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    Heads of State and Politicians 
  • Myanmar State Counsellor (equivalent to Prime Minister) Aung San Suu Kyi, once idolized by many for her activism when she was imprisoned by the then-oppressive government, has now had her reputation tarnished after her lack of response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis of Myanmar in 2017. Many universities and colleges worldwide have removed her name from awards or merits, Bob Geldof returned an award he shared with her in protest, and petitions to impeach her and remove her Nobel Peace Prize have taken off.
  • Hirohito:
    • Hirohito reigned as Emperor of Japan from Christmas of 1926 until his death one week into 1989, but he will always be most remembered and blamed for the atrocities committed in his name by the Imperial Army during World War II (including the Second Sino-Japanese War). To many people of that era from the Allied countries, especially China and Korea, he was a war criminal who escaped the justice they felt he deserved (General MacArthur in particular wanted to see him hanged, and never forgave President Truman for not only sparing Hirohito a Nuremberg Trial but allowing him to remain on the throne for what turned out to be several more decades). For instance, when the Emperor visited Europe in the 1970s, he was protested by people who had survived Japanese POW camps. Really, the only "punishment" he received was that he was forced to admit to the Japanese people that he was not semi-divine. The War completely overshadows his other achievements. For example, did you know he was a noteworthy research scientist who published scholarly papers about fish? Neither did anyone else.
    • To this day, there is considerable debate amongst historians, especially in the West, as to just how much of a role Hirohito played in starting and executing the War (in fact, there's debate about whether the Emperors ever had any real power at all). It is generally accepted today that by the time shots were fired (against the United States, China is another matter entirely), his role was minimal at best, real power being exercised by Hideki Tojo and the military's top brass — the ones who did stand trial and were hanged — much of the more insane policies coming about as a result of the Imperial Army and Navy fighting their own internal turf war to gain favor. By the time Little Boy and Fat Man reduced Hiroshima and Nagasaki to ashes, Hirohito was at risk of becoming a war casualty himself; he had to record the Declaration of Surrender in secret and smuggle it out of the Palace because his own military would have killed him to keep it from being broadcast.
    • His legacy is still up in the air thanks to the existence of the Yasukuni Shrine, a war memorial which includes convicted war criminals among its names. Nationalist politicians like to pay their respects there, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that doing so invariably angers China and the Koreas. The fact that history classes in Japanese high schools either gloss over or ignore the War doesn't help either. note 
  • Bill Clinton oversaw the largest economic expansion since the end of the postwar period (even if a lot of the .com stuff was a speculative bubble), signed a far-reaching trade deal with America's then-largest trading partners Canada and Mexico, helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement which all but ended The Troubles, oversaw the Oslo Accords that led to direct Palestinian control over some the disputed territories with Israel, and became the first American president in at least a century to balance the federal budget (and the last). So what is he most remembered for? A sex scandal that led to him being only the second president in American history to be impeached. Note, however, that this did not hurt his popularity at the time; in fact, it backfired on his opponents, as many people saw the impeachment as a nakedly partisan power-grab – Clinton's approval rating increased during the hearings, and he left office as one of the most popular presidents of the modern era.
  • Richard Nixon's presidency has been overshadowed by the Watergate scandal. Other memorable events during his administration, even good ones like him opening relationships with China, have been forgotten except for history buffs. Watergate is an especially interesting case in that it blotted out not only the positive aspects of Nixon's presidency, but also earlier controversies and scandals related to him, as well. Few people discuss, for instance, his close association with Southern racists and rolling back of civil rights gains made under Kennedy and Johnson, nor his support for Fascist regimes in Latin America due to seeing them as necessary buffers against Communism.
  • Boris Yeltsin is better remembered today for his very visible and embarrassing alcoholism problems during public appearances than for any of his policies as President of Russia, or even the fact that he was the first President of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • Adolf Hitler, Nazism and extreme right-wing ideologies have been permanently discredited since the revelation of The Holocaust:
    • It remains highly controversial to discuss, say, aspects of Nazi Germany which were, if not normal, typical of any modern government (be it democratic or totalitarian). The fact that such policies as anti-smoking laws, implementation of television, vegetarianism, standardization of color film stock, rocket technology, public television, assault rifles as well as the development and co-existence of several major German brands (Adidas, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen, Porsche, Fanta, Bayer) started with Nazi Germany is either airbrushed from history or occasionally invoked via sheepish Old Shame, Hitler Ate Sugar and Godwin's Law.
    • What makes Hitler's case exceptional, in some respects, is that other conquerors from the past, such as Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Genghis Khan and/or Napoleon Bonaparte have far less controversy attached to them. You can discuss their achievements in relatively neutral and/or positive terms since their legacies are not in living memory. One reason for this is that Genghis Khan was after all a descendant of a nomadic pre-modern civilization in a harsh environment rather than a democratically elected politician in a post-Enlightenment, industrialized and advanced Republic; Khan also reserved brutality for the combat fields, being a very open-minded and tolerant ruler overall. A historian can make a case that Temujin's brutal and violent conquests was an exceptional and special period in human development, and likewise meted out violence out of conquest rather than racial persecution. As for Charlemagne, Caesar and Napoleon, they may have been megalomaniacs, but all of them developed legal, social and cultural reforms of genuine merit; in the case of Napoleon, he crusaded against anti-Semitism. Besides, unlike Hitler, their military and political successes could be directly attributed to their own skills, rather than blind luck or the vision of subordinate staff. Also, none of them attempted genocide.
    • The problem with discussing Hitler and Nazi Germany in positive terms, in any case, presupposes the existence of anything genuinely positive or redeemable in Nazi policy. Most of their successes in economics, infrastructure and military governance, were 1) Typical rather than Exceptional 2) Temporary rather than Lasting, 3) Reversed with total defeat with Germany occupied, partitioned and territory permanently granted to Poland. Indeed, historians note that the only reason the Nazis and World War II are subject to intense ideological discussions is because of The Holocaust, which is today regarded by historians as Hitler and Nazi Germany's central legacy, the only reason for history to remember them.
    • A famous advertisment by Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo tells on the feats of an art-loving man who helped rebuild his war-ravaged country before revealing it's Hitler, followed by "You can tell a lot of lies by only saying the truth".
    • A documentary called Hitler's Descendants showed how family members related to the man, either by blood or through marriage lived with the backlash of this. As a result, some family members changed their surnames, some women married Jewish men as a form of atonement, and some men died refusing to have children out of fear they'd create another Hitler.
    • To make a case of how influential Hitler was, you only need to go back to 1938 when a Belgian by the name of Hendrik De Man proposed a plan to reform the government in the times of the great depression. It was meant to oppress fascism thanks to the introduction of a social democracy of 5 classes controlled by technocrats. This man and his followers, who perpetrated a socialism that would reform the Belgian nation into a better one, called themselves national socialists. After World War II, they realized just how unfortunate it was as a name to have and they renamed themselves as demanists, after the creator of their ideology, to get rid of all the fascist and Nazi connotations they had.
