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Overshadowed by Controversy

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

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


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

Controversies can be a result of the following:

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

Keep in mind that, despite how it is usually used, "controversial" is not the same thing as "offensive." You can have a completely family-friendly and non-political work that still provokes dissent, especially if the work is aiming for realism. Additionally, since most scandals and controversies tend to not overshadow a work or creator in the long run, only add examples if the controversy in question is still the main point of discussion about a work/creator after at least a few months (six months to be absolutely safe). Finally, please be cautious when editing this page.

Examples with their own pages:

Other examples:

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  • This French Orangina ad. It barely raised an issue in France, but when a few activists showed it to the U.S., people were so shocked by all the YIFF they saw that one of the later Orangina ads poked fun at it.
  • Just For Feet was a growing shoe retailer who distinguished themselves with basketball courts inside stores, an in-store snack bar, in-store appearances by professional athletes, and a large clearance section among others. Nowadays, however, they are known for being taken down by a Super Bowl commercial accused of being racist and insensitive.note  The ad, alongside accusations of accounting fraud, helped bankrupt the company, which collapsed not too long afterward, and it's all that they're known for now. See it here.
  • Texas mattress chain Miracle Mattress is nowadays better known for the 9/11 sale commercial that killed their business than anything else they've done. The commercial, depicting the chain owner's daughter accidentally knocking over two men who crash into two tall stacks of mattresses, went viral and got major backlash over its poor taste. A few days after pleas from the company stating it wasn't their intention to offend,note  the company announced its stores were closing down. A few days later, it was announced they would reopen their stores under new employees and management.
  • This General Motors ad from the 2007 Super Bowl — depicting a GM assembly robot having a dream about being let go from the factory, becoming despondent by constantly seeing reminded of its former job in the form of new GM cars, and finally throwing itself off a bridge — was changed when viewers and activist groups objected to the humorous treatment of depression and suicide.
  • In 2013, Cheerios released an ad that featured an interracial family. Unfortunately, the ad became less known for its content and more known for the racist comments it received.
  • For most of the Turn of the Millennium, Jared Fogle was known by virtually everyone as "the Subway guy", as he appeared in many of Subway's commercials as their spokesperson. Nowadays, however, he is more known for his arrest in 2015 where he ultimately pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and traveling to pay for sex with minors.
  • In 2017, Pepsi released an ad starring Kendall Jenner where during a photo shoot, she decides to hand a Pepsi to a cop during the middle of a protest. The ad was heavily panned for being tone deaf and promoting the message that Pepsi would ease tensions between protesting factions. Pepsi would eventually pull it due to the backlash.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia is still a popular work, but discussing it will usually bring up the infamous character of Im Yonsoo, the series' caricature of South Korea. Yonsoo's depiction is that of Japan's Annoying Younger Sibling who insists that everything Japanese is really from Korea, and is overly obsessed with Japan and China to the point of it being an incestuous relationship. Due to the history between Japan and South Korea, many South Koreans were outraged over this. The backlash was so big that the anime adaptation was banned in South Korea, despite the fact that Yonsoo has not appeared in it.
  • Bunny Drop will forever be remembered for its ending where the main character dates and then marries his adopted daughter than any of its own merits before that. The anime gets off easily, though, thanks to ending halfway through the story and keeping it an innocent family tale.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura had the controversial relationship between Rika, a fourth-grader, and Terada, her homeroom teacher. It was abundantly clear that Rika was in love with him, and the manga had him return her feelings. Nothing happened beyond him giving her a ring and an implied promise to wait until she is actually old enough to be in a relationship with him, but the damage was done.note  Because of this, Rika was completely written out of Clear Card in order to avoid further controversy.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Kai was just reaching the end of its initial run when accusations of plagiarism concerning Kenji Yamamoto's soundtrack struck, and all of said music had to be taken out in every re-run and re-release and replaced with pieces from Shunsuke Kikuchi's score for the original series. While Yamamoto's soundtrack for the show was already divisive, its legally obligated censorship only made things worse, with a new base emerging to try and defend Yamamoto's plagiarism.
    • In Latin America, Kai tends to be best remembered for the very negative reception its original run had due to massive censorshipnote  and, more importantly, the fact that almost all of the original cast, whose work reached cult status in the region, were replaced. The fallout from this led Toei to restructure their Latin American division and make it so that, in The Final Chapters, where possible, all characters were voiced by their original voice actors.note 
    • Dragon Ball Super was hit with this early on, thanks to the decision of making the first two sagas adaptations of the two canon Dragon Ball Z movies, which was seen as very repetitive and invoking It Was His Sled, especially since they had been released very recently at the time of Super's debut, and the notoriously awful animation early on, especially with Episode 5, ended up overshadowing any of the content. The series later improved (although some controversial plot elements of certain sagas ended up overshadowing said sagas, such as the Future Trunks Saga ending with the entire future timeline getting wiped out of existence by Zeno) but the whole "rehashing the movies" and quality early on remains a Never Live It Down moment.
    • Dragon Ball Z gets a lot of scrutiny from American fans because of very dodgy video transfers that have plagued all home video releases since the mid-2000s, including, among other things, cropping the whole series to 16:9. Even the first 4:3 release in a long while, made from film elements FUNimation happened to still have, got flack for excessive DVNR. It's gotten to the point where videophiles have gone on record as wanting to seek out the seven Dragon Balls to wish that FUNimation would simply import and upscale the far superior-looking Dragon Box release issued by Toei.
  • The ecchi manga and OVA Eiken was near-universally despised by viewers and critics, and has made virtually no impact otherwise... Well, except for the fact that the girl with the largest breasts is only 11 years old.
  • The manga Houou Gakuen Misoragumi barely made a blip in the U.S. But what was the general fan response? Absolute hatred. Both from the fans and the English publishers. Why? Because it's a manga that takes the Cure Your Gays route far too seriously, bringing along with it a whole mountain of Values Dissonance regarding lesbianism and gender roles. The English publishers treat it as an Old Shame and don't ever bring it up anymore.
  • Kemono Friends had its second season overshadowed by the Troubled Production it endured, including the director being pushed out and the blame for everything being shunted over to the voice cast, who had next to nothing to do with the trouble, among other things. The backlash to this, including the harassment of Tomason's staff by disgruntled fans (including an incident where the animation director's name was used to fraudulently sign the studio on for multiple paid online services, resulting in getting swamped with emails and phone calls asking for info) and the massive dislike bombing every episode got on Niconico in protest, is likely not to be forgotten as well.
  • Kinnikuman is best known for the controversy surrounding the character Brocken Jr., who is a good guy with a Nazi-themed outfit, complete with swastikas. Due to this character, the series was pulled from broadcast in France shortly after he debuted.
  • Kodomo no Jikan (A Child's Time), proposed English title Nymphet, was licensed by publisher Seven Seas Entertainment but never released in America due to its Lolicon overtones. They had only seen the first book, which isn't too bad in terms of content. Then the controversy erupted. Initially, Seven Seas defended the title, but a combination of major book chains refusing to stock it and their reading the later volumes (which come very close to violating the PROTECT Act) caused them to change their mind and drop it.
  • Koi Kaze is well known for being about a romance between a 27-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl, who are also siblings who were separated at a young age. Even though the series covers the topic more maturely and realistically, it's still controversial due to the premise.
  • Ask anyone who has heard of the anime adaptation of Kokoro Connect, and you'll hear it be associated with Mitsuhiro Ichiki's controversial treatment during the promotional phase. He was tricked into giving a fake audition for a character that didn't exist, embarrassed himself on TV, and had the producer say he didn't regret any of it. This angered many people, including some voice actors.
  • The anime version of Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear became infamous due to its Cruel Twist Gecko Ending, which the mangaka criticized. One Twitter comment that was used in a few articles covering the controversy basically said the show started off fun but will likely go down in history as that mind break show with the bear.
  • Lotte no Omocha! (Lotte's Toy!) features a female protagonist who is a succubus. Well, OK, nothing bad about it so far until you learn that the female protagonist is also 10 years old and she will die if she doesn't drink Life Essence. It went about as well as you'd expect.
  • The anime of Love Lab is most well-known for a scene in episode 8 where characters dress up in a manner that resembles blackface.
  • The Love Live! franchise is becoming increasingly known for bad press generated by badly-behaving fans. The worst incident was a vandalism incident involving manhole covers bearing the images of the main characters in June 2018, which resulted in the manhole covers being pulled indefinitely.
  • Perhaps the one thing most people remember about Midori (Shōjo Tsubaki), the 1992 film adaptation of Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show, is the fact that it was banned by the Japanese government for 14 years because of its explicit depictions of child molestation and animal abuse.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion still enjoys a reputation as a classic that any serious anime fan should check out, but it's quite hard to go into it without already knowing about how Studio Gainax was running on fumes by the time the final two episodes were produced, resulting in them being a nonstop Mind Screw with little resolution and the Trope Namer for Gainax Ending.
  • Pokémon:
    • The episode "Computer Warrior Porygon"note  is known far more gaining the questionable record of "Most Photosensitive Epileptic Seizures Caused by a Television Show" from Guinness World Records for causing 700 seizures in Japan upon its initial airing, and the resulting worldwide ban of the episode, than the actual content itself. This extends to the Pokémon Porygon itself. Despite not being the actual cause of the flashingnote , it's swept under the rug for no other reason than it being the Pokémon featured in the episode. Even its evolutions have been hit with it, as they've made no major appearances in the series.note  After this incident, OLM, the animation studio behind Pokémon, dropped all strobe lights caused by Pikachu's attacks in future episodes of the anime and re-edited the first 37 episodes to eliminate said effects. This even extended to anime as a whole—ever since this snafu, any fast-paced scenes that could concievably cause seizures have to be darkened for the broadcast version.
    • Pokémon: The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon is more known for being associated with the controversy that followed after Pokémon USA, now known as The Pokémon Company International, fired the English voice actors that had been working on the anime since day one in favor of newer, cheaper, less well-regarded ones.
    • Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened is mostly remembered for the fan backlash surrounding the inclusion of a second, female Mewtwo and the implied (but eventually debunked) retcon of Mewtwo's backstory that it created, to the point where it has its own folder on the film's YMMV page. This backlash extended to Mega Mewtwo Y, which debuted in the film as the second Mewtwo's Super Mode and was subsequently "tainted." Only when it was used in the Final Smash of the Super Smash Bros. Mewtwo in the fourth game (who is mostly based on the original) was its association with the movie weakened.
    • The Episode N arc of Black & White is infamous for the fact that the original version of it was cancelled after an earthquake that hit the Tokohu region of Japan in 2011, and the fact that it is criticized for completely butchering the portrayal of Team Plasma (with their depictions solely being based on the Team Plasma from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, with their Pokémon Black and White depictions completely removed save for N) alongside Ghetsis as a Generic Doomsday Villain.
    • The XY&Z season of the XY series will likely never be remembered for anything more than Ash's failure to win the Kalos League. While Ash losing Leagues is nothing new, various signs (such as the episode's title, promotional material, and Ash's growth throughout the series) seemed to point towards him finally winning, and yet the rug was pulled under everyone. Moreso than any other League, this one suffered a huge amount of fan backlash across both sides of the Pacific.
  • In 2017, Rurouni Kenshin returned with a new volume after a nearly twenty-year hiatus... just in time for creator Nobuhiro Watsuki to be arrested for possession of child pornography, scuttling the new series almost as soon as it began and retroactively tainting the old one. After a few months, Watsuki returned to the manga after paying a fine.
  • Sailor Moon:
  • The 1993-1994 and 2000-2002 OVAs of Stardust Crusaders drew considerable attention in 2008 when Egyptian fundamentalists discovered shots of DIO, a non-Muslim and the Big Bad, reading the Koran.note  As a result of this outrage, Shueisha cut off ties with A.P.P.P., circulation of the OVAs was temporarily halted to remove the Koran text, and Hirohiko Araki himself was forced to redraw the original manga to replace mosques and other Muslim buildings that get harmed or destroyed with more secular constructions. The whole incident and the resulting censorship was heavily scorned by critics as "embarrassing," and Shueisha's distancing from A.P.P.P. is heavily believed to be one of the leading contributors to the failure of A.P.P.P.'s 2007 film adaptation of Phantom Blood.
  • Usually, the only times Stitch! comes up amongst Western Lilo & Stitch fans is to complain about it being a Stealth Sequel and how it ruins the original series' theme about "ʻohana" and family. Even fans of the anime hated the episode where Lilo appears, as originally the anime was marketed as an Alternate Universe.
  • The life and career of Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata was overshadowed in August 2018 by revelations that he was a Prima Donna Director on par with Stanley Kubrick, being so tough to work under that his exacting standards may have led to the untimely passing of up-and-coming Ghibli talent Yoshifumi Kondō, a theory that Ghibli greats Hayao Miyazaki and even Takahata himself were willing to believe. Worse, he died without ever having to account for the damage he might have done, leaving his legacy (if not the enjoyability of his works) up in the air.
  • In early February 2018, internet users found the Twitter account of Kazuyoshi Yaginuma, long-renowned for his work on a number of high-profile anime, most notably his direction of the anime adaptation of Recovery of an MMO Junkie, only to find that he's a virulent Neo-Nazi who had been posting and endorsing anti-Semitic and pro-Hitler content since joining Twitter in 2011. Needless to say, discussions surrounding him revolve less on the merits of his artistic output and more on his beliefs and the ethics of supporting the works he contributed to despite them, with MMO Junkie being hit the hardest.
  • The Macross franchise is better known for the sheer amount of legal trouble that the franchise was involved with in the United States thanks to Harmony Gold.
  • Yuki Suegutsu is chiefly known for two things: Chihayafuru, and getting Bessatsu Friend on an international blacklist for the most part with an earlier project, Flower of Eden.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the English-speaking world, it's impossible to find English coverage of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf without seeing stuff from that one time two kids in China tried replicating something they saw in the show and ended up seriously injuring themselves.

