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Role Ending Misdemeanor
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. Contrast No Such Thing as Bad Publicity and Controversy Proof Image.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Supposedly, the character of Yuuichi Tate in Mai Hi ME 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.
  • 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 kerfuffle 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 animated adaptation of 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 person his character design was based on. But Imamura 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, and Mitsuo Iwata took over.
  • Pokémon: The Pikachu and Pichu short became a Missing Episode in Japan due to its narrator, the singer and actress Noriko Sakai, being arrested for drug possession. It doesn't help that they could've easily had a new narrator overdub Sakai's narration.
  • A 13-disk box set of Hayao Miyazaki's works was recalled to remove the music video "On Your Mark" after Shigeaki Miyazaki (Aska of the musical group Chage and Aska and probably not related to Hayao himself) after Shigeaki was arrested for drug possession. Even more, the group's former record label, Universal Japan, is removing everything involving the group they had contracts towards.
  • Downplayed in the aftermath of Illich Guardiola's arrest on charges of sexual assault (which were eventually dropped because the victim and her mother weren't cooperating with the police). He's still the voice of The Anguished One in Devil Survivor 2, but Sentai Filmworks didn't mention him when announcing the English dub cast.

    Beauty Pageants 
  • 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).
  • A very famous case is former Mexican Miss Sinaloa, Laura Zúńiga, who was arrested in 2008 alongside her boyfriend (a member of a drug cartel) in possession of $53,000 USD and an arsenal of long weapons. She was stripped of her crown but later made a quiet comeback in modeling.

    Comic Books 
  • Possibly averted with My Little Pony writer Ted Anderson. There was Internet Backdraft stemming from his inclusion of a fanmade character from an artist known for her disdain toward men in the MLP: FiM fandom. The backlash further exploded when Anderson defended the cameo in the comic across the fandom forums, claiming that the artist's comments on the fandom are just 'satire'. Despite this, IDW has not confirmed that he has been fired, and some IDW representatives have denied this claim. More information here.

  • 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.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • Megan Fox was fired 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.
    • Barely averted with Shia LaBeouf, who was already confirmed to not return for Age of Extinction before he went totally wacko in 2013, starting with a plagiarism dispute with an author of which he's a self-proclaimed Loony Fan. Suffice it to say, for him it was all downhill from there, and the incident also dealt a heavy blow to Mutt's chances of appearing in the first Disney-produced (and fifth total) Indiana Jones film barring The Other Darrin stepping in.
  • 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. It's even referenced in L.A. Confidential.
  • 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.
  • When it was decided to give Snow White & the Huntsman a sequel, the original film's director Rupert Sanders was not chosen to return presumably due to his affair with Kristen Stewart. Universal subsequently made it a prequel called The Huntsman, so now Stewart herself won't be back either.
  • Herman Bing, a well-known character actor from Germany, lost appeal to American audiences when he was rumored to have had sympathies with the Nazis during World War II, though these rumors were never actually proven. This left him unable to find any work in Hollywood that, two years after World War II ended, Bing fell into depression and committed suicide by gunshot.
  • 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.
  • During the late 80s, Rob Lowe was celebrated as the new male sex symbol in films and television. This came to an end, after he was caught in a sex tape scandal (before sex tapes became popular shortcuts to fame). While he still appears in mostly television movies, his career has never been popular as it was before the scandal.
  • John Dykstra was fired from Industrial Light and Magic for leading the special effects team of Battlestar Galactica, which was perceived as a ripoff of ILM founder George Lucas's Star Wars, though several of his employees remained at ILM, their original home turf. Dykstra would later prove that he was no Pete Best through Apogee's involvement in numerous big-budget productions throughout the '80s.
  • In an example of one person's legal troubles costing another person his job, Marlon Brando had a warrant for his arrest in Italy due to his involvement in Last Tango in Paris, which had been banned there as legally obscene, and that precluded any shooting for Superman in Italy. Guy Hamilton ended up paying the price, as that meant he was relegated to filming in the UK, but he could only work there for a limited time due to tax-related circumstances. When production failed to get sufficiently off the ground on time, his job went to Richard Donner.
