ads poked fun at it.
  • Just For Feet was a growing shoe retailer who distinguished themselves with basketball courts inside stores, an in-store snack bar, in-store appearances by professional athletes, and a large clearance section among others. Nowadays, however, they are known for being taken down by a terrible Super Bowl commercial accused of being racist and insensitive.note  The ad, alongside accusations of accounting fraud, helped bankrupt the company, which collapsed not too long afterwards, and it's all that they're known for now. See it here.
  • Texas mattress chain Miracle Mattress is nowadays better known for the 9/11 sale commercial that killed their business than anything else they've done. The commercial, depicting the chain owner's daughter accidentally knocking over two men who crash into two tall stacks of mattresses, went viral and got major backlash over its poor taste. A few days after pleas from the company stating it wasn't their intention to offend,note  the company announced its stores were closing down. A few days later, it was announced they would reopen their stores under new employees and management.
  • In 2013, Cheerios released an ad that featured an interracial family. Unfortunately, the ad became less known for its content and more known for the racist comments it received.
  • In 2017, Pepsi released an ad starring Kendall Jenner where during a photo shoot, she decides to hand a Pepsi to a cop during the middle of a protest. The ad was heavily panned for being tone deaf and promoting the message that Pepsi would ease tensions between protesting factions. Pepsi would eventually pull it due to the backlash.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia is still a popular work, but discussing it will usually bring up the infamous character of Im Yonsoo, the series' caricature of South Korea. Yonsoo's depiction is that of Japan's Annoying Younger Sibling who insists that everything Japanese is really from Korea, and is overly obsessed with Japan and China to the point of an incestuous relationship. Many South Koreans were outraged over this. The backlash was so big that the anime adaptation was banned in South Korea and Yonsoo no longer appears in it. He still appears in the manga, however.
  • Bunny Drop will forever be remembered for its ending where the main character dates and then marries his adopted daughter than any of its own merits before that. The anime gets off easily, though, thanks to ending halfway through the story and keeping it an innocent family tale.
  • Dragon Ball Kai
    • Kai was just reaching the end of its initial run when a lawsuit concerning Kenji Yamamoto's soundtrack struck, and all of said music had to be taken out in every re-run and re-release and replaced with equivalents from Shunsuke Kikuchi's score for the original series. While Yamamoto's soundtrack for the show was already divisive, its legally obligated censorship only made things worse, with a new base emerging to try and defend Yamamoto's plagiarism.
    • In Latin America, Kai tends to be best remembered for the very negative reception its original run had due to massive censorshipnote  and, most importantly, the fact that almost all of the original cast, whose work reached cult status in the region, were replaced. The fallout from this led Toei to restructure their Latin American division and make it so that, in The Final Chapters, where possible, all characters were voiced by their original voice actors.note 
  • The manga Houou Gakuen Misoragumi barely made a blip in the U.S. But what was the general fan response? Absolute hatred. Both from the fans and the English publishers. Why? Because it's a manga that takes the Cure Your Gays route far too seriously, bringing along with it a whole mountain of Values Dissonance regarding lesbianism and gender roles. The English publishers treat it as an Old Shame and don't ever bring it up anymore.
  • Kemono Friends will most likely have its second season overshadowed by the Troubled Production it endured, including the director being pushed out and the blame for everything being shunted over to the voice cast, who had next to nothing to do with the trouble, among other things.
  • Kodomo no Jikan (A Child's Time), proposed English title Nymphet, was licensed by publisher Seven Seas Entertainment but never released in America due to its Lolicon overtones. They had only seen the first book, which isn't too bad in terms of content. Then the controversy erupted. Initially, Seven Seas defended the title, but a combination of major book chains refusing to stock it and their reading the later volumes (which come very close to violating the PROTECT Act) caused them to change their mind and drop it.
  • Koi Kaze is well known for being about a romance between a 27 year old man and a 15 year old girl, who are also siblings who were separated at a young age. Even though the series covers the topic more maturely and realistically, it's still controversial due to the premise.
  • Lotte no Omocha! (Lotte's Toy!) features a female protagonist who is a succubus. Well, OK, nothing bad about it so far until you learn that the female protagonist is also 10 years old and she will die if she doesn't drink Life Essence. It went about as well as you'd expect.
  • Perhaps the one thing most people remember about Midori (Shōjo Tsubaki), the 1992 film adaptation of Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show, is the fact that it was banned by the Japanese government for 14 years because of its explicit depictions of child molestation and animal abuse.
  • Pokémon:
    • "Electric Soldier Porygon" is known far more for causing a record-breaking number of seizures in Japan upon its initial airing, and the resulting worldwide ban of the episode, than the actual content itself. This extends to the Pokémon Porygon itself, which despite not being the actual cause of the flashing, that would be Pikachu, is sweeped under the rug as much as they can for no other reason then it being the Pokémon featured in the episode. Even its evolutions have been hit with it, as they've made no major appearances in the series.note 
    • Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea was probably more well known among Pokémon fans for being a "Misty and Togepi" ripoff and also Ash forcefully stuffing May into the escape pod towards the end of the film and Ash being an Underwater Super Saiyan and Manaphy's controversial Prince of the Sea nickname. Coming out in the wake of the below-mentioned voice actor change didn't help matters with the film either.
    • Pokémon: The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon is more known for being associated with the controversy that followed after Pokémon USA (now known as The Pokémon Company International) fired the English voice actors that had been working on the anime since day one in favor of newer, cheaper, less well regarded ones.
    • Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened is mostly remembered for the fan backlash surrounding the inclusion of a second, female Mewtwo and the implied (but eventually debunked) retcon of Mewtwo's backstory that it created, to the point where it has its own folder on the film's YMMV page. This backlash extended to Mega Mewtwo Y, which debuted in the film as the second Mewtwo's Super Mode and was subsequently "tainted." Only when it was used in the Final Smash of the Super Smash Bros. Mewtwo (who is mostly based on the original) was its association with the movie weakened.
    • The Episode N arc of Black & White is infamous for the fact that the original version of it was destroyed during an earthquake that hit the Tokohu region of Japan in 2011, and the fact that it is criticized for completely butchering the portrayal of Team Plasma (with their depictions solely being based on the Team Plasma from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, with their Pokémon Black and White depictions completely removed save for N) alongside Ghetiss as generic villains. The arc's backlash inspired the creation of the better-received and Truer to the Text Pokémon Generations.
    • The XY&Z season of the XY series will likely never be remembered for anything more than Ash's failure to win the Kalos League. While Ash losing Leagues is nothing new, various signs (such as the episode's title, promotional material, and Ash's growth throughout the series) seemed to point towards him finally winning, and yet the rug was pulled under everyone. Moreso than any other League, this one suffered a huge amount of fan backlash across both sides of the Pacific.
  • In 2017, Rurouni Kenshin returned with a new volume after a nearly twenty-year hiatus... just in time for creator Nobuhiro Watsuki to be arrested for possession of child pornography, scuttling the new series almost as soon as it began and retroactively tainting the old one.
  • The 1993-1994 and 2000-2002 OVAs of Stardust Crusaders drew considerable attention in 2008 when Egyptian fundamentalists discovered shots of the main antagonist DIO, a non-Muslim, reading the Koran.note  As a result of this outrage, Studio Shueisha cut off ties with A.P.P.P., circulation of the OVAs was temporarily halted to remove the Koran text, and Hirohiko Araki himself was forced to redraw the original manga to replace mosques and other Muslim buildings that get harmed or destroyed with more secular constructions. The whole incident and the resulting censorship was heavily scorned by critics as "embarassing," and Shueisha's distancing from A.P.P.P. is heavily believed to be one of the leading contributors to the failure of A.P.P.P.'s 2007 film adaptation of Phantom Blood.
  • Usually, the only times Stitch! comes up amongst Western Lilo & Stitch fans is to complain about it being a Stealth Sequel and how it ruins the original series' theme about "ʻohana" and family. Even fans of the anime hated the episode where Lilo appears, as originally the anime was marketed as an Alternate Universe.
  • In early February 2018, internet users found the Twitter account of Kazuyoshi Yaginuma, long-renowned for his work on a number of high-profile anime, most notably his direction of the anime adaptation of Recovery of an MMO Junkie, only to find that he's a virulent Neo-Nazi who had been posting and endorsing anti-Semetic and pro-Hitler content since joining Twitter in 2011. Needless to say, discussions surrounding him revolve less on the merits of his artistic output and more on his beliefs and the ethics of supporting the works he contributed to despite them, with MMO Junkie being hit the hardest.

    Automobiles 
  • The Ford Pinto was actually a good car with better reliability than its American competitors, but is remembered for the gas tank flaw from its first couple of years model that made it explode in rear-end collisions. Even the trope referring to exploding cars is called Every Car Is a Pinto.
  • Buick are in this state right now. The decision to permanently discontinue the Verano sedan in 2017 hasn't been met well with some fans, and the new emphasis on crossovers and SUVs (which is a trend) is also equally as controversial, with some Fandom stating They Changed It, Now It Sucks and others are accusing Buick of being in a Dork Age.
  • Google's self driving car/Automated Automobiles project is seen as this, with the viral of officers pulling over a self-driving car being an issue, along with some people seeing it as Reed Richards Is Useless technology (and by extension, Job-Stealing Robot). The car, which according to Word of God was supposed to be "cutesy" is seen as The Grotesque by some people. It doesn't help that, in Europe, Google is better known as a search engine company. This overlaps with Ludd Was Right, for some people on the blogosphere (including one now-inactive Tumblr site).
  • Tesla's Model 3 is this, even though only prototypes were shown:
    • There is controversy over whether they can build enough cars by 2018, and even debate online over whether Tesla founder Elon Musk is a Corrupt Corporate Executive, an Uncle Pennybags figure or a Snake Oil Salesman, along with people stating that the Tesla Model 3 is lousy in design terms (something that some people have called the Tesla Model S, considered to be The Mockbuster of a General Motors design or a Jaguar design, with the only exception being the powertrain (it being electric, the General Motors and Jaguar being petrol, diesel or hybrid).
    • Some sites accused Tesla of offering Vaporware or an automobile stuck in Development Hell. One blog also considered the car as an unmanly car, with its powertrain and styling and said it basically horrible. The car hasn't even been launched yet, but some people consider Tesla as a manufacturer of The Alleged Car.
  • Uber counts, not only due to the Automated Automobiles, but also being a way to steal taxi driver's jobs, as the many Uber protests show. The controversies surrounding its former CEO Travis Kalanick haven't helped matters.
  • The concept of an electric car in general has been overshadowed by controversy since the attempts by many major companies to produce them in the '90s. The cars flopped, but conspiracy theories grew that the automotive industry deliberately mismarketed and sabotaged their own efforts in order to continue making money via the oil industry. While it's generally agreed now that the technology to create a decent electric car wasn't quite there at the time, the oil industry did directly campaign against electric cars in their marketing and literature, poisoning the whole concept as unmasculine. Much of this perception has stuck around today and contributes to the criticism against the Tesla. And this is before we get into the world of hooting coal burner types who view any attempt at ecological consciousness to be a plot by the self satisfied to condescend to them.