  • The Cadillac Cimarron, GM's first attempt at a luxury compact, front-wheel drive sedan was, in and of itself, not that bad of a vehicle when introduced in 1982, no worse than the identical Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunbird (as well as the Buick Skyhawk and Oldsmobile Firenza). In fact, the Cadillac, on paper and in some actual respects, was a better car than it J-car siblings given equipment that was either optional on the other J-cars or in some cases not even available (for instance, tuned suspension and beefier stabilizer bars), and had standard air conditioning, leather interior and power outside remote mirrors, all options on the other J-cars.

    However, the vehicle also had a four-cylinder engine that, while certainly competent, was unbefitting of a Cadillac, with no optional engine (or larger, more powerful engine ... let alone a marque-exclusive one) even offered ... also, a standard four-speed manual transmission (purportedly because other entry-level luxury vehicles from Europe also had manual-shift transmissions standard) meant customers had to order the automatic transmission (the only type of transmission offered in Cadillacs since at least 1953).

    Additionally, many automobile writers and testers preferred the European luxury makes' entry-level luxury cars (such as the BMW 325i and Mercedes-Benz 190D), which they said handled and performed better than what was essentially a Chevrolet Cavalier with a Cadillac price ... and despite its $12,000 standard price (for 1982), buyers still had to order such conveniences as power windows, door locks and seats (which had been standard on virtually every Cadillac model for years).

