18 Times Celebrities Put Their Whole Entire Foot in Their Mouth
Nobody’s perfect, and putting too much pressure on people for what they say and how to say it usually doesn’t contribute to their self-improvement.
While we shouldn’t expect too much out of people, sometimes the things people do aren't great and can't be taken lightly. And when celebrities have a slip of the tongue, it’s publicized for the entire world to scrutinize.
Once this strikes, celebrities’ attempts at controlling the situation are nearly impossible despite possessing privilege and money out the wazoo. That being said, some celebrities could use a jolt of reality from the media that what they did is not okay.
Here are 30 times celebrities paid for saying the wrong thing (instead of nothing at all).
Actress and CEO of lifestyle brand Goop Gwyneth Paltrow could fill up pages and pages of a foot-in-the-mouth article of her own. Take her utter failure attempt at the 2015 #FoodBankNYCChallenge that she deemed an impossible challenge. Yeah, it’s pretty hard living off of $29 in food stamps if your pantry essentials include black licorice and seven limes.
At this point, it’s hard to take her seriously, and most people have given up trying. Twitter user @ZachIsWeird commented, “Don't Worry, Poor People: Gwyneth Paltrow Is Here to Show You How to GOOP Your Food-Stamp Benefits.”
According to The Washington Post, “The idea is to experience how difficult it is for families to live on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” but Paltrow barely lasted four days, which called into question how hard she really tried. “My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget,” the actress wrote on goop.
“After this week, I am even more grateful that I am able to provide high-quality food for my kids. Let’s all do what we can to make this a basic human right and not a privilege.” At least Paltrow’s self-proclaimed “brouhaha” brought awareness to a good cause.
During an interview on The Graham Norton Show, wisecracking actress Jennifer Lawrence told an anecdote that bristled feathers in terms of cultural insensitivity. “There were… rocks — I dunno, they were ancestors, who knows — they were sacred,” said Lawrence about her time filming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Hawaii.
“And you’re not supposed to sit on them… I, however, was in a wetsuit for this whole shoot – oh my god, they were so good for butt itching!”
Not only did she disturb the peace for locals, but viewers of the show couldn’t help but point out her white privilege, with Twitter user @MrPooni dubbing it “The whitest story ever told.”
She took to Facebook for a brief public apology: “I meant absolutely no disrespect to the Hawaiian people. I really thought that I was being self deprecating about the fact that I was ‘the curse,’ but I understand the way it was perceived was not funny and I apologize if I offended anyone.”
Former boyband member Justin Timberlake has multiple incidents to apologize for: first with the highly publicized breakup between him and Britney Spears, and two years later in 2004 when he inadvertently ripped off part of Janet Jackson’s costume during that year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. In both cases, Timberlake shrugged off the controversies, garnering about 10% of the blame for each. And for the women?
Spears was accused of cheating, without help from Timberlake’s simmering music video “Cry Me A River” featuring a Spears lookalike. And Jackson was cut from her performance at the Grammys under accusations that she’d manufactured “Nipplegate” for publicity.
Timberlake admitted to MTV in 2006 that Jackson suffered more in the aftermath of the fashion fail. “I think America is harsher on women. I think America is unfairly harsh on ethnic people.”
He apologized to Britney Spears, alongside Jackson, on his Instagram February 12, 2021, writing, "I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism… I specifically want to apologise to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”
Call Me By Your Name star Armie Hammer was just another Hollywood heartthrob until Instagram account @houseofeffie shared screenshots in early January of explicit DMs ranging from 2016-2020 allegedly exchanged between the actor and countless women.
This isn’t another harmless scandal we’ll forget about in March; shocking implications of infidelity, abuse, and cannibalism have left Hammer with criticism up to his eyeballs. Ex-girlfriend Courtney Vucekovic corroborated claims of his cannibal fantasies, telling Page Six that he “wanwant[ed] to break my rib and barbecue and eat it.”
At this time, Hammer’s abandoned multiple projects, including Shotgun Wedding, and been dropped by his agency. He’s denied most allegations against him, offering no apology except for this bitter statement to People...
“I'm not responding to these bulls--- claims, but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic. Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I'm grateful to them for that.”
After nearly two decades of hosting The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and their respective spin-offs, Chris Harrison is stepping aside. Fans accused Harrison of defending historical racism after images of Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell emerged from her college days at an antebellum-themed party, posing with Confederate flag merchandise, MAGA propaganda, and Blue Lives Matter imagery.
In an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, Harrison attempted to deflect Lindsay’s concerns with racism by shielding Kirkconnell. "Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there's a big difference," said Mr Harrison, going on to reiterate that he isn’t “the woke police.”
In an ever-developing situation, both Harrison and Kirkconnell have issued apologies on their Instagram pages, with Harrison going twice as far in posting two apologies to satisfy unhappy audiences. In the first apology, he emphasized a “promise to do better,” but many were left unimpressed.
