12 Television Stars Whose Bad Behavior Got Them Fired


Ego is an epidemic that has infected Hollywood since its inception, but in the world of celebrity, not all stars are created equal, and they know it! Of course this leads to tantrums over mundane things and cat fights between cast mates. This list takes a look at the Hollywood hotshots who made the mistake of thinking they were indispensable until their bad behavior got them canned.

12. Columbus Short from Scandal

Oh the irony! Columbus Short was fired from the cast of Scandal for the scandal in his personal life. Short’s wife was granted a restraining order after he allegedly put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her and himself because he suspected her of cheating. He was arrested on a battery charge and according to TMZ had threatened to hit his wife with a bottle of wine, poured the wine all over her, and then grabbed a knife for a game called “Truth or Truth,” threatening to stab her in the leg if she lied about her infidelity. According to an interview with Access Hollywood, Short was fired because of his struggles with drugs and alcohol: “I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot, and trying to balance a 16-hour work schedule each day with a family, and I just lost myself back then.” Either way, this bad boy’s behavior lost him his role in the hit show, and certainly didn’t garner him any new fans!

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11. Suzanne Somers from Three’s Company

Suzanne Somers’s manager, husband Alan Hamel reportedly gave Suzanne the wrong advice when he encouraged her to ask for a $120,000 per episode pay raise and a share of 10% of the show’s profits. The raise was requested after Suzanne gained countless fans and accolades for her role on the show and would have put her on par with the salary of the male star of Three’s Company, John Ritter. Instead of meeting Suzanne’s demands, ABC offered her an increase of $5000, an insult that led Somers to boycott the third and fourth seasons of the show using the excuse of an old back injury. She finished the remaining season of her contract, but her air time was cut to 60 seconds per episode and featured her on the telephone. Eventually her contract was terminated and she and the network parted ways.


10. Michelle Rodriguez & Cynthia Watros from Lost

These two leading ladies were living the high life in Hawaii while filming Lost. Unfortunately, their enthusiasm carried over a bit too much and Rodriguez and Watros were both arrested for drunk driving in Honolulu in 2005. Despite the show’s denial, many rumors circulated that these arrests, along with subsequent jail time, lost these actresses their roles on Lost. Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia) and Cynthia Watros (Libby) were killed off in the same scene weeks after the incident. Watros returned in some flashback and dream sequences, but fans felt the show’s creators had made their point.

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9. Lisa Robin Kelly from That ‘70s Show

Lisa Robin Kelly played Eric Foreman’s promiscuous sister Laurie on the teen series That ‘70s Show. Kelly was rumored to have been let go after the show became concerned with her drug use. When she failed to show for rehearsals, it was reported that a couple of producers found her at her home very intoxicated on pills and alcohol. They took her to the hospital and tried to help her by providing a month’s stay in a clinic, but told her that she had to get healthy to remain on the show. Unfortunately, Kelly was unable to fulfill her end of the bargain and the show had to terminate her contract. Another actress, Christina Moore, was enlisted to take over the role of Laurie and eventually Kelly succumbed to her addiction, passing away from multiple drug intoxication while attending a rehab facility in 2013.

© 20th Century Fox Film Corp. Everett Collection

8. T.R Knight from Grey’s Anatomy

Emerging as one of Grey’s Anatomy’s brightest stars, fans were shocked to see T.R. Knight’s air time disappearing. He claims that there was a breakdown of communication between him and executive producer Shonda Rhimes that resulted in his being slowly removed from the show without so much as a conversation. Knight’s departure from the show may have been related to what is commonly referred to as “Isaiahgate.” Isaiah Washington notoriously referred to Knight as a “fa**t” in an on-set fight with co-star Patrick Dempsey. The press got a hold of the story, Knight came out, and Washington was fired; however, Knight has said that Rhimes was someone who tried to discourage him from coming out. Rhimes denies this and says she felt they could have worked out the problems they had. The truth might never come out! Regardless, the show lost a great character over some squabbling.

Craig Sjodin / © ABC / courtesy everett collection

7. Janet Hubert from Fresh Prince of Bel Air

During the third season of the classic sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel Air something strange happened to Aunt Viv: she transformed from Janet Hubert into Daphne Maxwell Reid. Apparently Hubert and Smith had a massive falling-out after NBC tried to reduce the number of episodes she’d be in and cut her salary in half. When she refused to agree to the terms (she thought Will was behind), the show let her go. According to Smith, it was Hubert’s terrible attitude that led to her firing.