    Despite improvements in subsequent model years to address early Cimarron shortcomings, including a V-6 engine and at least a 5-speed manual transmission standard (automatic transmission was always optionally available), many buyers stayed away from not only the Cimarron but the other true luxury Cadillac vehicles ... they didn't want to be associated with a car make that sold what was essentially an overpriced Pontiac Sunbird. Only after Cadillac finally pulled the plug on the Cimarron at the end of the 1988 model year was its brand name salvaged.
  • The initial reaction to downsized Cadillacs in 1985-1986, starting with the Coupe/Sedan DeVille and Fleetwood, and continuing to the Eldorado and Seville models was this. The familiar land yachts were no more, particularly with those who valued size with their luxury vehicles. This despite the fact that Cadillac kept a traditionally-sized land yacht model in its lineup (the Fleetwood Brougham) until at least 1996 and the newer, lighter-weight cars performed well (if not better than all their ancestors) and were just as luxurious as their predecessors.
  • The first-generation Chevrolet Corvair was one of GM's most popular models during the 1960s, but it is better known today for its handling issues, a problem that was further compounded when it was revealed by consumer advocate Ralph Nader in his book Unsafe at Any Speed that GM executives had declined to include suspension upgrades that would have made the car safer after calculating that paying off lawsuits was cheaper than re-engineering the car.
  • The Ford Pinto was actually a good car with better reliability than its American competitors but is remembered for the gas tank flaw from its first couple of years model that made it explode in rear-end collisions. Even the trope referring to exploding cars is called Every Car Is a Pinto.
  • Buick in 2017 and 2018. The decision to permanently discontinue the Verano sedan in America for 2017 hasn't been met well with some fans, and the new emphasis on crossovers and SUVs (which is a trend) is also equally as controversial, with some Fandom stating They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and others are accusing Buick of being in a Dork Age.
  • Google's self-driving car/Automated Automobiles project is seen like this, with the viral of officers pulling over a self-driving car being an issue, along with some people seeing it as Reed Richards Is Useless technology (and by extension, Job-Stealing Robot). The car, which according to Word of God was supposed to be "cutesy" is seen as The Grotesque by some people. It doesn't help that, in Europe, Google is better known as a search engine company. This overlaps with Ludd Was Right, for some people on the blogosphere (including one now-inactive Tumblr site).
  • Tesla's Model 3 is this, even though only prototypes were shown:
    • There is controversy over whether they can build enough cars by 2018, and even debate online over whether Tesla founder Elon Musk is a Corrupt Corporate Executive, an Uncle Pennybags figure or a Snake Oil Salesman, along with people stating that the Tesla Model 3 is lousy in design terms (something that some people have called the Tesla Model S, considered to be The Mockbuster of a General Motors design or a Jaguar design, with the only exception being the powertrain (it being electric, the General Motors and Jaguar being petrol, diesel or hybrid).
    • Some sites accused Tesla of offering Vaporware or an automobile stuck in Development Hell. One blog also considered the car as an unmanly car, with its powertrain and styling and said it basically horrible. The car hasn't even been launched yet, but some people consider Tesla as a manufacturer of The Alleged Car.
  • Uber counts, not only due to the Automated Automobiles, but also being a way to steal taxi driver's jobs, as the many Uber protests show. The controversies surrounding its former CEO Travis Kalanick haven't helped matters.
  • The concept of an electric car, in general, has been overshadowed by controversy since the attempts by many major companies to produce them in the '90s. The cars flopped, but conspiracy theories grew that the automotive industry deliberately mismarketed and sabotaged their own efforts in order to continue making money via the oil industry. While it's generally agreed now that the technology to create a decent electric car wasn't quite there at the time, the oil industry did directly campaign against electric cars in their marketing and literature. Much of this perception has stuck around today and contributes to the criticism against the Tesla.

