Ah, 2017: another year, another crop of celebrities who screwed up and ruined what was left of their reputations. For some reason, 2017 has truly been the year of disappointing celebrities showing their true, unflattering colors. Has Mercury been in retrograde for an entire year? While it’s possible that that the stars aligned to create these falls from grace, it’s more likely that these disappointing famous people have always been awful and the world is just now finding out about it. Some of these stories kind of feel like a sucker punch to the gut by someone you used to admire.
2017 has also seen a slew of corporate social media fails proving how great the divide is between regular people and huge companies (but also how powerful social media can be) as well as a huge sex scandal surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Other famous falls from grace of 2017 include celebrities who broke custody agreements, celebrities who let down their fans, and celebrities who are straight-up creeps. It's a long list, so if you need a self-care break just look at some cute photos of baby animals or giant anteaters just to remind you of how wonderful life can be. One creep, though, won’t be included on this list. Even though he’s the absolute worst, Donald Trump's fall from grace began long before trash year 2017. Keep reading and prepare to lose your faith in the concept of celebrity. Then, if you still seek more disappointment, see which celebrities messed up in 2019.
In October, more than 60 women began to tell their stories about Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulting them while claiming that he could help their careers. The stories range from harassment to rape and include big names such as Cara Delevingne, Rose McGowen, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Lupita Nyong’o, Weinstein was immediately kicked off the board of the Weinstein Company and has been banned from the Producers Guild for life. Meanwhile, victims' stories just keep coming.
On November 9, the New York Times published an article in which five women went on the record saying Louis C.K. masturbated in front of them. Rumors about the comedian's behavior had circulated for years, with C.K. always denying them. Following the Times piece, however, he publicly acknowledged the truth of all the women's stories.
In 2017, famous YouTuber PewDiePie, Felix Kjellberg, lost a deal with Disney's Maker Studios when he placed antisemitic comments throughout his videos. A few months later Kjellberg let loose with an awful racial slur while livestreaming a Firewatch session. The game developer behind Firewatch filmed a DMCA take-down notice against Kjellberg.
After posting a picture of herself pretending to cut off Donald Trump's head in the summer of 2017, Kathy Griffin hired and fired a lawyer, then went on a tirade where she posted Harvey Levin from TMZ's phone number. Griffin earned a retaliatory tweet from the POTUS himself, and CNN has replaced her as Anderson Cooper's New Year's Eve cohost this year.
No list of complete 2017 celebrity fails would be complete without at least one Trump. Daughter of Donald and CEO of eponymous clothing and shoe line, Ivanka Trump faced a social media backlash against her conflict of interest in running a business while assuming unofficial political duties at the White House. Department stores Nordstrom's and Neiman Marcus went so far as to pull her clothing and shoe lines in February, reportedly because of poor sales. She's also faced criticism in 2017 for insensitive comments as well as her book, Women Who Work, which Slate described as "exploiting" feminism.
Tarantino was a longtime collaborator of Harvey Weinstein's, having worked with the producer for more than two decades. After news of Weinstein's pervasive sexual assault was made public, Tarantino denied having knowledge of the whole thing. Days later, he admitted that he knew about it the whole time. He told news sources, "I knew enough to do more than I did." Fellow celebs are now speaking out against him.
The singer was accused by three people of having giving them herpes, including a pregnant woman who claimed that she contracted the STD after she'd hooked up with the singer in a spa. She filed a $20 million lawsuit against him but then dropped the suit in October after she was dropped by her lawyer.
Steve Harvey began 2017 by making an awful joke about Asian men, essentially questioning why anyone would find them attractive. Then the ratings for his talk show which premiered in September went down the drain after he openly met with Donald Trump. He claimed, "'Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life. I should have never gone up there." But he did.
Even though he's been friends with Gwyneth Paltrow since the 90s, Matt Damon claimed that he knew about her sexual assault at the hands of Harvey Weinstein yet continued to work with the producer. Damon released a statement where he said that he thought Paltrow and Weinstein "had come to whatever agreement or understanding."
Comedian David Cross was called out by fellow comic Charlyne Yi for being awful and racist to her the first time they met. Yi wrote on Twitter:
“I think about the first time I met David Cross ten years ago & he made fun of my pants (that were tattered because I was poor). Dumbfounded I stared at him speechless and he said to me ‘what’s a matter? You don’t speak English?? Ching-chong-ching-chong.’”
Multiple women exposed the former guitarist for Real Estate and current Duck Tales frontman's history with sexual misconduct. He had multiple tour dates canceled due to the news, and his label, Domino, dropped him.