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6. Jay Thomas from Cheers

Jay Thomas joined the cast of Cheers in its fifth season as Eddie, the boyfriend to Rhea Perlman’s character, Carla. He seemed to fit in with the show and its cast members, but some remarks he made regarding Rhea’s appearance may have resulted in him getting canned. While on a radio show he was asked about kissing Perlman to which he responded that he received combat pay for doing so. As the story goes, Perlman was so upset that she approached Ken Levine, a writer, producer, and creative consultant for the show, and demanded that Thomas be kicked off. Whatever happened in between, the result was same: Jay Thomas/Eddie was killed off and wasn’t asked to return. Don’t mess with the feisty ones!


5. Isaac Hayes from South Park

Issac Hayes was a staple part of the South Park series, providing the voice and vocal stylings of the ladies’ man, cafeteria worker, Chef. Hayes was a part of the show for 10 years and despite the 150 episodes that satirize everything from Christians, Muslims, Mormons, and Jews, Hayes had a ‘change of heart’ when it came to an episode that mocked Scientology. Hayes said, “There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends, and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins.” As a Scientologist himself, it seemed hypocritical to creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker that Hayes only believed the show infringed on civil rights when it was his religion that was targeted. They released Isaac from his contract after his outrage, and wished him the best.

Source: celebs.answers.com

4. Paula Deen from The Food Network

Paula Deen was canned from her role on the Food Network after a document leaked revealing the celebrity’s use of racial slurs. The leaked disposition was a $1.2 million discrimination lawsuit filed against Deen and her brother by a former employee. Within the document, Deen admitted to using the N-word several times and said that when planning a plantation-style wedding that she wanted black waiters to play the roles of slaves. Deen released two videotaped apologies before the network dropped her. The first one was strangely edited and was later removed, but the message was not enough to save her from the axe.

Source: variety.com

3. Nicollette Sheridan from Desperate Housewives

Nicollette Sheridan waited a year after her character was killed off to sue creator Marc Cherry and ABC for assault and wrongful termination. She claims that she was hit on the head by Cherry while on set and was fired upon reporting the abuse. Cherry verifies that he did in fact pat her on the head, however, it was lightly to demonstrate how she should play a scene and that the decision to write Sheridan’s character off was made prior to the “abuse.” The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence and Sheridan’s appeal was rejected. She filed a new lawsuit claiming that ABC retaliated against her for complaining about working conditions, but only time will tell what their ruling will be.

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2. Shannen Doherty from Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed

Shannen Doherty is famous for being a terrible person. This wicked witch got her butt canned from not one, but two of Aaron Spelling’s shows. In 1994, the beloved Brenda Walsh was written off the show due to Doherty’s conflicts with her co-stars, namely Jennie Garth. Jason Priestley, who played Doherty’s twin brother on the show, said in his memoir that his first memory of Doherty involved her complaining about getting a town car to go to the airport in instead of a limo. Alyssa Milano of Charmed is also said to have difficulties working with Shannen, which got Doherty booted from a successful show once again. Her exit from the show was apparently so bad that Spelling is said to have banned her from any future projects.


1. Charlie Sheen from Two and a Half Men

Charlie Sheen will always be remembered for his very public meltdown which included some frantic and incomprehensive rants, as well as the direct slamming of Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre to many media outlets. Due to Sheen’s erratic behavior, he was fired and the show had to go on hiatus, losing a reported $10 million from the unmade episodes. The show’s producers enlisted Ashton Kutcher to replace Sheen as the main character, making Kutcher the highest paid actor on television. One man’s loss is another man’s gain! Charlie went on to the show Anger Management where co-star Selma Blair claims to have been fired for complaining to executives about Charlie’s unprofessionalism…and the saga continues.

©2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc.
Katherine G

Katherine G

Katherine is the Managing Editor for Health and Parenting, but she has a soft spot for entertainment. She loves binging shows on Netflix, reality TV is a guilty pleasure, and country music is her go-to playlist. When she's not writing, she's spending time outdoors, especially with her puppy Zoey!