    Fan Works 
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction The Conversion Bureau and its numerous spin-offs are most well known for their misanthropy, social views (least of which include the advocating of genocide), and the intense Flame Wars that often accompany these fics. One spin-off writer, Chatoyance, is especially controversial for essentially taking the above and taking them Up to Eleven and then some. Three particular stories stand out: Ten Minutes: Aftermath, a personal Fix Fic that was interpreted (due to how Chatoyance posted a link right on the original author's comments page) as a middle finger to the fans of the original Ten Minutes story; The Reasonably Adamant Down with Celestia Newfoal Society, which was little more than a caustic insult leveled at anyone that didn't like her work; and finally, the short story New Universe Three: The Friendship Virus, TCB fic In Name Only that had overtly misandric messages. Chatoyance is also infamous for her radicalist transgender and feminist viewpoints.
  • Dakari-King Mykan was already considered a terrible fanfiction writer to begin with, but his several run-ins with moderators, different fandoms, critics, and the like have made him a laughingstock. Mykan's My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic is remembered more for his numerous rants about how much he hates My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and its reputation than the fact that it's fanfic at all. His works involving MLP in the first place are also more remembered for the insane lengths Mykan is willing to go to torture Princess Cadance for being Happily Married (having her kill her roboticized brother, making her suffer nightmares, killing off Twilight Sparkle (which is another issue altogether), making her miscarry and become infertile, etc.). Friendship is Failure #10 has become especially infamous for the beheading of Flurry Heart for this exact purpose.
  • Pretty Cure Bukatsudo Energetic is at least as well known for the author's defensive behavior against anyone who dared to even attempt any Curefic with an "afterschool activities" thematic, which helped end that thematic for Curefics for the foreseeable future, as it is for its merits as a quality story. Not helping is that said behavior earned her at least a few enemies within the Pretty Cure fandom, even among those who enjoy the story.
  • Fanfiction author Sky the Hedgehog 47 is more known for his vitriolic and often profanity-laden rants, his political views, and his defensive reactions to criticism than for the fact that he's a fanfic author at all.
  • Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness is a fairly normal Harry Potter fanfiction, and was once widely acclaimed. However, it's also controversial for the many infamous antics of its author Thanfiction, particularly once he was exposed as being the same person as "Victoria Bitter", a notorious con artist in the The Lord of the Rings fandom who swindled thousands of dollars out of dozens of people by claiming he would use it to organize a convention where fans could meet actors from the films. The Tentmoot fan convention disaster didn't help matters either.
  • The Star Trek fan film Prelude to Axanar and its sequel Star Trek: Axanar are infamous due to the actions of its creator Alec Peters, which included stealing from donor money, using the name and image of actor Tony Todd to promote the film months after the actor had officially quit the project, and essentially using the Star Trek brand name to buy his way into being legitimate. The latter resulted in a lawsuit from CBS/Paramount that led to the companies imposing severe restrictions on the content and production values of future fan productions (which itself is a different can of worms), further tarnishing his reputation.
  • DeviantArt user Borba became rather infamous for two incidents:
    • The first was in December 2017 after his I Will Survive Zootopia comic, written back in March of that year, caught the eye of the public. The comic featured Judy Hopps finding out that she's pregnant with Nick's child but decides she doesn't want the baby. Nick, on the other hand, objects and tries to convince Judy to keep the baby, which leads to a violent argument between the two and eventually their breakup. It quickly became a laughingstock among people for how out-of-character it portrays the two and being over-the-top with the drama. Although Borba has denied the comic being any sort of pro-life Author Tract, instead intending to show how a One True Pairing like WildeHopps can be destroyed very easily, this didn't stop him from being remembered as the guy who wrote that particular comic, even though he has done a lot of other things besides it.
    • The other was the discovery of a depiction of Sappho, a historical lesbian poet, as an Amazon whose job is to keep other Amazons in line via rape. This was widely seen as an insult to the LGBT community.
  • The Grim Edventures of Ed, Edd n Eddy is still a relatively popular fanfic series, but it's hard not to bring up the Hollow. The character debuted not long after author Technomaru had an apparently nasty breakup with fellow fan fiction writer Emma Iveli, and her introductory chapter opens with an author's note insulting her and a scene in which her in-story avatar is killed off and the Author Avatar brushes it off with little thought. The Hollow is all but outright stated to be Emma, her character can best be described as a loser who obsessively watches CSI (a show the author hates), she's called "evil" and "ugly" by the protagonists, and the fic itself seems to allude to events preceding the breakup. Given the implications of it all, fan outrage was probably inevitable. In Technomaru's defense, he eventually patched things up with Emma, brought the Hollow back to life, introduced a character named after Emma who eventually joins the heroes, and has made it clear that he considers this character an Old Shame.
  • Grim and Edboys, the aforementioned remake, became this after the author Kelothan sent a reply to Technomaru that made it sound like he was abandoning him, resulting in a Creator Breakdown.
  • ThisCrispyKat is a prolific fan artist in several furry fandoms on DeviantArt, especially the My Little Pony and Care Bears franchises. However, every conversation involving her has since come down to the fact that much of her art features Nazi-themes and characters, which still today no one can agree on if it's satire or not.
  • There's an infamous fanfic writer in the Arthur fandom known as "Travis" who is known for writing low-quality fanfics that are often inappropriate for the characters. Some believe he writes Troll Fics but his works are usually considered to be serious attempts at writing. He's so controversial that there are several Take That! fanfics against him.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos is mostly known for the author's open hatred of religion, and the way it influences the depiction of the Angel Federation, particularly its Islamic faction.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is remembered for two controversial scenes: the Bonk vs. The Joker scene in which the latter kills the former with the "Bang!" Flag Gun, and the entire flashback scene, with the very noteworthy part near the end in which Robin does the same thing to the Joker. Even before the film was released to video and DVD in 2000, movie companies were coming under heavy criticism for violence in films during the fallout of the Columbine shootings that had happened over a year ago, and WB felt pressured and afraid that Moral Guardians and Media Watchdogs would object that the movie would be a repeat of Columbine. As a result, the original release date (Halloween 2000) was postponed, and the film heavily edited and toned down for release on December 12. But even then, the Bowdlerised version (especially with the Joker's death scene changed to a Family Unfriendly High-Voltage Death) didn't help matters, but only caused unrest among many Batman fans that lasted for over a year. That unrest thankfully quelled down when the film developers still retained the original version in shelves and eventually released it on DVD as "the original, uncut version" under the PG-13 rating on April 23, 2002 (just three days after the third anniversary of the Columbine tragedy) following an online petition to have it released. The same uncut version would be digitally enhanced and released on Blu-Ray nine years later.
  • Batman: The Killing Joke ran right into this. The original Killing Joke comic had the Joker paralyzing Barbara Gordon as its inciting incident, with little statement of who she actually was in the story itself. The Animated Adaptation attempted to correct this by expanding Barbara's role in the story, but it was done in a way that comes off with more problems: namely the sexual tension between Batgirl and Batman.note  This culminates in the two having sex which Squicked out a good portion of the audience, especially those who have seen Batman as more of a paternal mentor to Batgirl in other media. And that's not even getting into the debates on whether the first half of the movie, which set Barbara up as a character, should've even been made in a movie called "The Killing Joke".
  • Coonskin, Ralph Bakshi's satirical Blaxploitation re-imagining of the Uncle Remus tales. Al Sharpton famously criticized the film without even seeing it, saying, "I don't got to see shit; I can smell shit!" This gave the film some very bad publicity. Since then, professional critics and black audiences have praised it for being the complete opposite of being racist. Even Spike Lee is a fan.
  • The Emoji Movie is probably more well-known for how using emojis as its main focus soon proved to be an Audience-Alienating Premise due to how Totally Radical it sounded, plagiarizing certain plot points of films such as Wreck-It Ralph, The LEGO Movie and Inside Out, being made by Sony Pictures, a company that has a track record of producing some of the Internet's most controversial movies (as well as being greenlit by Tom Rothman, an executive notorious for Executive Meddling during his time at Fox, causing films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Dragonball Evolution to turn out the way they did, among other reviled creative decisions), becoming a popular target for mockery on the Internet, having a poorly-written plot, poorly-written characters, somehow managing to pull an inverse 8.8,note , being proclaimed by many critics and audiences to be so awful that it would cause the end of cinema, and supposedly being a replacement for two cancelled films, one of them about Popeye than the fact that it's even a film at all. If the controversy over its actual quality wasn't bad enough, a few months later the film would be dragged into the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal (see 'Real Life') when T.J. Miller was accused by an ex-girlfriend of choking and punching her mid-coitus without her permission.
  • Olaf's Frozen Adventure became known soon after its release less because of anything related to the film itself and more because of the circumstances behind said release: It was originally meant for a television special before being put as the opener for the Pixar film Coco, and the fact that its length was meant for television and not as an opener for a Pixar film upset many of the moviegoers who went just to see Coco. It went to the point that most Mexican movie theaters outright removed the short from their showings of Coco (as Coco prominently features Mexican culture as its backdrop) before Disney officially pulled it from all future screenings of Coco beginning on December 8, 2017. That's to say nothing about the film itself coming out in the wake of John Lasseter taking a leave of absence from the company (which later became permanent) due to sexual harassment allegations, which has made headlines as much as the movie itself. It hasn't harmed the critical or box office performance of the film, but it has made it much harder to talk about without mentioning the allegations in light of similar ones in the industry.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler is mostly well known for its decades-long stint in Development Hell, director Richard Williams being removed from his own pet project by the completion bond company brought on to complete it, being finished in a vastly different form in Australia and South Africa under the title The Princess and the Cobbler, and receiving an edited and partially re-dubbed North American release by Miramax Films under the title Arabian Knight.
  • The Magic Roundabout is better known for being given a Same Language Gag Dub by The Weinstein Company for the North American release under the title Doogal, which became infamous for its poor quality and its over-emphasis on pop culture references when the original didn't have as many. Today it's very much regarded as an Old Shame for everyone who's worked on it.
  • Sausage Party is an interesting case. The film was supposed to invoke this, as it was an adult CGI film that intended to break the stigma of animation being just for kids, and its rather grotesque premise. Instead, it became far more infamous after the revelations of the film's Troubled Production, in particular, Greg Tiernan's mistreatment of the staff working on the film.
  • Skydance Animation serves as one of the newly added divisions of film studio Skydance Media. Formed in 2017 through a multi-year partnership with Ilion Animation Studios, the new division gained recognition as a potential contender for producing future high quality animated films. However, they came under immediate fire in January 2019, when it was announced that Pixar founder and former Disney executive John Lasseter was made head of the division. As Lasseter was struck with multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and sexist behavior less than two years prior, Skydance was met with heavy criticism for being willing to work with him, let alone having him be head of one of their divisions. As a result, both the division and Skydance Media as a whole lost a lot of support from most of the public. It got to the point where Skydance publicly disclaimed any responsibility for Lasseter's sexual misconduct, past, present and future, and went out of its way to ensure in its contract with Lasseter that he would remain on his best behavior from here on out.
    Skydance insider: David [Ellison] has been clear with John about what is expected in terms of his behavior. If there is any daylight between them in terms of that, there will obviously be severe repercussions.
    • This also cost them Emma Thompson, who'd been set to star in one of the films placed under Lasseter's supervision and then quit over his hiring even before she'd been announced to be in the film, leading to even more attention being placed on the issue. And then she published an open letter condemning them for forcing all their employees into a choice between working with a person they may find morally reprehensible or losing their jobs.

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

    Newspaper Comics 
  • These days, Dilbert creator Scott Adams is considerably better-known for his outspoken support of US President Donald Trump than for his cartooning. And while the average comic strip reader might ordinarily be willing to overlook a cartoonist's politics, Adams drew quite a bit of attention to it when he published a rather controversial pro-Trump book whose cover art featured an image of Dogbert with Trump's hair. Because of this, Dilbert unsurprisingly lost a lot of fans who dislike Trump.
  • Brazilian political cartoonist Carlos Latuff is one of the most notorious figures in his chosen field, and his work is impossible to discuss without mentioning the fact that it contains frequent explicit depictions of both physical and sexual violence, portrays the United Kingdom, United States, and Israel as nothing more than nations full of bloodthirsty barbarians, and that Latuff has drawn comics supporting the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Virginia Tech University Massacre perpetrator Seung-Hui Cho, and other extremist organizations and individuals, portraying them as valiant martyrs against Western imperialism. These facts have caused even many people who agree with his positions to be reluctant to associate with him.

  • Ex-Bally/Williams pinball designer John Popadiuk is overshadowed by the Development Hell of games produced by his company, Zidwarenote . With millions of dollars in pre-order money collected and little results since 2011, he has been accused of defrauding customers.
  • A shadow hangs over pinball designer John Trudeau's games, including Ghostbusters, after he was charged with alleged possession of child pornography and the sexual abuse of a minor. Stern Pinball announced his firing, removed all mention of his name, and has refused to identify what projects he was working on as lead designer.
  • Kevin Kulek, the founder of boutique manufacturer Skit-B Pinball, is more known for allegations of defrauding customers with a Predator game that was never licensed by 20th Century Fox (who shut down the project).

