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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. In addition, please be cautious when editing this page.


Examples with their own pages:

Other examples:

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    Advertising 
  • This French Orangina ad. It barely raised an issue in France, but when a few activists showed it to the U.S., people were so shocked by all the YIFF they saw that one of the later Orangina ads poked fun at it.
  • Just For Feet was a growing shoe retailer who distinguished themselves with basketball courts inside stores, an in-store snack bar, in-store appearances by professional athletes, and a large clearance section among others. Nowadays, however, they are known for being taken down by a terrible Super Bowl commercial accused of being racist and insensitive.note  The ad, alongside accusations of accounting fraud, helped bankrupt the company, which collapsed not too long afterwards, and it's all that they're known for now. See it here.
  • Texas mattress chain Miracle Mattress is nowadays better known for the 9/11 sale commercial that killed their business than anything else they've done. The commercial, depicting the chain owner's daughter accidentally knocking over two men who crash into two tall stacks of mattresses, went viral and got major backlash over its poor taste. A few days after pleas from the company stating it wasn't their intention to offend,note  the company announced its stores were closing down. A few days later, it was announced they would reopen their stores under new employees and management.
  • In 2013, Cheerios released an ad that featured an interracial family. Unfortunately, the ad became less known for its content and more known for the racist comments it received.
  • 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 plagirism 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.
  • The ecchi manga and OVA Eiken was near universally despised by viewers and critics, and has 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 will most likely have its second season overshadowed by the Troubled Production it endured, including the director being pushed out and the blame for everything being shunted over to the voice cast, who had next to nothing to do with the trouble, among other things.
  • 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.
  • 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 The Guinness Book of 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, which despite not being the actual cause of the flashing, that would be Pikachu, is sweeped under the rug as much as they can for no other reason then it being the Pokémon featured in the episode. Even its evolutions have been hit with it, as they've made no major appearances in the series.note  After this incident, OLM (the animation company 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.
    • 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 "embarassing," and Shueisha's distancing from A.P.P.P. is heavily believed to be one of the leading contributors to the failure of A.P.P.P.'s 2007 film adaptation of Phantom Blood.
  • Usually, the only times Stitch! comes up amongst Western Lilo & Stitch fans is to complain about it being a Stealth Sequel and how it ruins the original series' theme about "ʻohana" and family. Even fans of the anime hated the episode where Lilo appears, as originally the anime was marketed as an Alternate Universe.
  • In early February 2018, internet users found the Twitter account of Kazuyoshi Yaginuma, long-renowned for his work on a number of high-profile anime, most notably his direction of the anime adaptation of Recovery of an MMO Junkie, only to find that he's a virulent Neo-Nazi who had been posting and endorsing anti-Semetic and pro-Hitler content since joining Twitter in 2011. Needless to say, discussions surrounding him revolve less on the merits of his artistic output and more on his beliefs and the ethics of supporting the works he contributed to despite them, with MMO Junkie being hit the hardest.

    Automobiles 
  • The 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 as this, with the viral of officers pulling over a self-driving car being an issue, along with some people seeing it as Reed Richards Is Useless technology (and by extension, Job-Stealing Robot). The car, which according to Word of God was supposed to be "cutesy" is seen as The Grotesque by some people. It doesn't help that, in Europe, Google is better known as a search engine company. This overlaps with Ludd Was Right, for some people on the blogosphere (including one now-inactive Tumblr site).
  • Tesla's Model 3 is this, even though only prototypes were shown:
    • There is controversy over whether they can build enough cars by 2018, and even debate online over whether Tesla founder Elon Musk is a Corrupt Corporate Executive, an Uncle Pennybags figure or a Snake Oil Salesman, along with people stating that the Tesla Model 3 is lousy in design terms (something that some people have called the Tesla Model S, considered to be The Mockbuster of a General Motors design or a Jaguar design, with the only exception being the powertrain (it being electric, the General Motors and Jaguar being petrol, diesel or hybrid).
    • Some sites accused Tesla of offering Vaporware or an automobile stuck in Development Hell. One blog also considered the car as an unmanly car, with its powertrain and styling and said it basically horrible. The car hasn't even been launched yet, but some people consider Tesla as a manufacturer of The Alleged Car.
  • Uber counts, not only due to the Automated Automobiles, but also being a way to steal taxi driver's jobs, as the many Uber protests show. The controversies surrounding its former CEO Travis Kalanick haven't helped matters.
  • The concept of an electric car in general has been overshadowed by controversy since the attempts by many major companies to produce them in the '90s. The cars flopped, but conspiracy theories grew that the automotive industry deliberately mismarketed and sabotaged their own efforts in order to continue making money via the oil industry. While it's generally agreed now that the technology to create a decent electric car wasn't quite there at the time, the oil industry did directly campaign against electric cars in their marketing and literature. 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 a fanfic at all. His works involving MLP in the first place are also more remembered for the insane lengths Mykan is willing to go to torture Princess Cadance for the "sin" of 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.
  • Fan fiction 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, then the fact that he's a fan fic 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 Lord of the Rings fandom who swindled thousands of dollars out of dozens of people by claiming he would use it to organize a convention where fans could meet actors from the films. The Tentmoot fan convention disaster didn't help matters either.
  • The Star Trek fan film Prelude to Axanar and its sequel Star Trek: Axanar are infamous due to the actions of its creator Alec Peters, which included stealing from donor money, using the name and image of actor Tony Todd to promote the film months after the actor had officially quit the project, and essentially using the Star Trek brand name to buy his way into being legitimate. The latter resulted in a lawsuit from CBS/Paramount that led to the companies imposing severe restrictions on the content and production values of future fan productions, further tarnishing his reputation.
  • DeviantArt user Borba became rather infamous 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 and, out of fear over how this would work out for both her and the baby, decides to get an abortion. Nick, on the other hand, objects and tries to convince Judy to keep the baby, which leads to a violent argument between the two and eventually their breakup. It quickly became a laughingstock among people for how out-of-character it portrays the two, along with being rather Anvilicious and over-the-top. Although Borba has denied the comic being any sort of pro-life Author Tract, instead intended to show how a One True Pairing like WildeHopps can be destroyed 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 a 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. The I Will Survive meme was dropped like a hot potato after this was brought to light.
  • The Grim Edventures of Ed, Edd n Eddy is still a relatively popular fan fic series, but it's hard not to bring up the Hollow. The character debuted not long after author Technomaru had an apparently nasty breakup with fellow fan fiction writer Emma Iveli, and her introductory chapter opens with an author's note insulting her and a scene in which her in-story avatar is killed off and the Author Avatar brushes it off with little thought. The Hollow is all but outright stated to be Emma, her character can best be described as a loser who obsessively watches CSI (a show the author hates), she's called "evil" and "ugly" by the protagonists, and the fic itself seem to allude to events preceding the breakup. Given the implications of it all, fan outrage was probably inevitable. In Technomaru's defense, he eventually patched things up with Emma, brought the Hollow back to life, with a literal "ret-cannon" no less, and introduced a character named after her who eventually joins the heroes. He even approved of an unnoficial remake replacing The Hollow with a Hellhound, or Hfilhound in this case.
  • Grim and Edboys, the aforementioned remake, became this after the author Kelothan sent a reply to Technomaru that made it sound like he was abandoning him, resulting in a Creator Breakdown and him editing Grim Ed's trope and trivia pages with thinly veiled feeling of hurt and betrayal.
  • ThisCrispyKat is a profilic 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, for a time, much of her art was heavily Nazi-themed.note 

