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A form of Real Life Writes the Plot.

The Role Ending Misdemeanor occurs when an actor/presenter is fired in order to protect a project's reputation. This is usually the result of shady dealings in the performer's personal life, or because the rest of the cast simply would not put up with him/her any longer. If this person was the star of a long-running TV show, the character will probably be McLeaned.

In some cases this is done as a desperate gambit to force the rejected star into getting help for a booze or drugs problem. It rarely works.

See also Undermined by Reality, Actor Existence Limbo, Contractual Purity.

Examples of Role Ending Misdemeanor include:

Anime and Manga

  • It's been rumored for years that the character of Yuuichi Tate in Mai-HiME was not recycled into Mai-Otome because his voice actor, Tomokazu Seki, spoiled the ending of the first series and thus broke his NDA.
  • According to rumors, demands of a higher salary from Yuki Judai's voice actor (KENN) halfway through the production of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX season 4 forced him to be axed and the entire season being cut in half. It's less surprising when you figure that Judai was becoming way too over focused in the anime, enough so that a raise demand wasn't out of the question.
    • A whole arc of 5'Ds had to be rewritten after Satomi Toyohara aka Li-Mei Chiang, the seiyuu for Carly Nagisa, was discovered to be a member of a minor religious cult known as Roma Sophie Association (ロマゾフィー協会).
  • The creator of Hentai cosplay comedy manga/anime Go Go Marine-chan, Hideki Nonomura, was arrested in 2005 for sexually abusing one of his assistants over a seven month period. Apparently, he was living out his sexual fantasies in real life through the victim, since outside of Marine-chan, Nonomura's entire body of work revolved around stories about naive women being tied up and raped over a consecutive time period.
  • Aya Hirano was booted from Lantis (her music agency) after they caught wind of her affairs with her (male) co-workers. She must've realized her time was up at Space Craft (her seiyuu agency) as well due to the scandal, so she had enough foresight to pack her bags before that agency could act, voluntarily submitting her resignation effective August 20, 2011 and switching agencies the day after.
  • After one of its members made disparaging remarks about the actress Yui Horie, Jinkaku Radio was forced to disassociate themselves with the upcoming anime Daily Lives of High School Boys, which means the song "Hikizan", which was intended as the show's closing theme, will now probably never be released.
  • Norio Imamura originally played the voice of Emporio Ivankov on One Piece (the author, Oda, even commented that he made the character with him specifically in mind). But was arrested for showing off body art on the internet which in Japan is considered indecent exposure. The role wound up being recast as a result, with Mitsuo Iwata taking over.
  • A huge scandal arose when Nobuhiro Watsuki, the author of Rurouni Kenshin and Buso Renkin, was found guilty of possession of underage pornography in 2018. The RK Hokkaido arc manga (a sequel to the original one) was put on hold for almost a year as a result.
  • Regarding the second ENG dub of the Sailor Moon first anime, Christopher Corey Smith announced on Twitter that he'd play Prince Dirmando. . . and then he was replaced by Matthew Mercer as such. Rumor has that this was done because he had broken his NDA with such an announcement.