  • A Franchise Ending Misdemeanor: Wesley Snipes' three year prison sentence for tax evasion has directly resulted in the termination of New Line Cinema's Blade franchise. Marvel reacquired the film rights to Blade when New Line/Warner Bros. were deemed unable to produce a fourth film on time due to Snipes' absence.
  • Former Saturday Night Live cast member and SCTV alumni Tony Rosato barely averted this. After his domestic violence incident and arrest in 2005 he took a leave from show business in order to treat his mental health problems. Luckily, he came clean and now has been offered small roles in various Canadian indie movies.

  • Boris Pasternak, the author of Doctor Zhivago, was (as mentioned on Banned in China) forced to refuse his Nobel Prize for Literature under pressure from the Soviet Union simply because the book violated Soviet laws of the time.

    Live Action TV 
  • 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-Amber Thiessen.
  • Coronation Street: Two key characters were 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) were temporarily written out of the show pending resolution of alleged under-age sex offences. Michael LeVell's character came back, after spending a very long time visiting family. William Roache's character is now back as well.
  • EastEnders
    • 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.
    • Zigzagged by Daniella Westbrook (Sam Mitchell). In 1996 her character was axed from the show due to the controversy surrounding Westbrook's cocaine addiction. However, she returned to the role in 1999...only to be axed the following year after her continued addiction completely eroded her septum. Sam was brought back again in 2002, with Kim Medcalf in the role, then written out in 2005. When the character returned briefly in 2009 and 2010, Westbrook, who had by now cleaned up her act and had reconstructive surgery on her nose, was handed the role back.
  • 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. The worst part is that it turns out SHE was actually the violent one and he was trying to protect the kids.
  • 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. The incident prompted Benz to clean up her act, and she reappeared on the spinoff Angel. Years later, she was regarded by the cast and crew of Dexter as one of the nicest and most agreeable cast members.
  • Anonymous reports from crew members claim both Michael Pitt and Paz de la Huerta were written off of Boardwalk Empire for prima donna behavior on the set, with de la Huerta's character Put on a Bus and Pitt's being Killed Off for Real. One rumor/story holds that a last straw for De La Huerta came during one of the show's many nude scenes, where part of her... hygienic aid was seen trailing out of a personal area. After one too many comments about her, her response was (WARNING: it's gross) to yank the bloody tampon out, hurl it to the floor, and request a PA take care of it.
  • 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. He later hosted Would I Lie to You? for its first two series before being replaced from it as well.
  • Blue Peter
    • Subverted with Richard Bacon, who was dismissed 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.
    • Subverted with Peter Duncan, whose 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. He will return for an episode near the end of the tenth season as part of Sandra Oh's departure from the series.
  • 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. Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) became the de facto main character from the 2007 specials onward.
  • 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. Although...
    • Charlie Sheen wasn't the only Two and a Half Men star to suffer behind-the-scenes meltdowns. Angus T. Jones, who played Jake Harper in the series, found the show's crude subject matter to be conflicting toward his religious upbringing. It all boiled over when Jones told Christianity Today that he was a "paid hypocrite" and that the show was "filth". Once the comments were made public, CBS suspended Jones and announced that his character would be reduced to a recurring role in the eleventh season. It was then decided to have his role completely written off the series, and did not appear at all in the eleventh season. The fallout from the controversy led Jones to be blacklisted from any Hollywood work aside from Two and a Half Men and he retired shortly after his character was written off the series.
  • 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. The 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 was fired from the original cast of MADtv 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 ceased 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.
  • In another Food Network incident, Robert Irvine was suspended from his first series, Dinner Impossible, after it was discovered that he had padded his resume rather outrageously (including claiming to have worked on Charles and Diana's wedding cake and having been a White House chef), and he was replaced by Iron Chef Michael Symon. However, this trope ended up being subverted in Irvine's case in the end, since a combination of his popularity with viewers and his eating humble pie brought him back to the show after seven months out in the cold.
  • 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.