    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, having a poorly-written plot, poorly-written characters, somehow managing to pull an inverse 8.8,note  which resulted in inverse Hype Backlashnote  and supposedly being a replacement for two cancelled films about Popeye and Medusa respectively than the fact that it's even a film at all. 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 downright removed the short from their showings of Coco (as Coco prominently features Mexican culture as its backdrop) before Disney officially pulled it from all future screenings of Coco beginning on December 8, 2017. That's to say nothing about the film itself coming out in the wake of John Lasseter taking a leave of absence from the company due to sexual harassment allegations, which has made headlines as much as the movie itself. It hasn't harmed the critical or box office performance of the film, but it has made it much harder to talk about without mentioning the allegations in light of similar ones in the industry.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler is mostly well known for its decades long stint in Development Hell, the 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 film is known for being given a Same Language Gag Dub by The Weinstein Company for the North American release, under the title Doogal.
  • Paramount and Nickelodeon's Wonder Park started out under the title Amusement Park and was set to be the directorial debut of up-and-coming animator Dylan Brown. Then numerous women came forward accusing Brown of sexually harassing and abusing them, and after conducting an investigation, the studio fired him and even changed the film's title to lessen its association. This got a bit tricky when it turned out Brown had already completed enough of the film that the replacement director David Feiss couldn't legally be credited with the role, causing it to be the very rare film to officially have no credited director.

