It seems like there’s plenty of tension among certain coworkers in just about every workplace, and the entertainment industry is no exception. Naturally, not every pair of co-stars or co-anchors will work well together, but usually you just work around that somehow. Some people, however, can’t deal with being around their work foe. In fact, several celebrities have hated their co-stars so much that they made it their personal mission to make sure they never had to work with them again.
So, for anyone who’s ever wondered why a star suddenly gets written out of a show or why someone suddenly decides to leave a project, there’s probably more to the story than simply “creative differences.” Sometimes a celebrity holds enough clout to have another star canned and uses his or her powers to do so. Here are 15 celebrities who made it their personal vendetta to get their co-stars fired.
15. Matt Lauer and Ann Curry
Just like many celebrities, Matt Lauer has had his share of ups and downs throughout his career. Yet, while most people in show business seem to ride a roller coaster that is constantly going up and down with bouts of good and bad, Matt’s ride has been more like a freefall. For two decades, he seemed to be a media powerhouse that nobody could bring down. Then, after recent accusations of “inappropriate sexual behavior,” the empire he built collapsed before his eyes and NBC terminated his contract.
In hindsight, it’s easy to look back and pick up on clues that might have proved he had his way in other areas around the workplace, in particular with Ann Curry’s exit from the Today show. Brian Stelter revealed in his book Top of the Morning that there was a whole plan to get rid of Ann (they called it “Operation Bambi”) and Matt was in on it the entire time. The plan succeeded, but we’d say Ann is getting the last laugh now.
14. Kevin James and Erinn Hayes
Even after a popular TV show goes off the air, it’s still great to see two former co-stars together. For example, everyone loved when Matthew Perry guest-starred on Cougar Town opposite Courtney Cox. It gave Friends fans fond memories of Chandler and Monica. The same thing happened recently when Leah Remini guest-starred on Kevin Can Wait, which stars Kevin James. The pair worked together on King of Queens and that chemistry was still there. Fans reacted so well to Remini’s guest spot that the showrunners made her a regular for Season 2. Oddly enough, that change also included killing off Kevin’s wife from Season 1.
Kevin James said that the show needed that plot change to push through a second season. Leah was cast as a former work partner, but we all know there will be an eventual love interest, thanks to Kevin being newly widowed. Unfortunately, some fans aren’t too happy with the way he booted off Erinn Hayes to get the plotline he wanted.
13. Sharon Osbourne and Leah Remini
Speaking of Leah Remini, not everyone loves her as much as Kevin James. In particular, we’re referring to Sharon Osbourne, lead host of The Talk. Sara Gilbert is actually the executive producer, but Sharon still has a lot of creative control on the show. Leah was a guest host on the show, but Sharon didn’t care too much for how she acted on-screen. Leah, along with guest host Holly Robinson-Peete, was booted off the show and many believe it was all because of Sharon—including Leah. She even took to Twitter to say that Sharon thought she and Holly were “ghetto” and “not funny.” Leah also said that Sharon used her power on the show to have them taken off of the hosting table. Sharon denied that these claims were true, but her actions on the show proved otherwise.
12. Charlie Sheen and Selma Blair
Everyone vividly remembers Charlie Sheen going officially crazy with his “winning” streak and, as a result, getting himself fired from Two and a Half Men. Even though he went off the deep end, some networks were still looking to capitalize on his celebrity, which is how he was offered a role in a new show, Anger Management. Charlie reportedly acted like himself (which was not a good thing) on the set of this FX show, as reported by co-star Selma Blair. She disliked his behavior so much that she decided to go over his head and complain about it to the executives in charge. Charlie heard about the complaints and decided to use his powers to put a stop to it. He threatened to quit the show if Selma wasn’t fired. This time his temper tantrum worked—Selma was terminated and replaced by Laura Bell Bundy.
11. Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf
A decade ago, Shia LaBeouf was known as the star of the Transformers franchise. Nowadays, he’s more known for his protests and weird hairdos than he is his acting. It also appears that protesting isn’t the only place he channels his hot-tempered energy. Back in 2013, he was cast in the Broadway play Orphans, alongside Alec Baldwin. The two clashed from day one, but it all came to a head when Shia went off on Balwin. According to Alec, Shia attacked him in front of everyone during a rehearsal and accused Alec of slowing him down. After that incident, Alec talked to the stage manager in private, basically offering up an ultimatum—he’d walk if Shia wasn’t let go from the cast. The production chose to stick with Alec and granted his request by firing Shia from the project.
10. Steven Spielberg and Megan Fox
Shia LeBeouf isn’t the only Transformers star to be fired from an acting job. Even worse than Shia, perhaps, Megan Fox was actually fired from the alien robot franchise, which was her breakout role. This time, it had nothing to do with Shia and everything to do with director Michael Bay, who she nonchalantly compared to Hitler in an interview. She also compared him to Napoleon and said he was socially awkward. Those comments would come back to haunt her, as they led to her getting fired from the third movie. Michael Bay didn’t take the comments to heart, but executive producer Steven Spielberg did find them offensive. He advised Michael to fire Megan and she was replaced by model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, just before filming started for Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
9. Shonda Rhimes and Patrick Dempsey
We’ve learned that someone with the power of Steven Spielberg merely has to say the word to get his or her way in Hollywood. And if Steven is the king of making movies, Shonda Rhimes is the queen of creating television series. After all, she’s created, written and/or executive produced several hit series, including Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. So, it should make sense for her to call the shots on all of those shows, even if fans disagree with her decisions.
Much like Kevin James saw fit to kill off his wife on Kevin Can Wait, Shonda shocked TV viewers when she made the decision to kill off Dr. McDreamy from Grey’s. Fans were not happy, as was evidence by the #ShondaRhimesRuinedMyLife petition that circulated on Twitter. Many people speculate that he was fired from the show by Shonda, but why he was left remains even more of a mystery. It’s been rumored that he had an affair with an intern and also that he was hard to work with. Whatever the reason, Queen Shonda reigned supreme.
8. John Stamos and the Olsen twins
When Fuller House was announced, many people got all giddy at the thought of a Full House reunion with their favorite family, the Tanners. The only thing that seemed to be missing from this reunion was the Tanner twins, AKA the Olsen twins. These sisters didn’t want to take a break from their fashion empire to break back into acting, even if it meant rejoining their former TV family.
The one most hurt by not having the twins around was good old Uncle Jesse. That makes sense, as he always had a soft spot for these young ladies, right? Wrong. As a matter of fact, John Stamos is to blame for the Olsen twins getting fired for a while. Nobody would know it now, but in the beginning, he hated working with them because they were so whiny. At his request, they were replaced. The less-attractive redheads who took their place didn’t work either, so producers decided it was best to get the Olsen girls back and work around their crying.
7. Bill Cosby and Lisa Bonet
Aside from Full House, another family favorite television show airing during the ’80s and ’90s was The Cosby Show. Long before Bill Cosby was in and out of the news for sexual assault allegations, he was the star of his own sitcom, playing the part of a respectable family man. Back then, he also thought an actors’ real-life behavior should emulate that of their wholesome characters. One actor who failed at this was Lisa Bonet, who appeared nude in photos and movies, got married to rock star Lenny Kravitz and pregnant with daughter Zoe, all while in her teens. Bill didn’t want this to reflect badly on the family-friendly hit TV show, so he gave her the boot. Since he was Bill Cosby and it was called The Cosby Show, he had the power to kick off anyone he wanted.
6. Will Smith and Janet Hubert
If we’ve learned anything from Kevin James and Bill Cosby, it’s don’t mess with the star of a show, especially if the title of the show includes his or her namesake. Will Smith was younger when Fresh Prince of Bel-Air became a hit, but he was still the star. According to Janet Hubert, who played the original Aunt Viv, Will is responsible for her being replaced on the show. She also claims that he ruined her career and refuses to apologize for anything.
