A form of Real Life Writes the Plot
The Role Ending Misdemeanor occurs when an actor/presenter is fired in order to protect a project's reputation. This is usually the result of shady dealings in the performer's personal life, or because the rest of the cast simply would not put up with him/her any longer. If this person was the star of a long-running TV show, the character will probably be McLeaned
In some cases this is done as a desperate gambit to force the rejected star into getting help for a booze or drugs problem. It rarely works.
See also Undermined By Reality
, Actor Existence Limbo
, Contractual Purity
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Anime and Manga
- Supposedly, the character of Yuuichi Tate in Mai-HiME was not recycled into Mai-Otome because his voice actor, Tomokazu Seki, spoiled the ending of the first series.
- According to rumors, demands of a higher salary from Yuki Judai's voice actor halfway through the production of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX season 4 forced him to be axed and the entire season being cut in half. It's less surprising when you figure that Judai was becoming way too over focused in the anime, enough so that a raise demand wasn't out of the question.
- The creator of Hentai cosplay comedy manga/anime Go Go Marine-chan, Hideki Nonomura, was arrested in 2005 for raping one of his assistants over a seven month period. Apparently, he was living out his sexual fantasies in real life through the victim, since outside of Marine-chan, Nonomura's entire body of work revolved around stories about naive women being tied up and raped over a consecutive time period.
- Aya Hirano was booted from Lantis (her music agency) after they caught wind of her affairs with her (male) co-workers. She must've realized her time was up at Space Craft (her seiyuu agency) as well due to the scandal, since she had enough foresight to pack her bags before that agency could act, voluntarily submitting her resignation effective August 20, 2011 and switching agencies the day after. It is unknown how this kerfluffle will affect Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, and the third season of Fairy Tail, but a non-fatal version of Actor Existence Failure may be in play here.
- After one of its members made disparaging remarks about Yui Horie, Jinkaku Radio was forced to disassociate themselves with the upcoming anime Daily Lives of High School Boys, which means the song "Hikizan", which was intended as the show's closing theme, will now probably never be released.
- Norio Imamura originally played the voice of Emporio Ivankov on One Piece (the author, Oda, even commented that he made the character with him specifically in mind). But was arrested for showing off body art on the internet which in Japan is considered indecent exposure. The role wound up being recast as a result.
- Pokémon: The Pikachu and Pichu short became a Missing Episode in Japan due to Noriko Sakai being arrested for drug possession. It doesn't help that they could've easily had a new narrator overdub Sakai's narration.
- The most famous example of this trope from the Pageant world is Vanessa L. Williams, who became the first African-American woman to be crowned Miss America in 1984, but later relinquished the crown after Penthouse Magazine published several nude photos of her that had been taken a few years prior to her entering the competition.
- Despite the controversy, Williams eventually became one of the most successful Miss Americas of all time after launching recording (her song "Save the Best for Last" was a worldwide hit in 1992) and acting careers.
- Meanwhile, Laser-Guided Karma hit the offending photos when it was revealed that the centerfold for the issue of Penthouse that they were published in was underage. Her name was Traci Lords. Williams was presumably relieved by this turn of events.
- Katie Rees was stripped of her Miss Nevada USA crown in December of 2006 after racy photos surfaced of her partying topless and making out with some lady friends in a Florida night club.
- Miss California USA 2009 Carrie Prejean invited controversy by using her Q&A session during the 2009 Miss USA pageant to declare that she believed marriage should only be between a man and a woman. She then found herself in the middle of another controversy several months later when modeling photos of her posing topless in panties (but not showing anything) began making the rounds of the internet. Despite the controversy she was allowed to keep her title, only to have it stripped for good shortly afterward for an unspecified "breach of contract" unrelated to either of those incidents.
- Averted with Miss Brazil 2011 Priscila Machado, who earned controversy after topless pictures leaked online before the contest but still won. Not so much with the 2002 winner Joseane Oliveira, who was stripped of the crown after they found out she was secretly married (and then decided to be stripped of everything else for Playboy).
- Possibly inverted with Robert Downey, Jr. Reviewers often mentioned how his experience with alcoholism and drug abuse made him perfect for the role as Iron Man, the archetypal battling-with-his-own-demons superhero. Still, it was nearly impossible to get insurance for him on the role.
- Jamie Waylett was dropped from the last Harry Potter film after being charged with cannabis possession. Instead, Blaise Zabini appears as Draco's sidekick rather than Crabbe and Goyle is killed in Crabbe's place, with Crabbe himself presumably rotting in Azkaban.
- This happened to David Niven, of all people. At some point in the 1930s he was carrying on a torrid affair with Merle Oberon. During this time he accompanied Oberon on a rail trip from New York City to Los Angeles, spending the entire trip doing exactly what you're thinking in Oberon's private carriage. The only problem was that the US had a law at the time called the Mann Act, which forbade the interstate transport of women for "immoral purposes." Although the law was originally intended to simplify the prosecution of pimps and pedophiles, in practice it was often used maliciously against "undesirables" such as interracial couples, foreigners, or those naughty, nasty movie stars. (Oberon and Niven would have fit all three categories). Niven later wrote that he found himself having to go to ground for a while to avoid prosecution, and lost at least half a dozen parts over the kerfluffle. Note that this was a consensual relationship between two unmarried adults, and that Oberon's career was also tarnished, although she was never targeted by the police (and, as Niven had asked, refused to speak to them).
- Roman Polanski was relegated to directing Pirates when he committed statuatory rape of at least one 13 year old girl. He pled guilty, but then fled the country to avoid serving his sentence. Obviously this forced him to delay his project; initially, he was also supposed to play Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red's sidekick Frog, but by the time he finally got around to making the film, he had apparently already figured out he was too old for the part. In an odd case, Polanski wasn't the only one who lost his intended role because of his crime and subsequent cowardice; Jack Nicholson, who was supposed to play Captain Red, found himself caught up in the same scandal as an innocent bystander in the long run when the role was given to Walter Matthau.
- Making Mr. Right features an in-universe example. A popular soap opera character is killed off shortly after his portrayer gets into a scuffle with the beloved android main character. It's implied the encounter led to the firing.