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

    Live Action TV 
  • Amos N Andy was a very popular comedy radio and TV show from the 1940s and 1950s starring two black people playing stereotypical, dimwitted, jive talking fools. Due to Values Dissonance, it hasn't been broadcast in ages and is probably better known for the racial offensiveness than the actual comedy.
  • The rollout for the fifth season of Arrested Development has been largely overshadowed by questions about whether or not it was a good idea for the show to retain Jeffrey Tambor in the wake of allegations about his behavior in Transparent. Jason Bateman and David Cross made things worse with an interview in which they both vigorously defended Tambor, even as co-star Jessica Walters revealed that Tambor had been verbally abusive towards her.
  • The short-lived Irish revival of Blind Date was struck twice with controversy - It was first struck when it turned out that one of its contestants was a criminal who had previously served jail time in Australia for assault on a civilian. The second time was when host Al Porter was accused of sexual harassment by two male colleagues, which caused the show to immediately be binned by TV3.
  • Duck Dynasty has become far better known for the antics of its stars, most notoriously family patriarch Phil Robertson, who is known for his extreme far-right views. His most infamous manifestations thereof are two rants on the subject of atheism and homosexuality, which caused many networks to take the show off their rotation, and at one point actually caused production to be temporarily suspended.
  • Felicity is better known for the unfitting changes that occurred near the end of its run. Most infamously, the Unnecessary Makeover of the eponymous character, which had Felicity cut off her signature curly hair in favor of a pixie cut, ditching her sweatery outfits for more urban clothing, and the series becoming Lighter and Softer in the process.
  • Ghostwatch, the one-off Halloween Special drama shown on BBC 1 in 1992, is better known for the controversy caused when a sizable chunk of the viewing audience thought it was real and the ensuing argument over whether this was the creators' desired effect than the fact that it's a damn fine ghost story. It makes frequent appearances on 'Underrated Horror Films' listicles as a result.
  • Growing Pains will forever be known as a Troubled Production where its star Kirk Cameron demanded that the show be clean of everything even remotely obscene, including having series regular Julie McCollough fired for appearing in Playboy, due to being a born-again Christian. This behind the scenes drama permanently tarnished his reputation; not even an apology could repair it. Since then, Cameron has become far more famous for his views regarding homosexuality, and being the lead star, producer, and co-writer of the equally infamous Saving Christmas.
  • House of Cards was irreparably tarnished by its executive producer and lead star Kevin Spacey's sexual misconduct allegations in 2017. Not helping was Netflix's questionable response to it, shutting down production while still leaving the door open on finishing it, and also keeping the option for continuing the series without Spacey on the table. And then no fewer than eight crew members came forward stating that they'd complained to the crew about Spacey making advances on them, only to be brushed off.
  • Jeopardy!:
    • The October 12, 2009 episode was the third game for 5-time champion Terry Linwood. However, one of his opponents was Jeff Kirby, who'd previously appeared on Jeopardy! in 1999, even though Trebek-era contestants are not allowed to appear again. The producers hadn't realized this until someone on the show's message board pointed out that he was wearing the same tie he had worn in his 1999 appearance. Because of him, this game's been banned from reruns.
    • The "Kids' Week" games which started in the late '90s gradually fell victim to this. On July 31, 2013, a player on Kids' Week absolutely owned the game to the tune of $66,600. What do people best remember about this episode? One of his opponents was penalized for misspelling "Emancipation Proclamation" for his Final Jeopardy! response. In the days that followed, angry posts flooded the show's Facebook page, claiming that since children were playing the game, the judges should have been more lenient. Journalists and news websites also chimed in on the issue, with the contestant claiming he was robbed because of his spelling error. Never mind that he would've gotten only second place regardless and the controversy over the misspelling completely overshadowed the winner's huge haul. They tried another Kids' Week in December 2014 but a Stage Mom caused a stir with host Alex Trebek when she demanded that an act be re-shot. It didn't help that the latter fiasco happened around the same time Sony got hacked. Because of this, Jeopardy! hasn't done a Kids' Week since, and the series has all but distanced itself from them (though it is not immune to the occasional reference, such as one of the contestants on February 21st, 2018 saying that he's the father of a Kids' Week participant).
  • Maude ran for six seasons, and was a ratings hit throughout its run, but today it is remembered for the abortion episode and little else. This was very evident when Bea Arthur died, and reporters mentioned virtually nothing else about the show.
  • Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace became overshadowed by the fact that the comedy troupe that created the show have been accused of having ties to white supremacist and alt-right groups. As a result, a number of [adult swim] employees threatened to quit unless the show was cancelled, which it ultimately was.
  • CN Real was a commercial dud, and you probably don't remember much about the actual shows themselves. You probably do remember the backlash it got for being a block of live action reality and game shows on Cartoon Network, a channel associated with anything but live action. It doesn't help that the block came out after Out of Jimmy's Head, another ill-regarded attempt by the network to branch out into live action, and that it's frequently brought up in discussions about everything that was wrong with the channel during Stuart Snyder's tenure.
  • The vast majority of the audience for Nickelodeon's 2013 block Nick Studio 10 were likely just there for the SpongeBob SquarePants reruns and didn't care about the continuity in-between. However, the block quickly became defined by its content, which was widely hated. The network wanted to bring it back for the new school year, but soon gave up on it.
  • Even supposedly family-friendly shows such as Canadian "tween" drama The Next Step (and by extension, its Spin-Off Lost and Found Music Studios) are not exempt from this. The actress Jordan Clark (of whom some people watch the show for - she is considered as Ms. Fanservice) caused controversy with her slightly raunchy act in Dancing with the Stars, which caused no end of ire with Moral Guardians and Think of the Children!-type groups. Word of God is she did it to avoid Contractual Purity.
  • Amongst British fans of Noddy's Toyland Adventures, The Noddy Shop is remembered for taking the stories from Toyland Adventures and putting them in an unrelated show with humans and puppets, with Johnny Crawfish tending to get the most flack from them.
  • The most remembered facet of The Pat Sajak Show, other than the fact that Americans got to see the host of Wheel of Fortune cut his teeth in the talk show industry, was the March 30, 1990 episode. At this point, the show was employing guest hosts on Fridays, and Rush Limbaugh happened to be the guest host that night. He entered the audience to gauge feedback on an anti-abortion bill in Idaho, causing him to get heckled for several minutes, to the point that he had to cut to commercial and conduct his interview with the next guest in another studio. He then began to speak on affirmative action in the next segment, but once again had to cut to commercial due to further heckling, and conducted the final segment with the audience cleared out. Limbaugh later claimed that the hecklers were planted as a publicity stunt. The show also ended up being cancelled while Sajak was on vacation overseas.
  • If people don't remember Press Your Luck for the Whammy, then they remember it for Michael Larson's infamous memorization of the Big Board's light patterns, resulting in him getting a huge haul.
  • Netflix series The Ranch was affected by this when the company oddly seemed to have been in no hurry to remove Danny Masterson after multiple rape accusations. This came to a head with a jaw-dropping moment from former Netflix executive Andy Yeatman, who was questioned about it by a woman at a soccer game and blithely replied the company didn't believe the accusations, only for her to reveal that she was one of the accusers. Both Masterson and Yeatman soon found themselves out of a job over it, with many people just plain confused at how you can possibly say anything to that question beyond "Legal has advised us not to talk about it."
  • NBC's Rise is nominally based on a non-fiction book about a gay man (albeit closeted at the time) who revolutionized a high school theater department. His equivalent in the show is straight, which wasn't helped at all by producer Jason Katims making what he later regretted as an extremely poor choice of words when he said he wanted to "tell my own story," which many LGBTQ advocates took as him saying he couldn't possibly relate to a sexuality outside of his own, when in fact he was just commenting on how the original book was just a jumping off point for the show's fictional story (enough that Katims has a "created by" credit rather than "developed by"). The show does feature several prominent non-straight characters and got the blessing of GLAAD for their positive portrayal, but many still have a hard time getting past that initial impression.
  • Ronan Farrow Today managed to get hit with controversy twice in just its first few weeks. First, he was overshadowed by his sister Dylan publicly reiterating her allegations that she'd been molested by Woody Allen, reigniting the scandal it caused when they first went public in the '90s. Then, three days after his show premiered, he was awarded the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and Exploration. While the award was unrelated to his work on his show (Farrow had previously worked for years in a variety of roles that might justify his getting the award) the fact that the award came so soon after the premiere of his show made him look like an over-privileged celebrity scion, an image that he wasn't able to shake, particularly not after someone released a memo to the press declaring that Farrow would not take "off-topic" questions during the pressers for the Cronkite Award ceremony. Incidentally, his show suffered from chronic low ratings and lasted only a year. In a happier note for Farrow, he would be lauded years later for his Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal, which in turn led to the #MeToo movement, so it seems that he was ultimately able to shake off the fallout from it.
  • Roseanne had the distinction of having this happening both during its original run and its revival:
    • The series' original run is more famous for how gimmicky its last season was, before the twist of the series finale, where it was revealed that the entire series itself is actually a story written by Roseanne about her life, and the whole final season was outright invented by Roseanne to cope with the death of her husband, who died between seasons. It says something that the revival completely undid said reveal. Even before the last season, the show was no stranger to controversy, thanks to a Sweeps Week Lesbian Kiss and a widely condemned rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Roseanne at a baseball game (something the show lampshaded more than once afterwards).
    • By the time the revival rolled around, Roseanne Barr's controversial behavior, which was infamous even back during the original run of the show, had only expanded since then. This included her extremely defensive stance regarding her Jewish heritage, to the point of creating a Holocaust-themed cooking photoshoot, and in particular her support for Donald Trump, with Barr announcing that the latter would be integrated to her character. At first, this seemed like a case of No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, as the revival's premiere drew large ratings, to the point that the revival was renewed, but this all culminated in it being abruptly cancelled after Barr sent out a racist tweet directed at one of Barack Obama's former aides.
  • While Dan Schneider had been a less-than-well-received figure for several years after it was discovered that he had been soliciting photos of underage girls' feet under the guise of a Twitter campaign for Sam & Cat, his reputation completely went down the shitter in March 2018 when long-rumoured allegations of abusive treatment towards Nickelodeon's child stars surfaced and resulted in him being dismissed from the network as a result, ending his three-decade association with them. Not only that, but it's been confirmed that one of his shows, Game Shakers, will not be renewed for a fourth season, while Henry Danger's fifth season will likely be its final. Though this ultimately turned out to be a subversion, since Schneider actually departed from the network on amicable terms; both shows were about to end anyway, and the timing turned out to be coincidental.
  • Smallville: Allison Mack's apparent involvement in a sex cult hidden in NXIVM brought a lot of controversy to the series. It doesn't help that Kristin Kreuk is a former member of NXIVM, and although she has made it clear that she had no involvement in the sex trafficking operation and has publically denounced the organization, it is very likely that her career will be permanently tarnished as well as Mack's. As a result, many people have either turned on the series or can no longer see Chloe Sullivan as an adorable or well-intentioned girl.
  • Actor Kevin Sorbo, star of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Andromeda, is nowadays better known for his extremist Christian views than for his acting, effectively rendering him Persona Non Grata among the sci-fi/fantasy community.
  • Even non-fans of Top Gear are familiar with the many accusations of misogyny and racism in the show, particularly at the hands of former host Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson himself is also infamous for his off-stage antics, such as when he was fired from the show after angrily physically assaulting a producer for serving him cold food (said food was made during the late night, and at the time, only one cook was working at the restaurant where it was made).
  • Donald Trump's remarks towards Mexican illegal immigrants in his opening campaign speech for the 2016 presidential election led to such backlash that it resulted in both the Miss Universe pageant and his show, The Apprentice taken off of NBC. His continued remarks, controversial views, unexpectedly successful election as the President of the United States in 2016, scandal-ridden career, campaign, and presidency, and record low approval rating has resulted in the programs that were once his largest direct contribution to pop culture becoming just mild footnotes in his story.
  • Two and a Half Men was already a divisive show amongst viewers, but it will likely forever be linked to the often bizarre and sometimes even dangerous personal behavior of its star Charlie Sheen, including but not limited to numerous drug and alcohol-induced tirades, his views on 9/11, and allegations of Domestic Abuse and rape. He eventually proved so difficult to work with that he was unceremoniously fired and his character killed off and replaced by Ashton Kutcher - and he played one of the leads.