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Fabulous Moolah was long considered a pioneer of women's wrestling and one of the greatest female stars of all time, recognized for having a 30-year reign as WWF Women's Champion. However, over the years, numerous allegations have been made against her. Many of Moolah's trainees alleged that they were sent out to be raped, beaten, and exploited by male wrestlers and several promoters, as well as Moolah herself. She was seen as a hypocrite for her stance on lesbian wrestlers, despite it being a purported open secret that she was bisexual and sexually exploited her trainees. She lowballed the trainers and trainees who operated in her wrestling school, which itself was nothing more than a shanty barn to begin with. Additionally, it's also been alleged that she used her influence to manipulate and control the women's wrestling scene so she could remain dominant, which stagnated the entire division. As a result of these allegations, her public image was tarnished, with many people saying she wasn't even a good wrestler and her success was solely a result of her backstage politicking. In 2018, her name was removed from what was to be called "The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal" at WrestleMania 34 after the exploitation allegations against her resurfaced.
  • For years, Jimmy Snuka's career was overshadowed by accusations that he had killed his girlfriend in 1983. It wasn't until 32 years later, in 2015, that Snuka was arrested and indicted for murder charges in the case. The next year, he was declared mentally unfit to stand trial due to his dementia diagnosis, and the case was dismissed in early 2017 due to his declining health. Snuka died twelve days after the dismissal, with his legacy shrouded by the case.
  • The WWF almost became this in the early 1990s, as the company was embroiled in a number of scandals such as the steroid trial and the sexual misconduct allegations against several of its employees.
  • Axxel is generally agreed to be a good luchador. Unfortunately for him, since his 1993 debut, he's been less known for his talent than for his uncle's, Hijo del Santo's, attempts to kill his career for initially being billed as Nieto del Santo. Despite managing to keep his career going for twelve years, most of the better-known promotions have refused to book Axxel for fear of his uncle's backlash, resulting in much less exposure than a luchador of his experience would usually have.
  • Survivor Series 1997: The Montreal Screwjob. There were six other matches on the card. Does anybody remember those? For that matter, does anybody remember anything about the Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels match other than the finish?
  • WWF's 1999 Over the Edge pay-per-view will forever be known as the event where Owen Hart fell to his death. Vince McMahon's decision to keep the pay-per-view going despite Owen's death remains one of the most controversial topics in professional wrestling circles to this day.
  • WCW and ECW both enjoyed time as the flagship of the National Wrestling Alliance before becoming successful enough to ditch the NWA. Both also went out of business in 2001, for largely the same reason. Despite their successes both companies were financially mismanaged to the point the network cable support they earned wound up being a crutch and their respective cable partners, TBS and TNN, turned on them, blocking attempts to shop for other deals and ignoring perspective buyers before cutting the plug, resulting in the WWF picking up the rights to both feds for pennies on the dollar. The difference between the two is that ECW managed to keep fans talking more about its great matches than its missteps, allowing WWE to successfully launch a revival brand.note  WCW had several great matches under its banner as well but these were so overshadowed by their blunders that no network the WWF worked with wanted anything to do with the brand.
  • No Mercy 2002: Even the presence of a Brock Lesnar/Undertaker Hell in a Cell and a classic Tag Team match won't change the fact that this pay-per-view will always be remembered for the Triple H vs. Kane title unification match, built upon one of the most infamous angles in professional wrestling history: Katie Vick.
  • WrestleMania XIX was considered by most means a great show, with a classic main event between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle, a show-stealing battle between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels, the long-awaited encounter between Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan, and the final match of the Rock/Austin trilogy in what would be the latter’s final ever match. However, one match that people would rather forget would be the battle between Triple H and Booker T for the World Heavyweight Championship. The build-up to the match consisted of Triple H characterizing Booker with racist stereotypes of African Americans, such as talking about his real life arrest record, referencing the stereotype of blacks being violent criminals, or telling Booker to do Spinaroonies at his order, referring to how black entertainers in the Jim Crow era were often patronized by their white audiences. He even stated that people like Booker, implying African Americans, don’t deserve to be world champion. While all of that is bad in itself, what really makes this feud so hated is the fact that Triple H won the match.
  • The WCW/ECW case is mirrored by their would be successors, TNA and Ring of Honor. While RF Video decided to go with a different tone after being rejected by then most visible ECW cash in CZW, RF were still confident they could keep the revenue streams ECW brought them going simply by selling the tapes of another promotion in its place. TNA, by contrast, was formed by WCW workers who decided to go with a different model entirely due to WCW's poor reputation. Still, it was ROH who managed to keep fans talking about its great matches despite one of its founders being shamed out of the promotion for his involvement in one of pro wrestling's most infamous scandals during 2004, which was the beginning of the end of its partnership with TNA, its other founder being shamed out for poor booking decisions in 2008, seven years of financial instability directly related to these incidents and a few other controversies. TNA meanwhile was criticized for its very name when it started, had its booking mocked for most of its existence, was known for Jeff Jarrett's relations with Kurt Angle's wife in 2009, and was largely held up as an example of how not to manage finances throughout the vast majority of the 2010s despite also having many great matches to its name.
  • Muhammad Hassan was a highly controversial gimmick of an Arab-American heel who was angry at the United States for stigmatizing all Muslims and Arabs in the country as terrorists in the post-9/11 climate. The gimmick is mostly remembered for an angle where Hassan sent masked men to attack The Undertaker on a taped episode of WWE SmackDown that aired on the same day as the July 7, 2005 bombings in London. Because of this, WWE was forced to fire Hassan from the company. The gimmick is also known for its Values Dissonance, as greater awareness of anti-Muslim prejudice across the country in the 2010s made it more difficult to justify the Hassan character as a heel.
  • Dragondoor Project managed to establish a good roster of wrestlers from around the world such as Solar #1, Ultramán, Último Guerrero, Gran Hamada, Máximo, Shuji Kondo, Milanito Collection a.t. and Kota Ibushi. On a couple occasions it drew decent crowds but did not last long, largely because everyone was confused by a Charlie Brown from Outta Town Costume Copy Cat angle revolving around Tiger Mask and Ultimo Dragon that featured at least a half dozen wrestlers that could hardly be differentiated from each other.
  • One Night Stand 2006, the very first WWE event devoted exclusively to the revived ECW promotion, was overshadowed by the massive amount of hatred the ECW fanbase directed toward visiting wrestlers from WWE proper, especially WWE Champion John Cena when he faced ECW favorite Rob Van Dam for the title in the main event. A fan stirred up the crowd by holding up an inflammatory sign: "IF CENA WINS, WE RIOT!" - leading to a commentator proclaiming, "Here comes the riot!" when it seemed that Cena was about to put Van Dam away. The only thing preventing a riot was a biker in a full helmet appearing out of nowhere and delivering a "spear" tackle to Cena, allowing Van Dam to pin Cena and bring the WWE Championship to ECW - and that biker, of course, turned out to be Cena's archenemy, Edge.
  • Chris Benoit was once one of the most respected professional wrestlers on the planet. However, that changed in June 2007, when he was found dead in his home alongside his family. Local police concluded that Benoit strangled his wife and son to death before killing himself afterward. Benoit’s reputation was forever tarnished by the incident, with WWE going all-out to avoid ever mentioning him again and, after his brain was revealed to be comparable to an Alzheimer’s patient, speculation running rampant if WWE was culpable in turning a blind eye to his brain damage.
  • In June 2007, WWE's Vengeance pay-per-view was relaunched as Vengeance: Night of Champions. At the time, WWE had nine championships, and this PPV was the first time that all of them were defended on the same night. But hardly anybody remembers that, because what they do remember is that John Morrison, then known as Johnny Nitro, unexpectedly won the ECW Championship because he was booked in place of Benoit, who no-showed the event due to the aforementioned murder-suicide that took place during the time frame. Morrison has, at least for some fans, yet to live down the fact that he rose to main event status in WWE entirely because of this tragedy.
  • John Morrison and Melina's backstage heat overshadows most of the things they've accomplished in their wrestling careers. Melina slightly more so, since Morrison has gotten some of his recognition back due to his work in Lucha Underground.
  • TNA Victory Road 2009 is perhaps one of the worst shows TNA has ever had, with the pinnacle of this debacle being the horrible Jenna Morasca vs. Sharmell match.
  • Victory Road 2011 is forever known as the night when a stoned Jeff Hardy wrestled Sting in a minute and a half long main event.
  • WrestleMania 28 was said to be one of the better Manias. It featured the highly anticipated John Cena/The Rock showdown, The Undertaker and Triple H in a Hell in a Cell, and a solid CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho match. Unfortunately, its reputation is soiled by the presence of one of the most infamous moments in WWE history, known to fan as "18 seconds." It's so named because that's how long the World Heavyweight Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus lasted. In the end, Bryan's popularity skyrocketed to astronomical proportions, while Sheamus' reputation among hardcore fans was damaged to the point of no return, not helped at all by a similar incident happening at Survivor Series 2015 in which he was also the winner.
  • CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit 2012 was a sure-fire classic, being the first time the two wrestlers, with a huge fan support, had a match in WWE; unfortunately, the pay-per-view is remembered instead for the Epic Fail of a main event between John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis.
  • The 2014 and 2015 Royal Rumble matches are remembered for the tremendous Internet Backdrafts that ensued. In both matches, a homegrown pet project of Vince McMahon and his associates won, Batista and Roman Reigns, respectively, despite the fact that the crowd overwhelmingly wanted Daniel Bryan to win the match; unfortunately, Bryan wasn't even in the 2014 match and was quickly eliminated in 2015. The 2014 Rumble is also remembered for being the final straw that led to CM Punk quitting WWE the day afterward, while the 2015 edition is also remembered for a spot in which older stars The Big Show and Kane eliminated/buried other beloved Ensemble Darkhorses like Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose from the match as well, to thunderous chants of "PLEASE RETIRE!".
  • Japanese female star Yoshiko is mainly known for the incident in 2015 where she brutally beat down fellow female wrestler Act Yasukawa in a shoot fight, breaking several bones in her face. Yasukawa was forced to retire shortly afterward. Yoshiko herself would briefly retire before returning in 2016. As such, the controversy still lingers over her.
  • Hulk Hogan was fired by WWE in 2015 after racist remarks he said years prior in a sex tape became public, as well as other homophobic statements.
  • Bill DeMott’s career in the wrestling industry came to an end when records of his highly abusive behavior as WWE's head trainer were revealed.
  • Roman Reigns' WWE run was overshadowed by the extremely negative reception his work received ever since the first dissolution of The Shield, to the point that there's an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to these reactions. The enduring backlash only died down after Reigns was forced to go on hiatus thanks to the return of his leukemia in late 2018.
  • Perhaps the only thing fans and wrestling insiders will remember about AAA's Triplemanía XXV is the incident where Sexy Star legitimately injured Rosemary by popping her arm out of place with an armbar, as well as the ensuing uproar it caused within the wrestling industry. The story people were supposed to come away telling was legendary Masked Luchador Dr. Wagner Jr. getting unmasked. What didn't help was that the Reinas division, in general, wasn't being too well received at the time, after Ayako Hamada had a lackluster run ended by Taya Valkyrie, who was then anticlimactically stripped of the belt before it was given to Star, who then decided to make a big scene while under the figurative microscope. It should be noted that, outside of a few appearances in SHIMMER Women Athletes a few months afterward under her real name, Dulce García, Star hasn't wrestled again anywhere.
  • Impact Wrestling's Bound for Glory 2018 has been overshadowed by the aftermath of the main event of Johnny Impact vs. Austin Aries for the Impact World Championship, which saw Aries No-Sell Impact's Finishing Move the Starship Pain, point to the balcony while shouting at Impact Vice President and commentator Don Callis, and throw middle fingers at the crowd.
  • WWE's Greatest Royal Rumble and Crown Jewel events in Saudi Arabia have been largely indulged in controversy, with many angry that WWE was collaborating with a nation known for its abysmal human rights record,note  in which women and LGBT citizens are treated as second class and government-approved bombings have nearly obliterated Yemen. Concerning the former event, women were unable to perform due to religious laws that severely limited their rights in the country, Sami Zayn wasn't allowed to perform due to being of Syrian descent, as Saudi Arabia and Syria have bad relations with each other, propaganda for the Saudi government was broadcast on air, an offshoot of al-Qaeda condemned it as being blasphemous, and Titus O’Neil tripped and fell under the ring apron on his way out. About a month before the latter event, Saudi Arabia got into hot water on the international stage after Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist critical of the ruling government, was brutally killed allegedly on orders from Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Several companies severed their ties with Saudi Arabia and WWE faced intense pressure to move the event elsewhere, while John Cena and Daniel Bryan, two of the company's biggest stars, refused to work the show. Even John Oliver got his two cents in on a segment of Last Week Tonight. Despite the criticism and protest, the event went on as planned in November 2018 due to contractual obligations WWE had with the Saudis, but the actual contents of the show were not well-received by wrestling fans — to the point where it ran away with the 2018 Gooker Award on WrestleCrap.
  • Mexican hardcore wrestler Angel o Demonio's career was overshadowed when he threw a concrete block at Puerto Rican wrestler Cuervo during a hardcore match, which almost killed him. The incident had fans and wrestlers from Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. outraged, with them calling for him to have his license revoked and blacklisted from wrestling promotions. Due to Values Dissonance in Mexico, it didn't happen; other promotions took the opportunity to promote him with the cinder block on posters, and Angel o Demonio hasn't apologized for the incident.
  • The WWE Hall of Fame class of 2019 will forever be overshadowed thanks to a deranged "fan" who tackled Bret Hart while the latter was giving his acceptance speech of the Hart Foundation's induction. This led to several wrestlers and colleagues legitimately beating the crap out of the guy before he was escorted out of the building by security.