    Fan Works 
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction The Conversion Bureau and its numerous spin-offs are most well known for their misanthropy, social views (least of which include the advocating of genocide), and the intense Flame Wars that often accompany these fics. One spin-off writer, Chatoyance, is especially controversial for essentially taking the above and taking them Up to 11 and then some. Three particular stories stand out: Ten Minutes: Aftermath, a personal Fix Fic that was interpreted (due to how Chatoyance posted a link right on the original author's comments page) as a middle finger to the fans of the original Ten Minutes story; The Reasonably Adamant Down with Celestia Newfoal Society, which was little more than a caustic insult leveled at anyone that didn't like her work; and finally, the short story New Universe Three: The Friendship Virus, TCB fic In-Name-Only that had overtly misandric messages.
  • Dakari-King Mykan was already considered a terrible fanfiction writer to begin with, but his several run-ins with moderators, different fandoms, critics, and the like have made him a laughingstock. Mykan's My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic is remembered more for his numerous rants about how much he hates My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and its reputation than the fact that it's a fanfic at all. His works involving MLP in the first place are also more remembered for the insane lengths Mykan is willing to go to torture Princess Cadance (having her kill her roboticized brother, making her suffer nightmares, killing off Twilight Sparkle (which is another issue altogether), making her miscarry and become infertile, etc.). Friendship is Failure #10 has become especially infamous for the beheading of Flurry Heart for this exact purpose.
  • Pretty Cure Bukatsudo Energetic is at least as well known for the author's defensive behavior against anyone who dared to even attempt any Curefic with an "afterschool activities" thematic, which helped end that thematic for Curefics for the foreseeable future, as it is for its merits as a quality story. Not helping is that said behavior earned her at least a few enemies within the Pretty Cure fandom, even among those who enjoy the story.
  • Fan fiction author Sky the Hedgehog 47 is more known for his vitriolic and often profanity laden rants in his scraps section, his political views and insulting people who disagree with him.
  • Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness is a fairly normal Harry Potter fanfiction, and was once widely acclaimed. However, it's also controversial for the many infamous antics of its author Thanfiction, particularly once he was exposed as being the same person as "Victoria Bitter", a notorious con artist in the Lord of the Rings fandom who swindled thousands of dollars out of dozens of people by claiming he would use it to organize a convention where fans could meet actors from the films. The Tentmoot fan convention disaster didn't help matters either.
  • The Star Trek fan film Prelude to Axanar and its sequel Star Trek: Axanar are infamous due to the actions of its creator Alec Peters, which included stealing from donor money, using the name and image of actor Tony Todd to promote the film months after the actor had officially quit the project, and essentially using the Star Trek brand name to buy his way into being legitimate. The latter resulted in a lawsuit from CBS/Paramount that led to the companies imposing severe restrictions on the content and production values of future fan productions, further tarnishing his reputation.
  • DeviantArt user Borba became rather infamous in December 2017 after his "I Will Survive" Zootopia comic, written back in March of that year, caught the eye of the public. The comic featured Judy Hopps finding out that she's pregnant with Nick's child and, out of fear over how this would work out for both her and the baby, decides to get an abortion. Nick, on the other hand, objects and tries to convince Judy to keep the baby, which leads to a violent argument between the two and eventually their breakup. It quickly became a laughingstock among people for how out-of-character it portrays the two, along with being rather Anvilicious and over-the-top. Although Borba has denied the comic being any sort of pro-life Author Tract, instead intended to show how a One True Pairing like WildeHopps can be destroyed just like that, this didn't stop him from being remembered as the guy who wrote that particular comic, even though he has done a lot of other things besides it.
  • Sweets Songs Forever by F91 is a bog-standard shipping fic, set on Nanoha's wedding day. The problem? In the second-to-last line of dialogue, it's revealed that Nanoha is marrying Yuuno, not Fate. While Yuunoha has enough supporters that some people enjoyed this, others hated the fact that it wasn't Nanofei/was Yuunoha, believed the author was pulling a poorly thought-out Bait-and-Switch on viewers that was bad storytelling, and/or considered the story poorly written.
  • The Grim Edventures of Ed, Edd n Eddy is still a relatively popular fan fic series, but it's hard not to bring up the Hollow. The character debuted not long after author Technomaru had an apparently nasty breakup with fellow fan fiction writer Emma Iveli, and her introductory chapter opens with an author's note insulting her and a scene in which her in-story avatar is killed off and the Author Avatar brushes it off with little thought. The Hollow is all but outright stated to be Emma, her character can best be described as a loser who obsessively watches CSI (a show the author hates), she's called "evil" and "ugly" by the protagonists, and the fic itself seem to allude to events preceding the breakup. Given the implications of it all, fan outrage was probably inevitable. In Technomaru's defense, he eventually patched things up with Emma, brought the Hollow back to life, with a literal "ret-cannon" no less, and introduced a character named after her who eventually joins the heroes. He even approved of an unnoficial remake replacing The Hollow with a Hellhound, or Hfilhound in this case.
  • Grim and Edboys, the aforementioned remake, became this after the author Kelothan sent a reply to Technomaru that made it sound like he was abandoning him, resulting in a Creator Breakdown and him editing Grim Ed's trope and trivia pages with thinly veiled feeling of hurt and betrayal.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is remembered for two controversial scenes: the Bonk vs. The Joker scene in which the latter kills the former with the "Bang!" Flag Gun, and the entire flashback scene, with the very noteworthy part near the end in which Robin does the same thing to the Joker. Even before the film was released to video and DVD in 2000, movie companies were coming under heavy criticism for violence in films during the fallout of the Columbine shootings that had happened over a year ago, and WB felt pressured and afraid that Moral Guardians and Media Watchdogs would object that the movie would be a repeat of Columbine. As a result, the original release date (Halloween 2000) was postponed, and the film heavily edited and toned down for release on December 12. But even then, the Bowdlerised version (especially with the Joker's death scene changed to a Family Unfriendly High Voltage Death) didn't help matters, but only caused unrest among many Batman fans that lasted for over a year. That unrest thankfully quelled down when the film developers still retained the original version in shelves and eventually released it on DVD as "the original, uncut version" under the PG-13 rating on April 23, 2002 (just three days after the third anniversary of the Columbine tragedy) following an online petition to have it released. The same uncut version would be digitally enhanced and released on Blu-Ray nine years later.
  • Batman: The Killing Joke ran right into this. The original Killing Joke comic had the Joker paralyzing Barbara Gordon as its inciting incident, with little statement of who she actually was in the story itself. The Animated Adaptation attempted to correct this by expanding Barbara's role in the story, but it was done in a way that comes off with more problems: namely the sexual tension between Batgirl and Batman.note  This culminates in the two having sex which Squicked out a good portion of the audience, especially those who have seen Batman as more of a paternal mentor to Batgirl in other media. And that's not even getting into the debates on whether the first half of the movie, which set Barbara up as a character, should've even been made in a movie called "The Killing Joke".
  • Coonskin, Ralph Bakshi's satirical Blaxploitation re-imagining of the Uncle Remus tales. Al Sharpton famously criticized the film without even seeing it, saying, "I don't got to see shit; I can smell shit!" This gave the film some very bad publicity. Since then, professional critics and black audiences have praised it for being the complete opposite of being racist. Even Spike Lee is a fan.
  • The Emoji Movie is probably more well-known for how using emojis as its main focus soon proved to be an Audience-Alienating Premise due to how Totally Radical it sounded, being a ripoff of Wreck-It Ralph, The LEGO Movie and Inside Out, having a poorly-written plot, poorly-written characters, somehow managing to pull an inverse 8.8,note  and supposedly being a replacement for two cancelled films about Popeye and Medusa, respectively, than the fact that it's even a film at all.
  • Peter Rabbit already rankled many fans with contemporary updates and creative liberties taken with the source material, but the film is now being boycotted by viewers who have accused the film of glorifying food allergy bullying.
  • Olaf's Frozen Adventure became known soon after its release less because of anything related to the film itself and more because of the circumstances behind said release: It was originally meant for a television special before being put as the opener for the Pixar film Coco, and the fact that its length was meant for television and not as an opener for a Pixar film upset many of the moviegoers who went just to see Coco. It went to the point that most Mexican movie theaters downright removed the short from their showings of Coco (as Coco prominently features Mexican culture as its backdrop) before Disney officially pulled it from all future screenings of Coco beginning on December 8, 2017. That's to say nothing about the film itself coming out in the wake of John Lasseter taking a leave of absence from the company due to sexual harassment allegations, which has made headlines as much as the movie itself. It hasn't harmed the critical or box office performance of the film, but it has made it much harder to talk about without mentioning the allegations in light of similar ones in the industry.

    Jokes 
  • This is made light of in a classic joke about a drunken old Scotsman who vents to a younger patron at the same bar about how he'd accumulated a laundry list of accomplishments over his long life, but nobody remembers them because he had sex with a goat.

    Live Action TV 
  • Amos N Andy was a very popular comedy radio and TV show from the 1940s and 1950s starring two black people playing stereotypical dimwitted jive talking fools. Due to Values Dissonance, it hasn't been broadcast in ages and is probably better known for the racial offensiveness than the actual comedy.
  • The short-lived Irish revival of Blind Date was struck twice with controversy - It was first struck when it turned out that one of its contestants was a criminal who had previously served jail time in Australia for assault on a civilian. The second time was when host Al Porter was accused of sexual harassment by two male colleagues, which caused the show to immediately be binned by TV3.
  • Duck Dynasty has become far better known for the antics of its stars, most notoriously family patriarch Phil Robertson, who is known for his extreme far-right views. His most infamous manifestations thereof are two rants on the subject of atheism and homosexuality, which caused many networks to take the show off their rotation, and at one point actually caused production to be temporarily suspended.
  • Felicity is better known for the unfitting changes that occurred near the end of its run. Most infamously, the Unnecessary Makeover of the eponymous character, which had Felicity cut off her signature curly hair in favour of a pixie cut, ditching her sweatery outfits for more urban clothing, and the series becoming Lighter and Softer in the process.
  • Ghostwatch, the one-off Halloween Special drama shown on BBC 1 in 1992, is better known for the controversy caused when a sizable chunk of the viewing audience thought it was real and the ensuing argument over whether this was the creators' desired effect than the fact that it's a damn fine ghost story. It makes frequent appearances on 'Underrated Horror Films' listicles as a result.
  • Growing Pains will forever be known as a Troubled Production where its star Kirk Cameron demanded that the show be clean of everything even remotely obscene, including having series regular Julie McCollough fired for appearing in Playboy, due to being a born-again Christian. This behind the scenes drama permanently tarnished his reputation; not even an apology could repair it. Since then, Cameron has become far more famous for his views regarding homosexuality, and being the lead star, producer, and co-writer of the notorious Saving Christmas.