A few days later, he posted, “I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike,” going on to say, “by excusing historical racism, I defended it.” He’s chosen to temporarily step aside as Bachelor host on top of skipping the “After the Final Rose” special.
Surprise (not)! Kanye made the list, and there are plenty of foot-in-the-mouth situations to pick from for the rapper. From claiming that George Bush “doesn’t care about black people” during Hurricane Katrina to dubbing himself “Yeezus,” West’s shame is nonexistent.
While those controversies are interesting, we’ll never forget him storming the stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMA’s.
He stole the mic from T-Swift (after starting the night with a bottle of Hennessy in hand), shouting, “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!”
More than a decade later, fans from each camp still haven’t gotten over it, especially after Kanye slandered her in his song “Famous” and kickstarted Twitter’s nasty #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty campaign.
Hudgens isn’t the only celebrity to make light of the international pandemic, which isn’t surprising given the cringefest “Imagine” cover orchestrated by Gal Gadot and a slew of bushy-tailed celebrities. In comes Ellen DeGeneres.
On April 6 in a video set in her California mansion, the talk show host compared quarantining there to prison life. "One thing I've learned from being in quarantine is that people — this is like being in jail, is what this is," DeGeneres joked. "It's mostly because I've been wearing the same clothes for 10 days, and everyone in here is gay."
While it’s obvious that the second half of the statement made her joke obvious, fans couldn’t help but roll their eyes at a celebrity complaining about quarantining from a Montecito mansion. Twitter user Rebecca Kavanagh commented, “People are literally dying in jail from COVID-19 while Ellen is out here making jokes about it.”
It does not look like she’s issued an apology since the incident
Vanessa Hudgens sparked outrage from fans in early 2020 with an insensitive Instagram live video. “Even if everybody gets [COVID-19], like yeah, people are going to die,” Hudgens said, “which is terrible... but inevitable?”
Her video released as the onset of the pandemic loomed with many being hospitalized, laid off, and barred from family members.
In the days following the wildfire spread of the video across the internet, people called out the High School Musical actress for her heartless comments. At first, Hudgens targeted viewers for misunderstanding what she said, and then she backtracked into a full apology on Twitter.
“I realize my words were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation our country and the world are in right now. This has been a huge wake up call… I’m sending safe wishes to everyone to stay safe and healthy during this time.”
The Wallen controversy set off a deep-dive into the racism of the country music industry, and Luke Combs isn’t spared.
Old photos of Combs posing in front of Confederate flags and similar imagery landed him in the news for racial insensitivity, to which he’s acknowledged his part in perpetuating the toxicity of racism in the industry.
“There is no excuse for those images,” singer Luke Combs told Maren Morris and Ann Powers during the 2021 Country Radio Seminar in mid-February.
“As a younger man, that was an image that I associated to mean something else. And as I’ve grown in my time as an artist, and as the world has changed drastically in the last five to seven years, I am now aware how painful that image can be to someone else.”
Tom Holland has become the biggest lovable liability for the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the past five years. He’s spilled so many film secrets that Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch kept watch over him during an Avengers promotional tour.
From leaking the title of Spiderman: Far From Home to shouting “I’m alive!” to an entire theater of people who hadn’t yet seen the twist ending of Infinity War, Holland has a plethora of foot-in-the-mouth moments to choose from.
Luckily Holland is one of the few unproblematic celebrities, and his trend of spoiling films doesn’t qualify him to suffer under Twitter’s ravenous hordes. He’s an excitable goofball and that’s about the extent of it.
Funnily enough, Holland and Ruffalo—referred to as the “Spoiler Bros” by fans—were left off Endgame’s press tour, with the director tweeting the following: "Missing you @TomHolland1996 and @MarkRuffalo this from last year boys? Sorry we dusted you Tom. Had a blast with @chrishemsworth this year.”
Ariana Grande is crowned the new “Princess of Pop” with the domination of hits “god is a woman,” “thank u, next,” and “34 + 35.” Despite these amazing options, she chose “7 Rings” for tattoo artist Kane Navasard to memorialize on her palm.
We all know the story… both artists failed to realize that the Japanese read “small charcoal grill” instead of Grande’s chart-topping song.
After merciless mocking on Twitter, Grande sheepishly commented on the slip up in a now-deleted tweet: “Indeed, I left out '???,' which should have gone in between. It hurt like f*** n still looks tight..." To remedy the mistake, she stuck more Japanese to the end with a cheeky heart. Too bad quick fixes rarely solve anything...
Now, Grande has to live with a palm tattoo that reads “Japanese barbeque fingers” until it fades. There’s a reason our language teachers banned Google Translate in the classroom!
Rita Ora has a few controversies under her belt, with the most embarrassing amounting to fake claims of a Twitter hack. In a stunt to get fans hyped about her new music release in October 2014, Ora tweeted, “Dropping my new song monday if this get 100,000 retweets.”
