The 10 Most Career Damaging Moments In Pop Culture

This summer, an emailed leaked from the White House revealed that pop sensation Ariana Grande (real name Ariana Grande-Butera) had been struck off the bill at a Presidential gala because of that time she licked a load of donuts without buying them and said, “I hate America”.

President Obama must really love donuts – or America, whichever – because the email read: “Ariana Butera-video caught her licking other peoples’ donuts while saying she hates America. Republican Congressman used this video and said it was a double standard that liberals were not upset with her like they are with Trump who criticized Mexicans; cursed out a person on Twitter after that person used an offensive word towards her brother.”

That’s a shame for Ariana, but it was probably worth it for just one lick of those delicious donuts. Ah, and she’s not the only celebrity to take a career hit after doing something that was probably, in retrospect, a bad idea. Behold! The 10 most career-damaging moments in pop culture.

Tom Cruise

“I’M IN LOVE!” Yes, Tom Cruise famously appeared on Oprah in 2005 and revealed that, yes, was very much with Katie Holmes off of Dawson’s Creek, which made him literally jump for joy on Oprah’s soft furnishings. He and Katy later married and divorced, but the impact on the actor’s career was more for lasting. His behaviour raised more than few eyebrows and he was dropped by Paramount after 14 years, news that probably didn’t make him jump for joy on Oprah’s sofa.

Michael Jackson

Like, there were quite a few career damaging moments in Michael Jackson’s career, but the time he dangled his baby from a balcony at the Adlon Hotel, near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, was a biggy. The press were already calling him “Wacko” at the time and this did nothing to help.

Charlie Sheen

Once the highest-paid actor on television, Sheen was fired from Two And A Half Men and embarked on a deranged media campaign in which he claimed to have “tiger blood” and insisted that he was no “bi-polar” but was, in fact, “bi-winning – I win here and I win there.”

Britney Spears

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“If Britney could make it through 2007, you can make it through this day.” So goes the popular meme, which recalls the time Britney Spears beat up a car with an umbrella and shaved her head in front of a load of baying paps. She bounced back with the truly awesome album ‘Blackout’ later that year.

Mel Gibson

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Ol’ Mel has yet to bounce back from that time he made anti-Semitic remarks to a police officer in Malibu in 2006. He hasn’t had a hit since – and that doesn’t like likely to change for the daft Braveheart star any time soon.

Hulk Hogan

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Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan similarly made racist remarks in 2007. “I am a racist, to a point,” he said, neatly clarifying his position on the matter. A videotape of the comments didn’t surface until last year, when he was promptly fired from WWE. The organisation said: “WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.” Damn straight.

Natalia Kills and Willy Moon

Mad one, this. Two people who are not even very famous got a bit big for their boots, said some mean stuff and were never heard of since. Married couple Natalie Kills and Willy Moon (she looks a bit like Jessie J, he sounds a bit like DJ Otsi) were judges on X Factor New Zealand and were well nasty to poor contestant Joe Irvine. Kills inexplicably accused him of copying Moon’s style – in which case every man with hair, a face and some clothes is equally guilty. For his part, Moon said: “I feel like you’re going to stitch someone’s skin to your face and then kill everyone in the audience”. It’s possible they thought they were being funny, but were savaged on Twitter and promptly sacked from the show. Remember: it’s nice to be nice.

Robin Thicke

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Everyone already thought the R&B singer was a bit creepy because of his rapey hit ‘Blurred Lines’, but then he was photographed appearing to grope a woman who was not his wife (now ex-wife) and his fate was sealed.

Azealia Banks

No-one’s saying ‘212’ is anything but a stone-cold banger. But at this stage it looks like Azealia Banks’ music career is unlikely to recover from the time she made racist remarks about Zayn Malik on Twitter. Still, it’s rumoured she’s set to appear on Celebrity Big Brother, so there’s that?

Winona Ryder

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In the long run, Winona’s indiscretion arguably made her even cooler. Her supernatural drama Stranger Things is all anyone can talk about right now, but the actress wasn’t always in such demand. She was arrested in 2001 for attempting to shoplift $5,000 worth of clothes from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverley Hills and her career was on hiatus between 2001 and 2005. Yet now those ‘Free Winona’ t-shirts people wore at the time of her trial are cult items.