  • Any country that was ruled by an infamously cruel and eccentric dictator during the 20th century will have a hard time escaping his reputation, particularly if the country was not particularly well-known prior to his rule. Examples from more notable countries would be Germany and Adolf Hitler, Russia and Josef Stalin, China and Mao Zedong, Italy and Benito Mussolini and Spain and Francisco Franco, while examples of initially lesser-known nations include Libya and Muhammar Gaddafi, Cambodia and Pol Pot, Cuba and Fidel Castro, North Korea and the Kim family, Syria and Hafez and Bashar al-Assad, Afghanistan and the Taliban, Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini, Uganda and Idi Amin, Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe, Zaire and Mobutu, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Turkmenistan and Saparmurat Niyazov and the Philippines and Ferdinand Marcos Sr. The fact that some of these dictators or their families are still in power right now (namely, al-Assad and the Kim, Castro and Marcos families) doesn't help. In the West, this reaction is averted with Japan, despite its crimes in World War II being second only to the Nazis' and the fact that modern Japan has many more Axis apologists than modern Germany and Italy do, including high-level politicians, and Pearl Harbor is the only crime of theirs that the West remembers. It's a very different story in Asia, where Imperial Japan is looked on with the same revulsion Nazi Germany is elsewhere and as a result Japan has extremely poor relationships with other Asian countries.
  • While the late South Korean president Chung-hee Park is still highly respected by many Koreans for practically rebuilding the nation from the ground up (after it spent 35 years under Japanese rule and another three at war with North Korea), his 18-year rule is remembered by just as many for the fact that he led one of the most oppressive and dictatorial regimes the country had ever seen after becoming convinced that he was the only person who could properly maintain his country. This became such a dark mark for him that when his daughter Geun-hye became president in 2013, she publicly apologized for the atrocities he committed while he was in office. The younger Park, always a divisive figure due to her parentage, was herself disgraced in October 2016 when she was forced to admit to a longstanding friendship with an infamous Cult leader who may have influenced many of her decisions as President, and she was impeached that December.
  • Ferdinand Marcos Sr. is forever remembered for corruption charges and the human rights violations during his Martial Law era presidency. And yet, his widowed wife and children are elected to political positions which makes a special case that the people who voted for them are either born after the EDSA revolution, believe that Marcos did some good things during his administration even before declaring Martial Law and that some of people tend to exaggerate that he's the worst president in Philippine history, that he and his family got Drunk with Power during the Martial Law era and the voters are willing to forgive them or that his Martial Law is beneficial to keep the peace in the entire country and the whole EDSA revolution is strictly for "Imperial Manila". When his son, a former senator who also ran for the Vice Presidency in the 2016 elections, was interviewed about his family name being a hindrance or a benefit to win the elections, he said with confidence that it's the latter. As expected, he earned a lot of backlash which doesn't help that he and his sister refused to apologize for their father's crimes during his administration. However, this doesn't stop him nearly winning the elections until his opponent Leni Robredo beat him in a near margin of votes.
  • George W. Bush's December 14, 2008 press conference in Iraq, where he explained how the withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces would proceed, was overshadowed by an angry Iraqi journalist that threw his shoes at him, which Bush hastily dodged. Furthermore, the man's presidency is almost exclusively associated with his poor handling of the Second Gulf Warnote  and Hurricane Katrina, and to a lesser extent the financial collapse and ensuing Great Recession that happened on his watch. In addition, there are still conspiracy theories floating around alleging that his people somehow masterminded the September 11th attacks (usually framed as an excuse for the aforementioned Gulf War 2.0). What had at the end of 2001 been a highly-regarded presidency had become, by the end of 2008, one of the worst-regarded in American history.
  • In 2016, three Republican governors — Michigan's Rick Snyder, North Carolina's Pat McCrory, and North Dakota's Jack Dalrymple — were thrust into the national spotlight due to outrage over Snyder's handling of the Flint Water Crisis, McCrory's support of House Bill 2, which forces transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender at birth, and Dalrymple's involvement in suppressing protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline over the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. These three scandals quickly tainted their reputations both in their respective states and on a national scale. McCrory lost re-election later that year, while Dalrymple choose not to run for re-election. It is unknown what the impact on Snyder might have been if not for term limits.
  • Former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was well known both at home and abroad for his Hair-Trigger Temper and is defined in popular culture by various audacious things he's said and done, such as expressing terrorist and Holocaust-denier sympathies and perhaps most infamously a 2005 statement that he'd like to see the entire country of Israel completely destroyed, which even Iran's spiritual head Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, himself no friend to Israel, thought was too much. By the end of his two terms in 2012 his own people were more than sick of him (which he helped very little with his violent crackdowns on protests) and swiftly elected a more liberal successor.
  • The Popes:
    • Pope Alexander VI is mostly remembered for allegedly admitting to fathering several children by his mistresses, his papacy being widely regarded as one of the worst of all time, and his family, the infamous Borgias, being the poster child for nepotism and libertinism, than the fact that he was a Pope at all.
    • Pope Benedict XVI, having a short pontificate sandwiched between John Paul II and Francis, probably wouldn't have been remembered for much in any case, but he had the bad luck to be on the throne when decades of child sexual abuse by priests were exposed, which also implicated him in a massive cover-up to save the Church's reputation (though there's some evidence that John Paul was complicit as well). He's also known as the Pope Who Quit, i.e. abdicating his seat while still alive (not unprecedented but extremely rare; the previous most recent Pope to do it of his own free will was Celestine V in 1294), paving the way for his successor. References to him in popular culture that aren't to the scandal, his uncanny resemblance to Darth Sidious, or the fact that he had a much more famous predecessor and successor are few and far between. His membership in the Hitler Youth also got some attention, though it was downplayed as it was mandatory for German boys of his age and he reportedly took pains to be as little involved as possible.
  • Vladimir Putin is the man who returned Russia to world power status after the disasters of the 1990s. Unfortunately, his authorizing invasions of Chechnya and Georgia under justifications that remain murky, the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula (which most of the world refuses to recognize de jure), the pro-Russian paramilitary factions in Ukraine, Russia's anti-LGBT laws, rumors of meddling with the 2016 US Election in Donald Trump's favor, and his reputation as a petty authoritarian with a lack of tolerance for political opposition (with some even describing him as neo-Stalinist in his authoritarianism and cult of personality) have given him many detractors, inside and outside of Russia.
  • Robert Mugabe had a role in Zimbabwe's independence from the United Kingdom in 1980 and afterwards ruled the country until 2017 and was prominent member of the anti-Apartheid movement. However, he is little remembered for anything but the fact that many of Zimbabwe's economic problems (particularly huge debts, hyperinflation, mass poverty, and economic ruin) were linked to his ruling, widely considered a dictatorship. His corrupt leadership drew condemnation from his former anti-Apartheid allies Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, which in turn lead to Mugabe hurling petty insults at them.
  • It is difficult to bring up the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher without addressing how polarizing her ruling was. Her administration featured, among other things, controversial economic policies, high unemployment rates, the Miners' Strike, The Falklands War, a significant disembowelment of the Trade Union movement, the sidelining of Britain's heavy industry sector, her unflattering views of the Irish during The Troubles, siding with many of Britain's most famous Moral Guardians (including Mary Whitehouse), and privatization of public assets.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is infamous for his affiliation with the revisionist and nationalist Nippon Kaigi group and denying the role of government coercion in the recruitment of comfort women during World War II, which has resulted in strained relations with South Korea.