  • For over 10 years, it was a mystery why Michael O'Hare left his role as Commander Jeffrey Sinclair on Babylon 5 after its first season. Neither he nor show creator J. Michael Straczynski would discuss it, though the latter sometimes gave vague statements regarding the characterization. It wasn't until O'Hare's death in 2012 that it was finally revealed that O'Hare left the show voluntarily due to his struggles with schizophrenia.
  • Richard Dawson, the original host of Family Feud (1976-85, most of which was spent with concurrent versions on ABC and in syndication). He was tapped as the show's host after having developed his television skills as a panelist on Match Game, which like Feud, was created by Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions. Once Feud became popular, Dawson became increasingly sullen on the Match Game set before he was booted off in 1978. On Feud, he built up a nature as a total prima donna who would clash with nearly all of the staff, but still, the show was popular enough that he stayed on for all nine years.
    Dawson's only roles afterward were as the evil game show host in The Running Man and an unsold 1988 pilot for a revival of You Bet Your Life. When Goodson revived Feud in 1988 for CBS, he brought on Ray Combs as the new host. By 1994, with Feud flagging in the ratings and Mark Goodson no longer alive, his son Jonathan (who took over the production company) decided to bring back Dawson for one last season. Although Dawson had mellowed some in the intervening years, his return was not enough to save the show, and it was canceled again. When Feud was brought back again in 1999, Dawson was once again asked to make so much as a cameo, but Dawson declared that he wanted nothing more to do with the show.
  • Due to offscreen tensions between Brian Eppes (Michael) and Salim Grant (Jason), among them an incident where Grant played the race card on Eppes ("It's because of my skin color, isn't it!?"), Jason lasted only three videos in the Barney and the Backyard Gang series before becoming a Brother Chuck; his role in the series was subsequently filled by Derek starting with the fourth video in the series, "Waiting for Santa".
  • Before production of the seventh (and last) season began, Fantasy Island co-star Hervé Villechaize was fired from the series following a salary dispute. The move devastated Villechaize's career, as he was unable to find any decent work for the next decade. This, coupled with his persistent health problems he had for much of his life, led him to shoot himself in his North Hollywood home.
  • Stephen Collins already had his career on the downturn following the cancellation of 7th Heaven, along with his highly-publicized divorce with Faye Grant. The straw that finally broke the camel's back, however, came when TMZ leaked an audio recording of Collins admitting to Grant during a therapy session that he had molested several underage female women for years. The massive media and public fallout directly resulted in multiple stations, TV Guide Network and Up TV pulling reruns of 7th Heaven from circulation (CBS Drama in the UK also abruptly pulled the show from its schedule), Seth MacFarlane firing him from production of the sequel to Ted, being forced to resign from his post in the Screen Actors Guild Board, his character in Scandal getting McLeaned after announcing his intent to return in Season 4, and all of his agents dropping him.
  • In The Adventures of Superboy, Superboy's first actor John Haymes Newton was fired and replaced by Gerard Christopher after a DUI arrest and because Newton demanded a 20% pay raise.
  • The future of TLC's reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is up in smoke after TMZ revealed that the mother in the series was dating a man convicted of child molestation a decade before.

  • 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 their original 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 arrested for numerous sexual offenses, including the possession of "extreme animal porn" and conspiracy to fornicate with babies. Since he won't even be eligible for a parole hearing until 2043, it's safe to say that he probably won't be making a comeback. The other members eventually reformed as No Devotion, with new lead singer Geoff Rickley.
  • Chris Brown... Make some popcorn, this will take a while. He began as a highly popular pop artist with a boy next door image. He was known for his excellent dancing and being a good wholesome type of guy girls can bring home to mother. He was even promoted by some media outlets as 'The Prince of Pop' claiming that he would pick up where the 'King of Pop' left off. His positive image became even stronger when it was confirmed that he was dating popular female pop artist, Rihanna, who was just as famous. During the American Music Awards show in 2009, both were supposed to be the toast of the event. Instead, everyone was shocked in horrified when they discovered that Brown savagely beat Rihanna while on the road to the awards show and left her for dead. He soon turned himself in. Pictures surfaced on the internet of Rihanna's battered face and Chris Brown became demonized in the media. Many celebrities, including Oprah, spoke out against him, and fans began to boycott his music. Despite all of this, Chris Brown got probation from the judge, was eventually given another chance by a lot of fans, and came back with a solid album called F.A.M.E. However, Brown still got himself in more trouble over the years, until finally in 2013 after a fight outside of a hotel, his probation for the Rihanna attack was revoked and, after he was discovered to be suffering from bipolar disorder and PTSD while in rehab, he's currently waiting for a hearing in 2014 to determine if he'll go to jail after all. It's been decided he will go to jail, after getting kicked out of rehab twice.
