Celebrities Who Got Blacklisted in Hollywood
If you're a rich and famous actor, it takes a lot for Hollywood to turn on you. The city is full of self-absorbed jerks, but as long as you bring in the views and the big bucks, people are generally happy to look the other way while you behave like an angry toddler. However, even Hollywood has its limits when it comes to annoying or bad behavior, and some celebrities have found this out the hard way!
Today, we're taking a look at stars that have been blacklisted from jobs in Hollywood. And we're not talking about stars who were unfairly blacklisted by studios in the 1950s over accusations of communism—these stars are mostly modern-day actors who just couldn't seem to keep their egos and bad behavior in check. There was no government pressure to give these actors the boot. Instead, people just collectively decided that they were tired of working with such difficult stars.
From stars putting their foot in their mouth repeatedly online to actual illegal behavior that caused one star to attempt to flee the country, these are the Hollywood celebrities who won't be getting a call back from the studios any time soon!
Let's get started!
Roseanne Barr had a decades-long career as a stand-up comedian and actress with her own self-titled show, Roseanne, where she portrayed a working-class woman from Illinois working to keep her family afloat. However, Barr has never been one to shy away from controversy in her career, and eventually, it cost her.
Barr's series, Roseanne, got a revival in 2018, but it didn't last long. After Tweeting that former presidential advisor Valerie Jarret looked like the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes had a baby, the show's revival was canceled the same day and eventually led to a spin-off without Barr, The Conners.
At a certain point in time, it looked like Mo'Nique's popularity was just going to continue to rise forever. However, she seemed to disappear without a trace, and no one is exactly sure what it is that caused all her acting gigs to dry up. But people do have their theories about what led Mo'Nique to get blacklisted.
In 2009, Mo'Nique won an Oscar for her performance in the movie Precious. As the film began to grow in popularity, producers Tyler Perry and Oprah asked her to go on a promotional tour, which she declined to do. Since then, she's struggled to find consistent work, and many people believe that it's because she wasn't willing to do the bidding of Oprah and Perry.
Mel Gibson had a career in Hollywood for decades, but his most successful hit was as producer, writer, and director for 2004's The Passion of the Christ, which brought in more than 600 million dollars worldwide. However, his fame would take a nosedive just a few years later.
In 2006, as he was being arrested for driving under the influence, Gibson told officers that Jews were responsible for all the wars in the world and then asked if they were Jewish. While he was blacklisted for several years due to his comments, he's recently been making a resurgence which began with the release of his 2016 film, Hacksaw Ridge.
Elizabeth Berkley rose to fame in the late '80s and early '90s for her portrayal of Jessie Spano on the sitcom Saved by the Bell. From there, it seemed like the only direction was up for the actress, but that ended up not being the case. By the late '90s, Berkley's job offers had begun to dry up, and we saw less and less of her.
Unlike a lot of people on this list, Berkley wasn't blacklisted for putting her foot in her mouth or behavior off set. Instead, she made the career-ending decision to be a part of the 1995 film Showgirls, which was so bad it became a laughingstock in Hollywood. People didn't want to work with others associated with the film, and Berkley's career suffered because of it.
Regardless of all the crazy and questionable things Charlie Sheen may have done recently, you can't deny that he had a successful career beforehand or that he's part of one of the most famous acting families in Hollywood. However, in the 2010s, he really went off the deep end and ended up a has been.
In 2010, Sheen checked into rehab for the third time in a year for substance abuse. However, during this time, he publicly insulted Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre and Warner Brothers, who produced the show. They canceled his contract a few months after the debacle, and Sheen hasn't done much to improve his image in the ensuing years.
When it comes to blacklisting in Hollywood, Rose McGowan is a complicated figure. On the one hand, some of the things that happened to her were completely unjustified and unfair, but on the other hand, McGowan is not doing herself any favors by publicly burning bridges and seemingly trying to drive people away from being sympathetic to her cause.
In 2017, McGowan alleged that Harvey Weinstein assaulted her, and it was revealed that she received a $100,000 settlement from the mogul. Weinstein's fury at McGowan for sure played a part in her struggling to get roles, but publicly referring to her former co-star Alyssa Milano as a "MeToo Fraud" and a "lizard person" probably did not help her job prospects either.