  • Herbert Hoover's reputation was irreconcilably tainted by The Great Depression beginning on his watch and the perception of him being unable to properly address it, which in turn lead to him ultimately losing badly in his re-election attempt in 1932. Nowadays, he is largely only remembered as the one term president that badly mishandled the Great Depression.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson is better remembered by many today as the man who ramped up America's involvement in the very controversial Vietnam War, later being forced to give up his initial bid to seek re-election because of it. This despite his hand in such major accomplishments as the civil and voting rights acts, creation of Medicare, among other major domestic accomplishments.
  • For the duration of his life and for over a century afterwards, seventh President of the United States Andrew Jackson was a much-beloved leader, presiding over an era of massive economic and territorial expansion for the country. His reputation has taken a significant hit in modern times, however, due to the significant human cost of that expansion: Jackson was, more than any President before or since, notoriously brutal toward Native Americans, with his policies including the notorious "Trail of Tears," in which the entire Cherokee nation were forced under threat of violence to migrate on foot from their traditional home in the Southeast to a reservation in what is now Oklahoma, resulting in thousands of preventable deaths. So fierce and deadly were Jackson's anti-Native American policies that they've been retroactively classified by modern historians as acts of genocide. Also frequently brought up are the fact that Jackson killed two people in duels and bragged about it, and that he made one of the largest power-grabs in Presidential history by overruling a Supreme Court decision (something explicitly prohibited in the Constitution and which earned him a great deal of criticism even at the time). Today, even most historians who think he was a successful President will typically add the caveat that he was among the morally worst holders of the office.

     Actors, Filmmakers and Presenters 
  • Many feel uncomfortable watching the works of Woody Allen after he left Mia Farrow in the early 90's to marry her daughter, Soon-Yi (while she was never legally his child, Allen had known her since she was seven years old), after which she accused Allen of sexually abusing their seven-year-old adopted daughter (this one was legally his child),note  which only increased after said adopted daughter, now an adult, reiterated the accusation in 2014 and again in 2017. Many feel this places Allen's frequent casting of women much younger than himself as his characters' love interestsnote  in a quite disturbing light.
  • Silent movie comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's legacy has been tainted by his involvement in an party/orgy where a young girl died, with tabloid press accusing him of having raped the girl to death. Even though his name was eventually cleared, the affair destroyed his career and public image. He was given the chance for a comeback, but died the day after signing a new deal. Nowadays, if he is remembered at all, it's more for this public image than any of his films.
  • Asia Argento fell victim to scandal when Jimmy Bennett accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was 17note  and revealed she agreed to pay him to keep him silent. Argento had a falling out with fellow #MeToo activist Rose McGowan and was fired from her position as judge of Italy's X Factor, appearing in the seven earlier episodes of the ongoing season before being replaced afterwards.
  • Louis C.K.'s longtime career as a comedian and actor took quite a toll in November 2017, when he got caught in the "Me Too" movement after numerous women accused him of sexual misconduct, which he eventually admitted to. He tried to make a comeback afterwards, but in December 2018, leaked audio from a Long Island stand-up set revealed him mocking racial minorities, transgender people, and the victims and survivors of the 2018 Parkland shooting in an attempt to appeal to conservative audiences. Unfortunately for him, most of his previous supporters weren't conservatives. As a result, this killed off whatever respect the public had left for him.
  • The long, successful, and inspirational career of Bill Cosby has forever been overshadowed by the fact he was eventually accused of sexual assault by many women, three of which he was later found guilty of assaulting. NBC and Netflix dropped projects they had with Cosby like a hot potato and he was erased from popular culture à la Jimmy Saville. One of the things that has cited in terms of the public backlash against Cosby is his long standing Holier Than Thou image as a straight edge comic and social critic. As such, he set himself up for a greater fall from grace than more eccentric figures accused of sexual misconduct like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.
  • Joan Crawford's long career in Hollywood, which spanned several decades and included several award-winning movies (including What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) has been largely overshadowed by the accusations laid out in Mommie Dearest that she was a mad alcoholic who abused her oldest adopted daughter Christina. That the book was released after Joan's death, leaving her unable to refute it, didn't help, nor did the fact that the book was adapted into a movie that became a Cult Classic for being So Bad, It's Good in 1981.
  • Stand-up comedian Andy Dick is best known for his substance abuse, getting Phil Hartman's wife Brynn re-addicted to cocaine after she'd previously managed to kick the habit, resulting in her murdering Phil while high before later taking her own life, making jokes about it, getting into physical alterations with Jon Lovitz over it, and frequent counts of sexual harassment, which led to him getting fired from two separate projects in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
  • Walt Disney's legacy as the godfather of American animation has been damaged in subsequent years due to persistent rumors that he held bigoted views such as racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism. That, and another rumor that he cryogenically froze himself.
  • Scott Freeman had his career overshadowed when he was arrested and convicted of eight counts of possession of child pornography, resulting in Funimation severing all ties with him.
  • Mel Gibson is less known for his film career than his chaotic personal life, most infamously the incident where he went on an anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for drunk driving.
  • Illich Guardiola is best remembered for being accused of abusing and having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female student of his in 2014. Even though the charges were dropped, this scandal effectively destroyed his voice acting career.
  • While Butch Hartman's brand of humor and style of writing are divisive, he still had a strong fanbase for a long time. However, beginning in 2016, Hartman became involved in numerous controversies that tainted his once respected legacy:
    • He began alienating some fans via his YouTube channel due to his overuse of clickbait, grandiose attitude, open Christian views, meme pandering, and apparent inability to take criticism.
    • In June 2018, Hartman launched a kickstarter titled "OAXIS Entertainment", which he initially stated was to start his own family based entertainment service. Many fans doubted this would be successful, but in July of that year, a leaked video seemed to show that he was actually selling OAXIS Entertainment as a network to convert children into Christianity. Once this was made public, Hartman was the subject of severe backlash, and was painted as a liar and manipulator in the eyes of many long time fans. Even fellow Christians and people who don't mind religion were angry with him.
    • Around the same time, numerous other revelations about Hartman started coming to light, such as a poor taste "joke" he made on his podcast stating that Mary Kay Bergman committed suicide because of Tara Strong,note  several comments that mocked a fan with Lets See You Do Better, alleged transphobia, and liking videos promoting pro alt-right themes. All these factors combined with the above controversies quickly turned Hartman from being one of the most beloved animators in the industry to one of the most hated. While he released a letter on Twitter stating that he did not intend to make OAXIS Entertainment to be religious propaganda and apologized to DuelingDuelistDrew for mocking him on Stream, he already lost the respect of many.
  • Charlton Heston got hit by this trope when he became President of the National Rifle Association in The '90s, turning one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood to one of the most divisive political figures, especially after the Columbine massacre brought the issue of gun control back into the public consciousness. For a time, it was unsurprising for the NRA to be mentioned just as much as his acting career any time Heston was brought up, and even after he died in 2008, his anti-gun control activism remains a particularly polarizing issue in regards to his legacy.