- Megan Fox was fired from the Transformers Film Series for not having any respect for the project and being difficult to work with. Not, as believed, for comparing Michael Bay to Hitler in an interview, which was taken out of context (she was comparing his friendly demeanor off-set to a "Hitler" ie "Dictator" persona on set). Bay himself laughed off her comments and it was later suggested that Steven Spielberg was the one to make the call, as he didn't like her attitude. The only explanation of her absence in Dark of the Moon was Wheelie nonchalantly saying she left Sam, which is odd in context considering all they went through. What's stranger is that it is clear that she, not Carly, was in the script, and that only minor rewrites were made when Fox was fired. This is shown when we see that Sam somehow has both her pets, Bones and Wheelie, and Carly's boss, Dylan, collects cars, which ties in to Mikaela's history with them.
- Bay's later project Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cast Fox to play April O'Neil, which further suggests it was issues with the franchise and not personally between them.
- The career of film composer Dominic Frontiere (best known for films such as The Stunt Man and Hang Em High and TV series like The Outer Limits) was destroyed when he was jailed for a year in 1986 for scalping $500,000 worth of Super Bowl tickets (obtained from his then-wife, Los Angeles Rams owner Georgia Frontiere) and not reporting it to the IRS. After his jail sentence ended, Frontiere scored just one more film and his marriage ended as well.
- Inverted for Robert Mitchum, who was arrested for marijuana possession in 1948, during a time when an arrest record would practically kill any celebrity's career. Instead, it helped boost his bad boy image.
- Similarly, actor Rory Calhoun's past as a juvenile delinquent made the pages of Confidential magazine. Although Calhoun's persona wasn't that of a "bad boy", the fact that Calhoun's religious conversion had played a part in his rehabilitation smoothed the way.
- Interestingly, years later it was discovered that Calhoun's "outing" as a former juvie had been the work of his agent, who had given Confidential Calhoun's story in a deal he made to protect his biggest star - Rock Hudson - from being outed as gay.
- Rip Torn's character Zed from the Men in Black series was killed off between movies 2 and 3 due to a drunk driving arrest on the part of Mr. Torn.
- For the planned sequel to Snow White & the Huntsman, the original film's director, Rupert Sanders, will not be returning, presumably due to his affair with Kristen Stewart. On the flip side, Stewart herself has been confirmed for this sequel.
- Warner Bros. terminated its contract with Busby Berkeley, known for musicals such as Flying High, 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames, and Gold Diggers of 1935, after he was arrested for drunk driving. It didn't help that the Hays Code was just starting to be stringently enforced, and Warner suddenly had to become a lot more cautious to ensure its films didn't promote immorality.
- Fictional example: producer Victor Taranksy attempts to end his fictional actress' career with several of these in S1m0ne, including an appearance in an awful Le Film Artistique where she eats slop out of a pig trough in a wedding dress and an interview where she advocates smoking cigarettes and building shooting galleries at elementary schools. It doesn't take.
- Jeffrey Jones committed career suicide with his CP incident in 2002. He's only done one film since.
- Almost happened to Jason Mewes, who plays Jay in The View Askewniverse films. After a number of drug-related incidents the director refused to let him be in Clerks II unless he cleaned himself up. It helps that in Clerks II Jay is an addict after rehab.
Live Action TV
- oddly averted in the case of Wilfred Brambell, who was commonly known to be a fairly shady character in real life. Ironic in that his screen oersona was of a disgusting old man who variously drank heel taps from bar optics, rarely washed ( his only known bath was a protracted, surreal gag involving a bowler hat and a jar of pickled onions ) and was addressed by the catchphrase "you DIRTY old man!" several times each episode. However his homosexuality and alcoholism were never referred to and assiduously covered up at the time.
- Gary Dourdan, who had been hinting that he might leave CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, was finally written out of the show due to his personal problems; rumors that his drug charges were a direct cause are untrue.
- After four great seasons writing and producing The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin was asked to leave his position as Executive Producer after his drug scandal leaked out.
- Shannen Doherty's character on Charmed being killed off. Heavily rumored to have been done at the request of her co-star Alyssa Milano, as it was well known that they hated each other. The writers notably included an episode where she spent most of the running time transformed into a female dog. The message was certainly on the wall. Through which Prue was then lethally thrown, making the season finale also a dropped bridge. And, given the show's universe, full of Fridge Logic, rendering all even more obvious.
- This was also why her character was ousted from Beverly Hills 90210. She reportedly didn't get along with the remaining cast members, and thus, she was fired at the end of the fourth season and replaced with a new character played by Tiffani Thiessen.
- Coronation Street: at the time of writing, two key characters are in limbo after being caught up in the fall-out from the Jimmy Savile business. Actors Michael LeVell (Kevin Webster) and Bill Roache (Ken Barlow) have temporarily been written out of the show pending resolution of alleged under-age sex offences. it is unclear as to whether either actor will ever return.
- Melissa Suffield (Lucy Beale) who got sacked after being caught going into London Nightclubs underage and getting unruly drunk, her rather colorful social network sites might also have had something to do with it. The character was eventually reinstated with a new actress.
- Rob Kazinsky (Sean Slater) got a temporary ban from EE for sending photos of his nude self around.
- "Dirty" Den Watts (Leslie Grantham), who was under pressure from the start when it was revealed that the actor had served a life sentence for murder. The BBC stood by him, arguing that he'd learnt his lesson and every former criminal deserves rehabilitation. He left the show, but returned several years later. This time around he was forced to quit after Internet footage was released of his performing indecent acts into a webcam.
- Sasha Mitchell's character Cody from Step by Step was Put on a Bus because of real life domestic abuse allegations from Mitchell's wife.
- Glenn Quinn was removed from Angel earlier than intended because of fears that his drug habit would rub off on David Boreanaz. He died from a heroin overdose three years afterward. They really had bad luck, since the character was originally meant to be Whistler from Buffy, but that actor also had drug problems.
- Julie Benz was removed early on from the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer in part due to tensions on set during Season 1. Alyson Hannigan has hinted in interviews that Benz was very mean towards her in particular.
- Though this was later subverted with her reappearance on the spinoff Angel.
