33 Celebrities Who Have Been Caught Being Racist

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This is a list of celebrities who have been caught being racist. The following famous people landed in hot water after making a racial or anti-Semitic slur, posted a stereotypical photo, or Tweeted negative comments about a race other than their own.

The gallery below doesn't necessarily include racist celebs or notorious bigots, but mostly well-known stars of film, TV, and sports who have caused controversy because they didn't use a filter to prevent themselves from offending other people. Whether they were joking or not at the time, there is nothing funny about the hurtful words, offensive pictures, or tasteless Twitter posts that almost cost these celebs their careers. For some, like former leading man and acclaimed filmmaker Mel Gibson or culinary legend Paula Deen, making racist remarks have truly ruined their reputation.

Racism is a huge problem all over the world and in the U.S. – race relations, discrimination, and racial stereotypes are constantly hot topics of conversation. Hate crimes are increasing, and just because words can't physically hurt another human being, the pain inflicted on someone with a hateful racist remark and slurs can often be worse. 

Most of the celebs in the quotes gallery below are stars who were caught being racist have either said something racist on stage like comedian Michael Richards, made a crude racial remark on an interview like singer and songwriter John Mayer, caught on tape in an angry voicemail like Charlie Sheen, or posted an offensive photo on Twitter, like pop stars Rihanna and Miley Cyrus. Almost everyone of these celebrities, actors, and athletes, like football player Riley Cooper and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., have issued some sort of apology for what they said, but the public doesn't easily forget. Who are the most shocking celebs caught being racist? Check out the gallery below and be sure to also visit Ranker's lists of celebrities who have declared bankruptcy and people Amanda Bynes has called ugly


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  1. In response to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's outrageously racist positions on immigration, The View co-host Kelly Osbourne had her own not-so-PC things to say. Osbourne was probably trying to refute the politician when she said, “If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?”

    Unfortunately, her words also came across as racist and inconsiderate. The comment sparked outrage on Twitter, prompting an apology from Osbourne. She wrote on her Facebook page, "I want to start by saying I ALWAYS take responsibility for my actions. In this particular case I will take responsibility for my poor choice of words but I will not apologize for being a racist as I am NOT. I whole-hearted fucked up today. I don’t want to bullshit anyone with lame excuses."

    Source: Time

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 31
    • Birthplace: Westminster, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Fashion designer, Songwriter, Television producer, Author, Radio personality, + more
    • Credits: Austin Powers: Goldmember, The Osbournes, Dancing with the Stars, Life as We Know It, So Undercover, + more
  2. Hulk Hogan (whose real name is Terry Bollea) lost his super star status in the WWE after court documents showed that he had made severely racist statements. The transcripts were submitted to a Florida court as part of Hogan's lawsuit against the website Gawker.com. They come from a sex tape Hogan made with the wife of Tampa shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, and include candid moments where Hogan discusses his daughter's relationship with a "black billionaire." In the tapes, Hogan says:

    “I don’t know if Brooke was f*cking the black guy’s son. I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n*ggers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever. I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player! I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n*gger.”

    Hogan later apologized for his rant, but it was too late for his relationship with the WWE. He was scrubbed from their site and erased from the WWE Hall of Fame. 

    Source: Gawker, Radar

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 62
    • Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States of America
    • Profession: Wrestler, Television producer, Entrepreneur, Musician, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: Rocky III, Gnomeo & Juliet, No Holds Barred, WWE Raw, Muppets from Space, + more
  3. Ranker Video v

    E! Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic publicly apologized for her "accidental" racist comments about singer/actress Zendaya during an Oscars red carpet recap. Rancic made an insensitive comment about Zendaya's dreadlocks, saying that she thought Zendaya probably smelled like patchouli oil. Fellow host Kelly Osbourne added, "or weed."

    Zendaya was offended by the comments,
    saying that she chose to wear her hair in locs to the award ceremony in order to "showcase them in a positive light, and remind people of color that our hair is good enough."

    Rancic apologized on E! News, saying: "I didn’t intend to hurt anybody, but I’ve learned it is not my intent that matters. It’s the result. And the result is that people are offended, including Zendaya, and that is not okay. Therefore, I want to say to Zendaya and anyone else out there that I have hurt, that I am so, so sincerely sorry.”

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 41
    • Birthplace: Naples, Italy
    • Profession: Journalist, Television producer, Actor, TV Personality
    • Credits: Malibu's Most Wanted, Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, E! News, Ready for Love, Fashion Police, + more
  4. Ranker Video v

    Originally filmed for Bieber's 2011 documentary Never Say Never, Bieber is sitting in a room in Los Angeles with a group of friends. Bieber sets the joke up when his friend can be heard in the background, advising him not to finish the joke, before Bieber smirks and delivers the punchline. 

    Bieber received a lot of backlash from his fans, Beliebers, on Twitter. One fan said, "Bieber is actually disgusting. Man's gone too far this time." Another one posted: "Bieber – no excuse, no acceptable reason for racism. The use of the N-word [is] disgraceful and racism far too serious to ever be funny."

    Since then, Bieber's clean-cut appearance has gone bad boy, getting himself into trouble with the police and disappointing fans all over the world.

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 21
    • Birthplace: London, Canada
    • Profession: Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, Singer, + more
    • Credits: Men in Black 3, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, School Gyrls, Justin Bieber's Believe
  5. In 2014, LA Clippers owner, business magnate, and real estate developer, Donald Sterling was caught making racist remarks to his mistress, V. Stiviano. Stiviano, who is of African-American and Mexican descent, made a recording, released by TMZ on April 26, in which Sterling tells her not to associate publicly with “black people,” especially at Clippers games.