  • It's difficult bringing up Phill Lewis, famous for his role as Mr. Moseby in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, without addressing the fact he once was convicted of manslaughter in the 1990s for a DUI that resulted in the death of one woman. While it isn't the only thing he's known for, he still suffers from infamy over it.
  • Full House co-star and former Hallmark Channel regular Lori Loughlin has had her reputation tainted by being one of the many people accused of using their wealth and fame to bribe prestigious colleges to accept their children despite their low SAT scores, in one of the biggest college admission scandals in recent memory. Hallmark subsequently terminated their contract with her, plus Loughlin and her husband/collaborator, Mossimo Gianulli, might face jail time. This is especially shocking considering Loughlin being identified with playing the sweet, loveable Aunt Becky. Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade Gianulli also found herself thrust into being the public face of all the recipients of the scam, due to her highly popular beauty tip vlogs, in which she'd earlier stated that she didn't even take her classes seriously at all. She and her sister quickly dropped out of USC without even waiting for a decision on whether they could stay, and she is now estranged from her parents in the wake of the permanent damage to her reputation.
  • Jenny McCarthy has become infamous for her staunch support of the anti-vaccination movement, which has gained her a great deal of criticism.
  • Golden Age actress Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Academy Award, was dogged for much of her life by accusations of selfishly perpetuating harmful stereotypes to advance her own career, as she usually played submissive servant characters such as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, the role that landed her the Oscar. McDaniel for her part saw no shame in it, famously quipping that if she wasn't playing maids she'd probably be one.
  • The career of Vic Mignogna was overshadowed in 2018 by accusations of homophobia, rude behavior and predatory behavior with underage con-goers, resulting in Rooster Teeth cutting all ties with him, Funimation recasting his role in The Morose Mononokean and subsequently confirming publicly that they had blacklisted him, and his numerous convention appearances at anime conventions being canceled. In a more unusual example, the case regarding Mignogna became so polarizing (in part because of his wide presence in the anime industry) that it ended up subjecting many of his more vocal critics and accusers to this trope as well, with fellow Funimation voice actors Sean Schemmel, Monica Rial, and Jamie Marchi (among others) becoming more well-known by supporters of Mignogna for their frequent statements against the guy than for anything else. Given the highly divisive nature of this case, Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement very much applies here.
  • Former actress and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has become a very polarizing figure since her engagement and subsequent marriage to Prince Harry, due to things like her very diverse background, her extremely strained relationship with her sister and father, and her progressive views. Many royalists often argue that these make her unsuitable to be part of the royal family, but this hasn't stopped her from being very popular with the media.
  • It's impossible to discuss Roman Polanski's filmography without mentioning his childhood as a Holocaust survivor, the horrific death of his wife Sharon Tate at the hands of Charles Manson and his conviction for statutory rape of an underage girl, and his subsequent flight to France after the judge gave indications that he intended to cancel the plea bargain.note  Polanski's arrest in 2009 is also an example of a controversy resurfacing after staying dormant (much like Woody Allen's). He had many several films after Chinatown and he won the Oscar for Best Director for The Pianistnote  and more importantly he had travelled back-and-forth from France, Poland and Switzerland for several years without any arrest or fear of prosecution. In 2017 Polanksi's name made headlines again when, in the wake of #MeToo, at least four more accusers came forward, alleging they were also underage when Polanski molested them.
  • Randy Quaid is nowadays less known for his acting performances than for the fact that he is a Cloudcuckoolander conspiracy theorist who attempted to flee to Canada with his wife because he was convinced that assassins were out to kill him.
  • Leni Riefenstahl (of Olympia and Triumph of the Will fame) is highly credited in cinematography for her development of numerous filming techniques used to this day and her visual effects, most of which have become commonplace in filmmaking today. However, it's extremely difficult not to mention the fact that most of her work was commissioned by the Nazis. While she was cleared of being a Nazi after the war, her career took a huge spiral in the fact that she was shunned out of the film industry for the rest of her life, although she managed to find some success in photographing Sudanese tribes.
  • Peter Robbins was the first person to voice Charlie Brown from the long-running comic strip Peanuts and voiced the character from the early Ford Falcon commercials in the 1960s to It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown in 1969. Nowadays, he's known for stalking an ex-girlfriend and various mental disturbances; his stalking incidents led him to be incarcerated as of this writing.
  • During his lifetime, Jimmy Savile was quite popular as a host and fundraiser for humanitarian causes, even being knighted for his goodwill. He died as a celebrated entertainer with people gathering to watch his funeral procession in the streets. Only a year after his death, an episode of the documentary series Exposure contained accusations that he had molested hundreds of young people, both male and female, many of them only children. The lead to an outcry, and other accusations soon came pouring out. All of this culminated in a police investigation dubbed Operation Yewtree, which declared him guilty of all charges. As a result, Savile's name became so tainted that virtually all memorials, tributes and statues to him have been removed and destroyed. Even archive footage of him, or downright references to him in comedy shows, have been removed from the BBC site, making him effectively an Unperson at this point. It seems unlikely that his name or image can ever be shown again without creating controversy as was the case of one rebroadcast of a Tweenies episode from the early 2000s on Cbeebies that featured one of the characters dressing up as Saville. The controversy would go on to engulf the entire BBC after it came out that many higher-ups at the station knew exactly what Savile was doing but kept silent to save the network's reputation.
  • Rob Schneider will be remembered not only for being a lowest common denominator comedian (with almost all his films, particularly Norm of the North, being negatively received), but also for his inability to take criticism, anti-vaccination campaign, bigoted comments, and blocking Seth Rogen from his Twitter account for no given reason.
  • Steven Seagal has always been polarizing as an actor, but as he has aged he's become far more notable for his scandal-ridden personal life than his film career. He has been accused of sex crimes dozens of times, up to and including patronizing sex-slavery rings, and is also well-known for defending world leaders generally regarded as dictators, such as Fidel Castro and in particular Vladimir Putin, with whom he is a personal friend. Seagal even defended Russia's 2014 invasion of Ukraine, an action condemned by the international community.
  • Director Bryan Singer has long been trailed by accusations of rape and sexual abuse towards underage men throughout his career despite being attached to lucrative successes like the X-Men Film Series, The Usual Suspects and Bohemian Rhapsody. His career would begin to truly stall and become overshadowed by his personal failings in the New Tens when his accusers sued him and he attempted to bury them, which only drew attention to it. The final straw would come towards the end of the decade, when he was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody for hostile and unprofessional behavior despite retaining credit. An explosive article detailing old and new accusations against Singer was released in the wake of the film’s success and awards season tour, which also revealed Singer’s unprofessional habits had been around for his entire career. This caused Singer’s reputation to become radioactive and resulted in Millenium Films (Itself no stranger to controversy) to can a Red Sonja film with Singer attached after intense scrutiny.
  • Actor Kevin Sorbo, star of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Andromeda, is nowadays better known for his extremist Christian views and starring in controversial far-right and/or religious propaganda films such as God's Not Dead than for his acting, effectively rendering him Persona Non Grata among the sci-fi/fantasy community.