    Pinball 
  • 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 
  • For years, Jimmy Snuka's career was overshadowed by accusations that he had killed his girlfriend in 1983.
  • 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?
  • WWF's 1999 Over the Edge pay-per-view will forever be known as the event where Owen Hart fell to his death. Vince McMahon's decision to keep the pay-per-view going despite Owen's death remains one of the most controversial topics in professional wrestling circles to this day.
  • WCW and ECW both enjoyed time as the flagship of the National Wrestling Alliance before becoming successful enough to ditch the NWA. Both also went out of business in 2001, for largely the same reason. Despite their successes both companies were financially mismanaged to the point the network cable support they earned wound up being a crutch and their respective cable partners, TBS and TNN, turned on them, blocking attempts to shop for other deals and ignoring perspective buyers before cutting the plug, resulting in the WWF picking up the rights to both feds for pennies on the dollar. The difference between the two is that ECW managed to keep fans talking more about its great matches than its missteps, allowing WWE to successfully launch a revival brand.note  WCW had several great matches under its banner as well but these were so overshadowed by their blunders that no network the WWF worked with wanted anything to do with the brand.
  • No Mercy 2002: Even the presence of a Brock Lesnar/Undertaker Hell in a Cell and a classic Tag Team match won't change the fact that this pay-per-view will always be remembered for the Triple H vs. Kane title unification match, built upon one of the most infamous angles in professional wrestling history: Katie Vick.
  • The WCW/ECW case is mirrored by their would be successors, TNA and Ring of Honor. While RF Video decided to go with a different tone after being rejected by then most visible ECW cash in CZW, RF were still confident they could keep the revenue streams ECW brought them going simply by selling the tapes of another promotion in its place. TNA, by contrast, was formed by WCW workers who decided to go with a different model entirely due to WCW's poor reputation. Still it was ROH who managed to keep fans talking about its great matches despite one of its founders being shamed out of the promotion for his involvement in one of pro wrestling's most infamous scandals during 2004 (which was the beginning of the end of its partnership with TNA), its other founder being shamed out for poor booking decisions in 2008, seven years of financial instability directly related to these incidents and a few other controversies. TNA meanwhile was criticized for its very name when it started, had its booking mocked for most of its existence, was known for Jeff Jarrett's relations with Kurt Angle's wife in 2009, and was largely held up as an example of how not to manage finances throughout the vast majority of the 2010s despite also having many great matches to its name.
  • 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.
  • The 2006 One Night Stand, the very first WWE event devoted exclusively to the revived ECW promotion, was overshadowed by the massive amount of hatred the ECW fanbase directed toward visiting wrestlers from WWE proper, especially WWE Champion John Cena when he faced ECW favorite Rob Van Dam for the title in the main event. A fan stirred up the crowd by holding up an inflammatory sign: "IF CENA WINS, WE RIOT!" - leading to a commentator proclaiming, "Here comes the riot!" when it seemed that Cena was about to put Van Dam away. The only thing preventing a riot was a biker in a full helmet appearing out of nowhere and delivering a "spear" tackle to Cena, allowing Van Dam to pin Cena and bring the WWE Championship to ECW - and that biker, of course, turned out to be Cena's archenemy, Edge.
  • In June 2007, WWE's Vengeance pay-per-view was relaunched as Vengeance: Night of Champions. At the time, WWE had nine championships, and this PPV was the first time that all of them were defended in the same night. But hardly anybody remembers that, because what they do remember is that John Morrison, then known as Johnny Nitro, unexpectedly won the ECW Championship because he was booked in place of Chris Benoit, who no-showed the event due to him killing his family and then himself during the time frame. Not only was Benoit's reputation forever tarnished, but Morrison has, at least for some fans, yet to live down the fact that he rose to main event status in WWE entirely because of this tragedy.
  • John Morrison and Melina's backstage heat overshadows most of the things they've accomplished in their wrestling careers. Melina slightly moreso, since Morrison has gotten some of his recognition back due to his work in Lucha Underground.
  • 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 in 2012 was said to be one of the better Manias. It featured the highly anticipated John Cena/The Rock showdown, The Undertaker and Triple H in a Hell in a Cell, and a solid CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho match. Unfortunately, its reputation is soiled by the presence of one of the most infamous moments in WWE history: "18 seconds." In the end, the loser of the match's popularity skyrocketed to astronomical proportions and the winner's reputation amongst hardcore fans was damaged to the point of no return, not helped at all by a similar incident happening at Survivor Series 2015 in which he was also the winner.
  • CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit 2012 was a sure-fire classic, being the first time the two wrestlers, with a massive fan support, had a match in WWE; unfortunately, the pay-per-view is remembered instead for the Epic Fail of a main event between John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis.
  • The 2014 and 2015 Royal Rumble matches are remembered for the massive Internet Backdrafts that ensued. In both matches, a homegrown pet project of Vince McMahon and his associates won, Batista and Roman Reigns, respectively, despite the fact that the crowd overwhelmingly wanted Daniel Bryan to win the match; unfortunately, Bryan wasn't even in the 2014 match and was quickly eliminated in 2015. The 2014 Rumble is also remembered for being the final straw that led to CM Punk quitting WWE the day afterwards, while the 2015 edition is also remembered for a spot in which older stars The Big Show and Kane eliminated/buried other beloved Ensemble Darkhorses like Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose from the match as well, to thunderous chants of "PLEASE RETIRE!".
  • Hulk Hogan was fired by WWE in 2015 after racist remarks he said years prior in a sex tape became public.
  • Roman Reigns' WWE run has been overshadowed by the extremely negative reception his work has received ever since the dissolution of The Shield, to the point that there's an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to these reactions.
  • Perhaps the only thing fans and wrestling insiders will remember about AAA's Triplemanía XXV is the incident where Sexy Star legitimately injured Rosemary by popping her arm out of place with an armbar, as well as the ensuing uproar it caused within the wrestling industry.

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

    Theater 
  • 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.

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

    Web Comics 
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del:
    • The webcomic is more well known for the 'CADbortion" arc which is legendary for its Memetic Mutation 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 the bizarre antics and personal life of author Christine Weston Chandler (a.k.a Chris-Chan, formerly Christian), most of which would take up an an entire wiki to describe.
  • 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 alt-rightists 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 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 out there. While very little is known about Shadman's actual personality or life, he has become infamous for his questionable Rule 34 webcomics and general artwork that consists largely of underage fictional characters (most of them female) engaging in graphic and occasionally disturbing sex. This caused several in the art community to label him as a pedophile and remains a heavily divisive figure on the interweb.