  • House of Cards was irreparably tarnished by its executive producer and lead star Kevin Spacey's sexual misconduct allegations in 2017. Not helping was Netflix's questionable response to it, shutting down production while still leaving the door open on finishing it, and also keeping the option for continuing the series without Spacey on the table. And then no less than eight crew members came forward stating that they'd complained to the crew about Spacey making advances on them, only to be brushed off.
  • Jeopardy!:
    • The October 12, 2009 episode was the third game for 5-time champion Terry Linwood. However, one of his opponents was Jeff Kirby, who'd previously appeared on Jeopardy! in 1999, even though Trebek-era contestants are not allowed to appear again. The producers hadn't realized this until someone on the show's message board pointed out that he was wearing the same tie he had worn in his 1999 appearance. Because of him, this game's been banned from reruns.
    • The "Kids' Week" games which started in the late '90s gradually fell victim to this. On July 31, 2013, a player on Kids' Week absolutely owned the game to the tune of $66,600. What do people best remember about this episode? One of his opponents was penalized for misspelling "Emancipation Proclamation" for his Final Jeopardy! response. In the days that followed, angry posts flooded the show's Facebook page, claiming that since children were playing the game, the judges should have been more lenient. Journalists and news websites also chimed in on the issue, with the contestant claiming he was robbed because of his spelling error. Never mind that he would've gotten only second place regardless and the controversy over the misspelling completely overshadowed the winner's huge haul. They tried another Kids' Week in December 2014 but a Stage Mom caused a stir with host Alex Trebek when she demanded that an act be re-shot. It didn't help that the latter fiasco happened around the same time Sony got hacked. Because of this, Jeopardy! hasn't done a Kids' Week since, and the series has all but distanced itself from them.
  • Maude ran for six seasons, and was a ratings hit throughout its run, but today it is remembered for the abortion episode and little else. This was very evident when Bea Arthur died, and reporters mentioned virtually nothing else about the show.
  • Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace became overshadowed by the fact that the comedy troupe that created the show have been accused of having ties to white supremacist groups. As a result, a number of [adult swim] employees threatened to quit unless the show was cancelled, which it ultimately was.
  • CN Real was a commercial dud, and you probably don't remember much about the actual shows themselves. You probably do remember the backlash it got for being a block of live action reality and game shows on Cartoon Network, a channel associated with anything but. It doesn't help that the block is frequently brought up in discussions about everything that was wrong with the channel during the late 2000s.note 
  • The vast majority of the audience for Nickelodeon's 2013 block Nick Studio 10 were likely just there for the SpongeBob SquarePants reruns and didn't care about the continuity in-between. However, the block quickly became defined by its content, which was widely hated. The network wanted to bring it back for the new school year but soon gave up on it.
  • Donald Trump's offensive remarks towards Mexican illegal immigrants in his opening campaign speech for the 2016 presidential election led to such backlash that it resulted in both the Miss Universe pageant and his show, The Apprentice taken off of NBC. His continued remarks, controversial views, unexpectedly successful election as the President of the United States in 2016, scandal-ridden presidency, and low approval rating has resulted in the programs that were once his largest direct contribution to pop culture becoming just mild footnotes in his story.
  • Even supposedly family-friendly shows such as Canadian "tween" drama The Next Step (and by extension, its Spin-Off Lost and Found Music Studios) are not exempt from this. The actress Jordan Clark (of whom some people watch the show for - she is considered as Ms. Fanservice) caused controversy with her slightly raunchy act in Dancing with the Stars, which caused no end of ire with Moral Guardians and Think of the Children!-type groups. Word of God is she did it to avoid Contractual Purity.
  • Amongst British fans of Noddy's Toyland Adventures, The Noddy Shop is remembered for taking the stories from Toyland Adventures and shoving them into an unrelated show with humans and puppets, with Johnny Crawfish tending to get the most flack from them.
  • The most remembered facet of The Pat Sajak Show, other than the fact that Americans got to see the host of Wheel of Fortune cut his teeth in the talk show industry, was the March 30, 1990 episode. At this point, the show was employing guest hosts on Fridays, and Rush Limbaugh happened to be the guest host that night. He entered the audience to gauge feedback on an anti-abortion bill in Idaho, causing him to get heckled for several minutes, to the point that he had to cut to commercial and conduct his interview with the next guest in another studio. He then began to speak on affirmative action in the next segment, but once again had to cut to commercial due to further heckling, and conducted the final segment with the audience cleared out. Limbaugh later claimed that the hecklers were planted as a publicity stunt. The show also ended up being cancelled while Sajak was on vacation overseas.
  • If people don't remember Press Your Luck for the Whammy, then they remember it for Michael Larson's infamous memorization of the Big Board's light patterns, resulting in him getting a huge haul.
  • Netflix series The Ranch was affected by this when the company oddly seemed to have been in no hurry to remove Danny Masterson after multiple rape accusations. This came to a head with a jaw-dropping moment from former Netflix executive Andy Yeatman, who was questioned about it by a woman at a soccer game and blithely replied the company didn't believe the accusations, only for her to reveal that she was one of the accusers. Both Masterson and Yeatman soon found themselves out of a job over it, with many people just plain confused at how you can possibly say anything to that question beyond "Legal has advised us not to talk about it."
  • Ronan Farrow Today managed to get hit with controversy twice in just its first few weeks. First, he was overshadowed by his sister Dylan going public with her allegations that she'd been molested by Woody Allen. Then, three days after his show premiered, he was awarded the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and Exploration. While the award was unrelated to his work on his show (Farrow had previously worked for years in a variety of roles that might justify his getting the award) the fact that the award came so soon after the premiere of his show made him look like an over-privileged celebrity scion, an image that he wasn't able to shake, particularly not after someone released a memo to the press declaring that Farrow would not take "off-topic" questions during the pressers for the Cronkite Award ceremony. Incidentally, his show suffered from chronic low ratings and lasted only a year.
  • Roseanne is more famous for A) How gimmicky its last season was, before the twist of the series finale, where it was revealed that the entire series itself is actually a story written by Roseanne about her life, and the whole final season was outright invented by Roseanne to cope with the death of her husband, who died between seasons; and B) Roseanne Barr's backstage antics and personal life; the latter even when it was on the air. For the record, it's a realistic show about a working class family, hence why the "gimmicky last season" wasn't so well-received. Despite shades of Fashion Dissonance and Unintentional Period Piece, it's relevant with the Great Recession of the late 2000s/early 2010s, due to many American families struggling to make ends meet.
  • Even non-fans of Top Gear are familiar with the many accusations of misogyny and racism in the show, particularly at the hands of former host Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson himself is also infamous for his off-stage antics, such as when he was fired from the show after angrily physically assaulting a producer for serving him cold food (said food was made during the late night, and at the time, only one cook was working at the restaurant where it was made).
  • Two and a Half Men was already a divisive show amongst viewers, but it will likely forever be linked to the often bizarre and sometimes even dangerous personal behavior of its star Charlie Sheen, including but not limited to numerous drug and alcohol-induced tirades, his views on 9/11, and allegations of Domestic Abuse and rape. He eventually proved so difficult to work with that he was unceremoniously fired and his character killed off and replaced by Ashton Kutcher - and he played one of the leads.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Axxel is generally agreed to be a good luchador. Unfortunately for him, since his 1993 debut, he's been less known for his talent than for his uncle's, Hijo del Santo's, attempts to kill his career for initially being billed as Nieto del Santo. Despite managing to keep his career going for twelve years, most of the better known promotions have refused to book Axxel for fear of his uncle's backlash, resulting in much less exposure than a luchador of his experience would usually have.
  • Survivor Series 1997: The Montreal Screwjob. There were six other matches on the card. Does anybody remember those?
  • WWF's 1999 Over the Edge pay-per-view will forever be known as the event where Owen Hart fell to his death. Vince McMahon's decision to keep the pay-per-view going despite Owen's death remains one of the most controversial topics in professional wrestling circles to this day.
  • WCW and ECW both enjoyed time as the flagship of the National Wrestling Alliance before becoming successful enough to ditch the NWA. Both also went out of business in 2001, for largely the same reason. Despite their successes both companies were financially mismanaged to the point the network cable support they earned wound up being a crutch and their respective cable partners, TBS and TNN, turned on them, blocking attempts to shop for other deals and ignoring perspective buyers before cutting the plug, resulting in the WWF picking up the rights to both feds for pennies on the dollar. The difference between the two is that ECW managed to keep fans talking more about its great matches than its missteps, allowing WWE to successfully launch a revival brand.note  WCW had several great matches under its banner as well but these were so overshadowed by their blunders that no network the WWF worked with wanted anything to do with the brand.
  • No Mercy 2002: Even the presence of a Brock Lesnar/Undertaker Hell in a Cell and a classic Tag Team match won't change the fact that this pay-per-view will always be remembered for the Triple H vs. Kane title unification match, built upon one of the most infamous angles in professional wrestling history: Katie Vick.
  • The WCW/ECW case is mirrored by their would be successors, TNA and Ring of Honor. While RF Video decided to go with a different tone after being rejected by then most visible ECW cash in CZW, RF were still confident they could keep the revenue streams ECW brought them going simply by selling the tapes of another promotion in its place. TNA, by contrast, was formed by WCW workers who decided to go with a different model entirely due to WCW's poor reputation. Still it was ROH who managed to keep fans talking about its great matches despite one of its founders being shamed out of the promotion for his involvement in one of pro wrestling's most infamous scandals during 2004 (which was the beginning of the end of its partnership with TNA), its other founder being shamed out for poor booking decisions in 2008, seven years of financial instability directly related to these incidents and a few other controversies. TNA meanwhile was criticized for its very name when it started, had its booking mocked for most of its existence, was known for Jeff Jarrett's relations with Kurt Angle's wife in 2009, and was largely held up as an example of how not to manage finances throughout the vast majority of the 2010s despite also having many great matches to its name.
  • The 2006 One Night Stand, the very first WWE event devoted exclusively to the revived ECW promotion, was overshadowed by the massive amount of hatred the ECW fanbase directed toward visiting wrestlers from WWE proper, especially WWE Champion John Cena when he faced ECW favorite Rob Van Dam for the title in the main event. A fan stirred up the crowd by holding up an inflammatory sign: "IF CENA WINS, WE RIOT!" - leading to a commentator proclaiming, "Here comes the riot!" when it seemed that Cena was about to put Van Dam away. The only thing preventing a riot was a biker in a full helmet appearing out of nowhere and delivering a "spear" tackle to Cena, allowing Van Dam to pin Cena and bring the WWE Championship to ECW - and that biker, of course, turned out to be Cena's archenemy, Edge.