- On the Dick Van Patten show Eight Is Enough, regular cast member Willie Aames was fired because of his drinking problem.
- Yancy Butler had to leave Witchblade because of her fondness for spirits. Since she played title character Det. Sara Pezzini, the show left with her.
- While it had already ended production, Pee-Wee's Playhouse had its reruns cut short by CBS, thanks to Paul Reubens' indecent exposure. Kinda hard to reconcile that fact with Pee Wee Herman, no matter the protests to the contrary. The rumors that circulated at the time that Reubens had done it deliberately to invoke this trope and finally get rid of his career-starting but then career-limiting character didn't help matters.
- Angus Deayton was presenter of Have I Got News for You until lurid tales of drugs and disguised prostitutes came to light. He was mocked relentlessly on the show, then booted out. Paul Merton later claimed that it wasn't Deayton's behavior itself that led to his dismissal, but rather that it would make it near-impossible for him to fulfill his role of skewering politicians and other public figures for the exact same behavior; the few episodes he filmed after the story broke suffer for that very reason. The format relies on his playing the Straight Man, and he'd become the Butt Monkey.
- Possible subversion: Richard Bacon was dismissed from Blue Peter for doing cocaine. He has since done a lot of other, grown-up television since getting kicked off the show, even on the BBC itself.
- Another Blue Peter presenter, Peter Duncan, is a subverion - his appearance in a soft porn movie was revealed soon after he joined Blue Peter, but The BBC stood by him and he remained on the show for several years.
- Isaiah Washington's contract to the show Grey's Anatomy was not renewed for the show's fourth season as a result of some offensive homophobic remarks he made to T. R. Knight., along with the cast's embarrassment of him remarking and denying it his denying it (while using the exact word, which really didn't help) in a post awards show press conference.
- Yeoman Rand from Star Trek: The Original Series, if William Shatner is to be believed. While Grace Lee Whitney did have alcohol/drug issues, others say Rand was transferred to another starship due to the writers not wanting a love interest for Kirk on the ship, while others claim that she was fired after threatening to expose her sexual assault by a studio executive.
- Michael Moriarty claims that he was written off of Law & Order because of his open criticism of Janet Reno, to which NBC took umbrage. Dick Wolf claims that his reaction to Reno was just the latest and most public example of Moriarty's "erratic behavior" and it was that behavior that got him canned.
- Allegedly happened twice in Homicide: Life on the Street. First Brody was allegedly written out because Max Perlich had drug and arrest issues. Then, more controversially, it's been rumored that Howard was dropped because of press stories about unpleasant events involving Melissa Leo and her then ex-partner, despite the fact that she was most likely the victimized party in the situation. Humorously, Max Perlich played Whistler from the above Buffy example, and was not carried over to Angel because of his issues.
- By some accounts, Lindsay Lohan's stint on Ugly Betty was cut short due to outrageous diva behavior on her part. Other sources claim it was due to Creative Differences (if this is true, we might presume Lohan was upset that her character was set up as a Fallen Princess only to be turned into a bitch for no reason). Her run-ins with the law have since become Career Ending Misdemeanors, since she's now very difficult to insure.
- Alastair Stewart, British newsreader and host of documentary series Police, Camera, Action! had his contract terminated in 2003 for a drink-driving offense (his second one, he'd referred to it previously in a November 1994 episode, the show's second episode) and was relegated to intro and outros in the Rebooted version of it, which was now presented by Alastair Stewart and Adrian Simpson, as of September 2007. Surprisingly, he was allowed to present the special edition episode Ultimate Pursuits in September 2007.
- Some sources say that Lisa Bonet was exiled from The Cosby Show to the Spin-Off A Different World after doing an explicit sex scene in the movie Angel Heart.
- Chris Langham was written out of The Thick of It, despite playing the main character. Being arrested for downloading kiddie porn will do that to you.
- Rebecca Gayheart's involvement in a 2001 vehicular manslaughter may have contributed to her departure from Dead Like Me after 5 episodes. In that series, she played the role of a "Grim Reaper", helping the dead pass on to the afterlife.
- According to this, Gayheart's character Betty was written out by the fifth episode intentionally, though the series creator, Bryan Fuller, had to fight with studio execs to prevent Gayheart from being replaced by another actress. If Fuller hadn't left the series early in the first season, Betty would have returned by the beginning of the second season, which is what he had intended. Once he left, the studio execs changed the plotline for the second season so that Betty would never return.
- Julie McCoy was written out of The Love Boat after Lauren Tewes's cocaine addiction made it impossible to perform her job. It didn't help that she started making very bizarre claims to reporters, such as the claim that she could tie knots with her toes.
- Kevin Lloyd was sacked from The Bill in 1998 because of his alcoholism. He died just a week after being made to leave the show.
- Fictional example: The Fast Show featured the character of Arthur Atkinson, a 1940s music-hall comedian. In the last episode featuring the character, his audience walks out en masse after he makes a crude joke during a performance, and we are told his career never recovered.
- Actor Jim Fitzpatrick, who played Pierce Riley on the U.S. soap opera All My Children was abruptly fired in early 1996 after an incident in a New York City bar which involved him groping a woman and attempting to drag her off into an empty hallway where he would no doubt have taken it further had other bar patrons not intervened. Similarly, actor Michael Nader was fired from his role as Dimitri Marick in early 2001 after a second arrest for drug use. Producers had bought his excuses for a previous arrest for drunk driving and had attempted to make allowances for him to attend rehab, but his second arrest was the last straw for them.
- Initially played straight by actress Melissa Reeves after she quit Days of Our Lives in late 1995. It was later discovered that her husband had walked in on her and her costar having sex in her dressing room and had demanded that she quit the show right then and there if she wanted to save their marriage. The result was a tearful early-morning phone call to the show's producers informing them that she would not be reporting to work that day or any time in the near future. After several years of considerable uproar—along with the personal fallout, Days sued her for breach of contract—not only was their marriage saved (they're still together as of April 2012), but the trope was eventually averted when she returned to the show in 2000 for six years, and returned again in 2010.