    Web Original 
  • Anthony "A-Log" LoGatto is less known for his videos, and more known for his overblown hatred of Chris-Chan, to the point that "A-Logs" became a catch all term for members of Chris's Hate Dumb.
  • The Amazing Atheist is remembered mostly for his despised time with Channel Awesome as "The Distressed Watcher", saying that people who enjoyed Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen even ironically belong in a death camp, a comment about Jake Lloyd's performance in The Phantom Menace being so bad that he hoped he became a drug addict, calling a film worse than his father's death, his videos talking about feminism, and a time when he not only accused a rape victim of lying, but also told him to reexperience it. These incidents have made him an internet pariah.
  • DaddyOFive will forever be tainted by allegations of child abuse, the massive amounts of evidence supporting the claim, the controversy over their "Invisible Ink Prank" video, and the backlash growing so big that two of children shown in their videos are now in the hands of their biological mother instead of the family shown in the videos and every last one of their videos has been taken down.
  • Animator and former Philadelphian pistachio vendor Emily Youcis was always a polarizing figure, but was well known in some parts of the internet (particularly the indie animation and horror scenes) for her Black Comedy and for the popular Alfred's Playhouse series. The revelation that she had ties with alt-right groups in 2016, and two posts on Twitter that supported this (where she first mocked Jewish people, then mocked African Americans) destroyed her reputation. Not only did it cost Youcis her job as a vendor, but also her support from Troma, and the wrath of the animation community. Not helped was when she protested outside after being fired, which showcased her as a racist.
  • Very few knew of the web film Innocence of Muslims on YouTube until protests in Muslim-majority countries were triggered after an excerpt was aired on an Egyptian television station. The video actually led to YouTube being banned in many countries with said majorities.
  • The only thing most people know about The Irate Gamer is the accusations of plagiarism creator Chris Bores faced due to the similarities to The Angry Video Game Nerd, and his questionable responses to it, most infamously a reply that James Rolfe copied him and then telling someone to "go shove a kactus(sic) up (their) ass".
  • Former Vine user, YouTuber, Team 10 leader, and former Bizaardvark star Jake Paul is better known for many accusations of controversy than his career. This includes his reckless behavior during his three-month stay in Beverly Grove in Los Angeles, his infamous feud with RiceGum, and numerous accusations of arrogance, rude behaviour and abuse from former Team 10 members, most notably from Emilo and Ivan Martinez and former girlfriend Alissa Violet. This has resulted in a loss of popularity and his eventual departure from Bizaardvark.
  • JonTron was once a very famous and beloved online comedian in the early-to-mid days of YouTube, whose popularity was practically on par with The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd. He was also famous for his stint as the co-host of Game Grumps. These days, however, he is more known for getting his voicework removed from Yooka-Laylee after he expressed very controversial political views regarding race and immigration on Twitter and during a live stream with known streamer Destiny, a known avid progressive.
  • Josh Macedo was formerly a very popular and very well-liked blogger on both YouTube and Tumblr, known for his adorkable nerd persona, his "I'm late for school" meme, and especially being an outspoken male feminist which helped garner him legions of fangirls. That is, until he was outed as being a massive hypocrite once various women, a majority of them being underage, came out revealing that Josh had sent them sexually explicit messages pressuring them for sex, along with images of himself either naked or masturbating. This ultimately destroyed Josh's reputation, and Josh himself has long since disappeared from internet life with his current whereabouts being unknown.
  • The King of Hate, already a divisive figure for his gaming skills, is also infamous for many things besides his Let's Plays. This includes his jokes about women, ethnic minorities and homosexuals that many found to be offensive, having an entire playthrough where the only joke was about a Nazi killing Jewish people (which got him banned from Blip.tv), his apparent inability to take criticism or respect others' opinions, rude behavior towards his fanbase, his treatment of John Rambo, Respect the Pact (which led to them both cutting all ties with him) and former girlfriend Leanne (PandaLee), and the time he was accidentally caught masturbating during the end of a stream. These incidents have turned him from one of the most polarizing YouTubers to one of the most hated.
  • Fashion and cosplayer vlogger Marina Joyce, famous for her friendship with ComedyShortsGamer, is also infamously known for the fact that in mid 2016, many fans feared she had been kidnapped due to her videos showing her to be a lot less brighter than usual. While Joyce later admitted she was fine, her reputation has been rather sour among people who didn't know her before the incident, who see it as a publicity stunt gone horribly wrong.
  • It's often hard to discuss anything related to Miiverse without bringing up the site's strict policy and administration system. It became even more controversial in July 2015, when the site was revamped from the ground up to make a post limit and a crackdown on topics that didn't relate to gaming. This immediately caused the site to gain the ire of anyone on the site who wasn't a hardcore gamer (as the site was popular among image-board users, artists and roleplayers). The controversy regarding Miiverse is likely why the site was not given Nintendo Switch support, and its eventual closure in November 2017.
  • It's impossible to discuss the videos of Anita Sarkeesian without discussing the critics she attracted, both legitimate and sexist.
  • Very few people know about anything by comedian Nicole Arbour other than her making controversial videos to attract visitors (her most infamous being "Dear Fat People") and her abusive relationship with Matthew Santoro.
  • PewDiePie is among the most-subscribed and most watched YouTubers. Throughout 2017, however, his reputation started to derail due to making videos that were identified as anti-Semitic, which resulted him getting dropped by Disney and Google, his rape jokes, using the N-word during a livestream, referencing memes that are associated with the alt-right, and badmouthing Bear Simulator so much that the developer of the game had decided to quit making games because of "drama" from the game.
  • Pokémon YouTuber Tamashii Hiroka is more infamous for her radical-feminist viewpoints and behavior on social media than for her videos. Some incidents include her hatred of the Ralts (particularly Gardevoir), Buneary and Machop lines for being what she perceives as gender stereotypes, insulting women with a feminine lifestyle, her angered responses when being confronted, and for calling someone a "Gardefag" for defending Gardevoir, all of which have made her a pariah among the Pokémon fandom.
  • The Top Tens is a pretty average ranking list site. However, many people outside of the site tend to bring up many infamous lists that have attracted attention that shouldn't be mentioned here for the sake of political flame wars (especially lists to do with countries), the administration and policy system which is regarded as being very lackluster, and the Broken Base between pop fans and rock fans.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • The Sailor Moon review is remembered mostly from the backlash it received from fans of the series, for several jokes that were viewed as sexist, using the soon-to-be-obsolete DiC/Cloverway dub instead of the original Japanese version, and the fact that he focused on the ages of the characters, than for any of its actual merits. The controversy drove Doug Walker to refrain from creating more anime-related reviews outside of crossovers.note 
    • The Review Must Go On is mostly remembered for The Reveal that The events of Demo Reel were nothing more than a purgatory experience that happened to the Critic.
    • His fourth commercial special is mainly remembered for the Canadian Rape PSA (he criticized it for being tone deaf, but a lot of people mistook it as not liking the message) and the Double Standard sexual harassment Running Gag, in which he openly stated that men don't suffer from harassment because they can't tell who's interested in them or not.
    • His review of Jurassic World is mainly remembered for the fact that it came out while the movie was still in theaters,note  breaking the Critic's promise back in The Review Must Go On. Critic mocked this in his TRMGO review, saying that he already broke a promise when he brought back the show.