  • Ty Cobb. While he is one of the greatest baseball players of all time, his reputation suffers from allegations of racism and violence, largely stemming from a couple of biographies that were released following his death that were later largely discredited.note 
  • The Kansas City Royals won their first World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985. Although that series is better remembered for one of the worst officiating calls in baseball history. In the bottom of the ninth of Game 6, umpire Don Denkinger ruled Jorge Orta safe at first when the throw clearly beat him therenote . The Cardinals imploded, losing that game and getting routed in Game 7. Not helping matters is Denkinger ejecting Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog and pitcher Joaquin Andujar in the clincher which led to fans sending him death threats.
  • Cyclist Lance Armstrong, winner of a record-breaking 7 Tour de France contests. All were stripped afterward when it turned out he had used a complicated and watertight system to use doping. It seems unlikely he will ever be trusted again.
  • Tonya Harding, a promising figure skater able to pull extremely difficult tricks that few were able to back then, like the triple axel jump, apparently ordered an attack on fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan with a telescoping baton so she could defeat her rival that way.note  The case came out afterward and she was sentenced guilty to racketeering, stripped of all her titles, and banned from figure skating for life. Since then, she only gets in the news media for the kind of behavior you wouldn't want to become famous for; it doesn't help that, whether innocent or not, she has some serious character flaws that make it difficult for her to endear herself to the public. She continues to have some fans though, especially among people who believe her to be the victim of a smear campaign, or for Taking the Heat for something her husband ordered someone else to do. Biopic I, Tonya even states once it gets to the period "now this is what you all paid for..."
  • Boxer Mike Tyson, once a world champion boxing, is more notorious for the numerous violent incidents in his private life, including being convicted of rape and biting off Evander Holyfield's ear. The other things he is known for now are being the near unbeatable final boss of the NES port of Punch-Out!!, and for his appearances as a Cloudcuckoolander in works like The Hangover and Mike Tyson Mysteries.
  • O.J. Simpson's achievements as a football player and actor have been overshadowed by the controversy over his involvement, and possible guilt, in the murder of his second ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Most people today know him solely for the murder scandal or for subsequently getting arrested for stealing what he alleges was property stolen from him.
  • Tennis player John McEnroe was one of the most glorious champions in his sport, even managing to give Björn Borg a difficult time during Wimbledon 1980. Yet he mostly lives on in people's memories for his Hair-Trigger Temper and F-Word induced yelling at the referee during many matches. It has gotten to the point that there's more demand to see that kind of archive footage again than him winning his matches.
  • Nick Kyrgios used to be praised as a bright young talent who beat Rafael Nadal at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships as a teenager. Then at the 2015 Rogers Cup during a match against Stan Wawrinka, he made a snide comment under his breath about how his countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis had banged Wawrinka's new girlfriend. His mic picked it up, the public love for him turned to derision overnight, and ever since then 90% of all headlines about him have been about his continued controversial and attention-seeking behavior rather than about his actual tennis results.
  • French soccer champion Zinedine Zidane is world famous for one incident during his final game where he headbutted another player. Especially to people who don't know much about soccer, like American citizens, this is all they know about him. What's especially embarrassing was that Zidane's disqualification as a result of the headbutt cost France its victory in the 2006 World Cup game with Italy. What usually isn't mentioned is that the Italian whom Zidane attacked insulted both his heritage and his sister.
  • Naomi Osaka's victory in the 2018 U.S. Open has been overshadowed by Serena Williams accusing umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism and racism after he penalized her during the second set, and the subsequent debate about whether or not Williams was right.
  • Penn State's Joe Paterno is the winningest coach in major college football history, but will forever be remembered in connection with longtime assistant coach and serial child molester Jerry Sandusky.
  • Despite Michael Schumacher being the driver with most victories and titles in F1, he still more remembered for his controversial actions in some races, especially in the finale of 1997 season when he tried to wreck Jacques Villeneuve for winning the championship. He failed, ended in the gravel trap and after the race, he was excluded from the championship.
  • During his very short F1 career, Nelson Piquet, Jr. became infamous as he's remembered for the "crashgate scandal" in the 2009 season, when deliberate crashed in the wall, forcing the safety car and helping his teammate, Fernando Alonso, won the race. Unlike many cases listed here, he has since made a name for himself in many racing categories (including NASCAR, which had an infamous reputation for being very hard for drivers coming from open-wheel racing background to adapt), including winning the inaugural Formula E season, so it's not too bad for Piquet, Jr. at the end.
  • Ryan Lochte was known for being one of the best swimmers in the world, winning multiple Olympic medals. Then during the 2016 Rio Olympics, he, along with some other swimmers, drunkenly vandalized a gas station bathroom and caused a confrontation with a security guard. After the fact, Lochte made up a story about being robbed at gunpoint to cover up the incident, and returned to America, leaving the other swimmers involved to deal with the fallout in Rio. Once the attempted cover-up came to light, nearly any mention of Lochte in the media referenced the incident.
  • Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius is nowadays more known for shooting his girlfriend dead than his track career.
  • Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is nowadays best known for kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season to protest racial oppression and police brutality.
  • Marion Jones was a superstar track and field runner in the '90s with lots of charm and charisma. Famous for winning five medals in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. However, rumors began to spread that she was using steroids after the medical company Balco was exposed for giving many famous athletes illegal drugs that were undetectable by drug test back then. Jones was one of the athletes named. She was successfully able to deny it, until she was caught up in an insurance fraud racket. She made a deal to confess to using steroids in order to reduce jail time. Her medals were stripped and she is now known as one of the greatest Olympic tragedies.
  • The Washington Redskins are best known for the fact that they take their name from a racial slur used against Native Americans, resulting in many campaigns to attempt to persuade them to change it.
  • The United States Football League is mostly remembered for the fact that one of the team owners, Donald Trump, pushed the league to schedule its 1986 season in direct competition with the NFL, in the belief that it would force a merger between the two leagues. This effort failed, bankrupting the USFL and driving it into obscurity.
  • Larry Nassar, while never well known by the public, was a reputable physician in American gymnastics circles, being the USA Gymnastics national team doctor for some time and also the house doctor for the Karolyi Ranch of Béla and Márta Károlyi fame.note  This changed when two former gymnasts publicly accused Nassar of sexual abuse in 2016. This led to other women accusing him of sexual abuse as well, with more than 200 victims having come forward. These allegations would ultimately expose a pattern of sexual abuse that had been prevalent since at least 1992. As a result, it's almost impossible that he will ever recover his former reputation, as he was sentenced to 60 years for child porn in federal prison in 2017. He was also sentenced to 40 to 175 years in 2018 for the sexual abuse in state jail. The judge who sentenced him for the latter called it his "death warrant". The controversy also spread over to the entire USA Gymnastics organization and Michigan State University, both longtime employers of Nassar, which led to huge repercussions for both.
  • The steroid era has tainted numerous baseball players' legacies due to them either admitting to taking steroids, were caught, or were believed to have done so. Some of the most notable examples include Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez.
  • Pete Rose was a highly popular baseball player beloved for his enthusiastic playing style, especially his tendency to dive at bases headfirst. It all came crashing down in 1989 when he was discovered to have placed bets on his own games and ejected from the game for life, as well as banned from induction into the Hall of Fame. He did get selected as a member of the "All-Century Team" in 1999, but the controversy still dogged him as he awkwardly had to respond to questions about the scandal rather than his accomplishments in the sport.
  • Michael Vick is best known for the fact that he was discovered to had been running and participating in various dog fighting rings, which derailed his football career for a couple of years.
  • Conor McGregor, while still a popular mixed martial artist, is difficult to discuss without mentioning his public life and rowdy behavior.
  • Super Bowl:
    • Super Bowl XXV will forever be remembered for the infamous Wide Right play where Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed a field goal by about a foot. Likewise, this play is the only thing anyone remembers about Norwood.
    • Super Bowl XXXVII is more known for the halftime show with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake and the Wardrobe Malfunction that took place in it than it is for the game itself.
    • Super Bowl XLVII is primarily known for the power outage that took place during the second half of the game.
    • Super Bowl LIII was infamous for several reasons:
      • Both the NFC and AFC Championship games were affected by questionable play-calling from NFL officials note , leaving many people, especially Saints fans, feeling that neither team particularly deserved to be there.
      • It's regarded as perhaps the worst game in Super Bowl history, with a score of only 13-3.
      • Following the death of SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg, a petition was made to have the song "Sweet Victory," one of the show's most iconic musical numbers, played during the Super Bowl halftime as a tribute to him. Despite the petition reaching its goal, and numerous teases that the NFL would indeed include the song in their halftime, the most glaring being that it was played prior to the game, "Sweet Victory" was never actually sung. This received widespread outrage from not only SpongeBob fans, but the animation community as a whole who felt that the NFL and PepsiCo disrespected Hillenberg's legacy and made the efforts to get them to have "Sweet Victory" sung for the halftime feel pointless. There was, however, a brief animation of Squidward introducing the actual halftime singers, note  but many didn't think it was nearly enough, in addition to looking more like an incredibly blatant case of Bait-and-Switch.
      • Finally, Maroon 5, Scott, and Big Boi's decisions to play at halftime at all were highly criticized, as many bands and musicians had previously turned down performing out of protest for the NFL's treatment of Colin Kaepernick.
  • Tua Tagovailoa and his parents gave a profoundly tone-deaf interview in which they proudly attributed his football skills to putting him through brutal corporal punishment in his childhood, including beating him with a belt to make him left-handed. Interviewer Tom Rinaldi also got quite a bit of flack for refusing to challenge this at all.
  • Many NFL stars' careers have been derailed by scandals involving them abusing women (Ray Rice and Kareem Hunt to name a couple) or their children (Adrian Peterson).
  • Matt Kuchar became the most hated person in golf after his caddy for a tournament in Mexico complained about being paid just a tiny fraction of what's typical for the sport. He didn't help himself at all with a response that basically the guy should be thankful for any scraps Kuchar deigned to toss his way, making himself look both racist and elitist in a sport that's been trying extremely hard to distance itself from that reputation. After months of public shaming from both the general public and numerous other golfers, he finally coughed up what he should have paid.
  • Australian rugby player Israel Folau has become better known for posting about his staunch homophobic views twice on Instagram than for his rugby career.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Among William Shakespeare's works, the most polarizing in modern times are The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice, which are well known for their notoriously unflattering depictions of women and Jews, respectively. Modern productions of both typically add some sort of twist to reduce the uncomfortableness, up to and including staging the plays, intended to be comedies, as tragedies with the female and Jewish characters as Doomed Moral Victors. Even within Shakespeare's own lifetime, there was a Take That! play called The Tamer Tamed where Katherine's abuser gets a taste of his own medicine from his next wife. Titus Andronicus is also well-known for being an extremely dark and violent Evil vs. Evil revenge tragedy very much unlike any of the Bard's other works, including the only rape scene he ever wrote and even cannibalism.
  • The mid-Victorian play Our American Cousin would forever be remembered for the Lincoln assassination instead of the witty characters like Lord Dundreary. The fatal shot was actually timed to what was famously the play's funniest moment, in the hope that the roar of laughter would cover the noise of the gunshot. In addition, John Wilkes Booth was a well known and critically acclaimed stage actor at the time. Nowadays, he's only remembered, obviously not without reason, as one of the most notorious criminals in American history.
  • While The Rite of Spring is cherished for its avant-garde music and choreography, its premiere night in 1913 sparked a near-riot inside the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris when the audience turned against each other on whether it was groundbreaking or sheer crap, with the latter throwing stuff on the orchestra and the dancers. It didn't help that inside the curtain, the composer and lead choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky had cooperation issues during the production. You might say that the premiere night had been a near-literal Broken Base.
  • Nord-Ost, a Russian musical, is better remembered as the target of the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis than as a work in itself.
  • Theater director Julie Taymor won the Best Musical Tony for her adaptation of The Lion King, has adapted Shakespeare and Greek tragedies, made a foray into film with the Cult Classic Beatles tribute Across the Universe, and throughout all her work has received acclaim for her use of elaborate costumes and puppets. What's she best known for these days? Her major mishandling of her Spider-Man adaptation Turn Off the Dark, which was plagued by, in addition to bad writing and prima donna antics by Taymor herself, numerous accidents involving the aforementioned elaborate props and costumes, some of which even resulted in serious injuries. In the end, she was unceremoniously given the boot from her own show and has done little of note since.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies, the twenty-years-later follow-up to his smash hit The Phantom of the Opera, was never able to rise above the stigma of being a sequel that nobody but Webber himself really wanted. It was based on a poorly regarded Fan Sequel novel called The Phantom of Manhattan and contained cliches that have appeared in fan works of dubious quality for decades, including Christine giving birth to the Phantom's illegitimate child after a one-night stand and deciding he was her true love after all, and her kindly love interest Raoul having become a neglectful drunkard who's blown his fortune at the gambling table. All of this resulted in considerable fan opposition before it even came out (including a Twitter campaign called #LoveShouldDie) and a general sense that the show was Webber's terrible Draco in Leather Pants fanfic that he forced onto the stage with his piles of money, and despite having the Phantom name and Webber's own behind it, the initial run received mediocre reviews and closed at a loss - though the show later picked up a cult following in Australia, where a more polished production was staged and filmed.
  • Aaron Sorkin's stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird was sued months before its debut by Harper Lee's estate, who accused it of straying too far from the source material against Lee's instructions from her will. This includes some already controversial elements from Go Set a Watchman like Atticus having some racist leanings, and with Sorkin himself already being such a polarizing figure, the show has quite a hole to dig itself out of.
  • While Carousel has several individual songs that have become classics, such as "If I Loved You", if you haven't seen it yourself, most likely the only thing you know about the actual plot is its extreme level of Values Dissonance: the main character is a sympathetically-portrayed wife-beater, and the play includes a scene where his wife defends his actions.