- Chicago sportswriter Jay Mariotti, a regular panelist on the ESPN show Around The Horn, was fired from the show in 2010 after he was arrested for domestic assault. He would return to ESPN in a reduced capacity in 2013, one that didn't include his return to Around the Horn.
- American Idol:
- When racy pictures of Frenchie Davis emerged (they weren't even nude) she was dismissed from the show.
- Both Corey Clark and Jermaine Jones were removed for having criminal records that they lied about.
- After boosting viewer figures for Ally McBeal, Robert Downey, Jr. was fired from the show (and his character Larry Paul written out) after being arrested for violating his parole. It soon became apparent that this was actually worse than just a Role Ending Misdemeanor as ratings went back down again and the show was cancelled at the end of the fifth season, making the parole violation a Show Ending Misdemeanor in the process.
- Oh boy oh boy oh boy, where do we begin on Charlie Sheen? Allegations of domestic abuse didn't cut it. Getting arrested and put in jail in Aspen for violating a restraining order didn't cut it. No, for him to get kicked off of Two and a Half Men, it took: Sheen getting sent to the hospital for suffering a hernia while engaging in what was, by all accounts, a coke-fueled orgy; taking a leave of absence to go into rehab, putting the show on hiatus in the process; calling up Alex Jones and bitching about the show's executive producer, his co-stars, and the higher-ups at CBS; and demanding $3 million per episode once he returned (compared to his previous salary of $1.8 million per episode, already a rather staggering amount) for Warner Bros. to finally say, "Fuck it" and toss him out into the cold, killing his character (and making sure Sheen himself can never, EVER come back to the show), and replacing him with Ashton Kutcher.
- Sheen went on to star on FX's Anger Management. While he's pulled some prima donna behavior there as well, he was able to get Selma Blair fired for complaining about it, so he seems to be invulnerable for now.
- Adrienne Bailon staged a fake nude photo controversy involving a stolen laptop with her agent and then-boyfriend Rob Kardashian in order to boost her fading career. Said controversy caused a cancellation of The Cheetah Girls performance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and eventually led to the Cheetah Girls just disbanding completely. Bailon's recurring character was also dropped from That's So Raven because of backstage catfights with Raven-Symoné. Raven eventually left the Cheetah Girls as well.
- Artie Lange (from the original cast of MADtv) was fired from the cast after season two due to his cocaine habit. A few years later, he more or less lost his job on Howard Stern's radio show for the same reason, but in that case he did get it back eventually. Ironically FOX did allow Artie to do a cameo on MADTV where they make fun of the reason he was kicked off.
- Jessica Biel did a racy photo shoot specifically to get out of wholesome family drama 7th Heaven because she felt her squeaky-clean image was making her miss out on serious dramatic roles. It didn't quite get her fired, but it did drastically reduce her screen time.
- Averted by Tommy Chong on That '70s Show following his DUI arrest and sentencing. The producers told him he was chosen for his role because he was a stoner when he worried about his future on the show; true to their word, his character was Put on a Bus for the duration of Chong's sentence and returned from a vacation when Chong was released.
- After Mitchell Musso's DUI bust, his character on Pair Of Kings moved to Chicago and was replaced by a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, as Disney has a rather hardline stance toward reckless behavior (see the Adrienne Bailon example above). His hidden camera show PrankStars was similarly killed four episodes into its run, with the remainder of the episodes that had not aired burned off in the United Kingdom solely to get copyright protection. On a side note, he did not lose his other Disney job, voicing Jeremy on Phineas and Ferb. But only due to the fact that it's one of their most popular shows and, unlike PoK, would be extremely noticeable and difficult if they recast or got rid of the character. It also helped that the creators spoke on his behalf to let him stay.
- Brett Ratner resigned from producing the 2012 Oscars under public pressure after saying "Rehearsing is for fags." This led to the scheduled host, Eddie Murphy, resigning as well because he didn't want to perform without Ratner. Billy Crystal replaced Murphy.
- A series ending one: HBO had agreed to give Luck a second season very early in its run, but then quickly cancelled it after the public relations nightmare of three horses being killed on set. However, all three were purely accidental, and something HBO was trying much harder to prevent than other producers of horse-riding TV shows.
- Played straight and then averted with William Talman, who portrayed D. A. Hamilton Burger on Perry Mason. He was arrested under circumstances which CBS decided violated the morals clause in his contract and subsequently fired. He was found innocent at trial, however, and thanks to vigorous campaigning by his co-stars was eventually rehired.
- Rip Torn's character on 30 Rock, Don Geiss, died of a heart attack between seasons after Torn's increasingly bizarre behavior culminated in him breaking into a bank in 2010. His character in the Men in Black franchise was similarly McLeaned in Men in Black III for the same reasons.
- In the Heat of the Night series co-star Howard Rollins was eventually dropped from the show after repeated legal problems, including cocaine possession and a DUI.
- Actor and comedian Fred Willard lost his job as the narrator of PBS show Market Warriors after being arrested for lewd acts in a pornography theatre, and his ABC series was also yanked off the air prematurely, resulting in a pair of Missing Episodes.
- Duane "Dog" Chapman's 1976 murder conviction (which was basically for being in the wrong place at the wrong time) scuttled his plans to appear on Celebrity Big Brother. The UK routinely denies travel visas to those with a murder conviction on their record, and did so in Chapman's case, making it impossible for him to take part.
- Alexa Nikolas was removed from Zoey 101 because she didn't get along with Jamie Lynn Spears.
- Though contrary to popular belief, this is not what happened to the show. Filming of the last season was completed by the time Jamie Lynn announced her pregnancy. Nickelodeon decided to show support and air the show despite complaints.
- Kevin Clash, the puppeteer for Elmo on Sesame Street, went on a leave of absence after allegations arose that he had consensual sex with a 16-year-old (who was of age by the state's standards, mind you). The allegations were soon disproven, though just as it looked like he'd recover from that incident a new allegation of the same kind from another party led him to quit the series.