  • Possibly inverted with Robert Downey, Jr.. Reviewers often mentioned how his experience with alcoholism and drug abuse made him perfect for the role as Iron Man, the archetypal battling-with-his-own-demons superhero. Still, it was nearly impossible to get insurance for him on the role.
    • But played straight with him getting fired from his role on Ally McBeal at the end of the fourth season. The season finale had been written with his character contemplating leaving, and stating that if he were ever to leave Ally, it'd probably be with just a note. Most of the episode had been filmed when Downey was busted for substance abuse... and the writers added on a final scene with just that happening.
  • Jamie Waylett was dropped from the last Harry Potter film after being charged with cannabis possession. Instead, Blaise Zabini appears as Draco's sidekick rather than Crabbe and Goyle is killed in Crabbe's place, with Crabbe himself presumably rotting in Azkaban. Not only does he not appear in the film, but the other characters don't seem to even remember he existed at all in the film series, and in a flashback showing clips from the previous films, Crabbe was edited out.
  • This happened to David Niven, of all people. At some point in the 1930s he was carrying on a torrid affair with Merle Oberon. During this time he accompanied Oberon on a rail trip from New York City to Los Angeles, spending the entire trip doing exactly what you're thinking in Oberon's private carriage. The only problem was that the US had a law at the time called the Mann Act, which forbade the interstate transport of women for "immoral purposes." Although the law was originally intended to simplify the prosecution of pimps and pedophiles, in practice it was often used maliciously against "undesirables" such as interracial couples, foreigners, or those naughty, nasty movie stars. (Oberon and Niven would have fit all three categories). Niven later wrote that he found himself having to go to ground for a while to avoid prosecution, and lost at least half a dozen parts over the kerfluffle. Note that this was a consensual relationship between two unmarried adults, and that Oberon's career was also tarnished, although she was never targeted by the police (and, as Niven had asked, refused to speak to them).
  • Making Mr. Right features an in-universe example. A popular soap opera character is killed off shortly after his portrayer gets into a scuffle with the beloved android main character. It's implied the encounter led to the firing.
  • Megan Fox was fired from Transformers for comparing Michael Bay to Hitler, among other things. Which, considering that the film's producer Steven Spielberg doesn't particularly like casual comparisons to Nazism, wasn't that great a plan.
  • The career of film composer Dominic Frontiere (best known for films such as The Stunt Man and Hang 'Em High and TV series like The Outer Limits) was destroyed when he was jailed for a year in 1986 for scalping $500,000 worth of Super Bowl tickets (obtained from his then-wife, Los Angeles Rams owner Georgia Frontiere) and not reporting it to the IRS. After his jail sentence ended, Frontiere scored just one more film and his marriage ended as well.
  • Inverted for Robert Mitchum, who was arrested for marijuana possession in 1948, during a time when an arrest record would practically kill any celebrity's career. Instead, it helped boost his bad boy image.

