It is every actor's dream to land a high-paying steady gig on a hit small-screen series. Yet, these actors who hated their TV shows made their negative feelings known to the whole world. Sometimes it resulted in the actor getting fired, and other times it just really messed up their career. Check out these television actors who publicly dissed their own hit shows.
Katherine Heigl totally bad-mouthed Grey’s Anatomy when it was one of the most popular shows on television. Robert Reed hated The Brady Bunch so much that he would sometimes leave the set in order to drink. Angus T. Jones implored people to stop watching the comedy series Two and a Half Men even though the teenager was earning $350,000 per episode.
Which actor could not stand their character on Lost? Which actor blamed their show for breaking up their family? Which actor took to Twitter to express their disappointment after their sitcom got picked up for a sixth season? Find out the answers to all those questions and more below.
- Photo: ABC
Evangeline Lilly played island hero Kate Austen on Lost for six seasons. Her true feelings about her character and the show came to light on a 2018 podcast called The LOST Boys.
“I always thought she was obnoxious,” the Canadian actor said. “I mean, not at the beginning. At the beginning, she was kind of cool, and then as the show went on, I felt like she became more and more predictable and obnoxious. I felt that my character went from being autonomous - really having her own story, and her own journey, and her own agendas - to chasing two men around the island, and that irritated the sh*t out of me.”
Lilly became frustrated with the lack of Kate's character development. One of her main points of contention was that she felt her role became too focused on the love triangle involving Kate, Sawyer (Josh Holloway), and Jack (Matthew Fox). Her growing disappointment even led her to "throw scripts across rooms when I would read them because I would get very frustrated by the diminishing amount of autonomy that she had, and the diminishing amount of her own story that there was to play.”
I wanted her to be better, because she was an icon for strength and autonomy for women, and I thought we could have done better than that. I think we did well. I think I tried very, very hard to take what I was given and always find the way to [show] her strength, find the way to have her own thoughts and opinions and ideas, and to take moments that I thought might be a bit whiny and somehow make them not whiny.
- Age: 41
- Birthplace: Fort Saskatchewan, Canada
- Photo: CBS
Mandy Patinkin played FBI special agent Jason Gideon on the police procedural Criminal Minds for two seasons. Then, he decided he couldn't take it anymore and unexpectedly quit the show.
"The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place... I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year," explained Patinkin. "It was very destructive to my soul and my personality."
Patinkin thought that quitting the series would be career suicide. He said, "After that, I didn't think I would get to work in television again."
Thankfully for the veteran actor, the biggest role of his career was yet to come. In 2011, Patinkin signed on to play CIA agent Saul Berenson on Homeland. The actor remained on the Showtime series for its entire eight-season run.
- Age: 67
- Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
- Photo: CBS
Angus T. Jones, the "half" part of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, not only dissed the show that made him rich and famous, he told people they should stop watching it. In 2013, after the show experienced its roller-coaster soap opera ride with Charlie Sheen, Jones created a whole new controversy for the heads at CBS.
In a video for the Christian group the Forerunner Chronicles, 19-year-old Jones went after the series:
Jake from Two and a Half Men means nothing. He is a nonexistent character. If you watch Two and a Half Men, please stop watching Two and a Half Men. I'm on Two and a Half Men and I don't want to be on it. Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. People say it’s just entertainment. Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch.
If I am doing any harm, I don't want to be here. I don't want to be contributing to the enemy's plan... You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't. I'm not okay with what I'm learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show.
At the time of his remarks, Jones was making $350,000 per episode. The actor tried to take back his comments just 24 hours later. He left the comedy for good in 2013 but returned for the series finale. The show continued on without him for two more seasons. Jones has since said that he was considering a return to acting.
- Age: 26
- Birthplace: Austin, Texas, USA
- Photo: ABC
In 2007, Katherine Heigl won the Primetime Emmy Award for best supporting actress for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on the medical drama Grey's Anatomy. The following year, Heigl removed herself from the Emmy ballot.
“I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention,” the actress reported in a written statement. “In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials.”
Her public proclamation enraged the show's writers and producers, especially its showrunner and creator Shonda Rhimes. Grey's Anatomy was at its peak of popularity in the mid-2000s. Heigl's Grey's contract expired in 2010, and she was subsequently written off the show. Rhimes said in 2014 that she learned a valuable lesson from the whole Heigl debacle and enacted a "no a**holes policy" on the set of her drama series Scandal. "There are no Heigls in this situation... I don't put up with bullsh*t or nasty people. I don't have time for it," said Rhimes.
- Age: 37
- Birthplace: West End, Washington, D.C., USA