When celebrities torpedo their careers, usually it takes months — sometimes even years. After all, fans are forgiving and are more than willing to give their faves second or third chances before they're officially #cancelled (we're looking at you, Lindsay Lohan). However, there are some mistakes that are so huge and controversial, that there's no way a celebrity can save themselves from it. And it's a shame too, because these stars were generally well-liked until they made these big, dumb mistakes. Below, 11 famous people who sunk their careers with just one blunder.
Back in 2004, Jessica Simpson's little sis was making quite the name for herself. She had a successful MTV reality show, a debut album that was all over the radio, and a coveted performance gig on Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, it was that last accomplishment that led to her downfall. After embarrassingly being caught lip syncing on live TV (while hoedowning off the stage), she became a laughing stock and was even booed when performing at the Orange Bowl a few months later. Although she blamed "acid reflux" and tried to do damage control, her career never really recovered.
The comedian shocked fans in 2017 when she tweeted a picture of herself beheading President Donald Trump. People were outraged, and although she deleted the pic and apologized, the damage had already been done. She was fired from CNN, had her entire comedy tour canceled, and was even investigated by the secret service. After openly sobbing at a press conference about the controversy, in August 2017, she said she was "no longer sorry." "The whole outrage was B.S.," she said on Australia's Sunrise. "The whole thing got so blown out of proportion."
The Olympic swimmer was on top of the world after winning gold (again) at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil. However, things took a nasty turn when Ryan said in a statement that he and his teammates were robbed at a gas station by a bunch of thugs masquerading as police officers. The public initially felt bad for him — that was, until the real story unfolded.
The locals who worked at the gas station, as well as the security guards who confronted Ryan, came forward to say that the swimmer pretty much fabricated his entire story. What really happened was that Ryan was being drunk and disorderly at a gas station, destroyed property, and then was forced to pay for it when confronted by security guards. The public was so mad at him, many fans wanted him fired from Dancing With the Stars. Although Ryan has apologized and is trying to move past the #RioGate, many fans are still choosing to not forget.
When Caitlyn Jenner first debuted her transition on the cover of Vanity Fair in 2015, for a brief moment she was a national LGBT hero. She continued being a voice for the trans community on her show, I Am Cait. However, in 2016 when Caitlyn revealed she was a proud Ted Cruz and President Trump supporter, many fans in the trans community found her opinions hypocritical, especially considering since Ted is a vocal supporter of controversial anti-trans "bathroom bills." Angry, fans stopped watching her show, and I Am Cait was later canceled after only two seasons.
Not only was she on Grey's Anatomy during the height of its popularity, Katherine was also starring in romantic comedies and winning Emmys back then. However, in 2008, two interviews torpedoed her career. In one, she revealed she didn't think she deserved an Emmy because she didn't like her Grey's character's storyline. And in another, she admitted that she found her film Knocked Up "kind of sexist." Both comments got her painted as "difficult," and pretty much ruined her reputation. "The thing that was my best friend for a long time [my career] suddenly turned on me. And I didn't expect it," she told Marie Claire UK in 2014. However, these days her career is doing a little better, and at least she's not starring in NyQuil commercials anymore.