Stars who were sacked for shocking reasons

Sam Ashurst
Contributor
(Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP - AP Photo/Maya Hitij - Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)


Miley Cyrus is no stranger to controversy, but last week’s bizarre revelation that she was allegedly fired from the Hotel Transylvania franchise for licking a penis cake was on the weirder end of the shock scale.

It made us wonder, what other stars have been ditched from their gigs for (very) unusual reasons? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and what follows is a collection of sackable offences you’re probably not going to have to worry about in your office job.

Kathy Griffin - decapitating the President

Comedian Kathy Griffin (C) cries during a news conference in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

When Kathy Griffin decided to do a shoot with controversial photographer Tyler Shields, she probably expected the photos to go a bit viral. They did (and then some), causing a significant backlash, but went even further than that - straight to the White House.

The photographs depicted Kathy carrying the bloody, decapitated head of President Trump, which was seen as a direct threat against the US honcho.

A federal investigation by the Justice Department was opened, Trump reacted, and Griffin was fired from her hosting job at CNN.

Griffin later apologised, saying she’d ‘crossed the line’ in a now-deleted tweet, but went on to retract her statement.

“I'm confronted on the street almost on a daily basis,” Griffin said. “I'm getting more and more people that are nice and come up and say ‘Keep fighting the fight’ and stuff. But you know I'm the darling of Fox News.”

Jamie Waylett - cannabis possession

Jamie Waylett, actor in the Harry Potter films, leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, after he pleaded guilty to growing 10 plants in tents at his mother's home. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Jamie Waylett played Draco Malfoy’s henchman Vincent Crabbe in the first six Harry Potter films. Why didn’t he appear in the seventh? Because he was busted for growing Mandrakes… Sorry, cannabis plants in his home.

The production said Expelliarmus to his contract, and he left the franchise.

Read more: 10 film stars who were fired on-set

Waylett pleaded guilty to growing 10 cannabis plants and production of the class B drug, and was ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid community work.

Steve Whitmire - defending Kermit’s honour

Muppet character Kermit the Frog poses during a photocall promoting the movie 'The Muppets' in Berlin, January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas Peter (GERMANY - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

Of all the reasons to get fired on this list, Steve Whitmire is probably the most admirable.

In 2017, when told by the producers of The Muppets TV show that Kermit was going to lie to his nephew Robin, Whitmire put his foot down and said ‘no,’ reasoning that Kermit would never fib to his friends.

He refused to negotiate and the production was held up.

He should know what Kermit would and wouldn’t do - he’d been operating the character since 1978, taking over from Jim Henson as the voice of the beloved frog after Henson’s death.

Disney called his actions "overly hostile and unproductive" and claimed to have the backing of the Henson family.

“The decision to part ways was a difficult one which was made in consultation with the Henson family and has their full support,” the company said in a statement.

While it must have been a tough situation for Disney to deal with, and we understand their reasons for doing what they did - passionately sticking up for a hand puppet is still a pretty cool way to lose your job.

Megan Fox - comparing Michael Bay to Hitler

Actress Megan Fox gestures as she accepts the award for Sci-Fi siren for her role in "Transformers" at the Spike TV's "Scream 2007" show at the Greek theatre in Los Angeles October 19, 2007. The show premieres on Spike TV on October 23. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES)

Woah boy. Of all the things to do when you’re in a Steven Spielberg produced franchise, comparing your director to the person who conducted the holocaust is probably right at the bottom of the list. In fact, it’s such a bad idea, it’s probably not on the list at all.

But that’s what Megan Fox did when style magazine Wonderland asked her about working with Michael Bay.

“He’s like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he’s a nightmare to work for but when you get him away from set, and he’s not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he’s so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all.”

Fox was sacked, with Bay laying the blame at Spielberg’s feet. "You know the Hitler thing? Steven (Spielberg) said, fire her right now."

Bay doesn’t seem to have held a grudge, casting Fox as April O’Neil in his Ninja Turtles reboot.

Thomas Gibson - kicking his boss in the shins

Actor Thomas Gibson who stars in the television series 'Criminal Minds' poses during a photocall at the 51st Monte Carlo television festival in Monaco June 8, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (MONACO - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

Now, while we massively admire actors with passion, sometimes that dedication can go a bit too far.

Gibson so fervently believed that his character Special Agent Aaron Hotchnor wouldn’t say a certain line on popular FBI show Criminal Minds, he decided to kick a producer in the shin rather than utter the dialogue.

At least, that’s what the rumour-mill says, Gibson has his own take on what transpired.

“We were shooting a scene late one night when I went to Virgil and told him there was a line that I thought contradicted an earlier line,” Gibson said. “He said, ‘Sorry, it's necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.’”

Gibson says he went back to set and was sharing Williams’ response with his castmates when Williams entered the room.

“He came into that room and started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg,” Gibson recalls. “If I hadn’t moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologised the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home - and I never got to go back.”

Gilbert Gottfried - joking about Japan

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried arrives with a duck at the Webby Awards in New York June 14, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ANIMALS)

Gottfried is renowned for his shocking sense of humour, with his career in comedy being based on a whole bunch of offensive jokes. He’s also known for his distinctive voice, which is how he got hired as the voiceover artist for a talking duck in a regular series of adverts for American insurance company Aflac.

The comedian started playing the chatty duck in 1999, but was fired in 2011 after a series of incredibly ill-judged (now-deleted) tweets.

Read more: Miley reveals why she was fired from Hotel Transylvania role

Following the tragic earthquake / tsunami in Japan, Gottfried made several jokes on the social media service about the disaster, including: ‘Japan called me. They said 'maybe those jokes are a hit in the U.S., but over here, they're all sinking.’

What Gottfried probably didn’t realise was that Aflac gets 75% of its business from Japan, making it the top foreign insurance company in the country. Gottfried was fired, and replaced by a similar sounding vocal artist.

Richard Gere - spilling mustard on Sylvester Stallone

Actor Richard Gere strapped into execution chair for scene in Sam Shepard's play Killer's Head. (Photo by Martha Holmes/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Of all the entries on this list, this one sounds the most made up. But Richard Gere really was fired for spilling mustard on Sly Stallone’s thigh during the filming of the 1974 movie The Lords Of Flatbush. Don’t believe us? Here’s the story straight from Stallone.

“We were rehearsing at Coney Island and it was lunchtime, so we decided to take a break, and the only place that was warm was in the backseat of a Toyota.”

“I was eating a hotdog and he climbs in with a half a chicken covered in mustard with grease nearly dripping out of the aluminum wrapper. I said, 'That thing is going to drip all over the place.' He said, 'Don't worry about it.' I said, 'If it gets on my pants you're gonna know about it.'”

“He proceeds to bite into the chicken and a small, greasy river of mustard lands on my thigh. I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car. The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers and to this day seriously dislikes me.”

So, lesson learned, if you want to keep your job, don’t eat a sandwich anywhere near Stallone’s legs.