  • In June 2007, WWE's Vengeance pay-per-view was relaunched as Night of Champions, which continues to this day. At the time, WWE had nine championships, and this PPV was the first time that all of them were defended in the same night. But hardly anybody remembers that, because what they do remember is that John Morrison unexpectedly won the ECW Championship because he was booked in place of Chris Benoit, who no-showed the event due to him killing his family and then himself during the time frame. Not only was Benoit's reputation forever tarnished, but Morrison has, at least for some fans, yet to live down the fact that he rose to main event status in WWE entirely because of this tragedy.
  • WrestleMania 28 in 2012 was said to be one of the better Manias. It featured the highly anticipated John Cena/The Rock showdown, The Undertaker and Triple H in a Hell in a Cell, and a solid CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho match. Unfortunately, its reputation is soiled by the presence of one of the most infamous moments in WWE history: "18 seconds." In the end, the loser of the match's popularity skyrocketed to astronomical proportions and the winner's reputation amongst hardcore fans was damaged to the point of no return, not helped at all by a similar incident happening at Survivor Series 2015 in which he was also the winner.
  • CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit 2012 was a sure-fire classic, being the first time the two wrestlers, with a massive fan support, had a match in WWE; unfortunately, the pay-per-view is remembered instead for the Epic Fail of a main event between John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis.
  • The 2014 and 2015 Royal Rumble matches are remembered for the massive Internet Backdrafts that ensued. In both matches, a homegrown pet project of Vince McMahon and his associates won, Batista and Roman Reigns, respectively, despite the fact that the crowd overwhelmingly wanted Daniel Bryan to win the match; unfortunately, Bryan wasn't even in the 2014 match and was quickly eliminated in 2015. The 2014 Rumble is also remembered for being the final straw that led to CM Punk quitting WWE the day afterwards, while the 2015 edition is also remembered for a spot in which older stars The Big Show and Kane eliminated/buried other beloved Ensemble Darkhorses like Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose from the match as well, to thunderous chants of "PLEASE RETIRE!".
  • John Morrison and Melina's backstage heat overshadows most of the things they've accomplished in their wrestling careers. Melina slightly moreso, since Morrison has gotten some of his recognition back due to his work in Lucha Underground.
  • Roman Reigns' WWE run has been overshadowed by the extremely negative reception his work has received ever since the dissolution of The Shield, to the point that there's an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to those reactions.
  • Perhaps the only thing fans and wrestling insiders will remember about AAA's Triplemanía XXV is the incident where Sexy Star legitimately injured Rosemary by popping her arm out of place with an armbar, as well as the ensuing uproar it caused within the wrestling industry.

    Sports 
  • Ty Cobb. While he is one of the greatest baseball player of all time, his reputation suffers from allegations of racism and violence, largely stemming from a couple of biographies that were released following his death that were later largely discredited.note 
  • Cyclist Lance Armstrong, winner of a record breaking 7 Tour de France contests. All stripped afterwards when it turned out he had used a complicated and water tight system to use doping. It seems unlikely he will ever be trusted again.
  • Tonya Harding, a promising figure skater able to pull extremely difficult tricks that few were able to back then, like the triple axel jump, apparently ordered an attack on fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan with a telescoping baton so she could defeat her rival that way.note  The case came out afterwards and she was sentenced guilty to racketeering, stripped of all her titles, and banned from figure skating for life. Since then, she only gets in the news media for the kind of behavior you wouldn't want to become famous for; it doesn't help that, whether innocent or not, she has some serious character flaws that make it difficult for her to endear herself to the public. She continues to have some fans though, especially among people who believe her to be the victim of a smear campaign, or for Taking the Heat for something her husband ordered someone else to do.
  • Boxer Mike Tyson, once a world champion boxing, is more notorious for the numerous violent incidents in his private life, including being convicted of rape and biting off Evander Holyfield's ear. The only other thing he is known for now is being the near unbeatable final boss of the NES port of Punch-Out!!.
  • O.J. Simpson's achievements as a football player and actor have been overshadowed by the controversy over his involvement, and possible guilt, in the murder of his second ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Most people today know him solely for the murder scandal or for subsequently getting arrested for stealing what he alleges was property stolen from him.
  • Tennis player John McEnroe was one of the most glorious champions in his sport, even managing to give Björn Borg a difficult time during Wimbledon 1980. Yet he mostly lives on in people's memories for his Hair-Trigger Temper and F-Word induced yelling at the referee during many matches. It has gotten to the point that there's more demand to see that kind of archive footage again than him winning his matches.
  • French soccer champion Zinedine Zidane is world famous for one incident during his final game where he headbutted another player. Especially to people who don't know much about soccer, like American citizens, this is all they know about him. What's especially embarrassing was that Zidane's disqualification as a result of the headbutt cost France its victory in the 2006 World Cup game with Italy. What usually isn't mentioned is that the Italian whom Zidane attacked insulted both his heritage and his sister.
  • Penn State's Joe Paterno is the winningest coach in major college football history, but will forever be remembered in connection with longtime assistant coach and serial child molester Jerry Sandusky.
  • Despite Michael Schumacher being the driver with most victories and titles in F1, he still more remembered for his controversial actions in some races, especially in the finale of 1997 season when he tried to wreck Jacques Villeneuve for win the championship. He failed, ended in the gravel trap and after the race he was excluded from the championship.
  • Nelson Piquet, Jr. had a very short career in F1, but he is only remembered for the “crashgate scandal” in 2009 season, when deliberate crashed in the wall, forcing the safety car and helping his team mate, Fernando Alonso, won the race.
  • Ryan Lochte was known for being one of the best swimmers in the world and winning multiple Olympic medals. Then during the 2016 Rio Olympics, he, along some other swimmers, drunkenly vandalized a gas station bathroom and caused a confrontation with a security guard. After the fact, Lochte made up a story about being robbed at gunpoint to cover up the incident, and returned to America, leaving the other swimmers involved to deal with the fallout in Rio. Once the attempted cover-up came to light, nearly any mention of Lochte in the media referenced the incident.
  • Double amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius is nowadays more known for shooting his girlfriend dead than his track career.
  • Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is nowadays best known for kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season to protest racial oppression and police brutality.
  • Marion Jones was a superstar track and field runner in the '90s with lots of charm and charisma. Famous for winning five medals in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. However, rumors began to spread that she was using steroids after the medical company Balco was exposed for giving many famous athletes illegal drugs that were undetectable by drug test back then. Jones was one of the athletes named. She was successfully able to deny it, until she was caught up in a insurance fraud racket. She made a deal to confess using steroids in order to reduce jail time. Her medals were stripped and she is now known as one of the greatest Olympic tragedies.
  • The Washington Redskins are best known for the fact that they take their name from a racial slur used against Native Americans, resulting in many campaigns to attempt to persuade them to change it.
  • The United States Football League is mostly remembered for the fact that one of the team owners, Donald Trump, pushed the league to schedule its 1986 season in direct competition with the NFL, in the belief that it would force a merger between the two leagues. This effort failed, bankrupting the USFL and driving it into obscurity.
  • Larry Nassar, while never well known by the public, was a reputable physician in American gymnastics circles, being the USA Gymnastics national team doctor for some time and also the house doctor for the Karolyi Ranch of Béla and Márta Károlyi fame.note  This changed when two former gymnasts publicly accused Nassar of sexual abuse in 2016. This led to other women accusing him of sexual abuse as well. These allegations would ultimately expose a pattern of sexual abuse that had been prevalent since at least 1992. As a result, it's almost impossible that he will ever recover his former reputation, as he was sentenced to 60 years for child porn in federal prison in 2017. He was also sentenced to 40 to 175 years in 2018 for the sexual abuse in state jail. The judge who sentenced him for the latter called it his "death warrant". The controversy also spread over to the entire USA Gymnastics organization and Michigan State University, both longtime employers of Nassar, which led to huge repercussions for both.
  • Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds of Major League Baseball. If you look at their career stats, both players are some of the greatest of all time at their respect positions in the game. Clemens a pitcher who's a 7-time Cy Young award winner, who also started in two games where he struck out 20 batters, a feat that has yet to be surpassed. Bonds, when he was smaller, was The Ace of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who was an excellent hitter, defender, and could play any part of the field better than most people in the league at the time. After he went to the San Francisco Giants, he got buff and became a clutch homerun specialist who made many pitchers walk him, eventually breaking the all time record of walks per season. But he still got in his homeruns and eventually broke Hank Aaron's all time home run record. Both men dealt with controversy in the past: Clemens' Hair-Trigger Temper, and Bonds' battle with the sports media. But it's not until both men were implicated in the steroid scandal which rocked the sports world that the damage to their legacies was done. Both men eventually got legally cleared of the charge of using steroids, but majority of public opinion still think both men are guilty. And the Hall Of Fame votes for both men get less every year, pretty much guaranteeing that both men will never get in despite their great success as professional players.

    Theater 
  • The mid-Victorian play Our American Cousin would forever be remembered for the Lincoln assassination instead of the witty characters like Lord Dundreary. In addition, John Wilkes Booth was a well known and critically acclaimed stage actor at the time. Nowadays he's only remembered, obviously not without reason, as one of the most notorious criminals in American history.
  • While The Rite of Spring is cherished for its avant-garde music and choreography, its premiere night in 1913 sparked a near-riot inside the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris when the audience turned against each other on whether it was groundbreaking or sheer crap, with the latter throwing stuff on the orchestra and the dancers. It didn't help that inside the curtain, the composer and lead choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky had cooperation issues during the production. You might say that the premiere night had been a near-literal Broken Base.
  • Nord-Ost, a Les Miserables-esque Russian musical, is today best remembered for the Chechen movie theater siege of 2002.
  • Theater director Julie Taymor won the Best Musical Tony for her adaptation of The Lion King, has adapted Shakespeare and Greek tragedies, made a foray into film with the Cult Classic Beatles tribute Across the Universe, and throughout all her work has received acclaim for her use of elaborate costumes and puppets. What's she best known for these days? Her major mishandling of her Spider-Man adaptation Turn Off the Dark, which was plagued by, in addition to bad writing and prima donna antics by Taymor herself, numerous accidents involving the aforementioned elaborate props and costumes, some of which even resulted in serious injuries. In the end she was unceremoniously given the boot from her own show, and has done little of note since.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies, the twenty-years-later follow-up to his smash hit The Phantom of the Opera, was never able to rise above the stigma of being a sequel that nobody but Webber himself really wanted. It was based on a poorly regarded Fan Sequel novel called The Phantom of Manhattan and contained cliches that have appeared in fan works of dubious quality for decades, including Christine giving birth to the Phantom's illegitimate child after a one-night stand and deciding he was her true love after all, and her kindly love interest Raoul having become a neglectful drunkard who's blown his fortune at the gambling table. All of this resulted in considerable fan opposition before it even came out (including a Twitter campaign called #LoveShouldDie) and a general sense that the show was Webber's terrible Draco in Leather Pants fanfiction that he forced onto the stage with his piles of money, and despite having the Phantom name and Webber's own behind it, the initial run received mediocre reviews and closed at a loss - though the show later picked up a cult following in Australia, where a more polished production was staged (and filmed).