  • The career of actor Kevin Spacey has been affected by the sexual misconduct allegation against him by actor Anthony Rapp (RENT, Star Trek: Discovery) in late 2017, who said that Spacey made a drunken sexual advance towards him when he was 14. Following the allegation, Spacey revealed that he was gay, which led to many criticizing him for how he addressed both matters. The allegations worsened when Spacey's brother revealed that he spent years denying the fact that he was gay and continued to ignore his brother's mail, using his stage name to hide behind his troubled childhood, and only got worse when it was discovered that eight of Spacey's crew members from House of Cards, which Spacey was instantly dropped from, and the King of Norway's former son-in-law had made allegations against him. In addition, he uploaded a video to his YouTube channel in December 2018, in which he denied the allegations while in character as Frank Underwood from House of Cards, which caused many celebrities to mock him on Twitter, particularly since it came in the wake of his being accused of sexually assaulting a journalist's son.
  • Oliver Stone has made several well-received films, but he is also infamous for a large number of incidents in his personal life, including his belief in various conspiracy theories, his support for Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez and Vladimir Putin, and allegations of sexual harassment.
  • Jim Sturgess is a difficult actor to discuss without mentioning his taking on, and loudly defending his decision to take on, not one but two roles deemed extremely offensive by the Asian community, specifically 21, where he plays a heavily fictionalized version of a person who was Asian in real life, and Cloud Atlas, where his character appears in Yellowface.
  • It is almost impossible to bring up Tila Tequila without addressing her support of Neo-Nazism and Adolf Hitler (which many people find strange, considering she is of Vietnamese heritage), which subsequently got her banned from Twitter, than for her acting career and television roles.
  • Actor Jon Voight, following his Star Derailing Roles as the villains in Baby Geniuses 2 and Bratz, has become more of a presence in the media for his far-right political views and the resulting family feud with his daughter and ideological opposite Angelina Jolie than his acting.
  • As the head of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein oversaw the production of some of the most acclaimed films since the '90s like Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love. While there were some earlier controversies surrounding him,note  these were overshadowed when allegations of his history of sexually harassing women such as Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan came to light in a October 2017 article in The New Yorker and The New York Times. The article encouraged a number of women to come forward with similar allegations against him, including Léa Seydoux, Cara Delevingne, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.note  Then a New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow had a number of actresses, including Asia Argento, accuse him of rape, alongside an audio recording of him admitting to groping women. Soon, a number of Weinstein's friends and clients began siding with the victims and refused to associate with him any further; he was fired from his own company by a board of directors that included his own brother, Bob Weinstein, who later described Harvey as "a sick man" and "a world-class liar" (Bob would later be accused of sex offenses, albeit much lesser than Harvey's, himself); his wife announced that she was leaving him; TWC began scrubbing his name away from any further projects and was sold to Lantern Capital and renamed Lantern Entertainment. The fallout also led to a wave of accusations against other celebrities and powerful men, which became known as the Weinstein effect or the "Me Too" movement.
  • James Woods' once respected career as an actor in the Hollywood industry was ruined in recent years upon embracing far-right politics and conspiracy theories, making Woods a pariah to anyone outside that realm. His name also was brought up in reference to the #MeToo movement, with Amber Tamblyn accusing Woods of hitting on underage girls (ironically, after he criticized the age gap of the couple in Call Me by Your Name), and actress Elizabeth Perkins accusing Woods of sexually assaulting her in the past.
  • Billy Zane saw the majority of his career dry up after he chose to appear in a Turkish anti-American propaganda film during The War on Terror and loudly defended his decision to do so. He's had few notable film roles since (with one such role being a cameo in the universally panned Holmes & Watson), and even lost his gig as the dub voice of Kingdom Hearts archvillain Ansem a.k.a Xehanort to voice actor Richard Epcar.

    Other Creators 
  • Artists who support controversial political regimes and ideologies often face this:
    • Bertolt Brecht, Sergei Eisenstein, Paul Robeson and several other artists who supported or sympathized with the Soviet Union, even under Stalin, saw their reputations decline, at least briefly, during the Cold War, and they faced further backlash in their homeland during De-stalinization and the Khrushchev thaw. The phrase "useful idiot", misattributed to Lenin, is often used by historians to tag any artist or intellectual who supported or sympathized with Red October and used, retroactively, to justify such instances as The Hollywood Blacklist.
    • Still, being a fellow traveler to Communism is seen as misguided and naive, but sympathetic, idealism. Supporting Nazism and Fascism on the other hand is an absolute deal breaker: Louis-Ferdinand Céline, author of Journey to the End of the Night, one of the most acclaimed novels of the 20th century. He was grotesquely antisemitic and supported Vichy France and never repented. This makes it difficult for people to praise him as an author, especially given that during the war, another collaborationist writer, Robert Brasillach, was actually shot by firing squad in the post-war trials. The same applies to modernist poet Ezra Pound, an American who wrote and broadcast Fascist Propaganda for Mussolini during World War II, and was imprisoned for treason several years afterwards. Also Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda and the degree to which they qualify as legitimate works of art.
    • Fashion designer Coco Chanel is a legend in the fashion world, but she is not without controversy throughout her career; the infamous one being a collaborator to the Nazis, even dating one of them. Then there is Hugo Boss: famous for their luxury suits and perfumes for men, infamous for its eponymous founder's creation of Nazi uniforms.
  • Dan Schneider's career has been overshadowed by accusations that he was a pedophile (not helped by his soliciting pictures of underage girls' feet) and that he abused several of the child actors in his shows.
  • Édith Piaf, once one of the most beloved entertainers in the world, suffered a career slump after World War II, with many former fans refusing to forgive her willingness to perform for the Nazis during the occupation of France. She also suffered from exceptionally destructive alcoholism which contributed to her death at 47.
  • This extends to authors who expressed racist and sexist stereotypes in their works, which in their day might have been typical or exceptional but thanks to Society Marches On and later political developments, their legacy gets tarnished. Richard Wagner is universally considered a genius composer, but his open anti-Semitism and the Nazi party's promotion of his music and writings has tarnished his legacy. Modern readers of books by William Shakespeare, Voltaire, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevsky and many others are often difficult to read for the open anti-Semitism, sexism and other stereotypes present in the content. Rudyard Kipling's promotion of Mighty Whitey and White Man's Burden made him, formerly the most popular and well-read author of his day, an embarassment for literary critics in the wake of decolonization.
  • Philosopher and author Friedrich Nietzsche, much like Richard Wagner (see "Music"), is now best known for the promulgation of his work by the Nazis rather than its actual content. Saying you agree with Nietzsche's philosophy on anything will get you accusations of being a racist, fascist, and/or Social Darwinist, and it's "Common Knowledge" that the man himself was all these things and more.note 
  • Australian philosopher and professor Peter Singer is widely regarded as a leader in the animal rights and utilitarian movements, but his numerous viewpoints that conflict with conventional morality have gotten him resoundly criticized by many other groups, and he has been called "the most dangerous man in philosophy" and similar epithets by many publications. He is particularly infamous in the disabled community for his advocation that the severely disabled should have fewer rights than other people, and that medical money spent on treating them would be better spent on fixing temporary ailments of people who are otherwise healthy; he has been frequently been labeled a eugenicist due to these beliefs. He has also campaigned for nonhuman animals being granted the same rights as humans (apart from in cases where the rights would be literally impossible for the animal to exercise, like voting), which has gotten him roasted by activists for civil rights, women's rights, and others who advocate that the well-being of marginalized human groups should take priority, and has even insinuated that he is uncomfortable with the existence of things such as music and art, finding them wasteful when many people around the world still lack basic necessities.