- Also, actor Northern Calloway, who played David, began to have a decline not only in physical health, but mental health in the 1980's. He had a nervous breakdown leading to a rampage in Nashville in 1980 and he ended up jailed. However, he still returned to playing David and promised to take his prescribed lithium. However, the producers were skeptical of how long he would last and gradually ended David's relationship with Maria (Sonia Manzano) and eventually had him take over Mr. Hooper's store when Mr. Hooper died. His behavior would remain erratic, and after biting music coordinator Danny Epstein in a scuffle and intruding to the high school of Allison Bartlett, who plays Gina, and proposing to her, Calloway was fired/forced to resign and hospitalized and David was written out. Calloway died in a facility in Ossining in 1990 of a cardiac arrest caused by exhaustive psychosis/excited delirium syndrome, literally a fatal nervous breakdown. Unlike Mr. Hooper, they did not make David die offscreen or pay tribute to Calloway.
- Jay Thomas was fired from Cheers after someone called him on his radio show asking what it was like working there and he replied "Ugh, it's horrible. For one thing, I have to kiss Rhea Perlman." While Perlman happened to be listening, no less.
- In a sort of amusing irony, Watchdog and Rogue Traders co host Dan Penteado was apparently fired after being arrested for benefit fraud and jailed. Considering the shows are meant to be about rip offs and con artists, this ended up being mentioned by one of the rogues confronted on the show afterwards.
- E4 have tried to deny it, but few people believe that Kelly being Put on a Bus between two seasons of Misfits with no proper farewell scene wasn't because of Lauren Socha getting convicted of racially-motivated assault on a cab driver.
- In an example similar to that which happened on The Cosby Show, Star Trek: The Next Generation had a Cute Clumsy Girl character named Sonya Gomez, played by Lycia Naff. She was intended to be a recurring character and appeared in two early episodes, but the character was never mentioned again because Naff took a role as the triple-breasted hooker in Total Recall (1990).
- After the death of one of its participants during production on the second season, MTV executed Buckwild by canceling it and clamping down tightly on the rights, going so far as to outright refuse to allow its producers to shop the series to another network.
- Paula Deen's long-running Food Network cooking show was canceled after audio of her using the "N word" and making off-color jokes concerning minorities and Jews was discovered. After her admittance to using racial slurs with no regrets whatsoever and the resulting backlash against her, the network chose not to renew Paula Deen's contract and will cease any and all involvement with her.
- Shortly after, Deen's endorsement deals began to rapidly fall from the sky.
- At least one article has suggested that the racial incident was just 'the last straw', and Food Network was trying to get rid of her anyway because she didn't draw the 18-49 crowd advertisers love.
- Jeff Conaway's drug problems got him fired from Taxi after he was discovered in his trailer too strung out to work. His character Bobby Wheeler's lines were divided among other characters, causing the producers to realize they didn't need Conaway and the headaches he caused at all. His career had a slight bounce with a recurring-then-permanent character in Babylon 5, but his habits kicked in harder after that series, with only bit parts in films and movies, including a Harsher in Hindsight guest role in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew before his death in 2011.
- Bob Vila, the host of the PBS series This Old House, was one hell of a person for the show's construction crew to deal with. Among other things, he ended up hogging the spotlight. However, the last straw was when, before the 1989 season, he appeared in ads for Rickel Home Centers, a competitor to series sponsor Home Depot. He was shortly fired for endangering the series, as Home Depot had dropped its sponsorship as a direct result of the ads.
- RKO General was permanently banned from broadcasting in 1987 due to a wide variety of licensing misconducts dating back to 1965. The FCC vowed to reject any appeals on the decision; however, it gave RKO General the opportunity to wind down its operations peaceably, which it did by 1991, after which it went out of business. An epic case of a Company Ending Misdemeanor if there ever was one.
- Tripp Eisen of Static-X was fired after two counts of statutory rape, the first of which he was arrested and released on bail after a few hours in custody. The second occurred a few weeks later, after he was arrested for having sex with a 13 year old after grooming her on the Internet for three months while posing as a Static-X fan. He was fired as soon as the band heard about it. More like a Role Ending Felony.
- Being arrested for possession of cocaine is a big part of why Steven Page left Barenaked Ladies in 2009. Having it happen right before the band was about to play music from their kid's album at several Disney Music Block Party concerts certainly did not help things. (The band canceled the appearances because of this incident).
- Just before he formed Motörhead, Lemmy Kilmister was kicked out of space rock group Hawkwind following an amphetamine bust; he has joked that he was really fired for "doing the wrong kind of drugs".
- It's a good joke, but it was Canadian officials that denied him entry to the country, not his bandmates. This happened at the very beginning of the tour, so he let them down in a big way. On the other hand, Motörhead might not have happened otherwise, so maybe Lemmy's speed addiction could be viewed as a real-life example of a Good Bad Bug.
- Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica for his substance abuse issues. Unlike the rest of "Alcoholica" Mustaine was a violent and angry drunk, who had started fights both on and off stage. It's rumored that the song Master of Puppets was a shot at Dave's cocaine habit.
- In a Heel-Face Turn on that issue, Mustaine would then go on to fire Chris Poland from Megadeth for stealing and selling the band's equipment for drug money.
- Japanese group Hysteric Blue broke up after their guitarist plead guilty to being a serial rapist.
- Iced Earth briefly included guitarist Ernie Carletti, but before they had recorded anything with him he was arrested on rape charges and immediately fired from the band.
- Coheed and Cambria bassist Michael Todd was fired from the band in 2011 after being charged with armed robbery of a pharmacy only a few hours before a show in Massachusetts.
- The Smashing Pumpkins knew about drummer Jimmy Chamberlin's drug problem for some time. They tolerated it until touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin died of an overdose while taking drugs with Chamberlin in July 1996. He was fired shortly afterward, but later got clean and rejoined the band in late 1998.
- Gidget Gein, bassist for Marilyn Manson, was fired via telegram on Christmas Eve 1993 while in rehab for his latest overdose. Rather like the Dave Mustaine/Metallica situation, this was ironic as the members of Marilyn Manson were almost all notorious drug addicts. Gein died of a fatal overdose in 2008.
- To quote Dennis Miller: "How fucked up do you have to be to get kicked out of Guns N' Roses?" The answer: as fucked up as Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler, who was fired for being so drugged that he only managed to finish one song on the Use Your Illusion albums, "Civil War".
