8 Celebrities Fired For The Most Ridiculous Reasons

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There are understandable reasons for termination, and then there are some pretty stupid reasons people get fired. This is especially true in the world of entertainment where a change in hair color can cost someone a job. That is the fickle nature of the beast. Sadly, several celebrities have learned the hard way, losing jobs for various reasons, many of those reasons worthy of ridicule. That’s precisely what we’re focused on with this list. Here are eight huge names in entertainment who were fired for something rather silly.

8. Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley began his musical career in Los Angeles, but hopped to the east coast to take in all things New York City had to offer, and it was there that his fuse caught spark and he was signed to a sweet deal by Columbia Records. Just before he signed his impressive, multi-album contract, Jeff was working hard, playing solo gigs and making ends meet with a retail job at Banana Republic. Obviously, he didn’t fit the vibe of the store, his fellow employees or the frequent shoppers, and he was fired for allegedly stealing a shirt. Jeff was so distraught over what he maintained was a false accusation, he mourned for some time. The store never offered proof, but he willingly left his hourly post without incident. It was for the best. In a few short months time, he was considered the most intriguing individual in the music industry.

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7. Richard Gere

Before Richard Gere was An Officer and a Gentleman, and before Sylvester Stallone was Rocky, the two young actors were cast in a New York based film, The Lords of Flatbush. Believe it or not, Richard and Sly did not vibe. In fact, they hated one another. Some have even suggested Sylvester Stallone is responsible for the rumor about Richard and gerbil. The story goes: one day, during a lunch break on location, Sylvester was enjoying a hot dog in a car, before Richard sat down in the passenger seat with a chicken sandwich. Sly warned his co-star not to make a mess with his crumby old sandwich, and Richard promptly got mustard on Sly’s pants. Seriously. This happened. A little quarrel erupted in the front seat, then Sylvester went to the director with an ultimatum: he goes or I go. Richard got the ax.

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6. Megan Fox

Megan Fox did bite the hand that fed her when she made some pretty inappropriate remarks about her Transformers director, Michael Bay. She referred to him as being like “Hitler.” Not good. In fairness to Megan, she was over the machismo, misogynistic bull that Michael Bay is sometimes known for, so maybe she had a reason to say something. But the murderous dictator of the Third Reich? Eh. When Michael Bay heard this, he offered a swift strike with his figurative scythe, and cut Megan from the cast of Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon, which after Megan fell asleep trying to watch it, she was probably quite glad that she got canned. Should she have been privately reprimanded? Sure. But fired? That was a bit harsh.


5. Damon Wayans

Do you remember Damon Wayans on Saturday Night Live? Yeah, few people do. He didn’t even last an entire season. He is one of the few people who have truly incensed Lorne Michaels, who seems totally chill, but is a total control freak. Damon was cast as part of a sketch with his star beloved cast member, Jon Lovitz. In the sketch, Damon was supposed to play a secondary character–a police officer during a questioning session. Instead of playing the role as a straight man (comically speaking), Damon made the character effeminately gay (sexually speaking). It was completely awkward, but Damon was tired of his role on the show, and didn’t feel he was ever going to break through the glass ceiling that was keeping his pitches from making it to air. After the sketch, Lorne met him backstage and ripped into him–fired him on the spot.

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4. Anne Hathaway

Sweet Anne Hathaway. She loves to do comedy, and had the opportunity to be the star of Knocked Up before she and Judd Apatow had a serious disagreement. Anne couldn’t get into the graphic nature of the birth scene, and felt it was exceptionally obtuse following such a sweet story. Whether Judd saw her critique as offensive, or stupid, he didn’t waste any time in suggesting that maybe the two move on from working together, and he replaced Anne with Katherine Heigl. Katherine was fine in the role, but it would have been awesome to see Anne in the role. Anne is another one of those emotionally rangy gals who people really love to hate, and this would have been the perfect vehicle for such a–oh… wait…so is Katherine Heigl. At least it saved Anne from having to act romantically interested in Seth Rogen.

Gregorio T. Binuya/Everett Collection

3. Ryan Gosling

‘Member fat Ryan Gosling? He was the specific, niche fantasy of women from certain portly-appreciative cultures the world over. And yes, Ryan got chunky on purpose for his role in The Lovely Bones. How did he do it? He melted ice cream bars, and made them a daily, beverage frequency. Yeah. Gosling is odd… in all the right ways. Still, when he showed up to set, Peter Jackson–who had lost the portliness of his past–was not thrilled with Ryan’s look. The two couldn’t come to terms on who the character “was,” as Ryan maintained he looked too young without the extra weight. Ultimately, Peter said huh-uh, and he gave Ryan the thanks, but no thanks, hiring Mark Wahlberg to replace him. Mark was fine, but Peter should have loosened his hold on the reins, and met Ryan halfway. It would have been a better film.

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2. Eric Stoltz

In one of the strangest Hollywood tales to ever be told, Eric Stoltz completed weeks of filming on Back to The Future as Marty McFly before he was replaced by Michael J. Fox. Robert Zemeckis originally wanted Michael in the role, but his commitment to the sitcom Family Ties, prevented him from filming when the studio demanded Robert start production. After cutting the film together, the creative team could tell that it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t the film they envisioned. Eric was great, but he was far too serious. The jokes weren’t landing. The chemistry with Doc Brown was off. So, they called Eric in, and delivered the biggest punch to the gut imaginable. It’s easier to understand the fragile egos of celebrities now, ain’t it? Michael J. came in, shooting Family Ties during the day, and BTTF at night, and immediately, the tide turned. The film became iconic.


1. Christian Bale

Christian Bale was fired from a role he eventually played. Wanna guess what it was? You Christian Bale superfans already know the answer. For everyone else: Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Allegedly, Christian possessed a bit too sweet of a disposition as they began the rehearsal and filming process. The creative team hoped for Leonardo DiCaprio to play the role, and flash that crazed look that served him so well as a teen in The Basketball Diaries, but Leonardo exploded into another galaxy with his success from Titanic, and many feminist groups asked that he pass, and they passed on him due to the film’s potential influence on so many young women. At that point, they offered the role to Ewan McGregor, and Christian reached out to him personally, and asked him not to take it. Ewan declined. Christian was rehired. The rest is history.

Photo by Camilla Morandi/REX

James Sheldon