    Theme Parks 
  • It's become very difficult to discuss anything pertaining to SeaWorld due to the massive controversy surrounding the orcas and the Blackfish documentary that only worsened said controversy. Things have gotten slightly better following SeaWorld announcing the termination of the orca breeding programs, but some grievances still remain.

    Web Comics 
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del:
    • The webcomic is more well known for the CADbortion arc and writer Tim Buckley's reputation as an arrogant Jerkass than anything else. Accusations of being a Penny Arcade knockoff haven't helped, and likely played a part in the comic's Retool.
    • It is also known for an incident in which Buckley had a fan animation taken down, made a response that outright insulted the creator, and threatened to sue them, despite previously saying he was okay with fan works. This move was widely criticized, especially after the ill-regarded Animated Adaptation.
  • Sonichu was already considered a terrible webcomic to begin with, but it's been overshadowed by the antics of author Chris-Chan, including their bizarre and often creepy attempts to get a girlfriend,note  insulting a legitimate fan of theirs who was mentally handicapped online,note  reliance on gender and racial stereotypes, using their autism to get attention, seeming inability to take criticism, creating a genderflipped version of a fan character without the creator's permission, claims of being a transgender lesbian despite all evidence to the contrary,note  the blue arms protests, and essentially trying to turn their fan work into not only a legitimate money maker, but a multimedia franchise. It's gotten to the point where there's an entire wiki dedicated to these incidents and more.
  • The Sonic webcomic Other M, once extremely popular, now is mostly remembered for being written by future Archie Sonic writer Ian Flynn, and for having one of the villains be Knuckles, who is portrayed as an Absolute Xenophobe. This move received much scorn, and has literally overshadowed every other plot element, including the fact that it takes place in an Alternate Universe.

    Web Original 
  • Anthony "A-Log" LoGatto is less known for his videos, and more known for his overblown hatred of Chris-Chan, to the point that "A-Log" became a catch all term for members of Chris's Hate Dumb.
  • The Amazing Atheist is remebered mostly for his despised time with Channel Awesome as The Distressed Watcher, saying that people who enjoyed the Transformers film even ironically belong in a death camp, calling a film worse than his father's death, and a time when he not only accused a rape victim of lying, but also told him to reexperience it. These incidents have made him a complete pariah.
  • DaddyOFive will forever be tainted by allegations of child abuse, the massive amounts of evidence supporting the claim, the controversy over their "Invisible Ink Prank" video, and the backlash growing so big that two of children shown in their videos are now in the hands of their biological mom instead of the family shown in the videos and every last one of their videos has been taken down.
  • Animator and former Philadelphian pistachio vendor Emily Youcis was once popular among the internet for her black humor and for the popular Alfred's Playhouse series. However, some very alt-right remarks she made in 2016 not only cost her job as a vendor, but also her support from Troma, and the wrath of the animation community.
  • Very few knew of the web film Innocence of Muslims on YouTube until protests in Muslim-majority countries were triggered after an excerpt was aired on an Egyptian television station. The video actually led to YouTube being banned in many countries with said majorities.
  • The only thing most people know about The Irate Gamer is the accusations of plagiarism creator Chris Bores faced due to the similarities to The Angry Video Game Nerd, and his questionable responses to it, most infamously telling someone to "go shove a kactus(sic) up (their) ass" and that the nerd copied him.
  • Former Vine user, YouTuber and former Bizaardvark star Jake Paul is more known for his reckless behavior during his three-month stay in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, his infamous feud with RiceGum, and duping KSI and ComedyShortsGamer into fighting him, all of which have resulted in a loss of popularity.
  • JonTron was once a very famous and beloved online comedian in the early-to-mid days of YouTube, whose popularity was practically on par with The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd. He was also famous for his stint as the co-host of Game Grumps. These days, however, he is more known for getting his voicework removed from Yooka-Laylee after he expressed very controversial political views regarding race and immigration on Twitter and during a live stream with known streamer Destiny, a known avid progressive.
  • The King of Hate, already a divisive figure for his gaming skills, is also infamous for many things besides his Let's Plays. This includes his jokes about southeastern Asians and homosexuals that many found offensive, sexist and perverted behavior towards female characters in works, having an entire playthrough where the only joke was about a Nazi killing Jewish people (which got him banned from Blip), his apparent inability to take criticism or respect others' opinions, his treatment of John Rambo and Respect the Pact (which led to them both cutting all ties with him), and the time he was accidentally caught masturbating during the end of a stream. These incidents have turned him from one of the most polarizing YouTubers to one of the most hated.
  • Fashion and cosplayer vlogger Marina Joyce, famous for her friendship with ComedyShortsGamer, is also infamously known for the fact that in mid 2016, many of fans feared she had been kidnapped due to her videos showing her to be a lot less brighter than usual. While Joyce later admitted she was fine, her reputation has been rather sour among people who didn't know her before the incident, who see it as a publicity stunt gone horribly wrong.
  • It's often hard to discuss anything related to Miiverse without bringing up the site's strict policy and administration system. It became even more controversial in July 2015, when the site was revamped from the ground up to make a post limit and a crackdown on topics that didn't relate to gaming. This immediately caused the site to gain the ire of anyone on the site who wasn't a hardcore gamer (as the site was popular among image-board users, artists and roleplayers). The controversy regarding Miiverse is likely why the site was not given Nintendo Switch support, and its eventual closure in November 2017.
  • It's impossible to discuss the videos of Anita Sarkeesian without discussing the critics she attracted, both legitimate and sexist.
  • Very few people know about anything by comedian Nicole Arbour other than her making controversial videos to attract visitors (her most infamous being "Dear Fat People") and her abusive relationship with Matthew Santoro.
  • PewDiePie is among the most-subscribed and most watched YouTubers. Throughout 2017, however, his reputation started to derail due to making videos that were identified as anti-Semitic, which resulted him getting dropped by Disney and Google, his rape jokes, using the N-word during a livestream, referencing memes that are associated with the alt-right, and badmouthing Bear Simulator so much that the developer of the game had decided to quit making games because of "drama" from the game.
  • Pokémon YouTuber Tamashii Hiroka is more infamous for her feminist viewpoints and behavior on social media than for her videos. Some incidents include her hatred of the Ralts (particularly Gardevoir), Buneary and Machop lines for being what she perceives as gender stereotypes, insulting women with a feminine lifestyle, her angered responses when being confronted, and for calling someone a "Gardefag" for defending Gardevoir, all of which have made her a pariah among the Pokémon fandom.
  • The Top Tens is a pretty average ranking list site. However, many people outside of the site tend to bring up many infamous lists that have attracted attention that shouldn't be mentioned here for the sake of political flame wars (especially lists to do with countries), the administration and policy system which is regarded as being very lackluster, and the Broken Base between pop fans and rock fans.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • The Sailor Moon review is remembered mostly from the backlash it received from fans of the series, for several jokes that were viewed as sexist, using the Optimum dub, which later became obsolete, rather than the original Japanese version, and the fact that he focused on the ages of the characters, than for any of its actual merits.
    • His fourth commercial special is mainly remembered for the Canadian Rape PSA (he criticized it for being tone deaf, but a lot of people mistook it as not liking the message) and the Double Standard sexual harassment Running Gag, in which he openly stated that men don't suffer from harassment because they can't tell who's interested in them or not.
    • His review of Jurassic World is mainly remembered for the fact that it came out while the movie was still in theaters,note  breaking the Critic's promise back in The Review Must Go On.
    • The Let's Play of Bart's Nightmare is far more well-known for the backlash it received than for the video itself, to the point where the following review of James and the Giant Peach had NC apologizing for it in character at the start; in a sketch where he got sent to prison for it, placed next to the State Home for the Ugly, no less.
  • Vlogger and former Vine user Logan Paul, the older brother of the aforementioned Jake Paul, quickly rose up through his vlogging videos and popular clothing chain Maverick. However, he quickly tarnished his own reputation in late 2017 after posting a now-deleted video on YouTube featuring himself and three others finding a man in the Aokigahara forest who had hanged himself and allegedly made insensitive jokes at the victim's expense, even including the dead body in the video's thumbnail. Eventually, the incident led to even more controversy towards Paul once more of his questionable behavior in the past started coming to light, such as a prank involving him getting shot in front of his fans and tricking several underage girls into kissing his father, along with his series of vlogs showcasing him doing reckless behavior in public during his visit to Japan which culminated in said suicide forest video, causing some people to fear that it would lead to repercussions against foreign tourists visiting Japan. Not only did this lead to Logan Paul getting suspended and demonetized, but to him losing almost all of his respect and becoming labeled as a gringo (read: white guy with no respect of other's cultures). His attempts at healing the damage, such as trying to become an ambassador for suicide awareness and chopping off his signature curly perm, have done nothing to help. The incident has also caused YouTube to make significant changes to their creator program that have significantly divided the site's users. He later shot back up into controversy after he was temporarily demonetized in February 2018 after videos of him harming animals (killing a fish and tasering two dead rats) came to light.
  • Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew is more known for his extremely controversial statements on animation rather than anything else he's done. This includes saying that Lauren Faust will bring an end to creator-driven cartoon following her involvement in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, his various rants against Nickelodeon, organizing a petition to stop people from drawing Rule 34 of Zootopia, stating that The Loud House should be cancelled simply because its creator was a sexual predator and his apparent belief that animation as a whole is dead. All of these factors have made him (and the blog as a whole) a complete pariah among animation fans.
  • YouTuber and blogger Lily Peet was already a divisive figure on social media, but her open political views and general behavior have made her far more infamous than ever. Such incidents include her mangled relationship with Josh Scorcher note , her harsh criticisms of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, various remarks that were viewed as insulting to women and those with autism, her support of a friend of hers that was discovered to have possessed child pornography, and accusing Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar of being a Neo-Nazi.
  • Asalieri is remembered more for his jokes and comments that were viewed as transphobic (most infamously his Steel Beth character, a parody of Iron Liz who is transgender herself) and his rivalry with Angry Joe than for his Reviewing a Reviewer series.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventure Time episode "What Was Missing" immediately became popular and controversial, for the alleged lesbian subtext between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen.
  • The one thing most people remember about the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, other than the famous opening number by Mastodon, is its Viral Marketing campaign that caused the Boston Bomb Scare. This incident led to Jim Samples stepping down as the head of Cartoon Network. He was then replaced by Stuart Snyder, who became hated by fans for pushing out action cartoons in favor of live-action shows.
  • Avoiding this may have been why The Beatles underwent a small bit of censorship on MTV in the 1980s - While there are no extreme caricatures, many episodes that feature rather unpleasant Asian stereotypes (especially the episodes centered around Japan) had to be recut. Despite this all, the show was dubbed and aired in Japan anyway, and then came Lennon's marriage to Yoko Ono a few years later.