Live Action TV

  • Gary Dourdan, who had been hinting that he might leave CSI, was finally written out of the show due to his personal problems; rumors that his drug charges were a direct cause are untrue.
  • After four great seasons writing and producing The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin was asked to leave his position as Executive Producer after his drug scandal leaked out.
  • Shannen Doherty's character on Charmed being killed off. Heavily rumored to have been done at the request of her co-star Alyssa Milano, as it was well known that they hated each other AND Doherty herself already had a bad fame due to her bitchy diva behaviour.
    • The writers notably included an episode where she spent most of the running time transformed into a female dog. The message was certainly on the wall... Through which Prue was then lethally thrown, making the season finale also a dropped bridge. And, given the show's universe, full of Fridge Logic, rendering all even more obvious.
  • In Eastenders, Melissa Suffield (Lucy Beale) who got sacked after being caught going into London Nightclubs underage and getting unruly drunk, her rather colorful social network sites might also have had something to do with it. The character was eventually reinstated with a new actress.
  • Sasha Mitchell's character Cody from Step by Step was Put on a Bus because of real life domestic abuse allegations from Mitchell's wife... Then it turned out that she was actually the violent one and he was trying to protect the kids — her claims were a Wounded Gazelle Gambit.
  • Glenn Quinn was removed from Angel earlier than intended because of fears that his drug habit would rub off on David Boreanaz. He died from a heroin overdose three years afterward. They really had bad luck, since the character was originally meant to be Whistler from Buffy, but that actor also had drug problems.
  • Julie Benz was removed early on from the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer in part due to tensions on set during Season 1. Alyson Hannigan has hinted in interviews that Benz was very mean towards her in particular.
  • On the Dick Van Patten show Eight Is Enough, regular cast member Willie Aames was fired because of his drinking problem.
  • Yancy Butler had to leave Witchblade because of her fondness for spirits. Since she played title character Det. Sara Pezzini, the show left with her.
  • While it had already ended production, Pee-wee's Playhouse had its reruns cut short by CBS, thanks to Paul Reubens' indecent exposure. Kinda hard to reconcile that fact with Pee Wee Herman, no matter the protests to the contrary.
    • The rumors that circulated at the time that Reubens had done it deliberately to invoke this trope and finally get rid of his career-starting but then career-limiting character didn't help matters.
  • Angus Deayton was presenter of Have I Got News for You until lurid tales of drugs and disguised prostitutes came to light. He was mocked relentlessly on the show, then booted out. Paul Merton later claimed that it wasn't Deayton's behavior itself that led to his dismissal, but rather that it would make it near-impossible for him to fulfill his role of skewering politicians and other public figures for the exact same behavior; the few episodes he filmed after the story broke suffer for that very reason. The format relies on his playing the Straight Man, and he'd become the Butt Monkey.
  • Possible subversion: Richard Bacon was dismissed from Blue Peter for doing cocaine. He has since done a lot of other, grown-up television since getting kicked off the show, even on the BBC itself.
    • Another Blue Peter presenter, Peter Duncan, was fired from the show after it was revealed he starred in a soft porn movie (he also had a role in Flash Gordon). He has since gone on to star in other children's television dramas.
      • Peter Duncan is actually an aversion — his appearance in a soft porn movie was revealed soon after he joined Blue Peter, but The BBC stood by him and he remained on the show for several years.
  • Isaiah Washington's contract to the popular show Grey's Anatomy was not renewed for the show's fourth season as a result of some offensive homophobic remarks he made to T. R. Knight.
  • Yeoman Rand, on Star Trek: The Original Series, if William Shatner is to be believed. While Grace Lee Whitney did have alcohol/drug issues, others say the removal was due to the writers not wanting a love interest for Kirk on the ship, while others claim that she was fired after threatening to expose her sexual assault by a studio executive.
  • Michael Moriarty claims that he was written off of Law & Order because of his open criticism of Janet Reno, to which NBC took umbrage.
  • Allegedly happened twice in Homicide: Life On the Street. First Brody was allegedly written out because Max Perlich had drug and arrest issues. Then, more controversially, it's been rumored that Howard was dropped because of press stories about unpleasant events involving Melissa Leo and her then ex-partner, despite the fact that she was most likely the victimized party in the situation.
    • Humorously, Max Perlich played Whistler from the above Buffy example, and was not carried over to Angel because of his issues.
  • By some accounts, Lindsay Lohan's stint on Ugly Betty was cut short due to outrageous diva behavior on her part. Other sources claim it was due to Creative Differences (if this is true, we might presume Lohan was upset that her character was set up as a Fallen Princess only to be turned into a bitch for no reason).
    • Her run-ins with the law have since become Career Ending Misdemeanors, since she's now very difficult to insure.
  • Alastair Stewart, British newsreader and host of documentary series Police Camera Action had his contract terminated in 2003 for a drink-driving offense (his second one, he'd referred to it previously in a November 1994 episode, the show's second episode) and was relegated to intro and outros in the Rebooted version of it, which was now presented by Alastair Stewart and Adrian Simpson, as of September 2007. Surprisingly, he was allowed to present the special edition episode Ultimate Pursuits in September 2007.
  • Some sources say that Lisa Bonet was exiled from The Cosby Show to the Spin-Off A Different World after doing an explicit sex scene in the movie Angel Heart.
  • Chris Langham was written out of The Thick of It, despite playing the main character. Being arrested for downloading kiddie porn will do that to you.
  • Rebecca Gayheart's involvement in a 2001 vehicular manslaughter may have contributed to her departure from Dead Like Me after 5 episodes. In that series, she played the role of a "Grim Reaper", helping the dead pass on to the afterlife.
    • According to this, Gayheart's character Betty was written out by the fifth episode intentionally, though the series creator, Bryan Fuller, had to fight with studio execs to prevent Gayheart from being replaced by another actress. If Fuller hadn't left the series early in the first season, Betty would have returned by the beginning of the second season, which is what he had intended. Once he left, the studio execs changed the plotline for the second season so that Betty would never return.