Of course, there are two sides to every story. Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton, said that Janet was sometimes “impossible” on the set. Janet is quick to say that Alfonso participated in lying about her, but she ultimately blames Will for looking out for himself alone and is still bitter about the show to this day.
5. LisaRaye McCoy and Stacey Dash
Obviously, the main star of a show can get someone fired whom he or she doesn’t get along with very well. But what happens with an ensemble cast that is made up more of several co-stars, instead of one seemingly irreplaceable person and his or her subordinates? According to LisaRaye McCoy, that’s when it comes in handy “to be a boss.” She co-starred with Stacey Dash on the Vh1 show Single Ladies. The two may have played friends on the series, but behind the scenes, it was an entirely different other plot line.
LisaRaye’s “final straw” was when Stacey complained about a line in the script. The altercation started with Stacey arguing to the director about it, but LisaRaye stepped in after a while, telling Stacey to do as the director said. In the aftermath, LisaRaye admitted that she was the reason why Stacey didn’t show up on Season 2.
4. Virgil Williams and Thomas Gibson
Stacey Dash may have fought with a director about a line in the script, but it was ultimately her co-star who saw that as the final “straw” needed to give her the boot. In the case of Thomas Gibson, it was fighting with writer and producer Virgil Williams over a line that got him fired from Criminal Minds. According to Thomas, Virgil bumped into him upon entering a room on the set, soon after the initial disagreement over a line. This led to another altercation, but ultimately Thomas said he apologized for the incident.
Virgil suspended him from the show for two weeks, then decided to let him go altogether. He appeared on two more episodes to effectively write his character out of the show. Some people think that his previous behavior with production, which resulted in him being sent to anger management, may have had something to do with this decision.
3. Tori Spelling and Shannen Doherty
If you can’t be all powerful in Hollywood, it helps to have connections to those who are. For instance, haven’t we all wondered where Tori Spelling would be in life without her producer father Aaron Spelling? Probably not where she is today. Lucky for her, Mr. Spelling liked to cast his daughter in popular TV shows like 90210. Some of the other young actors on the show included Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty. On one particular occasion, Garth and Doherty got in an actual first fight and their male co-stars had to break it up. Tori said the cast unanimously voted for her to ask her father to fire Doherty. Needless to say, after Tori talked to Aaron, that was the last season of 90210 for Shannen. Tori has later said that Shannen was a good friend, but that getting her canned was the right choice for the show.
2. Lea Michele and Naya Rivera
Glee is one of those TV shows that took a lot of unknown young people and made them into stars. It could be seen as an ensemble cast, but for the most part, it revolved around a young, talented girl named Rachel, played by Lea Michele. Still, there were many regular characters on this high school show. As the seasons progressed, other characters saw more screen time, much to the Lea’s dislike. Naya Rivera, who played Santana, was one of the characters who gained bigger plot lines. Lea and Naya were both competitive, so this didn’t sit well. Producers couldn’t fire Lea, for whatever reason, so they stepped Santana’s screen time down until she was no more than a glorified extra.
1. Lucy Liu and Bill Murray
Many popular shows or movies often get a reboot decades after they first came on the scene. Charlies Angels was a hit show in the ’70s and was later adapted into a movie in 2000. Just like in the TV show, there were three women, playing kick*ass employees at a private detective agency. One of those women was Lucy Liu. Bill Murray, who played a lovable on-screen Bosley, apparently didn’t get along well with Lucy. He even went so far as to diss her acting skills, which reportedly led to her physically assaulting him. They finished the film, but not without Lucy requesting that Bill be left out of any sequels for the movie. Lucy got her way and Bill Murray was replaced by Bernie Mac in the next film.
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