  • The series Big Mouth has had potential talk of a second season significantly muddled because of controversy about its sexual content. Before that, the series had to deal with backlash over its initial trailer and an Audience-Alienating Premise; making it one of the more divisive animated series that Netflix has produced.
  • Countless cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation (1930s until the end of 1950s) have been subject to censorship since the 1960s because of imagery that is nowadays considered racist or a bad example to little children (scenes of smoking, Suicide as Comedy, etc.). Though most of them only have minor scenes that can be edited in syndication, other cartoons are almost impossible to show because they are troublesome from the first until the last frame. These are the Censored Eleven, cartoons who are never shown on American TV. The unfortunate thing about many of these is that some of them are actually good, funny and/or important films:
    • Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs: A parody of Snow White with grossly exaggarated stereotypical caricatures of African Americans. Still many claim it to be Bob Clampett's best work.
    • All This and Rabbit Stew is a fairly straightforward Bugs Bunny cartoon where the rabbit outwits a hunter. Yet the hunter is black and a mix of almost every African-American stereotype at the time, making the cartoon far more infamous for this aspect than anything else.
  • While Clarence is still a pretty popular show, mention it anywhere, and typically at least one person will bring up the mental breakdown of the show's creator Skylar Page, including him groping a female coworker's breasts, and his subsequent firing. It's possible that the management at CN didn't forget about it either, as Clarence wound up getting Screwed by the Network big-time over the next several years before being cancelled after only three seasons.note 
  • Der Fuehrer's Face: An Oscar winning propaganda cartoon that has gained more notoriety over the years for starring Donald Duck as a Nazi than its artistic merits. It doesn't help that images from the cartoon often pop up out of context on various sites, causing many people to believe it actually endorses Nazism rather than criticize it.
  • Family Guy:
    • The episode "Extra Large Medium" is best known for the controversy of a female character with Down syndrome who mentions that her mother is a former governor of Alaska, which strongly implies that her mother is Sarah Palin, the only woman to have served in the office of governor in the state (Palin actually is the mother of a child with Down syndrome).
    • The episode "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q" is best known for the controversy regarding its treatment of domestic violence.
    • The episode "Life of Brian" is one of the most controversial episodes of the show, because of its premise of having Brian be run over by a car and killed and being replaced by the character of Vinny, a stereotypical Italian. The episode, and Vinny himself, proved to be so unpopular with fans that Brian was revived and brought back three episodes later, a move which proved to be just as controversial as "The Life of Brian", if not more so, either because it was seen as caving in too easily to the complaints, or because some people considered that Animation Lead Time meant that they probably had the idea of Brian being brought back to begin with, which made them perceive the whole thing as a stunt.
  • Full English was a British show intended to be the counterpart of adult shows such as South Park or Family Guy. Already unpopular with audiences who viewed it as copying from its source material, what nailed the show into the ground was an infamous segment where the ghost of infamous reality TV star Jade Goody has a fight with the ghost of Princess Diana. After numerous complaints, especially from newspaper The Daily Mail, the show was subsequently canned, and the remaining episodes were then aired one last time before never being aired again.
  • Johnny Test is probably more well known for its reputation as an overexposed show and unpopularity than virtually anything else about it.
  • Gwen Stefani's cartoon Kuu Kuu Harajuku is more known for complaints from various blogs and sites about its Japanese "cultural appropriation" than any aspect of the show itself.
  • The final episode of The Legend of Korra has largely been overshadowed by the last four minutes where Asami and Korra receive a Relationship Upgrade. There's been talk about it being anything from pandering to it being improper for a show aimed at elementary schoolers to have a same-gender relationship. And even then some were unsatisfied because their relationship was only subtly built-up, and was not given full confirmation on-screen like Aang & Katara's relationship, but was instead only confirmed online afterwards.
  • The career of The Loud House creator Chris Savino was ruined in October 2017 when allegations of sexual harassment and blackmail came to light. Not only was he fired by Nickelodeon, but they confirmed that the show would continue on without him.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Last Roundup" appears to be only remembered for giving fan favorite character Derpy Hooves lines and a canon name, and then subsequently censoring her due to her portrayal and name being considered offensive to some, delving into her cross-eyed look. Everything else about the episode is eclipsed by it.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016):
    • Within a month of starting, the series gained an unsightly reputation due to various changes such as removing popular character Ms. Bellum and recasting the girls.
    • The series' reputation was further affected by the accusation of character Jared Shapiro being a blatant Self Insert for writer Jake Goldman.note  This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't because Blossom has a crush on him and it isn't quite specified whether or not the feeling is mutual. Keep in mind that Blossom is middle school-age at the oldest, Jared is in high school, and Goldman is an adult man. However, another writer stated that Jared wasn't Goldman's direct creation, as he was just physically based on him as a production crew inside joke, and they simply decided it'd be doubly funny if Goldman voiced him, too, though this is ambiguous on whether it's actually true or just the team trying to save face.
  • The episode "Man's Best Friend" from The Ren & Stimpy Show was banned due to a scene with Ren violently beating George Liquor with an oar. It was also one of the possible reasons why John K. was fired from the show. Despite this, it is still considered one of the funniest episodes of the show.
  • South Park:
    • "Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus" is more known for the anger it generated from fans when it aired as a April Fools' joke instead of the highly anticipated "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut", the episode that reveals the identity of Cartman's father.
    • Episodes "200" and "201" is a Milestone Celebration and we learn the real truth behind Cartman's father. However, "200" caused a Muslim group to send death threats to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for depicting The Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit (even though it was really Santa Claus); Comedy Central subsequently altered "201" so all audio and visual references to Muhammad were censored, thus resparking the Muhammed cartoon controversy in real life. To this day, it has never been rerun, it's not available for legal streaming and only the censored version has been released on DVD. Portions of the uncensored cut very rarely leak onto the Internet but are immediately blocked before they can spread. The censored speech at the end, amusingly proven true by the forced censorship, essentially amounts to "Use fear and you will always get what you want!"
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "House Fancy" only seems to be remembered for scene where Squidward's toenail is ripped out when he and SpongeBob move furniture, and the complaints it received.
  • A minor example happened with Star vs. the Forces of Evil in Brazil after the gay kiss featured in "Just Friends". Some evangelical bishops called for a total boycott of all Disney products in the country.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The episode "Beta" is mostly known for the harassment writer Lauren Zuke received over a certain scene and the debates between Lapidot shippers and Amedot shippers (those who ship Peridot with Lapis Lazuli and Amethyst respectively), which played a role in said harassment. This incident became viewed as a stunning example of everything wrong with the fanbase and lead to Zuke distancing her self from them.
    • The episode "Keystone Motel" is remembered for the U.K. broadcast getting rid of every reference to Ruby and Sapphire being in a relationship.
  • Teen Titans Go! is, without a doubt, one of the most controversial Cartoon Network shows since it started airing in 2013. The show has been given lots of advertising, reruns, and marathons, to the point that it has its own Adored by the Network page. Meanwhile, Cartoon Network's other shows, both in-house and acquired, have either been under-advertised, given multiple month long hiatuses, or outright ignored by the network, leading some to believe that the channel was deliberately sabotaging them to make room for more Go!. This, along with its Periphery Hatedom among older audiences, especially fans of the original Teen Titans, has overshadowed nearly every other aspect of the show.

    Real Life 
  • Myanmar State Counsellor (equivalent to Prime Minister) Aung San Suu Kyi, once idolized by many for her activism when she was imprisoned by the then-oppressive government, has now had her reputation tarnished after her lack of response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis of Myanmar in 2017. Many universities and colleges worldwide have removed her name from awards or merits, and petitions to impeach her and remove her Nobel Peace Prize have taken off.
  • Hirohito:
    • Hirohito reigned as Emperor of Japan from Christmas of 1926 until his death one week into 1989, but he will always be most remembered and blamed for the atrocities committed in his name by the Imperial Army during World War II (including the Second Sino-Japanese War). To many people of that era from the Allied countries, especially China and Korea, he was a war criminal who escaped the meting of justice they felt he deserved (General MacArthur in particular wanted to see him hanged, and never forgave President Truman for not only sparing Hirohito a Nuremberg Trial but allowing him to remain on the throne for what turned out to be several more decades). For instance, when the Emperor visited Europe in the 1970s, he was protested by people who had survived Japanese POW camps. Really, the only "punishment" he received was that he was forced to admit to the Japanese people that he was not semi-divine. The War completely overshadows his other achievements. For example, did you know he was a noteworthy research scientist who published scholarly papers about fish? Neither did anyone else.
    • To this day, there is considerable debate amongst historians, especially in the West, as to just how much of a role Hirohito played in starting and executing the War. It is generally accepted today that by the time shots were fired (against United States, China is another matter entirely), his role was minimal at best, real power being exercised by Hideki Tojo and the military's top brass — the ones who did stand trial and were hanged — much of the more insane policies coming about as a result of the Imperial Army and Navy fighting their own internal turf war to gain favor. By the time Little Boy and Fat Man reduced Hiroshima and Nagasaki to ashes, Hirohito was at risk of becoming a war casualty himself; he had to record the Declaration of Surrender in secret and smuggle it out of the Palace because his own military would have killed him to keep it from being broadcast.
    • His legacy is still up in the air thanks to the existence of the Yasukuni Shrine, a war memorial which includes convicted war criminals among its names. Nationalist politicians like to pay their respects there, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that doing so invariably angers China and the Koreas. The fact that history classes in Japanese high schools either gloss over or ignore the War doesn't help either. note 
  • Bill Clinton oversaw the largest economic expansion since the end of the postwar period (even if a lot of the .com stuff was a speculative bubble), signed a far-reaching trade deal with America's then-largest trading partners Canada and Mexico, helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement which all but ended The Troubles, oversaw the Oslo Accords that led to direct Palestinian control over some the disputed territories with Israel, and became the first American president in at least a century to balance the federal budget (and the last). So what is he most remembered for? A sex scandal that led to him being only the second president in American history to be impeached. Note however that this did not hurt his popularity at the time; in fact, it backfired on his opponents, as many people saw the impeachment as a nakedly partisan power-grab – Clinton's approval rating increased during the hearings, and he left office as one of the most popular presidents of the modern era.
  • Richard Nixon's presidency has been overshadowed by the Watergate affair. Other memorable events during his administration, even good ones like him opening relationships with China, have been forgotten except for history buffs.
  • Silent movie comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's legacy has been tainted by his involvement in an party/orgy where a young girl died. Even though his name was eventually cleared, the affair destroyed his career and public image. He was given the chance for a comeback, but died the day after signing a new deal. Nowadays, if he is remembered at all, it's more for this public image than any of his films.
  • Boris Yeltsin is not remembered today for any of his policies, but more for his very visible and embarrassing alcoholism problems during public appearances.