    • The Let's Play of Bart's Nightmare is far more well-known for the backlash it received than for the video itself, to the point where the following review of James and the Giant Peach had NC apologizing for it in character at the start; in a sketch where he got sent to prison for it, placed next to the State Home for the Ugly, no less.
    • His TMNT review is mostly remembered for the joke he made about Splinter's voice sounding like he smoked a lot of Marlboro's, unaware that his voice actor in that film, Mako, died of lung cancer. He apologized for it in his Red Sonja review, and later made a Running Gag about it.
    The Nostalgia Critic: I don't hate Mako, I don't know Mako.
    • The Walker brothers themselves got caught up in controversy in late March 2018 when complaints of mistreatment by their upper management, up to and including allegedly turning a blind eye to a rape committed by one of the site's producers, came to light. For his part, Doug did offer a sincere apology for everything, but the apology came too late. Every new Nostalgia Critic episode since the controversy began getting thousands of dislikes even when his conclusions are relatively uncontroversial, as before then, the main reason for episodes getting over 1000 dislikes was when people disagreed strongly with his views.
  • Channel Awesome as a whole became engulfed in controversy after a document titled: "Not So Awesome" came to the public's attention, listing numerous grievances with the company, including alleged aggressive and misogynistic behavior by CEO Mike Michaud, sexual misconduct allegations towards former CFO Mike Ellis and at least one producer, preferental treatment towards Doug Walker, which gave him a say in several corporate decisions, and reports of general mismanagement. The company's attempts to contain the controversy only made things worse, to the point where Doug was the only one to offer a genuine apology. Almost all of the content creators except The Cinema Snob and GuruLarry (who is only staying out of spite for the management ignoring him) have left, #ChangeTheChannel has trended on Twitter, and Mike Michaud lost all of his respect as a businessman.
  • The late Justin "JewWario" Carmical was quickly dragged into the "Not So Awesome" controversy when an anonymous source came forward stating that the unknown producer who had sexually assaulted her and another Jane Doe was in fact him. Infamously, Channel Awesome's "response" to the controversy, which consisted of them trying to debunk the points made in the "Not So Awesome" document detailing all of the mismanagement occurring at the company, had a screencap of a conversation about a person exiled from the company; the date and sloppy editing of the name mentioned allowed people to put the pieces together and figure out that it was JewWario. Given all the tributes he received over the years following his death, this only added more fuel to the fire.
  • GameLife was once celebrated for being the first YouTube channel centered towards gaming, with talks of making the channel into a television show. Nowadays, they're not known for anything but the fact that the founder of the channel was arrested after threatening to shoot up his ex-girlfriend's school a day right after the Virginia Tech shooting.
  • Vlogger and former Vine user Logan Paul, the older brother of the aforementioned Jake Paul, quickly rose up through his vlogging videos and popular clothing chain Maverick. However, Paul made himself the target of major controversy that tarnished his already questionable reputation:
    • The most infamous case would be in late 2017, where Paul posted a now-deleted video on YouTube featuring himself and three others finding a man in the Aokigahara "suicide" forest of Japan who had hanged himself and allegedly made insensitive jokes at the victim's expense, even including the dead body in the video's thumbnail. Not only did this lead to Logan Paul getting suspended and demonetized from YouTube, but to his reputation doing a complete 180. On a related note, not long after, the incident caused YouTube to make significant changes to their creator program that have significantly divided the site's users.
    • The above incident also caused a lot of Paul's other questionable antics in the past to start coming to light, which in turn caused even more controversy towards Paul, such as a prank involving him getting shot in front of his fans and tricking several underage girls into kissing his father, along with his series of vlogs showcasing him doing reckless behavior in public during his visit to Japan which culminated in said suicide forest video, causing some people to fear that it would lead to repercussions against foreign tourists visiting Japan. His attempts at healing the damage, such as trying to become an ambassador for suicide awareness and chopping off his signature curly perm, have done nothing to help.
    • He later shot back up into controversy after he was temporarily demonetized in February 2018 after videos of him killing a fish and tasering two dead rats came to light.
  • Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew is more known for his extremely controversial statements on animation rather than anything else he's done. This includes saying that Lauren Faust will bring an end to creator-driven cartoon following her involvement in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, his various rants against Nickelodeon, organizing a petition to stop people from drawing Rule 34 of Zootopia, stating that The Loud House should be cancelled just because its creator was fired following sexual harassment allegations, even though the rest of the show's staff was completely innocent, and his apparent belief that animation as a whole is dead. All of these factors have made him, and the blog as a whole, a complete pariah among animation fans.
  • Noah Antwiler of The Spoony Experiment fame is infamous for his numerous emotional outbursts over the years.
  • YouTuber and blogger Lily Peet was already a divisive figure on social media, but her open political views and general behavior have made her far more infamous than ever. Such incidents include her mangled relationship with Josh Scorchernote , her harsh criticisms of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, various remarks that many saw as sexist and ableist, her support of a friend of hers that was discovered to have possessed child pornography, and accusing Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar (who is Jewish, by the way) of being a Neo-Nazi.
  • Asalieri is remembered more for his jokes and comments that were viewed as transphobic (most infamously his Steel Beth character, a parody of Iron Liz who and calling her ex-boyfriend Lewis Lovhaug gay after she revealed that she was transgender), his social media fights with Angry Joe and his fanbase, and his apparent opposition to YouTubers making money off their videos despite he himself making money off of his videos, than for his Reviewing a Reviewer series.
  • While MLP Analysis continues to be popular with most My Little Pony fans, it’s safe to say that their reputation will forever be tainted after it was discovered in January 2018 that one of its members, ToonKriticY2K, engaged in sexual roleplays with a 14-year-old girl. Made worse when people started accusing other members of Analysis, such as Dr. Wolf and Silver Quill, of being pedophiles themselves after posting a video that explained the issue, which some people mistook as them defending ToonKritic and his actions (someone even went as far as to create a petition having them specifically banned from the community).
  • Jake Norvell, a contributor of Brad Jones' works, is mostly known for having an affair with the girlfriend of Jones and subsequently bragging about it online, which resulted in an end to their professional relationship.
  • The Harry Potter Lexicon was one of the two largest fan websites for the Harry Potter series while the books were still running (MuggleNet being the other), but shortly after the series concluded the site became overshadowed by a copyright infringement scandal dubbed "Lexicongate" after it was discovered that the webmaster was attempting to get the site's contents published as a Harry Potter reference book - without J. K. Rowling's permission. When the site's creator complained about how hard it was to compile all the information into a book, she famously quipped "I know, I wrote most of it."
  • The Fine Brothers were fairly well-known as directors/producers of popular YouTube web series, most notably the React series which consisted of people of various ages (kids, teens, and adults) reacting to different forms of media like cartoons, music, movies, etc. However, their reputation was nigh-irreparably damaged in early 2016 when they announced a program known as React World, in which the brothers attempted to copyright the term "React". This caused massive Internet Backdraft, since many saw it as the brothers attempting to make money off of other people using a much-beloved genre that they didn't even invent, as well as the fact that many other YouTubers had their reaction videos get copyright strikes following the announcement. The brothers later tried to address the controversy, but only created more problems when they referred to the genre as their "brand".