  • Julie McCoy was written out of The Love Boat after Lauren Tewes's cocaine addiction made it impossible to perform her job. It didn't help that she started making very bizarre claims to reporters, such as the claim that she could tie knots with her toes.
  • Kevin Lloyd was sacked from The Bill in 1998 because of his alcoholism. He died just a week after being made to leave the show.
  • Narrowly averted when the 5th season of Red Dwarf was put on hold for 3 years when Craig Charles' ex accused him of raping her. Production went back on once it was discovered she was lying.
  • Fictional example: The Fast Show featured the character of Arthur Atkinson, a 1940s music-hall comedian. In the last episode featuring the character, his audience walks out en masse after he makes a crude joke during a performance, and we are told his career never recovered.
  • Actor Jim Fitzpatrick, who played Pierce Riley on the U.S. soap opera All My Children was abruptly fired in early 1996 after an incident in a New York City bar which involved him groping a woman and attempting to drag her off into an empty hallway where he would no doubt have taken it further had other bar patrons not intervened. Similarly, actor Michael Nader was fired from his role as Dimitri Marick in early 2001 after a second arrest for drug use. Producers had bought his excuses for a previous arrest for drunk driving and had attempted to make allowances for him to attend rehab, but his second arrest was the last straw for them.
  • Initially played straight by actress Melissa Reeves after she quit Days of Our Lives in mid-1996. It was later discovered that her husband had walked in on her and her costar having sex in her dressing room and had demanded that she quit the show right then and there if she wanted to save their marriage. The result was a tearful early-morning phone call to the show's producers informing them that she would not be reporting to work that day or any time in the near future. After several years of considerable uproar--along with the personal fallout, Days sued her for breach of contract--not only was their marriage saved (they're still together as of April 2012), but the trope was eventually averted when she returned to the show in 2000 for six years, and returned again in 2010.
  • Regular Around the Horn panelist Jay Mariotti was summarily dropped from his position following a domestic violence arrest.
  • Frenchie Davis was dismissed from American Idol when racy pictures of her (they weren't even nude, just lingerie) were found on the Internet.
  • After boosting viewer figures for Ally McBeal, Robert Downey, Jr. was fired from the show (and his character Larry Paul written out) after being arrested for violating his parole. It soon became apparent that this was actually worse than just a Role Ending Misdemeanor as ratings went back down again and the show was cancelled at the end of the fifth season, making the parole violation a Show Ending Misdemeanor in the process.
  • Oh boy oh boy oh boy, where to begin on Charlie Sheen? Allegations of domestic abuse didn't cut it. Getting arrested and put in jail in Aspen for violating a restraining order didn't cut it. No, for him to get kicked off of Two and A Half Men, it took: Sheen getting sent to the hospital for suffering a hernia while engaging in what was, by all accounts, a coke-fueled orgy; taking a leave of absence to go into rehab, putting the show on hiatus in the process; calling up Alex Jones and bitching about the show's executive producer, his co-stars, and the higher-ups at CBS; and demanding $3 million per episode once he returned (compared to his previous salary of $1.8 million per episode, already a rather staggering amount) for Warner Bros to finally say, "Fuck it" and toss him out into the cold, killing his character (and making sure Sheen himself can never, EVER come back to the show), and replacing him with Ashton Kutcher. (Duh! Winning!)
  • Adrienne Bailon staged a fake nude photo controversy involving a stolen laptop with her agent and then-boyfriend Rob Kardashian in order to boost her fading career. Said controversy caused a cancellation of The Cheetah Girls performance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and eventually led to the Cheetah Girls just disbanding completely. Bailon's recurring character was also dropped from That's So Raven because of backstage catfights with Raven-Symoné. Raven eventually left the Cheetah Girls as well.
  • Artie Lange (from the original cast of Mad TV) was fired from the cast after season two due to his cocaine habit. A few years later, he more or less lost his job on Howard Stern's radio show for the same reason, but in that case he did get it back eventually.
  • Jessica Biel did a racy photo shoot specifically to get out of wholesome family drama 7th Heaven because she felt her squeaky-clean image was making her miss out on serious dramatic roles. It didn't quite get her fired, but it did drastically reduce her screen time.
  • Averted by Tommy Chong on That 70s Show following his DUI arrest and sentencing. The producers told him he was chosen for his role because he was a stoner when he worried about his future on the show; true to their word, his character was Put on a Bus for the duration of Chong's sentence and returned from a vacation when he was released.
  • After Mitchell Musso's DUI bust, it'll be a wonder if Pair of Kings makes it past Season 2, considering Disney's hardline stance toward reckless behavior (see the Adrienne Bailon example above).
    • It's now confirmed that the show will continue for a third series, but Musso has left and his character will be replaced with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
    • They're still letting him voice Jeremy Johnson on Phineas and Ferb though.
  • Brett Ratner resigned from producing the 2012 Oscars under public pressure after saying "Rehearsing is for fags." This led to the scheduled host, Eddie Murphy, resigning as well because he didn't want to perform without Ratner. Billy Crystal replaced Murphy.
  • A series ending one: HBO had agreed to give Luck a second season very early in its run, but then quickly cancelled it after the public relations nightmare of three horses being killed on set. However, all three were purely accidental, and something HBO was trying much harder to prevent than other producers of horse-riding TV shows.
  • Played straight and then averted with William Talman, who portrayed D. A. Hamilton Burger on Perry Mason. He was arrested under circumstances which CBS decided violated the morals clause in his contract and subsequently fired. He was found innocent at trial, however, and thanks to vigorous campaigning by his co-stars was eventually rehired.
  • Rip Torn's character on 30 Rock, Don Geiss, died of a heart attack between seasons after Torn's increasingly bizarre behavior culminated in him breaking into a bank in 2010. His character in the Men In Black franchise was similarly McLeaned in Men in Black III for the same reasons.