  • Cee Lo Green's comedy series The Good Life was canceled by TBS shortly after getting picked up for a second season, following shocking comments on his Twitter page related to sexual battery accusations made in 2012. Green took down his Twitter page (then later reactivated it) and apologized for the tweets, but the damage had already been done. TBS proceeded to make him an Un-Person, taking down the show's website and removing the series from the TBS mobile app.
  • Drummer Kliph Scurlock was allegedly kicked out of the Flaming Lips in 2014 for publically criticizing Christina Fallin, frontwoman for Pink Pony - and daughter of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin - after she donned a Native-American headdress in an ill-conceived publicity photo. Fallin's publicity photo had earned her a lot of criticism, but apparently Lips frontman Wayne Coyne was not among those critics - he posted a photo of three of his friends wearing headdresses, with the explicit caption of "did our best @christinafallin pose."
  • Roger Waters fired Richard Wright from Pink Floyd in 1979 after he developed a cocaine addiction, as well as refusing to cut short his vacation when the recording of The Wall fell behind schedule.
  • Milli Vanilli's fame and fortune all came to an abrupt end just a year after their breakthrough album, Girl You Know It's True, was released. The album's producer Frank Farian admitted that the duo didn't actually provide the vocals nor wrote any of the songs for the album, creating a chain reaction of events that resulted in the duo's Grammy Award for Best New Artist being withdrawn, Arista Records voluntarily destroying all unsold copies of Girl You Know It's True and the album masters, and dozens of lawsuits against the duo from customers demanding refunds. Despite this, they actually didn't immediately die off from the fallout, as the duo continued performing up until co-frontman Rob Pilatus died of a drug overdose in 1998.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • 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.
  • Amy Zidian was released from WWE after being incredibly rude to several people, including Vickie Guerrero and Stephanie McMahon. She legitimately didn't know who the later two were, but refused to apologize after she was told their identities.
  • Emma was released by WWE after she was arrested for shoplifting (though, in reality, it was less deliberate shoplifting and more having difficulties with a self-checkout machine.) As it happens, this is a literal example — as is the case in most shoplifting arrests, she was charged with misdemeanor petty theft. Almost immediately, it became clear that fans and wrestling sites alike already had their claws out ready to defend her, seeing as she was fired for what was clearly an honest mistake while other superstars have done far worse and are still with the company. The notoriously PR-conscious WWE, seeing an oncoming wave of bad publicity and likely wanting to keep their sole Australian on the roster for an upcoming tour of the country, rehired her roughly an hour after her release was announced, making this one of the shortest-lived instances of this trope.
  • Teddy Hart has been fired and blacklisted from several companies due to his primadonna attitude that makes him a pain to work with backstage, and the fact that he's such an Attention Whore and Spot Monkey that he'll even refuse to follow the script and show off with insane high-flying moves that put himself and his opponents in danger. He pisses off so many people that some companies admit to firing him out of fear that some coworkers will attempt to murder him.

  • 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 WQXI 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 show in 2007 after referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos".
  • Opie & Anthony did this twice. They were fired from a Boston radio station after announcing the mayor had been killed in a car accident as an April Fool's Day Prank. Four years later they were fired from their nationally syndicated show when, during a contest called "Sex For Sam", a contest where contestants had sex in public places, a couple decided to have sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral and were arrested.
  • Rush Limbaugh, in a strange and unusual case, actually averted this. His infamous rant against Sandra Fluke over her views toward contraceptive insurance went on for over three days, causing hundreds of local and national sponsors to drop their endorsement deals with him, leading to the infamous "five minutes of dead air" days later. Despite this, Clear Channel Communications reaffirmed their support toward Limbaugh and chose not to fire him, leading to widespread ongoing movements calling for Limbaugh to go off the air and for boycotts of his sponsors....