- Brian Jones, the founder of The Rolling Stones and their first leader, was fired from the band as due to many drug-related arrests he couldn't get a visa for an US tour. Less than one month later Jones died under mysterious circumstances.
- Shane McGowan was canned by The Pogues in 1991 for his unreliability due to his crippling alcoholism. He would rejoin the band a decade later.
- British Alternative Rock band Lostprophets split up in 2013 after lead singer Ian Watkins was put on trial on charges of rape and child abuse.
- Happens one hell of a lot in Professional Wrestling - especially now in WWE, due to the Wellness Program. Jake "the Snake" Roberts, Marty Jannety, and Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall are probably the most well-known repeat offenders.
- Jeff Hardy, Mr. Fanservice and an expert at working the crowd (though with increasingly poor workmanship in his actual wrestling), originally lost his job in WWE due to his drug abuse; he was hired a year later by TNA (a company with a notably less stringent drug-testing policy). He then lost his job with TNA due to no-showing a number of events and then was rehired by WWE a few months later. He blitzed through several Wellness policy strikes before leaving to "heal from injuries", not coincidentally around the time he was arrested for steroid and prescription pill trafficking. TNA rehired him in January 2010, and he held it together for about 9 months before falling off the wagon, eventually culminating at the 2011 Victory Road PPV where Jeff went out to wrestle Sting while stoned out of his gourd. Though Hardy had to make a public apology when he returned and they've told him that this is his last chance.
- While he wasn't fired for it, getting busted for marijuana possession led then ECW and WWE Champion Rob Van Dam to drop both of those titles in two days (one on Raw, the other on ECW the next night) before serving out his sixty-day Wellness suspension.
- Eddie Guerrero was arrested for DUI in 2001 and released by WWE; five months passed before he returned to WWE. Having dealt with many of his personal demons in that period, Eddie returned to enjoy the greatest success of his career (up until his unexpected death in 2005).
- Serena, of CM Punk's Straight Edge Society, was let go for excessive partying and drinking in public. So not only was she becoming a detriment to WWE's image and acting unprofessionally, she was contradicting the character she played.
- However, take in mind that weeks earlier, Serena helped save CM Punk from Kane's wrath by the showing the only thing that would help clear his name: footage of her relapse. It just was legitimate this time.
- In August 2010, Taryn Terrell (WWE Diva Tiffany) was fired after getting arrested for assaulting her husband Drew McIntyre.
- AW, the manager for The Prime Time Players was released after he made an off color reference to the Kobe Bryant rape case (which was aired live on Raw no less). Mileage varies of whether or not it was Disproportionate Retribution on WWE's part.
- Years before TNA, Bull Nakano was released from the WWF for being caught with possession of cocaine then went over to WCW.
- Paul Roma was told to make the young upstart Alex Wright look good in their match at WCW SuperBrawl V, February 19, 1995, en route to losing the match. Roma instead no-sold Wright's offense, mocked his goofy dance to a Face reaction despite the fact that Roma was the Heel here, and actually kicked out of Wright's schoolboy rollup pin attempt, though the ref counted to three anyway. WCW fired Roma after this and he has only ever been seen in small independents ever since.
- After Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross left offensive messages on the answer phone of Andrew "Manuel" Sachs as part of a show on BBC Radio 2, the BBC faced so much pressure to sack them that Brand resigned from the show on his own. Ross later terminated his contract with the BBC amid speculation that he was about to have it ended for him, due to the Sachs incident and other controversies including complaints about a homophobic joke on his radio show.
- Brand's guest-host episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks was also pushed back because of the scandal.
- As far as Brand is concerned though, all public outcries about his behaviour have totally backfired. The complaints from the incident made up almost all the material from his next stand-up tour (which was eventually released on DVD too) and he now had enough to work with to write a second autobiography. He also became a household name in the US principally because of his controversial behaviour hosting the MTV Music Awards Ceremony (where he made fun of The Jonas Brothers' purity rings and called then president George W Bush a "retarded cowboy fella" among other things). Brand feeds off controversy like some sort of celebrity vampire.
- Jonathan Ross was also pulled from his British Comedy Awards hosting gig for that year (although he has returned since then). In a mild case of irony, his replacement was Angus Deayton.
- From 1941-1948 C. E. M. Joad was a popular contributor to The BBC Radio show The Brains Trust, until he was arrested for the heinous crime of fare-dodging on the railway. The scandal ruined his career and may have been a contributory factor in his death five years later.
- Australian Radio host Kyle Sandilands lost his job as a judge on Australian Idol after a lie detector stunt on his radio show revealed that a teenage girl got raped, and he responded by asking her if she had any other sexual experience. This revelation was not dumped, and hence was broadcast to Sydney listeners. Media Watch (ABC) Transcript
- talkSPORT sacked its talk show host, Jon Gaunt, after an interview with a councillor. Gaunt wasn't keen on plans to exclude smokers from being foster parents and described the councillor as a 'Nazi' and an 'ignorant pig'. The interview was live.
- St. Louis talk radio host Dave Lenihan made a slip of the tongue when discussing the rumor that Condoleeza Rice was interested in the position of NFL commissioner. Meaning to say that she would be a "huge boon" to the League, he slipped and instead called her a "huge coon." He immediately apologized profusely for the racial epithet, but when his show returned from commercial, it was the station's general manager speaking, revealing that Lenihan had been fired ''during the break.’’
- The hosts of Australia's Hot 30 on 2Day FM, Mel Grieg and Mike Christian thought it was funny to imitate the Queen and Prince Charles and try to prank the London hospital where Kate Middleton was staying to recover from vicious morning sickness after her pregnancy was announced. When the nurse who unknowing transferred the call to allow the prank to go forward received unwanted attention, she committed suicide and after a tone-deaf reaction where the station continued to promote the prank even after the nurse's death, public reaction and the anger of advertisers who immediately pulled their advertising from the station forced their hand. Both hosts were suspended, the station went automated and hostless for a couple weeks, and after a couple months, Mel had not returned, while Mike had gone from being on one of the most high-profile shows in Australia to going back to his old job in Melbourne. Security procedures involving phone calls to hospitals went up, and radio show prank calls in Australia were made verboten.
