Just two days ago, we reminded you all of some of the major moments of weakness for a few high and low profile celebrities whose careers went up in flames with just one crazy tirade. Today we will jump right back into the shitstorm of events that ruined sput some noteworthy individuals out of work. Read on if you dare…
WARNING: Some of the language below is extremely offensive and does not represent the views of The Campus Socialite, just those of these insane celebs.
5. John Rocker
In 1999, relief pitcher John Rocker was at the top of his game. At 25 years old, he was pitching against the New York Yankees in the World Series. The following year, it all began to unravel. All because Rocker couldn’t shut his pie hole. Talking to Sports Illustrated about New York City, Rocker said, “It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark, looking like you’re riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing.” While the kid with purple hair and the 20-year-old mom with four kids are still riding the train, Rocker is no longer pitching. Rocker left baseball in 2003 and, after a weak comeback attempt, has settled in to being a non-baseball-playing racist. Seriously. He has recently launched his “Speak English” campaign, an effort to protect the English language and American traditions. Rocker’s rant was the the only rant on the list that gets the “hate-trick” That is, he fit racism, sexism and homophobia into one rant.
4. Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks were sitting on top of the country music world in the 90s. Their 1998 album Wide Open Spaces had three #1 songs and became one of the 50 best-selling albums in American history. Their follow-up album was massive as well, giving the Chicks 2 consecutive albums that sold over 10 million copies. Not too shabby. However, everything would change for the Texas trio when lead singer Natalie Maines popped off at a 2003 London concert. Between songs, Maines told the crowd, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.” The statement was made in reference to the U.S. preparation for the invasion of Iraq. While for someone like me who doesn’t listen to her or really any other country music, it seemed like a liberal thing to say, but nothing too different than what everyone was saying about Bush. Unfortunately, the people who buy her records tend to be conservative, Bush-loving America enthusiasts and the Dixies found this out when fans back home bulldozed their CDs, radio stations banned their music and concert sponsors pulled out of deals. The Chicks laid low for a few years after the damage had been done. They began a tour in July 2006 but had to cancel many shows due to poor ticket sales. Currently, their rant and the aftermath have been documented in a film called, Shut Up and Sing.
3. Howard Dean
WE STARTED WITH JIMMY THE GREEK! AND FIONA APPLE, AND TRENT LOTT, AND AL CAMPANIS, AND MEL GIBSON AND JOHN ROCKER!!! THEN THE DIXIE CHICKS AND NOW HOWARD DEAN! BYAAAAHH!!!! Vermont Governor Howard Dean was in line to be the Democratic nominee to unseat incumbent George Bush in 2004 and then he freaked everyone out with a rant so frenetic that it instantly dashed his presidential hopes. On January 19, 2004 Dean finished a disappointing third in the Iowa caucus. In an attempt to psyche his followers up at a post-caucus rally, Dean went apeshit. He screamed, “Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York …And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Byaaah!!!” With a 30% lead in the New Hampshire primary opinion polls a week before the caucus, Dean lost in New Hampshire and dropped out of the election. That’s damaging. Wherever Howard Dean goes in his political future, the “I Have a Scream Speech” will follow.
2. Tom Cruise
It’s an all too common occurrence. A pretty actor who has done the same thing for years wakes up one morning and decides that he’s not gonna be an actor anymore. He wants to be an asshole. An asshole who will champion an issue that nobody much cares about. And that’s what happened to Tom Cruise. He used a June 24, 2005 appearance on The Today Show to rant about his opposition to prescription drugs and psychiatry, a branch of medicine Cruise once called a “Nazi science.” In what turned into a Scientology lecture, Cruise told host Matt Lauer this: “Matt. Matt, Matt, you don’t even– you’re glib. You don’t even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, okay? That’s what I’ve done.” First of all, Tom, the cheapest tactic in an argument is to claim expertise in an area (such as psychiatry) and accuse the other person of “not knowing.” Cruise has never demonstrated that he has any more knowledge of psychiatry than my doorman, Javier. Second of all, shut the fuck up. Do your movies and keep your conspiracy theories to yourself and your successfully-brainwashed wife.
1. Michael Richards
And finally, the #1 Most Damaging Celebrity Rant, without question, is Michael Richards. In November 2006, Richards said to two black audience members, “Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass.” He continued, “You can talk, you can talk, you’re brave now motherfucker. Throw his ass out. He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! A nigger, look, there’s a nigger!” Why is this the most damaging? For two reasons. First, this was the most rage-filled, hateful rant of any on the list. It was directed towards people rather than being an off the cuff remark or simply not knowing when to shut up. And second, in the damage department, there is no coming back from this one. You can hire as many high-priced crisis managers, publicity agents or black people to walk around with to show you’re not racist, but as long as the Internet is still around, Michael Richards, you’re finished. After this all went down, a friend of mine told me “Michael Richards didn’t lose anything over this.” And before I could even get my “you’re crazy, he’s lost everything” out of my mouth, she made a really good point. “Kramer’s career is over,” she said, “Michael Richards never had a career.” And she was right. Michael Richards’ career was over the second after Seinfeld ended. Who are we kidding? He was never going to do anything again. So Kramer, thanks for the memories. Watching you on Seinfeld will never be the same, but you did have a nice semi-bounce back with Curb Your Enthusiasm last season.