6 Celebrities Who Were Fired After Being Accused of Racism
Amid the Black Lives Matter protests, these stars lost their jobs after being accused of racist behavior.
All over the world, people of all ages, races, and backgrounds are demonstrating in protest of the systemic racism plaguing the United States. With this energy has come a reckoning for many individuals who have been accused of making choices or voicing comments influenced by racism. And that includes some very public figures. Over the past several days, actors, professional sports players, and reality show stars have faced condemnation from their fans and employers. Keep reading to learn about six celebrities who were fired after being accused of racism. And for Hollywood stars taking a stand, here are 7 Celebs Who Shut Down Racist Comments on Social Media.
Glee and Scream Queens star Lea Michele seems to have made quite a lot of enemies in Hollywood. While several of her costars, including fellow Glee cast member Heather Morris and Broadway actor Gerard Canonico, criticized her for diva-like behavior, several Black performers who worked with Michele claimed that the way she treated them was not only mean but racist as well. The outpouring of stories (and gifs) flooded Twitter after Samantha Ware, who appeared on the last season of Glee, quoted Michele's tweet about George Floyd and accused her of making her time on set "a living ****" through "traumatic microaggressions."
Michele posted an apology on Instagram, saying that her behavior was not a result of judging "others by their background or the color of their skin," but she has still lost work in the wake of the conversation. Hello Fresh, a meal delivery service for which she's appeared in commercials, tweeted that they do "not condone racism or discrimination of any kind" and thus, "ended their partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately."
Abby Lee Miller
Abby Lee Miller rose to fame when the dance studio she founded became the setting of the Lifetime reality series Dance Moms. Recently, Adriana Smith, the mother of one of her students, claimed in an Instagram post that Miller—despite posting a black square on Instagram signifying solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement—had made racist comments to her and about her daughter, Kamryn, during filming. "I know you grew up in the hood with only a box of eight crayons," she recalled the coach saying, "but I grew up in the country club with a box of 64—don't be stupid."
Miller issued an apology on Twitter, which Smith told Entertainment Weekly she didn't accept as it "was not sincere." Lifetime had planned to spin Dance Moms off this summer into a socially distanced series called Abby's Virtual Dance Off, but it's now been canceled ahead of its debut, as first reported by EW. Lifetime also announced that Miller would not appear in the upcoming season of Dance Moms. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Twitter users found and exposed past racist, homophobic, and misogynistic tweets from The Flash actor Hartley Sawyer, which led to him being fired from The CW superhero show, as revealed by The Hollywood Reporter. Showrunner Eric Wallace released a lengthy statement on Twitter, saying that Sawyer's tweets "broke [his] heart" and made him "mad as h***." Star Grant Gustin shared the statement, adding that "words matter." Sawyer apologized on Instagram, claiming that the tweets were "meant with an intent of humor" but that he is "ashamed [he] was capable of these really horrible attempts to get attention at that time."
MTV's competition reality show The Challenge lost a competitor when Dee Nguyen—also an alumnus of the British answer to Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore—was fired from the show for since-deleted tweets about George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. ("Idk why some of u think I’m anti BLM. I’ve been saying that since the day I lost my virginity," she wrote in one. And replying to a post about Floyd, Nguyen tweeted, "People die every ******* day.") The upcoming season of The Challenge (which includes Nguyen) will air as planned, MTV and the production company announced, but she won't be a part of the reunion or future shows.
Nguyen apologized first on Twitter, then released a longer statement to US Weekly. "What was stated wasn’t meant to be hurtful or discriminatory in any matter. It was a knee jerk of a reaction and it’s certainly not the way that I feel nor what I meant," it reads, in part. And if you want to learn more about the history that lead to BLM, check out 13 Documentaries About Race You Need to See If You Haven't Yet.
Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute
In an Instagram Live conversation with MTV's Floribama Shore star Candace Renee Rice, former Vanderpump Rules cast member Faith Stowers revealed that former costars Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute once reported her to the police as a prank, because they thought she resembled a Black woman wanted for robbery. (Both Schroeder and Doute had previously spoken about the incident in joking terms.) Though both women issued apologies on their social media accounts, Bravo issued a statement on Tuesday revealing that they—as well as fellow Vanderpump Rules stars Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, who both had racist tweets resurface—had been fired.
After aggressive and troubling social media posts made by his wife, professional soccer player Aleksander Katai "mutually agreed" to leave the LA Galaxy. According to CNN, Tea Katai posted a call for Black Lives Matter protestors to be killed, as well as an insensitive meme about looting on her Instagram, both of which have since been deleted. On his Instagram, the player said that the views expressed by his wife were not shared by him or "tolerated in [his] family." A day after their initial statement condemning the "racist and violent" posts, the team announced that Katai would no longer play with them. And if you want to read more about the U.S. and racial injustice, check out These Are the Books Everyone Is Buying Right Now.