  • Same couldn't be said for another conservative radio host, Michael Savage. He had his own show on MSNBC for almost four months before he was dismissed from NBC News after controversial remarks regarding people with AIDS in response to a crank caller. Perhaps like Limbaugh television isn't really for him.

  • 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. Probably a case of ad executives living in the past, given that smoking marijuana (despite its illegality) isn't even controversial among people in Phelps' age group.
  • 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 Penn State University 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 (Paterno's former defensive head coach) 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, 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.
  • Sports journalist Rob Parker was relieved of his duties on ESPN 2's First Take after controversial comments in which he alleged Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was a "cornball brother" and following it with a No True Scotsman invocation. Three years before, Parker resigned from his previous job at The Detroit News over a question he asked in a press conference to Detroit Lion coach Rod Marinelli if his daughter should not have married defensive coordinator Joe Barry.
  • 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.
  • Accomplished Cincinnati fielder and manager Pete Rose was banned from baseball in 1992 after getting caught betting on baseball, including his own team. He hasn't been eligible for ballots in the Hall of Fame either.
  • NFL running back Ray Rice was cut from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely after a video of him striking his then-girlfriend in an elevator surfaced. Earlier, Rice had been suspended for 2 games after another video of the same incident merely hinted at him having struck her, which, in itself, brought heavy criticism to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for the virtual slap on the wrist.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
    • Averted in the case of Haley Joel Osment, who despite charges of DUI and drug possession still provides the voice of Sora.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • Carlo Bonomi, best known for providing all of the voices in the Swiss stop-motion series Pingu, was, in a sad note, deemed unable to reprise his roles when HiT Entertainment UnCanceled the series six years after the last episodes of the original series were produced. Although the exact reason for this is unknown, it's been said that Bonomi's inability to learn or speak English with his new executives from London became too much for them, and was consequently dismissed. Two local actors from London, one of whom had Italian ancestry similar to Bonomi, took his place instead.
  • 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.)
  • Skyler Page, one of the creators and former voice of Clarence, was fired from Cartoon Network after a number of incidents related to his increasing mental instability, the last straw being when a storyboard artist for Adventure Time accused him of sexually assaulting her.
  • Joe Dougherty, the original voice of Porky Pig, was kicked out from Warner Bros. after his inability to control his stutter made it difficult for him to work with the crew. He was instead replaced with Mel Blanc beginning with Porky's Duck Hunt. It didn't help Dougherty that Blanc would end up becoming a staple for WB's Looney Tunes characters for course of the next several decades, fame that Dougherty never enjoyed.

  • 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.
    • 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.
  • In a similar vein, voice actor DC Douglas was canned by Geico after he left a voicemail message for a Tea Party group, specifically one called Freedom Works, suggesting that its members were mentally retarded (he has gone on record to say that he was asking, genuinely, if they employed/allowed membership for people legally deemed mentally retarded). In retrospect, leaving his real contact info on the message probably wasn't the best idea, to put it mildly.
    • Ironically, this ended up backfiring for the group immensely, as it actually put Douglas in the public eye once again, getting him a good amount of work and giving him a lot of political ammunition (long story short, the group had exaggerated numerous details such as claiming he drunkenly called them with deliberate intent to offend, neither of which was true, and also appeared rather petty by going after him instead of focusing on genuine issues). This post two years later sums it all up.
  • 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.)
    • Across the pond, Morgan's 9 P.M. weekday talk show on CNN had a controversy over misgendering transgender activist Janet Mock, followed by several disparaging tweets about her from Morgan. The show was soon cancelled and replaced with documentaries.
  • 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 and eventually returned to television with Bein Sports (formerly Al Jazeera Sport), 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.
  • Heinz's partnership with McDonald's (which is only in certain markets; most McDonald's use their own brand of ketchup) was terminated when Heinz hired a former Burger King CEO.