    Theme Parks 
  • It’s impossible to talk about the infamous New Jersey theme park Action Park without mentioning its numerous safety hazards, which resulted in hundreds of injuries and six deaths. Problems included poorly designed and maintained rides, untrained teenage employees, terrible communication with its (often non-English speaking) visitors, lax safety rules, and high levels of drunkenness among both staff and riders. Its abysmal safety record led to the park gaining the nicknames “Traction Park”, “Accident Park”, and “Class Action Park”. Case in point: Action Park’s most notorious ride was Cannonball Loop, a water slide with a complete vertical loop built into it. Crash test dummies sent down the slide supposedly came out the other end decapitated and dismembered. Nevertheless, the slide remained operational for a whole month.
  • It's become very difficult to discuss anything pertaining to SeaWorld due to the massive controversy surrounding the orcas and the Blackfish documentary that only worsened said controversy. Things have gotten slightly better following SeaWorld announcing the termination of the orca breeding programs, but some grievances still remain.
  • The Schlitterbahn water park chain experienced controversy in August 2016 after the death of a ten-year-old boy (the son of a local politician) on the tallest waterslide in the world (called "Verrückt") at its Kansas City location, thus leading to the permanent shutdown of the slide. But it got worse after an indictment of park higher-ups was released in 2018. It implied that the slide's designer had no official engineering degree, the ride was known to be dangerous well before the fatality happened, and it was intentionally kept that way so the park could chase money from TV networks regarding their record-breaking attraction. Time will tell if the chain sees decreased attendance from this.
  • The Smiler at Alton Towers holds the world record for the most inversions in a rollercoaster, a staggering 14, but is more remembered for a devastating crash that happened in 2015 which led to multiple injuries and two leg amputations as a result - even when the ride reopened the next year, with far more safety checks in place to make sure another crash wouldn't occur, many kept on referencing the crash when discussing the rollercoaster.
  • For a very long time, Disneyland Paris (or "Euro Disney" as it was originally known) was, unfortunately, most known in and outside of the Disney fandom for having an absolutely disastrous opening year to the point of directly affecting almost all of Disney's other theme park plans for the next two decades, as well as being absolutely despised by the French people at first for a number of reasons, mainly strongly opposing its poor (by French standards) working conditions and viewing it as an example of American Cultural Imperialism. The resort has been steadily recovering ever since the addition of Space Mountain: De La Terre A La Lune in 1995, but had only just recently been able to turn a consistent profit after the Walt Disney Company made some adjustments to its management after buying back all of their shares in it. Regardless of how well the resort does in the future, its doubtful that mainstream pop culture will be willing to let Disney forget about those troubled first years any time soon, especially after being the subject of many jokes at Disney's expense on shows like The Simpsons (Which Disney technically owns now)...