  • Etcetera Group is one of the most prolific dubbing studios in Venezuela and Latin America in general. They are famous for dubbing several popular animated shows, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Steven Universe and Animaniacs, as well as nearly every animated adaptation of DC Comics since Batman: The Animated Series. It's hard not to talk about the company without bringing up the fact Rubén Leon, who dubbed The Joker for about 25 years, announced that he would stop working with the company in late 2017, citing payment issues.
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a renowned environmentalist, women's rights advocate, and journalist who was best known for her efforts to preserve the Everglades, and she had been alive for 108 years before her death in 1998. What is she best known for nowadays? Being the namesake of a high school in Parkland, Florida, that was the site of a deadly mass shooting in February 2018.
  • Mamoru Samuragochi, once a renowned composer, had his reputation ruined once it came out that he wasn't actually deaf and that most of his compositions were in fact by his orchestrator Takashi Niigaki.
  • If you know about Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, the first fact that usually comes to mind is that he died in a Murder-Suicide pact, which started a chain of events that led to World War I. But did you know he was a respected ornithologist note  with an interest in minerals and rock formations note ? He wrote anonymous articles with a strongly liberal bent (in direct opposition to his staunchly conservative father, Emperor Franz Joseph) published a travelogue, initiated and wrote for an encyclopedia of regional studies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and was awarded two honorary doctorates from the Universities of Budapest and Vienna. Oh, and he also was an artist (some of his drawings can be seen at the Hofmobiliendepot in Vienna, which is where most of his stuff is kept after his death).
  • Judy Blume is one of the most beloved young adult writers of the 20th century...and also one of the most frequently challenged and banned, due to her frank portrayal of puberty and everything that comes with it, with her first person main characters freely discussing things like budding sexual feelings, menstruation, breast size, and masturbation.
  • The works of French author Louis-Ferdinand Celine (such as Journey to the End of the Night) have been overshadowed by his history as a Nazi sympathizer.
  • Vox Day (Theodore Beale) may have made some interesting work, but he is by far more known for his almost cartoonish bigotry and a partially successful attempt to sabotage the most popular Science Fiction/Fantasy award (the Hugo). Said attempted sabotage being in theory a protest against the award's perceived left-wing bias (citing If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love as an example), but very likely also a form of petty revenge against SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) for having been expelled from the association due to his racist remarks against fellow fantasy writer N. K. Jemisin. Suffice to say, he is considered the most hated writer in the SF/F community for a reason (unrelated to his writing).
  • Harlan Ellison was widely acclaimed for his science fiction writing, but was also infamous for his Hair-Trigger Temper, frequently suing and threatening to sue people, and a bizarre 2006 award show appearance where he sucked on a microphone like a lollipop and groped a woman's breast.
  • Terry Goodkind has long been a divisive figure in the fantasy culture for his adoration of Ayn Rand and turning his books into treatises on her Objectivism philosophy without a shred of irony (most infamously, one book has the main protagonist slaughtering a bunch of peaceful and unarmed protesters), plus his insistence against all sanity that his work shouldn't be considered fantasy but "deep philosophical work." In 2018, he finally burned a lot of bridges for good by publicly insulting the cover for Shroud of Eternity and even holding a contest for the best insult toward it, much to the confusion of the general public who couldn't at all see what was supposed to be so bad about it. He quickly apologized in the face of the massive backlash, but the cover artist Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme refused to forgive him and ended their long working relationship.
  • H. P. Lovecraft is generally regarded as one of the most influential figures in the horror genre, but his legacy in modern times suffers greatly because of his racism, which by all accounts was extreme even by the standards of his day.
  • Anne Perry was a very popular mystery writer for years, before being exposed as none other than notorious New Zealand murderer Juliet Hulme after the film adaptation of the story Heavenly Creatures reignited interest in the case and what became of the people involved. She's continued her writing career with some measure of success, but the stigma has unavoidably clung to her since.
  • Anne Rice, known for her gothic, religious, and erotic fiction, such as Interview with the Vampire and its sequels, is just as famous for her inability to take criticism of any kind and frequent Dear Negative Reader screeds, one of which spawned the popular internet meme "You are interrogating the text from the wrong perspective." She's also notable and/or notorious as one of the few authors of fiction to have completely banned Fan Works for her books.
  • John C. Wright is despised for being an accomplice to Vox Day's above-mentioned attempted sabotage of the Hugo award; his savage, homophobic disparagement of The Legend of Korra creators for daring to end the series on a Les Yay note, and comparing Terry Pratchett to Adolf Hitler because of the former's endorsement of voluntary euthanasia.
  • Fantasy writer Marion Zimmer Bradley was considered an important figure in the genre and something of a feminist icon among fans even though rumors about her husband Walter Breen's sexual molestation of minors during their marriage had popped up now and then since the 1960s. It generally hadn't affected her personal reputation as many assumed Breen's actions had taken place without her knowledge and she had divorced him when he'd been arrested. After her death in 1999, evidence came forward that not only had she known about and tolerated Breen's abuse of children throughout their marriage, she'd helped in covering it up, which tarnished her name but generally left her literary legacy intact. Finally, her reputation took a fatal blow in 2014 when her daughter stated that Bradley had not only been complicit in Breen's acts, she was a pedophile in her own right, having abused, along with other unknown victims, her own children.
  • Novelist Orson Scott Card is probably better known nowadays for his virulent anti-gay beliefs (to the extent that it was starting to show up in some of his writing), ultimately leading to a boycott of the film version of Ender's Game and relegating him to becoming the sci-fi/fantasy community's equivalent of Anita Bryant.
  • Gavin McInnes was once a pretty widely popular journalist and comedian who was best known for his public image as an eccentric hipster. His many humorous articles and essays helped turn Vice Media (which he co-founded) into a major force in the world of online journalism, and his comedic memoir How to Piss in Public sold decently well after being published by Scribner. Then in 2016, he founded "The Proud Boys"—a highly controversial conservative/alt-right social organization that's been associated with numerous incidents of violence, reportedly has ties to neo-Nazis, and is currently classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Though McInnes has since cut ties with the Proud Boys, his role in founding the group has cast a long shadow over everything else in his career, and he's now best known for his dabbling in right-wing extremism.
  • Graham Linehan, best known for creating Father Ted and The IT Crowd, has had his famous creations tainted by his virulent anti-transgender views, including calling the anti-trans protesters at London Pride heroes and trans activists Nazis, as well as trying to have a 500,000 pound grant for the trans support charity Mermaids UK revoked.