  • Tripp Eisen of Static-X was fired after two counts of statutory rape, the first of which he was arrested and released on bail after a few hours in custody. The second occurred a few weeks later, after he was arrested for having sex with a 13 year old after grooming her on the Internet for three months while posing as a Static-X fan. He was fired as soon as the band heard about it. More like a Role Ending Felony.
  • Being arrested for possession of cocaine is a big part of why Steven Page left Barenaked Ladies in 2009. Having it happen right before the band was about to play music from their kid's album at several Disney Music Block Party concerts certainly did not help things. (The band canceled the appearances because of this incident).
  • Just before he formed Motorhead, Lemmy Kilmister was kicked out of space rock group Hawkwind following an amphetamine bust; he has joked that he was really fired for "doing the wrong kind of drugs".
    • It's a good joke, but it was Canadian officials that denied him entry to the country, not his bandmates. This happened at the very beginning of the tour, so he let them down in a big way. On the other hand, Motörhead might not have happened otherwise, so maybe Lemmy's speed addiction could be viewed as a real-life example of a Good Bad Bug.
  • Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica for his substance abuse issues. Unlike the rest of "Alcoholica" Mustaine was a violent and angry drunk, who had started fights both on and off stage. It's rumored that the song Master of Puppets was a shot at Dave's cocaine habit.
    • In a Heel Face Turn on that issue, Mustaine would then go on to fire Chris Poland from Megadeth for stealing and selling the band's equipment for drug money.
  • Japanese group Hysteric Blue broke up after their guitarist plead guilty to being a serial rapist.
  • The Disney Channel Girl Group The Cheetah Girls broke up after Adrienne Bailon had a nude photo scandal (which wound up being a hoax) and Kiely Williams recorded a solo song about date rape.
  • Iced Earth briefly included guitarist Ernie Carletti, but before they had recorded anything with him he was arrested on rape charges and immediately fired from the band.
  • Coheed and Cambria bassist Michael Todd was fired from the band in 2011 after being charged with armed robbery of a pharmacy only a few hours before a show in Massachusetts.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins knew about drummer Jimmy Chamberlin's drug problem for some time. They tolerated it until touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin died of an overdose while taking drugs with Chamberlin in July 1996. He was fired shortly afterward, but later got clean and rejoined the band in late 1998.
  • Gidget Gein, bassist for Marilyn Manson, was fired via telegram on Christmas Eve 1993 while in rehab for his latest overdose. Rather like the Dave Mustaine/Metallica situation, this was ironic as the members of Marilyn Manson were almost all notorious drug addicts. Gein died of a fatal overdose in 2008.