    NBA investigators and a forensic expert determined that the voice heard on the audio tape was Sterling's and was not altered. The NBA banned him for life, fined him $2.5 million, and raised the possibility of a forced sale of the team, which could be worth up to $500 million.  

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 81
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Lawyer
  6. No one can forget Mel Gibson telling a policeman during his 2006 DUI arrest that "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." In 2010, several voicemails were released of the hot-headed actor and filmmaker going postal on his ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva. In one of his rants, Gibson wished that his ex got raped by a pack of the "n" word and in another, he referred to Mexicans as "wetbacks."

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 59
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Peekskill
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, Pocahontas, The Passion of the Christ, Mad Max 2, + more
  7. The butter-loving queen of Southern cooking practically lost her business empire and was fired by the Food Network after she was caught in the middle of a racially charged controversy in 2013. Deen admitted to using the "n" word and was accused by a former employee of racial harassment.

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 68
    • Birthplace: Albany, Georgia, United States of America
    • Profession: Cook, TV chef, Restaurateur, Author, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Elizabethtown, Iron Chef America, Paula's Home Cooking, Paula's Party, Paula's Best Dishes, + more
  8. During a 2006 performance at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, the former "Seinfeld" actor shouted racial slurs to black hecklers in the audience, used the "n" word several times, and even referred to lynching.

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: Culver City, Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting, + more
    • Credits: Seinfeld, Coneheads, Bee Movie, So I Married an Axe Murderer, UHF, + more
  9. In 2013, a video surfaced of NFL player Riley Cooper using the "n" word to describe bouncers after he was denied backstage access at a Kenny Chesney concert. The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver has since apologized for his slur and was fined an undisclosed amount by his team.

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 28
    • Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America
    • Profession: American football player
  10. Sheen's 2008 voicemail to Denise Richards contained the actor caling his ex-wife "a coward an a liar and a "f*cking n*gger alright, so f*ck you." You're a coward and a liar and a f-cking n-gger alright, so f-ck you."

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Platoon, Two and a Half Men, Being John Malkovich, Major League, + more
  11. The boxer disrespected Filipinos after racially attacking opponent Manny Pacqiao on ESPN. In 2012, Mayweather went after basketball star Jeremy Lin with a Tweet that said, "Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he's Asian."

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 38
    • Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Actor, Athlete, Professional Boxer
    • Credits: Dancing with the Stars, Ridiculousness, 24/7, The Next Great Champ, Life in the 310: Vol. 3
  12. During a 1971 interview with Playboy, the legendary actor was quoted as saying, “I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 72 (1907-1979)
    • Birthplace: Winterset, USA, Iowa
    • Profession: Businessperson, Film Producer, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: The Searchers, The Longest Day, Stagecoach, True Grit, Rio Bravo, + more
  13. Danson appeared in blackface at a 1993 Friar's Club comedy roast in honor of his then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg. The actor made extensive use of racial stereotypes (including eating a watermelon) and used the "n" word more than a dozen times.

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 68
    • Birthplace: USA, California, San Diego
    • Profession: Activist, Film Producer, Author, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Saving Private Ryan, Cheers, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Ted, Creepshow, + more
  14. In a candid interview with Playboy in 2010, John Mayer admitted, "My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a f*ckin' David Duke cock."

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 38
    • Birthplace: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Guitarist, Comedian, Musician, Singer-songwriter, + more
    • Credits: I Love the '90s, John Mayer Has a TV Show
  15. During a 2011 Twitter war with actor and TV host Nick Cannon, Handler posted a stereotypical photo of a can of grape soda and demanded that Cannon drink it.

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 40
    • Birthplace: Contiguous United States, Livingston, United States of America, United States, with Territories, + more
    • Profession: Television presenter, Comedian, Television producer, Model, Screenwriter, + more
    • Credits: This Means War, Hop, Chelsea Lately, Are You There, Chelsea?, + more
  16. Before meeting fellow NBA star Yao Ming in 2003, Shaq said, "Tell Yao Ming, Ching chong-yang-wah-ah-soh."

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 43
    • Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Profession: Basketball player, Rapper, Television producer, Real estate entrepreneur, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: Grown Ups 2, Jack and Jill, He Got Game, Scary Movie 4, Good Burger, + more
  17. In a series of Tweets posted in 2011, Baldwin mentioned Kanye West and Jay-Z's song "N*ggas in Paris," which set off a firestorm of backlash against the "30 Rock" star.

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Amityville
    • Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Author, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Simpsons, The Departed, Beetlejuice, 30 Rock, Pearl Harbor, + more
  18. An excerpt from Neil Strauss's book Everyone Loves You When You're Dead, Paris Hilton was quoted as saying, "I can't stand black guys. I would never touch one. It's gross."

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 34
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Fashion designer, Businessperson, Television producer, Entrepreneur, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: Zoolander, House of Wax, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Wonderland, The Cat in the Hat, + more
  19. The film critic made headlines for a 2011 post on Twitter about the story of Huckleberry Finn. Ebert Tweeted, "I'd rather be called a N***** than a Slave."

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 71 (1942-2013)
    • Birthplace: Urbana, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Film critic, Journalist, Television producer, Screenwriter, Author, + more
    • Credits: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Life Itself, Up!, Who Killed Bambi?, + more
  20. The singer posted a racist photo directed towards Chris Brown's Vietnamese girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, that referred to her as "rice cakes." There was also a line on the remix track "Birthday Cake" (a duet recorded by Rihanna and Brown) that alluded to Tran's race.

    (Source)

    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 27
    • Birthplace: Saint Michael Parish, Barbados
    • Profession: Fashion designer, Songwriter, Actor, Music artist, Singer
    • Credits: Battleship, Home, Styled to Rock, Styled to Rock
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