  • Many companies in the U.S. practice "at-will" employment, meaning that they can fire anybody for any reason without having to show cause. Making a major mistake at work is a common way to get the boot.
  • Blogger Josh Macedo had become a Tumblr celebrity with legions of fangirls, thanks to his writings, YouTube performances, selfies in bowties, a fashionably geeky Internet persona and, most importantly, because of his outspoken feminism and outward image of an enlightened anti-misogynist gender-conscious male nerd. That was until September 2013, when an underage fan came forward revealing that Josh had sent her pictures (link NSFW) of him masturbating, Internet Backdraft ensued and more women came forward revealing the inappropriate messages he had sent to them or how he had pressured them into sex. With his reputation in tatters Josh Macedo deleted his blog on September 20th 2013 and vanished from the blogosphere.
  • YouTube content producer, musician and comedian Alex Day was at one point one of the most popular British Youtubers, with 1.1 million subscribers at his peak in January 2014 and a reputation for being a very talented musician that was capable of managing and marketing his work without any record company backing him. Shortly after he reached his peak, a few fans came forward with claims of sexual abuse and manipulation (link here, needless to say NSFW). More people (a few of whom were underage) came forward shortly after that with their own horror stories, and the community at large began ditching him, with his band Chameleon Circuit breaking up in part because of his actions, one of his one-time best friends Charlie McDonnell publicly ending their friendship and the publisher for his first book dropping him weeks before his release was due. Since the revelations came to light and his badly thought-through attempts to explain backfired, he didn't upload a video for months, his subscriber numbers have dropped relatively sharply and his social media accounts were mostly wiped clean.
    • As of October 2014, Day appears to be trying to make a comeback. Some of his fans have been won over by his explanation, but many other users of the site, including an overwhelming number of his former friends and victims, have not and his subscriber count has decreased rapidly. Time will tell if he is able to return.
  • Around the same time that Alex Day suffered his scandal, other Youtubers such as Tom Milsom and Edd Blann (who was technically exposed in August 2013, although it took a while for the accusations to come to the public eye) were promptly exposed here. The resulting backlash has also forced Milsom and Blann to vanish from the community, and while Blann wrote a song to try and essentially admit that he had his flaws, it only rallied the community against him, particularly after it became clear that he had been deleting both criticism and the comments of one of his victims. The comment in question? Her begging him not to return, since it was actually making her efforts to recover much more difficult.
  • YouTuber Sam Pepper was dropped by his network, Collective DS, in September 2014, subsequently being stripped of his "partner" status by YouTube. The reason for this was that he uploaded a video called "Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank", which consisted of him pinching women's butts and distracting them with a fake hand; the ensuing backlash led to YouTube removing the video. Pepper then went on to upload a second video with a girl doing it to guys, only fuelling the backlash further and getting the second video canned. His third video in the series involved his claim that the series had been a "social experiment" and that everyone involved had given their consent. This was seen as blatant backpedalling by the community at largenote , and by this point the floodgates were opened with people coming forth and giving their very NSFW stories about Pepper sexually assaulting them, some of which are being legally brought forward with support from Laci Green. He has also been blacklisted from YouTubers React, Vidcon, Summer in the City, Playlist Live and DigiTour.
    • To put this in perspective, pretty much anyone of age can gain basic partner status (though without a fanbase, not network partnership) on YouTube. Sam Pepper has been banned from that. He's been pretty much fired from the internet. Additionally, any future employer is going to only see bad things when they do an online search of his name, destroying any other career options for him too.
  • From the Yogscast:
    • Tinman, one-time website manager, was fired for redirecting ad banners and revenue, embezzling somewhere between $18,000-$21,000.
    • Peva, a web designer who had designed many of the websites for the group, was eventually fired after a falling out with some members of the Yogscast.
    • Game Chap and Bertie eventually severed ties with the Yogscast after they insulted several Yognaughts on the Yogscast subreddit in response to some relatively mild criticism.
  • The School's Zero Tolerance Policy. Be a perfect student, 4.0 gpa, never been in trouble a day in your life. But one day draw an image that could be mistaken for a gun or even bite a piece of food into the shape of one and be immediately suspended or expelled.

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