- Steve Shapiro, Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino were the hosts of a morning show on 790 The Zone in Atlanta, GA. After former NFL star Steve Gleason wrote an article on living with ALS, they decided a skit making fun of Gleason and "joking" about his life expectancy would be perfect for their show. They were fired by the end of the day, and quickly lost their weekly television show on the local CBS affiliate.
- Don Imus was fired from his sports radio after referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos"
- Professional golfer Tiger Woods lost a number of endorsement deals after details of his multiple sexual affairs began coming out. Woods' brand was that of a squeaky clean, upstanding family man, and a seemingly endless conga line of mistresses coming out of the woodwork destroyed that image. His only major sponsor that stuck with him was Nike, who released a famously incomprehensible advertisement in support of him.
- Similarly, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps lost many of his endorsement deals after pictures of him using a marijuana bong at a party were released.
- After basketball star Kobe Bryant was accused of sexual assault, he lost most of his endorsement deals, including his longtime stand as the spokesman for Nutella hazelnut spread. It's possible that his defense against the accusation - that he was just cheating on his wife - also played a part in it.
- Pro hockey player Marty McSorley attacked Donald Brashear with his stick, resulting in a trial and conviction for assault with a weapon. The National Hockey League initially suspended him for the remainder of the season (23 games), but lengthened it to a year after the jury found him guilty. It effectively ended his career.
- Sean Avery, then on the Dallas Stars was suspended indefinitely (and immediately) by the NHL after he made a rather crude reference to his ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert dating other hockey players. The league suspended him six games and forced him to seek anger management counselling, but the Stars effectively kicked him off the team by placing him on waivers.
- In November 2011, longtime football coach Joe Paterno's illustrious career came to an abrupt end a week after a 10-7 win over Illinois, putting him at a record 409 wins. Paterno was fired by the Penn State board of Trustees after Jerry Sandusky was indicted for child molestation after rejecting his resignation offer. Although he reported it to his boss and the head of campus police, many people, even Paterno himself, wished that he would have done more.
- Related to this, Mike McQueary, the assistant who allegedly saw it occur, waited a day to tell Paterno what happened. When this came out, there were death threats from an Angry Mob. He was soon dismissed from the coaching staff for not reporting it to authorities and possibly his own safety.
- Athletic director Tim Curley, Paterno's boss, was a part of the cover up that also involved the head of campus police Gary Schultz and university president Graham Spanier. All three were let go, and are now also facing charges.
- Australian swimming gold medalist Dawn Fraser was given a ten-year suspension, effectively ending her career, after stealing an Olympic flag during the Tokyo 1964 Olympics. In the documentary Sporting Nation, she commented that if she had been a man, nothing would have come of the incident. Fraser's story had a happy ending: She got to keep the flag she stole and was even awarded the prestigious Australian of the Year award for 1964 despite the incident. Her suspension was lifted in time for the 1968 Olympics, but her reinstatement came so late that she had no time to prepare and did not participate.
- Chad Johnson, also known as Chad Ochocinco, was released by the Miami Dolphins after he was arrested following a fight with his Basketball Wives-starring wife, which also ended their VH-1 series before it would have come to air a month later, and their marriage.
- Cyclist Lance Armstrong, and how! Despite being the founder of the Cancer-Fighting group "Live Strong", removed himself from the organization after allegations of doping arose and wouldn't go away. He stated that he was leaving it to avoid tarnishing the group's image. And then, once the doping allegations turned out to be true, he was stripped of his seven Tour De France titles and disqualified from participating in any future events.
- Three-time Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton admitted on Twitter in 2012 that she had moonlighted as an escort. Disney immediately uninvited her from their running competition.
- While preparing for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, Brazilian striker Renato Gaúcho escaped from the concentration in order to party. He was promptly cut from the squad.
- During the Australian Cricket team's 2013 tour of India, four members of the squad (including vice-captain Shane Watson) were dropped from the side for the third test for failing to do the "homework" they had been assigned. Possibly justified as the team had lost the first two tests and been criticised for a general lack of discipline, and this was seen as the "last straw".
- Not so career ending for the players who as of September 2013 are back on the team roster. It is however cited as part of the reason the coach was fired by the Australian Cricket Board.
- In November 2009, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in a New York nightclub. In New York, concealed carry without a license is a felony, and he accepted a 2-year prison term for criminal possession and reckless endangerment. The Giants suspended and subsequently cut him, but not before a fight with the NFL Players' association over a $1 million bonus the team owed him (an arbitrator ruled that he would be paid in full).
- In 2011, Hank Williams, Jr. appeared on Fox News's Fox and Friends and made a comment comparing Barack Obama to Hitler. His partnership with ESPN's Monday Night Football ended immediately, and the network stopped using his "Are You Ready For Some Football?" song to open their broadcasts.
- In June 2012, Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster Daron Sutton was fired for wearing a suit, instead of a polo shirt with a team logo on it. His partner Mark Grace ended up being fired later in the season, but for DUI.
- On June 27, 2013, less than two hours after the arrest of New England Patriots tight Aaron Hernandez on suspicion of murdering former semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, the Patriots cut their relations to the former star, and made moves to recoup the remainder of his contract salary. Soon after, the Patriots also organized a limited pro shop exchange where any Hernandez jersey could be exchanged for another player's replica shirt for no charge, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame removed a popular picture of him from a display.
- Possibly the reason that Billy Zane was replaced as Ansemnort (including in the flashback scenes from the previous games) by Richard Epcar in the Kingdom Hearts series — Disney didn't want him on the project anymore due to the fact that, between the games, he'd taken on a major role in the Turkish action film Valley of the Wolves: Iraq. Said film drew heaps of criticism for portraying American soldiers in Iraq as monsters, and was called "anti-American propaganda" by many critics. Zane and the other American actors involved faced heavy backlash for appearing in that movie. A shame, because Epcar just can't match his legendarily hammy performance.
- According to Transformers Wiki, Chris Latta (the voice of Starscream in the G1 cartoon, as well as Wheeljack and Sparkplug) had to be bailed out of jail so often that his characters were written out of the show in the movie. He still worked on the show in minor guest spots (such as a Cobra Commander crossover and Starscream's ghost), but not as a regular.