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventure Time episode "What Was Missing" immediately became popular and controversial, for the alleged lesbian subtext between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen.
  • The American Dad! episode "The Mural of the Story" is mainly known for its infamous scene of Stan flaying off Hayley's entire face which one negative review for the episode described as feeling like "something I'd expect from Family Guy on an off night" as well as how the scene in question was first shown at SDCC 2017 in a room full of kids who reacted to it mostly by screaming in terror and crying.
  • The one thing most people remember about the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, other than the opening number by Mastodon, is its Viral Marketing campaign that caused the Boston Bomb Scare. This incident led to Jim Samples stepping down as the head of Cartoon Network. He was then replaced by Stuart Snyder, who became despised amongst fans of the channel.
  • Avoiding this may have been why The Beatles underwent a small bit of censorship on MTV in the 1980s - while there are no extreme caricatures, many episodes that feature rather unpleasant Asian stereotypes (especially the episodes centered around Japan) had to be recut. Despite this all, the show was dubbed and aired in Japan anyway, and then came Lennon's marriage to Yoko Ono a few years later.
  • The series Big Mouth has had potential talk of a second season significantly muddled because of controversy about its sexual content. Before that, the series had to deal with backlash over its initial trailer and an Audience-Alienating Premise, making it one of the more divisive animated series that Netflix has produced.
  • Countless cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation have been subject to censorship since the 1960s because of imagery that is nowadays considered racist or a bad example to little children.note  Though most of them only have minor scenes that can be edited in syndication, other cartoons are almost impossible to show because they are troublesome from start to finish. These are the Censored Eleven, cartoons that can never be shown on American TV.
  • While Clarence is still a pretty popular show, mention it anywhere, and typically at least one person will bring up the mental breakdown of the show's creator Skylar Page, including him groping a female coworker's breasts, and his subsequent firing. It's possible that the management at CN didn't forget about it either, as Clarence wound up getting Screwed by the Network big-time over the next several years before being cancelled after only three seasons.note 
  • The Cow and Chicken episode "Buffalo Gals" is remembered mostly for the eponymous characters, who are heavily made out to be stereotypical lesbians. The episode was never reran on Cartoon Network again, and many networks refused to air this episode.
  • Der Fuehrer's Face: An Oscar winning propaganda cartoon that has gained more notoriety over the years for starring Donald Duck as a Nazi than its artistic merits. It doesn't help that images from the cartoon often pop up out of context on various sites, causing many people to believe it actually endorses Nazism rather than criticize it.
  • One of the Ever After High specials has Darling Charming delivering CPR to Apple White in a way that greatly resembles a kiss. While it hasn't been confirmed rather it's romantic or not, many fans interpreted it as such. Others, however, insist that it was just CPR. As a result, this ended up sparking debates on what's acceptable to put in children's cartoons.
  • Family Guy:
    • The episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" is remembered mostly for its negative portrayal of a born-again Christian.
    • The episode "Extra Large Medium" is best known for the controversy of a female character with Down syndrome who mentions that her mother is a former governor of Alaska, which strongly implies that her mother is Sarah Palin, the only woman to have served in the office of governor in the state. Palin actually is the mother of a child with Down syndrome. The situation was only made worse when Patrick Warburton, Joe Swanson's voice actor, told the media that even he thought it was in poor taste. Since Republicans were treating the episode as an attack on Palin herself, conservative pundits on Fox News and elsewhere were ironically praising Warburton as a hero, something he didn't want, which turned the situation into a bigger PR nightmare.
    • The episode "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q" is best known for the controversy regarding its treatment of domestic violence, particularly how Brenda is portrayed as being too stupid to leave her abusive boyfriend.
    • The episode "Life of Brian" is one of the most controversial episodes of the show because of its premise of having Brian be run over by a car and killed and being replaced by the character of Vinny, a stereotypical Italian American. The episode, and Vinny himself, proved to be so unpopular with fans that Brian was revived and brought back three episodes later, a move which proved to be just as controversial as "The Life of Brian", if not more so, either because it was seen as caving in too easily to the complaints, or because some people considered that Animation Lead Time meant that they probably had the idea of Brian being brought back to begin with, which made the whole thing look like a publicity stunt.
    • "Quagmire's Dad" is mostly known for the titular character, who comes out as a transwoman and transitions. Despite series creator Seth MacFarlane calling her the most sympathetic transgender character on television, the episode was criticized for indulging in stereotypical and offensive jokes at her expense.
  • Full English was a British show intended to be the counterpart of adult shows such as South Park or Family Guy. Already unpopular with audiences who viewed it as copying from its source material, what nailed the show into the ground was an infamous segment where the ghost of infamous reality TV star Jade Goody has a fight with the ghost of Princess Diana. After numerous complaints, especially from newspaper The Daily Mail, the show was subsequently canned, and the remaining episodes were then aired one last time before never being aired again.
  • Johnny Test is probably more well known for its reputation as an overexposed show and unpopularity than virtually anything else about it.
  • Gwen Stefani's cartoon Kuu Kuu Harajuku is more known for complaints from various blogs and sites about its Japanese "cultural appropriation" than any aspect of the show itself.
  • The final episode of The Legend of Korra has largely been overshadowed by the last four minutes where Asami and Korra receive a Relationship Upgrade. There's been talk about it being anything from pandering to it being improper for a show aimed at elementary schoolers to have a same-gender relationship. And even then some were unsatisfied because their relationship was only subtly built-up, and was not given full confirmation on-screen like Aang and Katara's relationship, but was only confirmed online afterwards.
  • The career of The Loud House creator Chris Savino was ruined in October 2017 when allegations of sexual harassment and blackmail came to light. Not only was he fired by Nickelodeon, but they confirmed that the show would continue on without him.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "The Last Roundup" appears to be only remembered for giving fan favorite character Derpy Hooves lines and a canon name, and then subsequently censoring her due to her portrayal and name being considered offensive to some, delving into her cross-eyed look. Everything else about the episode is eclipsed by it.
  • Despite being devoid of controversial content, the child show Peppa Pig has been the center of controversy in some countries:
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016):
    • Within a month of starting, the series gained an unsightly reputation due to various changes such as removing popular character Ms. Bellum, recasting the girls, and the Denser and Wackier tone. This on top of viral clips showing the girls twerking, which would have been seen as meme pandering even if it wasn't an overtly sexual dance move.
