5 Big Celebrities That Crashed and Burned
Our society has created celebrities in practically every aspect of our culture. Just think of any discipline, and there are big-time stars associated with that discipline.
As to how famous and how ‘big’ a particular celebrity has gotten depends on the girth of their discipline. For instance, a popular vocalist is always more significant than a popular bowler. This is no offense to the bowler; it’s just that the vocalist is exposed to many more fans.
Some celebrities fall extra hard
Regardless of the discipline and its size, we fans are the ones who create these celebrities. And it’s quite fascinating to observe how some of these big-time stars react to their celebrity status.
Even more fascinating is how some seem to think they can behave in any fashion without repercussion. As indicated in the list below, such assumptions often backfire. Perhaps a little humility would have changed the outcome.
Everyone knows JK Rowling for creating perhaps the most famous literary character over the last few decades. Her ‘Harry Potter’ character is a celebrity in his own right — both on the pages of her delightful books and on film.
JK Rowling had earned the love and adoration of the entire world after releasing her entertaining and creative stories. And it seemed that she could do wrong — that is until a few years ago.
Here slide off the mountain of fame began in 2007, when she announced at a public event that Albus Dumbledore, a significant character in her Harry Potter books, was gay. Initially, this news was met with considerable acclaim, although some questioned why this fact wasn’t made clear in her books.
Some years afterward, the play ‘Harry Potter & The Cursed Child’ cast a black woman to play Hermione Granger. Rowling applauded this choice and claimed that her book never specified whether Hermione was white or not. This claim turned out to be untrue and was rapidly debunked by fans.
Rowling’s big downfall came in 2020 when she went on a publicized Twitter rant against the transgender community. Her words polarized many people, causing hundreds of celebrities (even those from the Harry Potter movies) to publicly denounce her comments. The backlash against Rowling was overwhelming and has made her one of the most disliked people in the world.
Roseanne Barr is someone that everyday Americans could relate to, and because of this, she became quite popular. One of the reasons for this was her famous sitcom ‘Roseanne,’ which was a fantastic success in the 1990s — even after the show ended.
When it was announced that the show would get a tenth season, fans were overjoyed after a 21-year hiatus. The new premier broke records for ABC as some 18 million viewers watched. Unfortunately, this triumph was very short-lived.
It was May 29, 2018, right after the tenth season ended, when Barr posted a criticized racist tweet directed at President Barack Obama’s former senior advisor Valerie Jarrett. The tweet had compared Jarrett to an ape and immediately created a furious backlash in just hours.
As a result, Barr’s entire legacy was destroyed. The ‘Roseanne’ revival was canceled within hours, and she lost everything. Barr tried to apologize afterward for her tweet, claiming that she’d taken Ambien when writing it, but then Ambien manufacturer Sanofi responded by tweeting that “racism is not a known side effect of the drug.”
It is hard to imagine Kathy Griffin used to be a respected comedian in America. She made a name for herself in the 1990s with her standup comedy routine along with parodies of music videos and other events in pop culture.
While being somewhat of a Hollywood outsider who likes to think outside of the box, Griffin had constructed a unique image over the years. But this all changed for her in May 2017.
This was when she posted on social media a bloodied and disturbing image of herself holding a figure of President Donald Trump’s decapitated head. American photographer Tyler Shields took this photo, and it generated an instant uproar throughout the nation.
Even Trump’s most verbal critics denounced Kathy Griffin for posting such an image to the entire world. Many people compared it to things that terrorists had done in the past.
In just a few short hours, only rubble was left of Griffin’s career. She was promptly dismissed from all of her projects, and her standup comedy tour was canceled. Despite countless apologies and pleas on social media, Kathy Griffin has never recovered from her reckless decision to post that image.
R. Kelly was a prominent figurehead in the Hip-Hop craze of the 1990s and early 2000s. He played a big part in redefining the entire R&B genre. By the time he turned 31, he had earned countless top hits, Grammy Awards, and a Guinness World record. When it came to music, Kelly was a real force, and his talent was recognized worldwide.
But this all changed in the blink of an eye when accusations of sexual abuse, human trafficking, and racketeering begin to surface against him. These rumors pushed him out of the spotlight for a few years.
Kelly’s downfall took place in 2019 when he got indicted for some 18 charges for various sexual deviances. Those included charges like child pornography, pedophilia, and kidnapping, among others.
Kelly’s alleged offenses have been detailed in a popular six-part documentary called ‘Surviving R. Kelly.’ The piece revealed that Kelly operated a sex cult in his home, where underage girls were detained and enslaved for his perverse pleasure.
The evidence against him was so overwhelming that he was incarcerated in a Chicago prison in July 2019. Despite surviving several savage attacks from other inmates, he has been denied bail.
By now, everyone is somewhat familiar with the #MeToo movement. The last person on our list was the reason for this massive movement.
The fall of Harvey Weinstein led to its inception. When his past activities were slowly brought to light, it generated a typhoon of outrage — most of it coming from the mainstream media and hundreds of mighty people. The grievances against this man stretched across many cultures and ended several iconic careers throughout the world.
Weinstein had been among the most successful and influential of all movie producers in Hollywood. His influence was so strong that anyone defying him resulted in career suicide.
As it turns out, he was using his power to force himself on countless women. Several insiders were aware of his escapades but were too afraid to speak against him — for fear of repercussion.
Finally, some 87 women stood together to take him down. And fortunately, their combined power was more than his.
For nearly three long years, Weinstein stood by as his massive empire slowly crumbled away. Then on February 24, 2020, the final blow was dealt when he received a 23-year prison sentence. The Harvey Weinstein saga has become the icon of ‘Riches to Rags’ stories.
Raven Smith. (June 12, 2020). J.K. Rowling’s Transphobic Tweets and the Erosion of the Harry Potter Franchise. https://www.vogue.com/article/jk-rowling-transphobic-tweets-harry-potter-franchise.
Ellis Clopton. Roseanne’ Canceled After Star’s Racist Tweets. https://variety.com/video/roseanne-canceled-racist-tweets/.
Kate Coyne, Dana Rose Falcone. (August 01, 2019). Kathy Griffin Reveals She Never Considered Leaving the U.S. After Trump Photo Scandal. https://people.com/tv/kathy-griffin-never-considered-leaving-us-trump-scandal/.
Jason Newman. (October 23, 2017). Surviving R. Kelly: Former Girlfriend Alleges Abuse. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/surviving-r-kelly-118608/.
BBC.com. (May 29, 2020). Harvey Weinstein timeline: How the scandal unfolded. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-41594672.