Professional Wrestling

  • Happens one hell of a lot in Professional Wrestling — especially now in WWE, due to the Wellness Program. Jake "the Snake" Roberts and Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall are probably the most well-known repeat offenders.
    • Of special note here is Jeff Hardy, who originally lost his job in WWE due to his drug abuse...and was immediately snapped up by TNA. He then lost his job with TNA due to his drug abuse...and was immediately snapped up by WWE. He is now on his final Wellness Policy "strike" with them. Some people never learn.
      • Jeff Hardy was not fired by TNA because of drugs, it was because he "no showed" several events. And several months passed before he was rehired by WWE.
      • He did, however, win the World Heavyweight Championship — so he must be doing something right.
        • Bluntly put, what he did right was bring in crowds, as he is an epic piece of Estrogen Brigade Bait. Some were very relieved when he was released from the WWE not because of his poor workmanship (which was poor and increasingly declining) but because their ears would no longer bleed from the high-pitched screaming every time he showed up.
      • He was later arrested for possession with intent to distribute (based solely on the amount of painkillers, not the actual types of drugs) within a month of his contract expiring.
      • Also, it could be argued that the people who never learn are the ones who keep hiring him or any obviously issued wrestler over and over (See also Janetty, Marty).
    • While he wasn't fired for it, getting busted for marijuana possession led then ECW and WWE Champion Rob Van Dam to drop both of those titles in two days (one on Raw, the other on ECW the next night) before serving out his sixty-day Wellness suspension.
    • Eddie Guerrero was arrested for DUI in 2001 and released by WWE; five months passed before he returned to WWE. Having dealt with many of his personal demons in that period, Eddie returned to enjoy the greatest success of his career (up until his unexpected death in 2005).
  • Serena, of CM Punk's Straight Edge Society, was let go for excessive partying and drinking in public. So not only was she becoming a detriment to WWE's image and acting unprofessionally, she was contradicting the character she played.
    • However, take in mind that weeks earlier, Serena helped save CM Punk from Kane's wrath by the showing the only thing that would help clear his name: footage of her relapse. It just was legitimate this time.
  • In August 2010, Taryn Tarell (WWE Diva Tiffany) was fired after getting arrested for assaulting her husband Drew Mc Intyre.