(Images via gdcgraphics, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Thora Birch began her acting career in the 1980s as a child appearing in commercials. However, she quickly gained popularity as a child actress in movies like Hocus Pocus, Patriot Games, and American Beauty. However, it seems like all the major roles have dried up for Birch in recent years, and she might not actually be to blame.
While Birch has still had small roles here and there, her career really took a nosedive after she was fired from an off-Broadway production of Dracula. According to what we know, Birch's father was her manager at the time, and she was let go after he physically threatened another cast member in the show. Her profile hasn't been the same ever since.
When it comes to TV heartthrobs of the 1980s, you can't avoid talking about Kirk Cameron. Most famous for playing Mike Seaver on Growing Pains, Cameron also had roles in Like Father Like Son and Listen to Me. However, Cameron eventually found a higher calling than acting, which would put him in conflict with the rest of Hollywood.
While still on Growing Pains, Cameron became a born-again Christian and would later leave most of his acting career behind for a job in ministry. He's made waves over the years for his belief in creationism and his disapproval of homosexuality, which would probably make it hard for him to find work these days. However, he doesn't seem to be sweating his shunning all that much.
Love them or hate them, the Twilight series of movies were a major hit in the 2000s and 2010s. These teen melodramas featured plenty of supernatural creatures. While vampires might be the most famous monster from the franchise, there were plenty of werewolves, too, including Taylor Lautner, who rose to overnight fame after getting the role of Jacob in the films.
However, we've barely heard a peep out of the actor ever since—he hasn't starred in a movie since all the way back in 2012. So was Lautner blacklisted? While it might feel like it, it doesn't seem that people are consciously going out of their way to avoid him. This may just be a case where Lautner wasn't cut out for the harsh, competitive nature of Hollywood.
Vince Vaughn is probably most famous for the string of comedies he appeared in during the 2000s, including Dodgeball, Wedding Crashers, Old School, and The Break-Up. However, before all that he had quite a few appearances in dramas like Rudy and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. These days, it can be hard to find him in any sort of movie at all.
No one's really sure what caused Vaughn's career to fall off a cliff, but people have been more than willing to speculate—everything from his political views to losing his "creative spark" have been put forth as potential reasons. Whatever the real cause, it's clear we don't see as much of Vince Vaughn as we used to.
There aren't many people who would be able to rattle off every movie that Randy Quaid has ever appeared in, but most people are probably familiar with his most famous roles as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon's Vacation series and as Russell Casse in Independence Day. However, we haven't heard much from him recently, and there's a good reason for that.
From about 2009 onward, Quaid and his wife, Evi Motolanez, have had a long string of legal problems, including allegations of defrauding a Santa Barbra inn for more than $10,000 to burglary for sleeping in a home that wasn't theirs. Needless to say, no one has been itching to work with Quaid in a long time.
Sondra Locke had a career that spanned the '60s, '70s, and '80s, but she's probably most famous for her work and relationship with fellow actor Clint Eastwood. Though the two were together for 14 years, things did not end pleasantly for the couple, and Eastwood did everything he could to ensure that Locke never worked in Hollywood again.
After having over 30 movies rejected by Warner Bros, Locke found evidence that Eastwood was conspiring with the production company to keep her out of the limelight—the money they were paying her was actually laundered money from Eastwood himself. Although a jury was poised to find them guilty in a fraud trial, Locke settled out of court with both Eastwood and Warner Bros.
While most people couldn't name a single silent film, we all are at least vaguely aware of Charlie Chaplin and how became the undisputed King of the silent film era. However, he didn't just experience the highs of fame and fortune—he saw just how low you can fall in Hollywood as well.
Like several other actors of the era, Chaplin was accused of communist activities and was eventually banned from re-entry into the country by the attorney general of the United States. While Chaplin made things harder for himself by not keeping his mouth shut when it came to politics, in the '80s, it was revealed that the United States had basically zero evidence that Chaplin was actually a communist.