    • The series' reputation was further affected by the accusation of character Jared Shapiro being a blatant Self Insert for writer Jake Goldman.note  This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't because Blossom has a crush on him and it isn't quite specified whether or not the feeling is mutual. Keep in mind that Blossom is middle school-age at the oldest, Jared is in high school, and Goldman is an adult man. However, another writer stated that Jared wasn't Goldman's direct creation, as he was just physically based on him as a production crew inside joke, and they simply decided it'd be doubly funny if Goldman voiced him, too, though this is ambiguous on whether it's actually true or just the team trying to cover their asses.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show:
    • The episode "Man's Best Friend" was banned due to a scene with Ren violently beating George Liquor with an oar. It was also one of the possible reasons why John Kricfalusi was fired from the show. Despite this, it is still considered one of the funniest episodes of the show.
    • The whole show fell into this in early 2018, due to two female cartoonists accusing Kricfalusi of statutory rape and possession of child pornography in light of the #MeToo movement.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Some Enchanted Evening" is better known for its Troubled Production that nearly led to the producers of the show cancelling it. It was originally intended to be the pilot of the show (hence the fact it starts off with an introduction of the family in room one and lacks an opening scene Couch Gag), but when animated by AKOM overseas, it ended up being a disaster and had to be held off as the season finale.
    • It's rather impossible to discuss "A Streetcar Named Marge" without discussing an infamous scene that contains a very harsh Take That! at New Orleans, which angered those from the aforementioned city (or Louisiana) and led to an apology in the next episode. It didn't help that the episode eventually ran into Too Soon territory after Hurricane Katrina.
    • "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson", which came out four years before 9/11, is best known for a scene in the episode that takes place at the World Trade Center, which is often completely removed from re-runs due to being seen as Too Soon or edited to remove the line "They stick all the jerks in Tower One!".
    • "The Principal and the Pauper" is best known for the fact that it reveals that Principal Skinner is actually an impostor, whose real name is Armin Tamzarian, and that he actually stole the identity of the real Skinner, who was his superior officer, after he believed that the latter had been killed in Vietnam. Not only is the episode seen as alienating to fans, but many of the show's cast, including Matt Groening and Harry Shearer (Skinner's voice actor), despise the episode. This revelation was eventually put into Canon Discontinuity. The episode is also blamed for the show's Seasonal Rot, with many outright claiming it to be the moment when the show started to lose its creativity.
    • The episodes in which the Simpson family visits a foreign country, while popular, tend to be also infamous for actually being banned in said country due to the heavy stereotypes present in the episodes, as well as jokes seen as offensive towards the country's audiences. Examples of this include "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" (Japan) and "Blame It on Lisa" (Brazil).
    • The episode "E Pluribus Wiggum" caused controversy in Argentina over an exchange between Lenny and Carl, where Carl says that Argentinian President Juan Perón "disappeared" people. Carl's comment was seen as a direct reference to the Dirty War in Argentina, a period of military dictatorship during which many Argentinians disappeared, however, these disappearances occurred during the National Reorganization Process, which began almost two years after Juan Perón's death. Some also reacted negatively to Lenny's response to Carl's comment, "Plus, his wife was Madonna", a reference to the film Evita where Madonna played Eva Peron. Fox decided not to air the episode in Latin America, although nevertheless, some national TV networks in the region aired the episode (including an Argentinian one in 2013, five years after the episode's original air date), before Fox Latin America finally aired the episode on 2016.
    • "No Good Read Goes Unpunished" is an episode that instantly became controversial due to a scene where the camera shifts on a picture of Apu when Marge and Lisa talk about Values Dissonance. Many felt this was a jab directed at the criticism levied against Apu for being an alleged caricature of Southern Asians following the release of the documentary The Problem with Apu. Not helping was the very questionable response the showrunners had to the backlash.
  • South Park:
    • "Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus" is more known for the anger it generated from fans when it aired as a April Fools' joke instead of the highly anticipated "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut", the episode that reveals the identity of Cartman's father.
    • "Trapped in the Closet" is more known for how both Tom Cruise and Scientology responded to the episode. The episode is also known for the questionable circumstances that led to the departure of Issac Hayes, Chef's voice actor, who was a Scientologist himself.
    • Episodes "200" and "201" are a Milestone Celebration that reveals the real truth concerning Cartman's father. However, the former caused a Muslim group to send death threats to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for depicting The Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit (even though it was really Santa Claus); Comedy Central subsequently altered the latter so all audio and visual references to Muhammad were censored, thus resparking the Muhammed cartoon controversy in real life. To this day, it has never been rerun, it's not available for legal streaming and only the censored version has been released on DVD. Portions of the uncensored cut very rarely leak onto the Internet, but are immediately blocked before they can spread. The censored speech at the end, amusingly proven true by the forced censorship, essentially amounts to "Use fear and you will always get what you want!"
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "House Fancy" only seems to be remembered for scene where Squidward's toenail is ripped out when he and SpongeBob move furniture, and the complaints it received.
  • A minor example happened with Star vs. the Forces of Evil in Brazil after the gay kiss featured in "Just Friends". Some evangelical bishops called for a total boycott of all Disney products in the country.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Writer Lauren Zuke is mostly remembered for the Broken Base her work received, the Ship-to-Ship Combat it caused, and the fact that it caused her to distance herself from the fanbase, than any of their merits.
    • The episode "Keystone Motel" is remembered for the UK broadcast getting rid of every reference to Ruby and Sapphire being in a relationship, and a bunch of fans leaving gag reviews about a real motel with that name, until the show's producers had to tell them to cut it out, feeling terrible that they were likely costing the place business.
    • It's nearly impossible to talk about the artbook without bringing up the character known as Concrete. The concept art of the character, from a design brainstorming exercise, resembles a caricature of black people. Furthermore, she's also described in a text blurb as being illiterate, which is a stereotype of said ethnicity. This caused quite a stir in the fandom where many accused the show's staff of being racist. Lamar Abrams and Hilary Florido, the ones who designed the character and wrote the text blurb, respectively, apologized, and the character was removed from future prints.
  • Teen Titans Go! is, without a doubt, one of the most controversial shows on Cartoon Network since it started airing in 2013. The show has been given lots of advertising, reruns, and marathons, to the point that it has its own Adored by the Network page. Meanwhile, Cartoon Network's other shows, both in-house and acquired, have either been under-advertised, given multiple month long hiatuses, or outright ignored by the network, leading some to believe that the channel was deliberately sabotaging them to make room for more Go!. This, along with its Periphery Hatedom amongst older audiences, especially fans of the original Teen Titans, has overshadowed nearly every other aspect of the show, quite possibly every other new show on the network, and the career of current president Christina Miller (to the point where somebody vandalized her Cartoon Network wiki page to list one of her jobs as "Ruin Cartoon Network").

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