Unfortunately, her 4 million-strong Twitter following only managed to pull 2,000 retweets, leaving Ora defeated enough to delete the post.
Just an hour later, Ora claimed her account was hacked and that “somebody is threatening to release new music I've worked really hard on.”
Despite these claims, fans doubted that it was reality. Perhaps the star should’ve stuck to the “nothing comes out until I'm ready” story the whole time.
Cee Lo Green
Forget you, Cee Lo! This versatile vocalist has had major slips of judgment that have cost him roles on The Voice and his reputation. The “Crazy” singer pleaded no contest to allegations that he slipped ecstasy into a woman’s drink and was subsequently placed on probation with 360 hours of community service.
Upset by the public backlash, Green tweeted, “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously, so WITH implies consent. People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”
Green was never charged with rape, but his sexist rant skyrocketed criticism against him threefold. He quickly backtracked, promising that he regretted his “comments being taken so far out of context,” as he’d “never condone the harm of any women.”
Before deactivating his account entirely, Green tweeted one last apology: “I truly and deeply apologize for the comments attributed to me on Twitter. Those comments were idiotic, untrue and not what I believe.”
Back in 2009, pre-Bangerz Miley Cyrus landed in a racism row with OCA Asian-American advocacy group over a snap capturing her and some friends mimicking “slanty-eyes” in front of Asian fans. The gesture is obviously culturally insensitive, but Cyrus felt like the backlash was overblown.
Writing on her official fansite of the time MileyWorld.com, she said, “Well, I'm sorry if those people looked at those pics and took them wrong and out of context! In no way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face. When did that become newsworthy?... I feel like now that Britney is back on top of her game again, they need someone to pick on!”
According to USMagazine, OCA was not impressed by the apology, citing Cyrus’s actions as setting “a terrible example” for her young fans. Cyrus issued another apology soon after that was more heartfelt than her initial deflection.
"I really wanted to stress how sorry I am if the photo of me with my friends offended anyone. I have learned a valuable lesson from this and know that sometimes my actions can be unintentionally hurtful.” She almost took full responsibility in that one!
50 Cent isn’t exactly held to the highest standard of morality. One look at his song “Straight To The Bank” and we know he isn’t one to take political-correctness seriously. But sometimes he goes way, way too far.
Once he replied to a fan on Twitter saying, "yeah just saw your picture fool you look autistic. I don't want no special ed kids on my time line follow some body else.” Fans demanded an apology, but doubted they’d ever get one.
Surprisingly enough, 50 Cent managed to scrounge up some sorrow for his shocking words. “I realize my autism comments were insensitive,” he wrote, adding, “however it was not my intention to offend anyone and for this I apologize.”
Unfortunately, the rapper doesn’t seem to have learned much, having been called out for ableism multiple times since the incident in 2010.
It’s well known that Grey’s Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington was suddenly written off the show in 2007, and it all boils down to a terrible foot-in-the-mouth situation. In an argument with co-star Patrick Dempsey, Washington allegedly dropped a homophobic slur directed at actor T.R. Knight, who came out as gay shortly after.
During an interview on Ellen, Knight said, “I think when that happened, something shifted, and it became bigger than myself."
Washington denied that he was calling out Knight with the “f-word,” but repeatedly used the slur backstage at the Golden Globes, prompting an apology from the disgraced actor. “I can neither defend nor explain my behavior,” Washington said in a statement reported by People.
“I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I’ve asked for help.” Needless to say, ABC gave a hearty “goodbye!” to Dr. Burke.
Rising country star Morgan Wallen, with his wispy mullet and No. 1 album, has been the darling of Tennessee since his time competing on The Voice. So when a drunken video of Wallen spewing slurs and n-words released on February 2, 2021, the country music industry split.
Once his label Big Loud Records suspended him and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) barred him from the ACM Awards, country fans had a collective meltdown.
Some fans purposely streamed his music to break the top 10 on U.S. charts, others complained of the “double standards," and fellow country singers deflected blame from themselves with claims that Wallen’s words aren’t representative of all country music.
In a video apology to TMZ, Wallen appears to understand the weight of his words, saying, “I’m embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
Kendall Jenner isn’t the first white celebrity to launch their own tequila brand, but she seems to be the first to attract a ton of negative attention for it. We won’t dive into the gender politics of the situation, but her status as an ultra-rich socialite part of the Kardashian-Jenner clan only count as strikes against her for critics.
The model announced on Instagram in early 2021 that the launch of her four-years-coming tequila brand 818 (named after the Calabasas, CA, area code) was coming soon… but not everyone was thrilled.
The company’s Instagram page @drink818 claims that the drink is “hand-crafted tequila from Jaliso, Mexico.” That’s good news for the quality of the product, but terrible in terms of cultural appropriation and gentrification of minority-run businesses.
Her “journey to create the best tasting tequila” sparked outrage from people pointing out that she’s profiting off another person’s culture, history, and labor.