(Images via P.D Jankens, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; National Media Museum - Daily Herald Archive, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Hollywood is a place infamous for its rumors and gossip—it can be hard to figure out what's true and what's just tabloid speculation. However, regardless of whether or not the allegations against her are true, one thing is for certain: not many people seem to be keen on working with Katherine Heigl anymore.
Despite having critically acclaimed roles in projects like Grey's Anatomy and Knocked Up, Heigl's career took a tumble, and the most popular explanation is that she's incredibly difficult to work with—she's even been accused of the stereotypical diva move of locking yourself in your trailer! While she's made a few appearances in recent years, those roles aren't nearly as big as before the rumor mill started up about her.
People these days might only know James Woods as a Twitter user and Family Guy guest star, but he's had an accomplished and acclaimed career that stretches back to 1972 and includes everything from The Way We Were to Ghosts of Mississippi (which nabbed him an Oscar nomination).
However, he hasn't gotten an acting credit since 2013, and it probably has something to do with his excessive Twitter use. Whether you agree with his politics or not, it's clear that the man would rather be picking fights online than acting, and it seems that the rest of Hollywood has gotten the message loud and clear.
Gina Carano got her start in the world of MMA fighting, but she had some success outside of the ring as an actress in the world of Hollywood as well. Most notably, she played the role of Cara Dune on the Star Wars series The Mandalorian. However, don't expect to see her again anytime soon.
Carano found herself getting the cold shoulder from the rest of Hollywood after making an eyebrow-raising post on social media about how being Republican in Hollywood is like being Jewish in WW2 Germany. Disney fired her from the show after this, and her acting gigs have been much more sporadic ever since.
Not many actors on this list have been literally blacklisted, but that's exactly what happened to Dalton Trumbo in the 1940s. Trumbo was one of a group of writers known as the Hollywood Ten who were accused of Communist sympathies by the House Un-American Activities Committee led by Senator Joseph McCarthy.
However, his blacklisting from Hollywood didn't stop Trumbo from getting his scripts out there—it just took a little trickery on his part. During this time in his life, Trumbo wrote scripts under aliases or by using co-writers and ended up with hits like Roman Holiday and The Brave One.
Vanessa Marquez's story is not a happy one, and it involves much more than just blacklisting. Marquez is probably most famous for appearing on multiple seasons of the medical drama ER. However, that came to an end after she made unfounded allegations of harassment against multiple colleagues, including George Clooney.
In the ensuing years, Marquez struggled not only professionally but also personally with numerous mental health issues. In 2018, during a wellness check, Marquez pulled a firearm on the police and was killed by them. Bodycam footage later revealed Marquez begging the officers to shoot her.
Alicia Silverstone may be the star of Clueless, but it wouldn't have been nearly as good without Stacey Dash as her best friend Dionne Davenport. And while that may be Dash's biggest claim to fame, it wasn't her only acting hit—her credits stretch all the way back to 1985 and include things like The Cosby Show and CSI.
However, Dash isn't afraid to wear her conservative politics on her sleeve, which has led to more than a few confrontations for her in Hollywood. While she's by no means a persona non grata, her beliefs have definitely cost her jobs and made it more difficult for her to appear on our screens.
Tippi Hedren was an actress with a complicated relationship with the master of cinematic suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Despite not having an acting career, Hitchcock cast Hedren in his hit film The Birds, and it was clearly the right decision. However, things soured between the two, and eventually, Hedren found herself out of work.
Hitchcock wanted to pursue a romantic relationship with Hedren, but she declined his advances. This angered Hitchcock, and, while he couldn't get her fired from the studio outright, he made sure she didn't appear in any movies. She may have been getting a paycheck, but she struggled to be a leading lady in the ensuing years.
In the '90s and early 2000s, Jim Caviezel had a decent acting career. He didn't have many major leading roles, but he did appear in big projects like Murder, She Wrote and G.I. Jane. However, his luck seemed to turn around when he was cast as Jesus Christ himself in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.
While the movie may have been a major hit, it might not have been the best thing for Caviezel's career in the long run. After its release, the actor claimed that he struggled to find work and that many people in show business wouldn't return his calls. However, judging from his filmography, it doesn't seem like this iconic role hurt him too much.