  • After Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross left offensive messages on the answer phone of Andrew "Manuel" Sachs as part of a show on BBC Radio 2, the BBC faced so much pressure to sack them that Brand resigned from the show on his own. Ross later terminated his contract with the BBC amid speculation that he was about to have it ended for him, due to the Sachs incident and other controversies including complaints about a homophobic joke on his radio show.
    • Brand's guest-host episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks was also pushed back because of the scandal.
    • As far as Brand is concerned though, all public outcries about his behaviour have totally backfired. The complaints from the incident made up almost all the material from his next stand-up tour (which was eventually released on DVD too) and he now had enough to work with to write a second autobiography. He also became a household name in the US principally because of his controversial behaviour hosting the MTV Music Awards Ceremony (where he made fun of The Jonas Brothers' purity rings and called then president George W Bush a "retarded cowboy fella" among other things). Brand feeds off controversy like some sort of celebrity vampire.
  • From 1941-1948 C. E. M. Joad was a popular contributor to The BBC Radio show The Brains Trust, until he was arrested for the heinous crime of fare-dodging on the railway. The scandal ruined his career and may have been a contributory factor in his death five years later.
  • Australian Radio host Kyle Sandilands lost his job as a judge on Australian Idol after a lie detector stunt on his radio show revealed that a teenage girl got raped, and he responded by asking her if she had any other sexual experience. This revelation was not dumped, and hence was broadcast to Sydney listeners. Media Watch (ABC) Transcript
  • talkSPORT sacked its talk show host, Jon Gaunt, after an interview with a councillor. Gaunt wasn't keen on plans to exclude smokers from being foster parents and described the councillor as a 'Nazi' and an 'ignorant pig'. The interview was live.
  • St. Louis talk radio host Dave Lenihan made a slip of the tongue when discussing the rumor that Condoleeza Rice was interested in the position of NFL commissioner. Meaning to say that she would be a "huge boon" to the League, he slipped and instead called her a "huge coon." He immediately apologized profusely for the racial epithet, but when his show returned from commercial, it was the station's general manager speaking, revealing that Lenihan had been fired during the break.’’


  • Professional golfer Tiger Woods lost a number of endorsement deals after details of his multiple sexual affairs began coming out. Woods' brand was that of a squeaky clean, upstanding family man, and a seemingly endless conga line of mistresses coming out of the woodwork destroyed that image.
  • Similarly, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps lost many of his endorsement deals after pictures of him using a marijuana bong at a party were released. His only major sponsor that stuck with his was Nike who released a famously incomprehensible advertisement in support of him.
  • After basketball star Kobe Bryant was accused of sexual assault, he lost most of his endorsement deals, including his longtime stand as the spokesman for Nutella hazelnut spread. It's possible that his defense against the accusation — that he was just cheating on his wife — also played a part in it.
  • Pro hockey player Marty McSorley attacked Donald Brashear with his stick, resulting in a trial and conviction for assault with a weapon. The National Hockey League initially suspended him for the remainder of the season (23 games), but lengthened it to a year after the jury found him guilty. It effectively ended his career.
  • Sean Avery, then on the Dallas Stars was suspended indefinitely (and immediately) by the NHL after he made a rather crude reference to his ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert dating other hockey players. The league suspended him six games and forced him to seek anger management counselling, but the Stars effectively kicked him off the team by placing him on waivers.
  • In November 2011, longtime football coach Joe Paterno's illustrious career came to an abrupt end a week after a 10-7 win over Illinois, putting him at a record 409 wins. Paterno was fired by the Penn State board of Trustees after Jerry Sandusky was indicted for child molestation after rejecting his resignation offer. Although he reported it to his boss and the head of campus police, many people, even Paterno himself, wished that he would have done more. And that's all we'll say about this matter here.
    • Related to this, Mike McQueary, the assistant who allegedly saw it occur, waited a day to tell Paterno what happened. When this came out, there were death threats from an Angry Mob. He was soon dismissed from the coaching staff for not reporting it to authorities and possibly his own safety.
    • Athletic director Tim Curley, Paterno's boss, was a part of the cover up that also involved the head of campus police Gary Schultz and university president Graham Spanier. All three were let go. Curley and Schultz are now also facing charges.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • According to The Transformers Wiki, Chris Latta (the voice of Starscream in the G1 cartoon, as well as Wheeljack and Sparkplug) had to be bailed out of jail so often that his characters were written out of the show in the movie. He still worked on the show in minor guest spots (such as a Cobra Commander crossover and Starscream's ghost), but not as a regular.
    • Inverted in the case of the Lebanese-born Casey Kasem, who left the show in protest over the stereotypical portrayal of an evil dictator of an Arab state called "Carbombya."
  • Voice actor Greg Burson was fired from Looney Tunes in 2003 because of his struggles with alcohol. He later died in 2008 after being absent from the business for five years.
  • In his first cartoon appearance, Popeye was voiced by William Costello. However, Costello's behavior came in conflict with the Hays Code and he was booted off the role and replaced with the more memorable performance of Jack Mercer.
  • Rugrats has an in-universe example: a popular children's show host is fired after Angelica unwittingly reveals on air that she had said something extremely rude about children.
  • Likewise, The Simpsons had Bart turn the cameras on Gabbo (the puppet whose show dethroned Krusty the Klown) in time to broadcast him calling the kids of Springfield S.O.B.s across the city. Subverted when the incident makes the news and Kent Brockman tries to play it straight, but it turns out that the people of Springfield still adore Gabbo.
    • An other episode deals with Kent Brockman himself being fired after Homer accidentally pours hot coffee onto his crotch and says a word "so horrible, it could only be said by Satan himself while on the toilet." Though what gets Kent Brockman fired wasn't the swearing on live TV (that got him demoted to weatherman while Arnie Pie took over as the anchor), but allegedly having cocaine in his cup of coffee (it was actually Splenda, but his boss thought that Splenda was drug slang for cocaine).