  • The long, successful, and admirable career of Bill Cosby will forever be overshadowed by all the controversy of all the women who've come forward accusing him of either sexually assaulting or raping them. NBC and Netflix dropped projects they had with Cosby like a hot potato and he was erased from popular culture à la Jimmy Savile (see below). It's an open question whether a court case or his sudden death might change anything. One of the things that has cited in terms of the public backlash against Cosby is his long standing Holier Than Thou image as a straight edge comic and social critic. As such, he set himself up for a greater fall from grace.
  • Illich Guardiola is a voice actor known for his anime dub work with Sentai Filmworks. However, after April 2014, he is only remembered for his sexual relationship and sexual abuse with a 16-year-old female student of his. Even though the charges were dropped, this scandal effectively destroyed his voice acting career.
  • British TV presenter Jimmy Savile. During his lifetime, he was quite popular as a host and fundraiser for humanitarian causes, even being knighted for his goodwill. He died as a celebrated entertainer with people gathering to watch his funeral procession in the streets. Only a year after his death a revealing documentary outed him as a sexual predator who had molested hundreds of young women, many of them only teenagers. The report caused an outcry and many people reported similar incidents. As a result, Savile's name became so tainted that virtually all memorials, tributes and statues to him have been removed and destroyed. Even archive footage of him, or downright references to him in comedy shows, have been removed from the BBC site, making him effectively an Un-person at this point. It seems unlikely that his name or image can ever be shown again without creating controversy.
  • Adolf Hitler, Nazism and extreme right-wing ideologies have been permanently discredited since the revelation of The Holocaust.
    • It remains highly controversial to discuss, say, aspects of Nazi Germany which were, if not normal, typical of any modern government (be it democratic or totalitarian). The fact that such policies as anti-smoking laws, implementation of television, vegetarianism, standardization of color film stock, rocket technology, public television, assault rifles as well as the development and co-existence of several major German brands (Adidas, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen, Porsche, Fanta, Bayer) started with Nazi Germany is either airbrushed from history or occasionally invoked via sheepish Old Shame, Hitler Ate Sugar and Godwin's Law.
    • What makes Hitler's case exceptional, in some respects, is that other conquerors from the past, such as Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Genghis Khan and/or Napoleon Bonaparte have far less controversy attached to them. You can discuss their achievements in relatively neutral and/or positive terms since their legacies are not in living memory. One reason for this is that Genghis Khan was after all a descendant of a nomadic pre-modern civilization in a harsh environment rather than a democratically elected politician in a post-Enlightenment, industrialized and advanced Republic; Khan also reserved brutality for the combat fields, being a very open-minded and tolerant ruler overall. A historian can make a case that Temujin's brutal and violent conquests was an exceptional and special period in human development, and likewise meted out violence out of conquest rather than racial persecution. As for Charlemagne, Caesar and Napoleon, they may have been megalomaniacs, but all of them developed legal, social and cultural reforms of genuine merit; in the case of Napoleon, he crusaded against anti-Semitism. Besides, unlike Hitler, their military and political successes could be directly attributed to their own skills, rather than blind luck or the vision of subordinate staff. Also, none of them attempted genocide.
    • The problem with discussing Hitler and Nazi Germany in positive terms, in any case, presupposes the existence of anything genuinely positive or redeemable in Nazi policy. Most of their successes in economics, infrastructure and military governance, were 1) Typical rather than Exceptional 2) Temporary rather than Lasting, 3) Reversed with total defeat with Germany occupied, partitioned and territory permanently granted to Poland. Indeed, historians note that the only reason the Nazis and World War II are subject to intense ideological discussions is because of The Holocaust, which is today regarded by historians as Hitler and Nazi Germany's central legacy, the only reason for history to remember them.
    • A famous advertisment by Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo tells on the feats of an art-loving man who helped rebuild his war-ravaged country before revealing it's Hitler, followed by "You can tell a lot of lies by only saying the truth".
    • A documentary called Hitler's Descendants showed how family members related to the man, either by blood or through marriage lived with the backlash of this. As a result, some family members changed their sir names, some women married Jewish men as a form of atonement, and some men died refusing to have children out of fear they'd create another Hitler.
  • Any country that was ruled by an infamously cruel and eccentric dictator during the 20th century will have a hard time escaping his reputation, particularly if the country was not particularly well-known prior to his rule. Examples from more notable countries would be Germany and Adolf Hitler, Russia and Josef Stalin, China and Mao Zedong, Italy and Benito Mussolini and Spain and Francisco Franco, while examples of initially lesser-known nations include Libya and Muhammar Gaddafi, Cambodia and Pol Pot, Cuba and Fidel Castro, North Korea and the Kim family, Syria and Hafez and Bashar al-Assad, Afghanistan and the Taliban, Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini, Uganda and Idi Amin, Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe, Zaire and Mobutu, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Turkmenistan and Saparmurat Niyazov and the Philippines and Ferdinand Marcos Sr. The fact that some of these dictators or their families are still in power right now (namely, al-Assad and the Kim, Castro and Marcos families) doesn't help. In the West, this reaction is averted with Japan, despite its crimes in World War II being second only to the Nazis' and the fact that modern Japan has many more Axis apologists than modern Germany and Italy do, including high-level politicians, and Pearl Harbor is the only crime of theirs that the West remembers. It's a very different story in Asia, where Imperial Japan is looked on with the same revulsion Nazi Germany is elsewhere and as a result Japan has extremely poor relationships with other Asian countries.
  • Poor, poor swastika. Originally used in an almost exclusively positive manner, it is completely associated with Nazi Germany now. Even if you are yourself a Jew, Romani, etc. — and in fact, trying to use the Grandfather Clause or N-Word Privileges on this point will likely only stir up greater resentment against you.
  • To make a case of how influential Adolf Hitler was, you only need to go back to 1938 when a Belgian by the name of Hendrik De Man proposed a plan to reform the government in the times of the great depression. It was meant to oppress fascism thanks to the introduction of a social democracy of 5 classes controlled by technocrats. This man and his followers, who perpetrated a socialism that would reform the Belgian nation into a better one, called themselves national socialists. After World War 2 they realized just how unfortunate it was as a name to have and they renamed themselves as demanists, after the creator of their ideology, to get rid of all the fascist and Nazi connotations they had.
  • Artists who support controversial political regimes and ideologies often face this:
    • Bertolt Brecht, Sergei Eisenstein, Paul Robeson and several other artists who supported or sympathized with the Soviet Union, even under Stalin, saw their reputations decline, at least briefly, during the Cold War, and they faced further backlash in their homeland during De-stalinization and the Kruschev thaw. The phrase "useful idiot", misattributed to Lenin, is often used by historians to tag any artist or intellectual who supported or sympathized with Red October and used, retroactively, to justify such instances as The Hollywood Blacklist.
    • Still, being a fellow traveler to Communism is seen as misguided and naive, but sympathetic, idealism. Supporting Nazism and Fascism on the other hand is an absolute deal breaker: Louis-Ferdinand Céline, author of Journey to the End of the Night, one of the most acclaimed novels of the 20th century. He was grotesquely antisemitic and supported Vichy France and never repented. This makes it difficult for people to praise him as an author, especially given that during the war, another collaborationist writer, Robert Brasillach, was actually shot by firing squad in the post-war trials. The same applies to modernist poet Ezra Pound, an American who wrote and broadcast Fascist Propaganda for Mussolini during World War II, and was imprisoned for treason several years afterwards. Also Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda and the degree to which they qualify as legitimate works of art.
    • Fashion designer Coco Chanel is a legend in the fashion world, but she is not without controversy throughout her career; the infamous one being a collaborator to the Nazis, even dating one of them. Then there is Hugo Boss: famous for their luxury suits and perfumes for men, infamous for its eponymous founder's creation of Nazi uniforms.
  • This extends to authors who expressed racist and sexist stereotypes in their works, which in their day might have been typical or exceptional but thanks to Society Marches On and later political developments, their legacy gets tarnished. Richard Wagner is universally considered a genius composer, but his open anti-Semitism and the Nazi party's promotion of his music and writings has tarnished his legacy. Modern readers of books by William Shakespeare, Voltaire, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevsky and many others are often difficult to read for the open anti-Semitism, sexism and other stereotypes present in the content. Rudyard Kipling's promotion of Mighty Whitey and White Man's Burden made him, formerly the most popular and well-read author of his day, an embarassment for literary critics in the wake of decolonization.
  • While the late South Korean president Chung-hee Park is still highly respected by many Koreans for practically rebuilding the nation from the ground up (after it spent 35 years under Japanese rule and another three at war with North Korea), his 18-year rule is remembered by just as many for the fact that he led one of the most oppressive and dictatorial regimes the country had ever seen after becoming convinced that he was the only person who could properly maintain his country. This became such a dark mark for him that when his daughter Geun-hye became president in 2013, she publicly apologized for the atrocities he committed while he was in office. The younger Park, always a divisive figure due to her parentage, was herself disgraced in October 2016 when she was forced to admit to a longstanding friendship with an infamous Cult leader who may have influenced many of her decisions as President, and she was impeached that December.
  • November 22, 1963:
    • Any American capable of cognitive thought can tell you what happened on this day. But wasn't there something else? Something that was at least notable in the business world? Notable to Detroit Lions fans? Yes, it was the day that William Clay Ford, Sr., son of Edsel Ford, and member of board of directors of the Ford Motor Company, purchased the Lions and became majority owner. Had it not been for the terrible tragedy that day in Dallas, it's safe to say that while not necessarily front page news, it would have made at least some waves.
    • Not only did Kennedy die that day, but so did authors Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis.
    • And of course, science-fiction fans know it was the day before Doctor Who first aired. The BBC actually reaired the pilot the week later.
  • The 2015 Miss Universe pageant was overshadowed by host Steve Harvey accidentally announcing the wrong name as the winner and later by a vehicular incident that injured dozens of pedestrians (and killed one) outside the venue.
  • Ferdinand Marcos Sr. is forever remembered for corruption charges and the human rights violations during his Martial Law era presidency. And yet, his widowed wife and son are elected to political positions which makes a special case that the people who voted for them are either born after the EDSA revolution, believe that Marcos did some good things during his administration even before declaring Martial Law and that some of people tend to exaggerate that he's the worst president in Philippine history, that he and his family got Drunk with Power during the Martial Law era and the voters are willing to forgive them or that his Martial Law is beneficial to keep the peace in the entire country and the whole EDSA revolution is strictly for "Imperial Manila". When his son, a former senator who also ran for the Vice Presidency in the 2016 elections, was interviewed about his family name being a hindrance or a benefit to win the elections, he said with confidence that it's the latter. As expected, he earned a lot of backlash which doesn't help that he refused to apologize for his father's crimes during his administration. However, this doesn't stop him nearly winning the elections until his opponent Leni Robredo beat him in a near margin of votes.