  • Actress Roseanne Barr is mostly known for her behavior. This included her controversial performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during a Padres game in 1990, which caused an immense backlash from many, including then-President George H.W. Bush, not to mention, reports of prima-donna behavior on the set of Roseanne, and her tumultuous marriage to Tom Arnold. In recent years, Barr has become known for her extremely defensive stance regarding her Jewish heritage, to the point of creating a Holocaust-themed cooking photoshoot, and her support for Donald Trump due to his pro-Israel stance. Finally, her reputation took a major blow when she made a tweet in which she called Valerie Jarret, one of Barrack Obama's former aides and of partial African descent, the baby of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.
  • Stephen Glass is a paralegal and author who will probably be known as "that guy who had a successful journalism career with The New Republic, only for it to be discovered that most of his stories were partially or completely made up" for the rest of his life. The fact that the scandal got a movie just sealed his fate.

  • November 22, 1963: Any American capable of cognitive thought can tell you what happened on this day. But wasn't there something else? Something that was at least notable in the business world? Notable to Detroit Lions fans? Yes, it was the day that William Clay Ford, Sr., son of Edsel Ford, and member of board of directors of the Ford Motor Company, purchased the Lions and became majority owner. Had it not been for the terrible tragedy that day in Dallas, it's safe to say that while not necessarily front page news, it would have made at least some waves. Not only did Kennedy die that day, but so did authors Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis.note 
  • Academy Awards:
    • The 87th and 88th Academy Awards honoring the achievements of 2014 and 2015 gained more attention for the troubles over the issue of racial diversity amongst the acting nominees, as they were all white, and online protests and planned boycotts that ensued in response than the actual nominations. All of this ended up becoming the butt of many, many jokes by the latter ceremony's host, Chris Rock. On the bright side, at least Leonardo DiCaprio got an Oscar.
    • The 89th Academy Awards honoring the achievements of 2016 attracted several notable controversies:
      • Casey Affleck's Best Actor win for Manchester by the Sea was controversial due to being revealed weeks before the ceremony that Affleck had been sued for sexual harassment in 2010;note  to the point that several attendees of the awards, up and including the actress who presented him the award, the previous year's Best Actress winner Brie Larson, refused to applaud him on his win. Also controversial was the fact that Affleck was given a very different treatment from his African American contemporary Nate Parker, whose sexual assault allegations destroyed his Oscar chances. Affleck went on to decline the traditional presentation of the Best Actress award the following year, knowing full well the reaction it would get.
      • The Iranian film The Salesman, which won Best Foreign Language Film, became better known for the fact that its director Asghar Farhadi boycotted the ceremony in protest of President Donald Trump's controversial executive order temporarily suspending immigration from his and six other Muslim-majority countries. Iranian-American astronaut Anousheh Ansari picked up the award for him.
      • The last and biggest controversy came at the ceremony's end, when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway erroneously announced that La La Land won Best Picture instead of Moonlight, the actual winner, the first time this mistake had been made in the Awards' history. The error, resulting from Beatty being mistakenly handed the Best Actress envelope, which La La Land had in fact won, rapidly became the defining moment of the ceremony in pop culture. They were invited back to announce the following year's Best Picture winner to show there were no hard feelings, as everyone agreed pretty much immediately that they were in no way at fault.
    • The 91st Academy Awards fell under controversy before it even started:
      • Kevin Hart, who was set to host, stepped down after a series of homophobic tweets from 2010 and 2011 were unearthed. Such tweets included Hart using the terms "gay" and "fag" in a derogatory manner, and threatening to smash a dollhouse over his son's head if he was caught playing with one. He was also criticized for not apologizing until the day after the tweets were discovered. Though some people did support Hart, including lesbian Ellen DeGeneres, he ultimately stuck with his initial decision. Even worse, Hart was a last-ditch choice by the Academy, a sign of desperation on its part, especially after the whole #OscarsSoWhite debacle. Viewers immediately brought up the spectre of what happened the last time the Oscars didn't have a host — to wit, that show opened with a disastrous musical number that ruined the careers of everyone involved — and declared the ceremony cursed from the start.
      • In order to shorten the ceremony's broadcasting hours, the Academy decided to have four categories (Best Cinematography, Best Short Live-Action Film, Best Film Editing and Best Make-Up and Hairstyling) presented during commercial breaks and streamed online, with their acceptance speeches replayed during the broadcast. The Oscar nominees under these affected categories and other filmmakers were infuriated with this decision. The president of the American Society of Cinematographers expressed disappointment, explaining that film-making is a collaborative effort and that not acknowledging these categories feels like a separation from the film-making process. The Academy bowed to the pressure after a few days and agreed to fully air all the awards.
      • The Academy also toyed with creating a "Best Popular Film" category, which was roundly criticized throughout the industry as a condescending fake award to let them pander to more populist leanings and get the awards' ratings to stop slipping. This view was pretty much cemented when the Academy were unable to give a straight answer as to what exactly would constitute inclusion in the category, as opposed to Best Picture. In the end, the category was not instituted, and the one flick which (everyone agreed) would have received a nomination for it, Black Panther, stayed in Best Picture.
  • The 2007 Anime Friends convention, the biggest anime and manga event in Brazil, was overshadowed by three female cosplayers wearing towels and one of them being a teenager. They claimed to be Love Hina cosplayers. The photos quickly spread through Internet, specially the ones with them flashing their panties. The rumors that they were asking for money to flash their panties only worsened it. As such, the event was criticized for allowing it to happen, with some even accusing the event of supporting prostitution of minors. Luckily enough, the controversy stayed only on Internet and as result, since 2008 this type of cosplay is forbidden.
  • The 2015 Miss Universe pageant was overshadowed by host Steve Harvey accidentally announcing the wrong name as the winner and later by a vehicular incident that injured dozens of pedestrians (and killed one) outside the venue.
  • The 2016 Miss Teen USA pageant was supposed to be seen as a huge step in distancing beauty contests from their misogynistic pasts, as it was the first such pageant since the organization cut ties with Donald Trump. Instead, it drew more attention over concerns of racism, as its finalists were all blonde white women. Furthermore, the eventual winner had used the "n-word" in several past tweets.
  • The German ECHO music awards were hit in April 2018 with a wave of protest for its Best Hip-Hop/Urban album of that year. The winners were Farid Bang and Kollegah, whose album Jung, Brutal, Gutaussehend 3 (Young, Brutal, Good-Looking 3) had songs in which they mocked Jews and concentration camps, and were heavily criticized to be anti-Semitic. This has led to several well-known, previous winners of the ECHO award returning their awards in disgust and distancing themselves from it. As a result, the ECHO award has been discontinued.

  • The swastika. Originally used in an almost exclusively positive manner, it is completely associated with Nazi Germany now. Even if you are yourself a Jew, Romani, etc. — and in fact, trying to use the Grandfather Clause or N-Word Privileges on this point will likely only stir up greater resentment against you.
  • In December 2014, Dave Grohl got his first solo Rolling Stone magazine cover. Sadly, that moment has been completely overshadowed by the "A Rape on Campus" article in the magazine. That story, wherein a student claimed she was sexually assaulted multiple times and her school covered it up, sparked a wave of protests, but turned out to be so poorly researched – no attempt was ever made by the author to talk with any of the boys accused or the police to corroborate her allegations, and independent fact-checkers quickly discovered the student had lied about everything – that the magazine was forced to retract it and blackball the author. The University of Virginia, where the nonexistent rapes occurred, has considered suing for defamation.