    Web Comics 
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del:
    • The webcomic is more well known for the "CADbortion" arc which is legendary for its Memetic Mutation and Mood Whiplash and writer Tim Buckley's online behavior than anything else. Accusations of being a Penny Arcade knockoff haven't helped and likely played a part in the comic's Retool.
    • It is also known for an incident in which Buckley had a fan animation taken down, made a response that outright insulted the creator, and threatened to sue them, despite previously saying he was okay with fan works. This move was widely criticized, especially after the ill-regarded Animated Adaptation.
  • Sonichu was already considered a terrible webcomic to begin with, but it is more or less overshadowed by numerous controversies:
    • Perhaps what it's best known for is the bizarre actions and the personal life of the author, most of which takes up an entire wiki. To this day, the comic is known almost entirely for its author rather than its content.
    • For people who are interested in the comic due to its So Bad, It's Good or Bile Fascination nature, Issues #8 and #10 are more or less remembered for the extremely graphic sex scenes in a comic that is supposed to be for all ages and the graphic murders of people related to Asperchu, respectively.
  • The Sonic webcomic Other M, once extremely popular, now is mostly remembered for being written by future Archie Sonic writer Ian Flynn, and for having one of the villains be Knuckles, who is portrayed as an Absolute Xenophobe. This move received much scorn and has literally overshadowed every other plot element, including the fact that it takes place in an Alternate Universe.
  • Pepe the Frog, a character from the comic Boy's Club, became a widespread meme after his debut in 2005. However, the usage of Pepe as a meme turned awry in mid-2016 when many members of the alt-right used him as a symbol to express racist and anti-Semitic sentiments around the time of the 2016 U.S. election. The damage had been done by the time the Anti-Defamation League classified Pepe as a hate symbol. Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe, was so angry over this that he attempted a "Save Pepe" campaign in order to rescue the character. However, in May 2017, Furie decided to kill off Pepe in his comic. Over time, the Pepe meme has become more and more ingrained as a symbol of the far-right as a whole, due to media insistence, and as such is frowned upon in more leftist communities.
  • Web artist Shaddai Prejean, better known by his online username "Shadman", is undoubtedly one of the most controversial webcomic artists on the internet. While very little is known about Shadman's actual personality or life, he gained infamy for his highly disturbing Rule 34 webcomics and general artwork that consists of every fetish, kink, and/or sexual interest known to humanity. Though what especially makes Shadman a polarizing figure is that fact that a lot of said artwork tends to feature underage characters, either original or from various pieces of media; he also in one instance drew incredibly suggestive art of a real-life minor. For these reasons, it's not uncommon for Shadman to receive accusations of being a sex offender.
  • When Dave Cheung's name is brought up, it tends to be in the context of one or more of the following topics: a very clumsy attempt to tell people to stop demanding explicit material in Chugworth Academy, drawing an incredibly demeaning comic about Jade Raymond (which he yelled at the DeviantART mods over when they yanked it), or the entirety of US Angel Corps's first iteration, a murder-porn comic infamous for its deeply misogynistic overtones, graphic gory violence, and fetishization of rape, necrophilia, and suffering in general; while it was done primarily on commission, it was still Cheung's idea to begin with.
  • Leasebound, a webcomic about a lesbian bouncer, has been overshadowed by the controversy that erupted after the release of its fourth chapter in February 2019, which contained three characters whose treatment in the webcomic raised allegations of transphobia, which is all we will say on the subject.


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