Stars Who Were Fired From Jobs

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From fast food to newspaper delivery, find out what gigs the stars loathed.

Julianne Moore

The Academy Award-winner revealed during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in March 2019 that she was fired from the film Can You Ever Forgive Me? before production had even begun. “I didn’t leave that movie, I was fired,” she clarified. “Nicole [Holofcener] fired me … I think she didn’t like what I was doing.” Moore also discussed the rejection she felt following the incident: “The only other time I was fired was when I was working at a yogurt stand when I was 15. So it felt, yeah, it felt bad.”

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Megyn Kelly

Kelly was let go from NBC in October 2018 after she made controversial comments about blackface on Megyn Kelly Today, which was subsequently canceled. The morning show had only been on for a year. “You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface,” she said on the show. “That was OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.” The journalist later apologized for her remarks: “I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry.” She left with the full remainder of her $69 million contract.

Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Roseanne Barr

After Barr made headlines for a racist tweet about Barack Obama’s former White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, ABC announced that Roseanne would not be returning for season 11 (also known as season 2 of the revival.)  “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement on May 29, 2018. Barr apologized for her remark, tweeting, “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.” Roseanne, which originally aired from 1988 to 1997, returned to ABC in 2018 for season 10 and was picked up for season 11 before the scandal. 

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Garrison Keillor

Syndicated radio host Garrison Keillor confirmed on Wednesday, November 28, that he was let go by Minnesota Public Radio after allegations of harassment surfaced against him. In an email to the Associated Press, Keillor claimed that his employment was terminated “over a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”

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Matt Lauer

The Today show cohost was fired from NBC overnight after a colleague accused him of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced the news live on air on Wednesday, November 29. 

Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Harvey Weinstein

Film producer Harvey Weinstein was fired from his own company, The Weinstein Company, on October 8, 2017, amid sexual harassment allegations from various women, including Cara Delevingne, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltroww, Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette. His termination came after both The New York Times and The New Yorker published reports, detailing decades of alleged sexual harassment by the producer, which he has since denied.

“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the company’s board of representatives said in a statement to Us Weekly at the time.

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Kathy Griffin

CNN fired the comedian from its New Year’s Eve special after she posed for a photo featuring a decapitated head that resembled President Donald Trump. “CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program,” the network tweeted on May 31, 2017. Hours earlier, Griffin — who also lost an endorsement with Squatty Potty over the incident — apologized for her actions.

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Kate Walsh

After she got fired from Burger King — “The assistant manager didn’t like me!” she has said — Walsh went to Dairy Queen. “I stayed in fast-food royalty.”

Related: Stars Working Hard!

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Bill Hader

“A sorority group rented out the movie theater. They were rude to me so I told them the end of Titanic,” Saturday Night Live’s Hader told Us of his short-lived gig at a movie theater.

Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic

Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones

X Factor judges Abdul and Scherzinger were abruptly given the axe after the Fox hit’s first season, along with host Jones. “None of the three left on their own accord,” Deadline reported, adding that the show’s producers were “cleaning house.”

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Gilbert Gottfried

Insurance company Aflac fired the distinctive-voiced actor in 2011 after he made a slew of jokes via Twitter about Japan’s tragic earthquake and tsunami. “I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan,” Gottfried — who had voiced the commercials’ duck for 10 years — said at the time.

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Janet Hubert

Fightin’ words! When Fresh Prince of Bel-Air mom Hubert was replaced by actress Daphne Reid in 1993, the actress placed the blame squarely on the series star, Will Smith. “This constant reunion will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology,” Hubert said after asked about a possible show reunion. “He doesn’t know the word.”

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Charlie Sheen

“They fired me, man. I made them $5 billion and gave you guys almost a decade of entertainment and they fired me,” Sheen lamented one month after CBS and Two and a Half Men’s Chuck Lorre gave him the boot from the popular half-hour comedy. “I was having too much fun. What did they expect [when they paid me that kind of money]?”

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Hugh Jackman

Before taking on the role of Wolverine in X-Men, Jackman was on counter duty at a 7-11 convenience store. “I got fired after six weeks because the [boss] said I talked too much to the customers,” Jackman, 42, tells Us.

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Edward Norton

Though Norton portrayed The Hulk in the 2008 film remake, he was not asked back to portray Bruce Banner in the Avengers. Why? He simply wasn’t willing to collaborate with costars including Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey, Jr., the studio alleged. “This seemed to us to be a financial decision but, whatever the case, it is completely their prerogative, and we accepted their decision with no hard feelings,” a rep for Norton said after his dismissal.

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Tony Bennett

“The worst job I ever had was as an elevator operator,” the legendary crooner told Us. “They fired me the first day.”

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Snoop Dogg

The rapper’s stint as a local grocery bag boy didn’t last too long. “I was better at stealing the groceries than I was at bagging them,” Snoop has said.

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Madonna

As a struggling up-and-coming singer in New York City, Madonna (then known as Madonna Louise Ciccone) took on several odd jobs to make ends meet. She was reportedly let go from a gig at a Times Square Dunkin Donuts after squirting donut jelly on a customer.

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Terrence Howard

Before he made a splash in films including Hustle & Flow and Crash, Howard earned a living as a paper boy for The Cleveland Press — but not for long! “They fired me after two weeks, ’cause I didn’t get up early enough,” he tells Us.

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Michael Fassbender

While the Shame actor can’t recall being let go from an acting gig, he had a tougher time waiting tables before his big break. “When I was waitering somewhere they just didn’t ask me to come back, so I guess that was the polite way of getting fired,” he explains. “I was always better behind the bar. I couldn’t really carry so many plates and stuff.”

Eamonn McCormack/WireImage.com

Bryan Batt

Don Draper unceremoniously fired Batt’s character Sal Romano on season 3 of Mad Men, but the actor insists there was no hard feelings. “Sometimes your part gets written out of a TV series. It does happen. A lot of times it is not personal. It is the economy,” Batt told Us at the time. “I can’t take it personally. Getting fired as an actor, we’re rejected so much, so you build a tough skin.”

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Andy Cohen

He may frequently sip cocktails during his nightly Bravo series Watch What Happens, but when TV exec Cohen was in his younger years, drinking sure did cost him. “I was a waiter in Boston — a great one,” he explains. “But I was 20, took a drink after my shift, and they fired me on the spot. I was so mad.”

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Cheryl Burke

“My mom owned a nursing agency and she fired me,” the Dancing With the Stars pro tells Us. “I’d always be late to work [and] never clock out so I would always get paid more than I was supposed to. [The job] was just not a good thing. Never work for your mom or dad.”

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