- He continued to work on G.I. Joe (produced by the same company) despite this, although in a reduced capacity; it seems rather fortunate that Hasbro had decided to introduce a Cobra Emperor to the toyline, and Serpentor's presence in the series reduced the Commander to... well, The Starscream. DiC even brought him back when they revived the series for two more seasons (and put the Commander back in charge, to boot).
- Inverted in the case of Casey Kasem, who left the show in protest over the stereotypical portrayal of an evil dictator of an Arab state called "Carbombya." Kasem is of Lebanese descent.
- Voice actor Greg Burson was fired from Looney Tunes in 2003 because of his struggles with alcohol. He later died in 2008 after being absent from the business for five years.
- In his first cartoon appearance, Popeye was voiced by William Costello. However, Costello's behavior came in conflict with the Hays Code and he was booted off the role and replaced with the more memorable performance of Jack Mercer.
- Rugrats has an in-universe example: a popular children's show host is fired after Angelica Pickles unwittingly reveals on air that she had said something extremely rude about children.
- Likewise, The Simpsons had Bart turn the cameras on Gabbo (the puppet whose show dethroned Krusty the Klown) in time to broadcast him calling the kids of Springfield S.O.B.s across the city. Subverted when the incident makes the news and Kent Brockman tries to play it straight, but it turns out that the people of Springfield still adore Gabbo.
- An other episode deals with Kent Brockman himself being fired after Homer accidentally pours hot coffee onto his crotch and says a word "so horrible, it could only be said by Satan himself while on the toilet." Though what got Brockman fired wasn't the swearing on live TV (that got him demoted to weatherman while Arnie Pie took over as the anchor), but allegedly having cocaine in his cup of coffee (it was actually Splenda, but his boss "thought" that Splenda was slang for cocaine).
- Maine's Fox station used to have a pair of spokespeople for their kids' lineup: a human and a guy in a fox costume. The first human was fired on charges of pedophilia... then, eventually, so was his replacement.
- Chat show host Robert Kilroy-Silk was fired by the BBC after penning a column in a tabloid newspaper which contained — to be as objective as possible here — willfully abusive remarks about Arabic people in general, whereupon he decided to stand for Parliament instead.
- Kimmo Wilska, an English-language newscaster for the Finnish station YLE, was fired after pretending to be drunk following an alcohol-related story. His bosses were not amused.
- During part of the 1970s, the main movie reviewer for a newspaper in Nebraska was running a "teen reviewer" program. Kids/young teens would sign up with the paper to be taken to a movie by the reviewer, and would then write a review of it for publication. Then that reviewer was arrested for pedophilia, and the whole "teen reviewer" operation vanished at light speed.
- Supermodel Kate Moss was dropped from several advertising campaigns that she was the face of after a video surfaced of her using cocaine. However, other cosmetics companies and fashion houses took up the slack and offered her deals.
- Ben Curtis, who appeared as the "Dell Dude" in a series of popular Dell Computer commercials in the early 2000's, was dropped by Dell after a marijuana arrest. No confirmation on whether he's now a Mac.
- Comedian Gilbert Gottfried lost his job as the voice of the Aflac Duck mascot after he posted very insensitive jokes about the massive earthquake in Japan on Twitter. Aflac does a lot of business in Japan and was not amused by his jokes about dead Japanese floating by.
- In a similar vein, voice actor DC Douglas was canned by Geico after he left an insulting voicemail message for a Tea Party group suggesting that its members were mentally retarded. In retrospect, leaving his real contact info on the message probably wasn't the best idea, to put it mildly.
- Interestingly, Gottfried didn't get fired for making a similarly offensive remark, nearly one decade earlier, about the Empire State Building, if only because he made a remarkable comeback joke in the form of The Aristocrats immediately after.
- Piers Morgan was fired as editor of the Daily Mirror in 2004 after giving the okay to print a series of photos apparently implicating a British Army unit in Iraqi prisoner abuse. Within days these were proven to be fake and he left in shame. Interestingly, it seems that most of the public have either forgotten this or chosen to ignore it, as he has since become a relatively successful television personality.
- Bizarrely, however, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't despise him.note One possible explanation is that his first TV job after the incident was on Britain's Got Talent alongside Simon Cowell, where he could easily manipulate audiences to think of him as the nicer judge to Simon Cowell's judgmental bastard. (Although of course it's debatable as to whether he took on the role of the "Evil Judge". Either way, the position on the show somehow worked for him.)
- Andy Gray and Richard Keys were fired by Sky Sports after making sexist comments about a female official's performance in a Premier League game, whilst cameras were rolling but they were off-air, only for the footage to be leaked, with more footage showing it wasn't a one time thing. They were quickly picked up by talkSPORT to host a radio show, but the damage was done.
- Former football manager Ron Atkinson was sacked from a job as a TV pundit after making unfortunate remarks about a black player in an otherwise lacklustre football game. It was remarked that had he just confined himself to talking about a "lazy bastard" on the field and left out the descriptive word "black", he could have been describing any of the twenty-two players out there.
- Radio DJ Danny Baker similarly lost a job as a sports pundit on BBC Radio 5 for an ill-judged emotional outburst on air after his drinking buddy Paul Gascoigne was dropped from the England side for a crucial set of fixtures. Baker's abusive rant against the manager and selectors was not appreciated by the BBC, who did to him what the England manager had done to Gascoigne - dropped an unpredictible, heavy-drinking, and unreliable talent as a liability.
- The Kevin Butler ads for Sony's various consoles ended after it was noted that the actor also appeared in an ad for Bridgestone tires, playing Mario Kart Wii. They even sued Jerry Lambert, said actor, for appearing in said Bridgestone commercial (though that was later settled out of court).
- The "News of the World" phone-hacking scandals didn't just end careers, it ended the role of an entire publication, and additionally hobbled the Print Media industry in the UK. It also demolished any perception of Rupert Murdoch's political clout, as evidenced not as much by his stoop-shouldered humility before a Parliamentary ethics hearing as that ranking officials who deferred to him before began to publicly diss and dismiss him.