  • Academy Awards:
    • The Academy Awards honoring the achievements of 2014 and 2015 gained more attention for the troubles over the issue of racial diversity amongst the acting nominees — as they were all white — and online protests and planned boycotts that ensued in response than the actual nominations. All of this ended up becoming the butt of many, many jokes by the latter ceremony's host, Chris Rock. On the bright side, at least Leonardo DiCaprio finally got an Oscar.
    • The Academy Awards honoring the achievements of 2016 attracted several notable controversies:
      • Casey Affleck's Best Actor win for Manchester by the Sea was controversial due to being revealed weeks before the ceremony that Affleck had been sued for sexual harassment in 2010;note  to the point that several attendees of the awards, up and including the actress who presented him the award, the previous year's Best Actress winner Brie Larson, refused to applaud him on his win. Also controversial was the fact that Affleck was given a very different treatment from his African-American contemporary Nate Parker, whose sexual assault allegations destroyed his Oscar chances.
      • The Iranian film The Salesman, which won Best Foreign Language Film, became better known for the fact that its director Asghar Farhadi boycotted the ceremony in protest of President Donald Trump's controversial executive order temporarily suspending immigration from his and six other Muslim-majority countries. Iranian-American astronaut Anousheh Ansari picked up the award for him.
      • The last and biggest controversy came at the ceremony's end, when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway erroneously announced that La La Land won Best Picture instead of Moonlight, the actual winner, the first time this mistake had been made in the Awards' history. The error, resulting from Beatty being mistakenly handed the Best Actress envelope, which La La Land had in fact won, rapidly became the defining moment of the ceremony in pop culture.
  • George W. Bush's December 14, 2008 press conference in Iraq, where he explained how the withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces would proceed, was overshadowed by an angry Iraqi journalist that threw his shoes at him, which Bush hastily dodged. Furthermore, the man's presidency is almost exclusively associated with his poor handling of the Second Gulf War (primarily because it ensued over suspicions that Iraq possessed nonexistent chemical weapons) and Hurricane Katrina, and to a lesser extent the financial collapse and ensuing Great Recession that happened on his watch. In addition, there are still conspiracy theories floating around alleging that his people somehow masterminded the September 11th attacks (usually framed as an excuse for the aforementioned Gulf War 2.0). What had at the end of 2001 been a highly-regarded presidency had become, by the end of 2008, one of the worst-regarded in American history.
  • In December 2014, Dave Grohl finally got his first solo Rolling Stone magazine cover. Sadly, that moment has been completely overshadowed by the "A Rape on Campus" article in the magazine.note 
  • In 2016, three Republican governors — Michigan's Rick Snyder, North Carolina's Pat McCrory, and North Dakota's Jack Dalrymple — were thrust into the national spotlight due to outrage over Snyder's handling of the Flint Water Crisis, McCrory's support of House Bill 2, which forces transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender at birth, and Dalrymple's involvement in suppressing protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline over the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. These three scandals quickly tainted their reputations both in their respective states and on a national scale. McCrory lost re-election later that year, while Dalrymple choose not to run for re-election.
  • The 2016 Miss Teen USA pageant was supposed to be seen as a huge step in distancing beauty contests from their misogynistic pasts, as it was the first such pageant since the organization cut ties with Donald Trump, and modernizing into a female-empowering competition, with its swimsuit competition being replaced by a sportswear one. Instead, it drew more attention for racist concerns, as its finalists were all blonde white women and the eventual winner had used the "n-word" in several past tweets.
  • In 2014, a story about a man from Virginia claiming a disputed empty desert territory between Egypt and Sudan went viral. He wanted to establish a "kingdom" so that his daughter could become a real life princess. It was a heartwarming story of a father's loyalty for his daughter. Things, however, took a turn for the ugly when Morgan Spurlock bought the movie rights to it, and Disney was to distribute it. This announcement brought the story back into the spotlight and immediately brought connections to the highly illustrious — and controversial — Disney Princess franchise. This drew plenty of criticism, as this was about a white girl becoming a princess in Africa — a continent strongly associated with anything but whites, and the colonialism aspect reminded people of another highly controversial entry in the franchise, Pocahontas.
  • Former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was well known both at home and abroad for his Hair-Trigger Temper and is defined in popular culture by various audacious things he's said and done, such as expressing terrorist and Holocaust-denier sympathies and perhaps most infamously a 2005 statement that he'd like to see the entire country of Israel completely destroyed, which even Iran's spiritual head Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, himself no friend to Israel, thought was too much. By the end of his two terms in 2012 his own people were more than sick of him (which he helped very little with his violent crackdowns on protests) and swiftly elected a more liberal successor.
  • Pope Benedict XVI, having a short pontificate sandwiched between the hugely popular John Paul II and the also hugely popular Francis I, probably wouldn't have been remembered for much in any case, but he had the bad luck to be on the throne when decades of child sexual abuse by priests were exposed, which also implicated him in a massive coverup to save the Church's reputation (though there's some evidence John Paul was complicit as well). He's also known as the Pope Who Quit, i.e. abdicating his seat while still alive (not unprecedented but extremely rare), paving the way for his successor. References to him in popular culture that aren't to the scandal, his uncanny resemblance to Darth Sidious, or the fact that he had a much more famous predecessor and successor are few and far between.
  • Joan Crawford's long career in Hollywood, which spanned several decades and included several award-winning movies (including What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) has been largely overshadowed by the accusations laid out in Mommie Dearest that she was a mad alcoholic who abused her oldest adopted daughter Christina. That the book was released after Joan's death, leaving her unable to refute it, didn't help, nor did the fact that the book was adapted into a movie that became a Cult Classic for being So Bad, It's Good in 1981.
  • Vladimir Putin is the man who returned Russia to world power status after the disasters of the 1990s. Unfortunately, his authorizing invasions of Chechnya and Georgia under justifications that remain murky, the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula (which most of the world refuses to recognize de jure), the pro-Russian paramilitary factions in Ukraine, Russia's anti-LGBT laws, and his reputation as a petty authoritarian with a lack of tolerance for political opposition have given him many detractors, inside and outside of Russia. There is also the matter of Putin's friendship with Donald Trump, perhaps the most controversial American president in modern times, and the Russian government's interference with the 2016 Presidential Race to get Trump in the White House. Such incidents included hacking the Democratic National Committee's computers, and a near-certainty that Trump — or at least the highest levels of his campaign — colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election; the latter issue is currently under investigation.
  • Malaysia Airlines is best known outside its home country for two disasters that happened to its planes in 2014, the disappearance of Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean and shooting down of Flight 17 over the Russia-Ukraine border.
  • Alex Tizon was a respected journalist and author for much of his career, but his earlier work has largely been overshadowed by his final story, "My Family's Slave", in which he confesses that his parents kept a slave for 56 years.
  • Jade Goody (mentioned above in the Western Animation section) was once a rather famous British women's gossip icon in the early 2000s, thanks to her role in the third season of Big Brother. However, things took an ugly turn in her re-appearance in the fifth season of the show, where she and two other female contestants racially insulted Indian actress Shilpa Shetty (who would later go on to win the season) many times over her incorrect usage of cooking with stock cubes. The incident led to the highest number of complaints ever recorded to OFCOM and caused Goody to quickly be voted off the show, and she eventually became the butt of many jokes afterwards until her death from lung cancer in 2009. Even though her reputation has slightly improved after her death, her name has still become synonymous with the event.
  • Philosopher and author Friedrich Nietzsche, much like Richard Wagner (see "Music"), is now best known for the promulgation of his work by the Nazis rather than its actual content. Saying you agree with Nietzsche's philosophy on anything will get you accusations of being a racist, fascist, and/or Social Darwinist, and it's Common Knowledge that the man himself was all these things and more (he wasn't).
  • Despite a long career that spans four decades, ten books, and countless exhibitions, photographer Sally Mann's career has largely been overshadowed by the controversy that arose over her third book, Immediate Family, which features a lot of nude (though not sexually explicit) photos of her children.
  • While Christopher Columbus wasn't the first to discover America, his voyages did lead to a greater contact with the Old and New Worlds, (hence the term Columbian exchange) and kick started the colonization of the Continent by European powers. However, it also lead to the mistreatment and death of several indigenous people, of which Columbus himself had a part in. As a result, a significant portion of the population in the United States has opposed the celebration of Columbus Day. Other countries in the Americas outright changed the name of the day to "Indigenous Peoples Day" or other similar names in direct reference to said mistreatment.
  • As the head of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein oversaw the production of some of the most acclaimed films since the '90s like Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love. While there were some earlier controversies surrounding him,note  these were overshadowed when allegations of his history of sexually harassing women such as Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan came to light in an October 2017 article in The New York Times. This article encouraged a number of women to come forward with similar allegations against him, including Léa Seydoux, Cara Delevingne, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.note  Then a New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow had a number of actresses, including Asia Argento, accuse him of rape, alongside an audio recording of him admitting to groping women. Soon, a number of Weinstein's friends and clients began siding with the victims and refused to associate with him any further, he was fired from his own company by a board of directors that included his own brother, Bob Weinstein (who later described Harvey as "a sick man" and "a world-class liar"), his wife announced that she was leaving him, and TWC began scrubbing his name away from any further projects. The fallout also lead to a wave of accusations against other celebrities and powerful men, which became known as the Weinstein effect.
  • Pope Alexander VI is mostly remembered for admitting to fathering several children by his mistresses, his papacy being widely regarded as one of the worst of all time, and his family the Borgias being the poster child for nepotism and libertinism.
  • Robert Mugabe had a role in Zimbabwe's independence from the United Kingdom in 1980 and afterwards ruled the country from that year up until 2017, being the first African ruler of the country, but he is little remembered for anything but the fact that many of Zimbabwe's economic problems (particularly huge debts, hyperinflation, mass poverty, and economic ruin) were linked to his ruling, widely considered a dictatorship.
  • It is difficult to bring up the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher without mentioning how strict her administration was. For example, her unflattering views of the Irish during The Troubles and her siding with Moral Guardians (especially Mary Whitehouse).
  • Does anyone remember anything about Donald Trump's August 15, 2017 press conference on infrastructure? Of course not (unless you're Senator Jim Inhofe), because all everyone was talking about were his highly controversial post-conference remarks on the alt-right rally in Charlottesville three days prior.
  • Celebrity chef Mario Batali took a major hit to his popularity in December 2017 when he was faced with no less than twelve sexual harassment accusations in the fallout from the aforementioned Harvey Weinstein scandal. He lost his hosting gig on the cooking talk show The Chew, reruns of his older show Molto Mario were pulled from Food Network, and Target announced they would be no longer stocking his cookbooks after they received a petition with over 7,000 signatures.
  • The Mandalay Bay Hotel, one of the most iconic resorts in Las Vegas, is now primarily known for being the location where a mentally deranged man shot 58 people dead and injured 500 others at a country music festival.

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