It’s true, celebrities really are just like the rest of us – they can say some really dumb things. Inappropriate things. At times, very hurtful things. Reading from a script is one thing – but when stars go off the page, it can lead to trouble.
Such was the case this week, when both Tracy Morgan and Russell Crowe found themselves under fire for homophobic and anti-Semitic remarks, respectively.
Now, AccessHollywood.com takes a look at some of Hollywood’s most notorious rants, comments and outbursts the stars likely wish they could take back, beginning with Tracy & Russell…
10) Russell Crowe (June 2011) – Proving that being limited to 140 characters is still plenty of room to offend a lot of people, the former “Gladiator” star unloaded a Twitter tirade, slamming the practice of circumcision. “Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect” he Tweeted. “I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies,” he added. The Aussie actor apologized, noting his “deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities,” but added, “I can’t apologize for my heartfelt belief.”
9) Tracy Morgan (June 2011) – The typically unfiltered “30 Rock” star took his off-kilter tangent a bit too far and ignited a firestorm after unleashing a slew of homophobic comments during a comedy show in Nashville, reportedly telling the audience he would stab his son if he ever found out he was gay. Tracy quickly issued an apology, calling himself “an equal opportunity jokester” but admitted his comments “went too far.”
8) Christian Bale (July 2008) – Emotions can run high on movie & TV sets, as was the case when the often-fiery Christian Bale infamously launched a verbal assault at a crew member on the set of “Terminator Salvation.” Audio recordings of the expletive-laced incident emerged in February 2009, where Bale could be heard screaming at Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut, whom Bale felt interrupted one of his scenes. The film’s director McG spoke to Access Hollywood following the incident, where he defended his star as a “consummate professional.”
7) Isaiah Washington (October 2006) – In yet another on-set incident, the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star made headlines after hurling homophobic slurs at his at-the-time “Grey’s” co-star T.R. Knight, during an argument with series star Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey and Washington clashed on October 9, when Washington fired off a shot at Knight during the fracas. Ten days later, Knight publicly confirmed he was gay. Washington later apologized for his comments, but it may have been too little, too late, as the actor was fired at the end of the season. In a later interview, Washington insisted he was “used and exploited” and that Knight (who also left the show several season later) should’ve been the one to take the fall.
6) Alec Baldwin (April 2007) – Learning that even private conversations can cause a very public backlash, “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin caught a ton of heat over a voicemail he left for his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, where he blasted her as “a rude, thoughtless little pig.” Questions of how the voicemail was leaked were raised, with a rep for the actor suggesting it was his ex-wife (and Ireland’s mother) Kim Basinger. In his apology over his comments to his daughter, Alec took a shot at Kim, as the two were embroiled in a heated custody battle. “In the best interest of the child, Alec will do what the mother is pathologically incapable of doing… keeping his mouth shut.”
5) Michael Richards (November 2006) – The former “Seinfeld” funnyman was anything but funny when he began shouting racial epithets at hecklers in the audience during a standup routine at a LA comedy club. The outburst was captured on camera and quickly went viral, prompting a wave of backlash against the man once beloved for his role as the quirky Kramer. He later apologized, saying, “I’m not a racist… For me to be at a comedy club and flip out and say this crap, I’m deeply, deeply sorry.”
4) John Mayer (February 2010) – Proving his wordsmith ways are best saved for his songs, John Mayer was forced to put his notorious tongue-wagging on hiatus after a controversial interview with Playboy magazine, in which he referred to his former flame Jessica Simpson as “sexual napalm,” used the “N-word” and described his sexual preferences as being dictated by “a white supremacist.” In standard form, John apologized, calling his remarks “arrogant” and later said his remarks were a “quest to be clever.” He took a Twitter (and essentially, an all-media) vow of silence, learning too little, too late that silence is, indeed, golden.
3) Kanye West (September 2005 & September 2009) – Hollywood’s elite gathered to raise support for the people of New Orleans in the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – yet, it was a single comment from Kanye West that stole the show, for all the wrong reasons. While paired with comedian Mike Myers during an NBC telethon, the “Shrek” star spoke emotionally of the help needed for the hurricane victims, before tossing the segment to his oft-outspoken rap counterpart who spouted seven words, which made a nation’s eyebrows raise & jaws drop – “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Five years later, the former Commander in Chief finally responded to the comments, saying “I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now.” Four years after Kanye’s comments, he once again stole the show – literally – with his infamous MTV Video Music Awards interruption of Taylor Swift.
2) Charlie Sheen (February 2011) – Where to begin with Charlie? In a rant that seemingly spanned weeks into months, the former “Two and a Half” man let the crazy fly for the first time during an interview with “The Alex Jones Show” radio program. Besides taking aim at Alcoholics Anonymous (calling the organization a “cult” and “a bunch of losers”), he attempted to call his CBS bosses’ bluff, that if he went on the attack following the decision to put the series on hiatus while Sheen was in rehab, the hiatus would be permanent. Countless rants, vats of Tiger Blood, making “winning” sound like losing and four million Twitter followers later… meet the new star of “Two and a Half Men” – Ashton Kutcher.
1) Mel Gibson (July 2006 & July 2010) – An epic fall from grace: thy name is Mel Gibson. In one brief, alcohol-fueled incident, Mel Gibson’s beloved box office icon status was forever tarnished – and was essentially erased permanently years later thanks to his violent voicemail messages to his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. After being arrested for drunken driving on July 28, 2006 in Malibu, Calif., Mel berated officers with sexist and anti-Semitic barbs, something he later admitted. In October 2006, during an interview on “Good Morning America,” he called his rant “the stupid ramblings of a drunkard.” Four years later (clearly following the Kanye rule of incremental outbursts), Mel’s mouth again landed him in hot water, this time with rage-filled voicemail messages he left for Oksana. Among the lowlights of the recordings – telling his ex it would be her fault is she were raped due to her clothing and using the “N-word” at one point.