  • In 2014, a story about a man from Virginia claiming a disputed empty desert territory between Egypt and Sudan went viral. He wanted to establish a "kingdom" so that his daughter could become a real life princess. It was a heartwarming story of a father's loyalty for his daughter. Things, however, took a turn for the ugly when Morgan Spurlock bought the movie rights to it, and Disney was to distribute it. This announcement brought the story back into the spotlight and immediately brought connections to the highly illustrious — and controversial — Disney Princess franchise. This drew plenty of criticism, as this was about a white girl becoming a princess in Africa — a continent strongly associated with anything but whites, and the colonialism aspect reminded people of another highly controversial entry in the franchise, Pocahontas.
  • Malaysia Airlines is best known outside its home country for two disasters that happened to its planes in 2014, the disappearance of Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean and shooting down of Flight 17 over the Russia-Ukraine border.
  • Alex Tizon was a respected journalist and author for much of his career, but his earlier work has largely been overshadowed by his final story, "My Family's Slave", in which he confesses that his parents kept a slave for 56 years. The piece was published by The Atlantic shortly after his death, and had an extremely polarizing reaction, earning praise for its honesty and showcasing Tizon's deep guilt in his adulthood over her treatment, but also criticism for revealing that Tizon never really did much to help her after he became a journalist and that he did not reveal her slave status to the obituary writer at the newspaper he worked at, resulting her story not being told until seven years after her death. Whatever one's reaction to the piece was, it's pretty much the only thing anyone remembers from Tizon's Pulitzer Prize-winning career.
  • Jade Goody, mentioned in the Western Animation section, was once a rather famous British women's gossip icon in the early 2000s, thanks to her role in the third season of Big Brother. However, things took an ugly turn in her re-appearance in the fifth season of the spinoff show Celebrity Big Brother, where she and two other female contestants racially insulted Indian actress Shilpa Shetty (who would later go on to win the season) many times over her incorrect usage of cooking with stock cubes. The incident led to the highest number of complaints ever recorded to OFCOM and caused Goody to quickly be voted off the show. Celebrity Big Brother lost many of its sponsorships as a result and went on a one-year hiatus after the season ended. She eventually became the butt of many jokes afterwards until her death from cervical cancer in 2009. Even though her reputation has slightly improved after her death, her name has still become synonymous with the event. Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd, the other two contestants involved in the incident, also faced blowback, though not as severe as Goody's.
  • Despite a long career that spans four decades, ten books, and countless exhibitions, photographer Sally Mann's career has largely been overshadowed by the controversy that arose over her third book, Immediate Family, which features a lot of nude (though not sexually explicit) photos of her children.
  • While Christopher Columbus wasn't the first to discover America, his voyages did lead to a greater contact with the Old and New Worlds, (hence the term Columbian exchange) and kick-started the colonization of the Continent by European powers. However, it also led to the mistreatment and death of several indigenous people, which Columbus himself had a direct part in. As a result, a significant portion of the population in the Americas has opposed the celebration of Columbus Day, with some countries having outright changed the name of the day to "Indigenous Peoples Day", "Respect for Cultural Diversity Day" or other similar names in direct reference to said mistreatment.
  • Celebrity chef Mario Batali took a major hit to his popularity in December 2017 when he was faced with no less than twelve sexual harassment accusations in the fallout from the aforementioned Harvey Weinstein scandal. He lost his hosting gig on the cooking talk show The Chew, reruns of his older show Molto Mario were pulled from Food Network, and Target announced they would be no longer stocking his cookbooks after they received a petition with over 7,000 signatures.
  • The Mandalay Bay Hotel is now primarily known for being the location where a mentally deranged man shot 58 people dead and injured 500 others at a country music festival. The hotel, however, was one of the most iconic resorts in Las Vegas before the shooting, so it's well-known enough to avoid being known exclusively for the shooting, even if that is still its primary claim to fame.
  • Most people outside of Ohio primarily know of Kent State University due to the national guard shootings of students protesting the Vietnam War.
  • Columbine High School in Colorado, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida (and by extension, the towns of Newtown and Parkland, where the latter two are locatednote ) are all primarily known for being the sites of deadly mass shootings. Virginia Tech, however, is a massive university that's well-known enough to avoid being known exclusively for the shooting, even if that is still its primary claim to fame. Most other school shootings have been all but forgotten today and tend to avoid this reputation.
  • The University of Virginia is very well-known, but its hometown of Charlottesville is nowadays far less known for housing the university than for being the site of the first major American white supremacist rally in decades, which included the cold-blooded murder of a counter-protester and spawned enormous political fallout.
  • Few people who live outside of the St. Louis area know anything about the suburb of Ferguson outside of being the city where racial riots erupted after a black man was shot to death by a white police officer.
  • The small town of Money, Mississippi would likely be completely unknown to anyone outside its immediate vicinity if not for the fact that it carries the unfortunate distinction of playing host to one of American history's most notoriously gruesome murders, when in 1955 black teenager Emmett Till was kidnapped and tortured to death by two grown white men. The two were subsequently acquitted by a clearly biased judge and jury despite overwhelming evidence against them. The brutality of the crime and the perpetrators' escape of punishment became one of the first major rallying cries for the new Civil Rights Movement, and it lingers in the American consciousness to this day as one of the go-to examples of a Miscarriage of Justice, drowning out everything else about the town and anything done by anyone else from it.
  • The Daily Mail is known for its controversial viewpoints, but more so for its ridiculously sensationalist moral guardian behaviour. This has contributed to Wikipedia's ban on using it as a legitimate source. And going back way further, quite a few people will never let anyone forget that the paper acted as a mouthpiece for the British Union of Facists in the 1930s, most infamously with the banner headline "Hurrah for the Blackshirts!", openly advocated an alliance with Adolf Hitler against the communists prior to World War II, and dismissed reports of mistreatment of German Jews as exaggerations, further calling Jews seeking refuge in Britain nothing more than economic migrants taking advantage of Britain's lax generosity, all which led to the common nickname "The Daily Heil".
  • Billy Bush, a relative of the Bush political family, was the longtime host of Access Hollywood who later took on hosting duties on NBC's Today show. But to most people, he will forever be known for being the man who Donald Trump was talking to when he made comments about how he could sexually assault women without being punished. Once the tape was leaked during Trump's presidential campaign, Bush was fired by NBC and Trump's political ambitions almost came crashing down, and would've been kaput then and there if not for a second October surprise which worked in his favor.
  • International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is one of the foremost names in information technology, but the company's history is difficult to discuss without mentioning their close association was Nazi Germany during World War II. While many foreign companies did business with the Nazis, most retracted their support once the War began; IBM has a particular infamy for the fact that not only did they remain loyal to the Nazis throughout the entire conflict, but they were intimately involved with The Holocaust (inventing some of the world's first computers to help keep track of victims) and are, to date, the only one of these collaborating corporations that has never apologized.
  • Chick-fil-A is probably best known now for its ties to anti-gay organizations, including those that practice "conversion therapy," which has long been discredited. As such, it's not uncommon for gay rights activists to boycott Chick-fil-A every time they open a new store.


Example of: