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Role-Ending Misdemeanor

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An unflattering headline was enough to scare some sponsors away.note 

A form of Real Life Writes the Plot.

The Role-Ending Misdemeanor occurs when, due to objectionable behavior or even outright criminal misconduct in the personal life of a performer or creator (and despite the trope name, some of these role enders are straight-up felonies), they are fired in order to protect a project's reputation, or in the case of an independent performer or creator, forced to leave the public scene because of the damage to their image. This could be an isolated incident and the result of bad luck, or the latest string of being difficult because the rest of the cast and crew simply would not put up with them any longer. If this person is a cast member on a long-running TV show, the character will probably be McLeaned. If they are too integral to the show's foundation, it could end the project altogether.


In some cases this is done as a desperate gambit to force the rejected star into getting help for a booze or drugs problem. Results vary. But if they get their act together, it's not unheard of for a person like them to make a return appearance somewhere down the line.

Working in creative fields is like working in any other job: you have to show up on time and perform competently or you'll be shown the door.

In other cases, they may actually be innocent of any wrong-doings and their name has unfortunately become associated with bad press; they're Convicted by Public Opinion. Or that perceived behind-the-scenes trouble is the excuse used and they are actually The Scapegoat for a more complicated problem.

If they have cleaned up their act and definitely changed for good, they may face a fortunate Career Resurrection. See also Undermined by Reality, Actor Existence Limbo, Contractual Purity, Overshadowed by Controversy and Creator Killer. Contrast No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, Controversy-Proof Image, and The Tyson Zone.


This is a trope, as the events and narrative affect each other.

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