  • Maine's Fox station used to have a pair of spokespeople for their kids' lineup: a human and a guy in a fox costume. The first human was fired on charges of pedophilia... then, eventually, so was his replacement.
  • Chat show host Robert Kilroy-Silk was fired by the BBC after penning a column in a tabloid newspaper which contained — to be as objective as possible here — willfully abusive remarks about Arabic people in general, whereupon he decided to stand for Parliament instead.
  • During part of the 1970s, the main movie reviewer for a newspaper in Nebraska was running a "teen reviewer" program. Kids/young teens would sign up with the paper to be taken to a movie by the reviewer, and would then write a review of it for publication. Then that reviewer was arrested for pedophilia, and the whole "teen reviewer" operation vanished at light speed.
  • Supermodel Kate Moss was dropped from several advertising campaigns that she was the face of after a video surfaced of her using cocaine. However, other cosmetics companies and fashion houses took up the slack and offered her deals.
  • Ben Curtis, who appeared as the "Dell Dude" in a series of popular Dell Computer commercials in the early 2000's, was dropped by Dell after a marijuana arrest. No confirmation on whether he's now a Mac.
  • Comedian Gilbert Gottfried lost his job as the voice of the Aflac Duck mascot after he posted very insensitive jokes about the massive earthquake in Japan on Twitter. Aflac does a lot of business in Japan and was not amused by his jokes about dead Japanese floating by.
    • In a similar vein, voice actor D. C. Douglas was canned by Geico after he left an insulting voicemail message for a Tea Party group suggesting that its members were mentally retarded. In retrospect, leaving his real contact info on the message probably wasn't the best idea, to put it mildly.
  • Piers Morgan was fired as Editor of the Daily Mirror in 2004 after giving the ok to print a series of photos apparently implicating a British Army unit in Iraqi prisoner abuse. Within days these were proven to be fake and he left in shame. Interestingly it seems that most of the public have either forgotten this or chosen to ignore it, as he has since become a relatively successful television personality.
    • Bizarrely, however, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't despise him. One possible explanation is that his first TV job after the incident was on Britain's Got Talent alongside Simon Cowell, where he could easily manipulate audiences to think of him as the nicer judge to Simon Cowell's judgmental bastard. (Although of course it's debatable as to whether he took on the role of the "Evil Judge". Either way, the position on the show somehow worked for him.)
  • Andy Gray & Richard Keys were fired by Sky Sports after making sexist comments about a female official's performance in a Premier League game, whilst cameras were rolling but they were off-air, only for the footage to be leaked, with more footage showing it wasn't a one time thing. They were quickly picked up by talkSPORT to host a radio show, but the damage was done.