CeeLo Green has had an amazing run as a performer and entertainer. From his hit singles like "F*ck You" and "Crazy" to TV appearances on The Voice (as well as his own show on TBS), it seemed like he was going to be a superstar forever. However, like many stars on this list, he just couldn't keep his foot out of his mouth.
In addition to saying some eyebrow-raising things about his battery case on social media, Green has had several issues in the past with showing up to his own concerts on time and delivering an entertaining experience. This has definitely hurt his career prospects, and we don't see as much of him as we used to.
Isaiah Washington got his start Hollywood in the 1990s with roles in things like Crooklyn and Get on the Bus. However, he really rose to fame when he was cast as Preston Burke in the medical drama Grey's Anatomy. However, things went south for the actor after this.
During the third season of the show, Washington had issues with co-stars T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey, which eventually led to some questionable public statements by Washington. Eventually, the studio decided not to renew his contract, and while he's worked since then, his appearances have definitely slowed down.
These days, Vanessa Williams is doing just fine and has been for years. However, early in her career, she suffered an embarrassing mishap that almost derailed all her success. In 1984, she was crowned as Miss America, making her the first African American to snatch the crown. A few months later, she resigned from her position.
The controversy ignited when Penthouse magazine published nude photos of Williams, which led to her resignation. For years after the scandal, she found it hard to find work because of her tarnished reputation. However, by the late '80s, her music career was on the rise, and she had put the embarrassing events behind her.
Since the release of 2022's The Whale, it seems like actor Brendan Fraser is on the rise again. However, he struggled for years to maintain a presence in Hollywood, and it doesn't appear that his lack of success had anything to do with his acting skills. Instead, he may have been blacklisted.
Fraser alleged that Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Phillip Berk assaulted him in 2003. After making this revelation, the actor claims that his opportunities in show business began to dry up for several years. However, in recent years, he's been appearing more and more and seems to be on the rise again.
Not many child actors were more famous in the 1980s than Corey Feldman. With appearances in hit movies like Goonies, The Lost Boys, Gremlins, and Friday the 13th, it seemed like Feldman was on track to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood. However, that all came crashing down.
In later years, Feldman claimed that his numerous and public drug problems were caused by abuse when he was a child actor. Eventually, these problems became so severe that the acting jobs stopped rolling in, and Feldman found himself out of work and blacklisted.
It seemed like Tara Subkoff was on the rise in the late '90s and early 2000s. With appearances in projects like As Good as It Gets and The Last Days of Disco, Subkoff was starting to catch the attention of fans and critics. However, things began to go south for the actress when she met Harvey Weinstein.
After Subkoff rejected his advances, she alleges that he blacklisted her, making it impossible for her to find acting work. So, she left the industry for several years to pursue work as an artist. Thankfully, in recent years she's started to make more appearances again as an actress.
Ashley Judd came from a famous family, but even that couldn't protect her from blacklisting. As the sister to country superstar Wynonna Judd, Ashley is more known for her acting skills and has appeared in projects like A Time to Kill, Where the Heart Is, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
Unfortunately, Judd was another actress who rebuffed Harvey Weinstein's advances. While he did his best to get her blacklisted (and was successful from blocking her participation in the Lord of the Rings movies), she has gone on to have more success in Hollywood in recent years.
In the 1990s, Mira Sorvino was on the rise in Hollywood. The aspiring actress had a great decade with major appearances in movies like Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Summer of Sam, and Mighty Aphrodite. Unfortunately, she was another actress blacklisted for rejecting Harvey Weinstein's advances.
This definitely hurt her career and caused her to miss out on some big-name projects like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, it didn't ruin her career entirely, and, in recent years, she's made quite a few appearances on TV and in films. It seems like she's still got a bright future in front of her.
A long and celebrated acting career wasn't enough to save Kevin Spacey from his downfall. In addition to Oscar-winning performances in films like The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, he's made appearances in hits like Baby Driver, L.A. Confidential, and Se7en. However, his career basically came to an end a few years ago.
In 2017, Spacey was accused of assaulting a then-underage actor, among another of numerous allegations. While he was found not liable by a jury for the initial allegation, he is scheduled to stand trial for another soon. Regardless of the legal implications, no one has been itching to work with Spacey since the accusations came to light.