TV

7 TV stars who were fired from hit shows after real-life scandals

These actors have been shown the door after bad behaviour.

By Loren Howarth

Drama is intertwined in most of our favourite TV shows – from Two and a Half Men to Grey’s Anatomy. But it seems producers want to keep the drama solely on screen, with many actors and actresses fired following scandalous allegations. In light of the accusations against Kevin Spacey and Netflix’s decision to wrap up the series after the sixth season, let’s take a look and see which personalities have been shown the door.

Kevin Spacey - House of Cards

Kevin plays Francis Underwood in *House of Cards*
Kevin plays Francis Underwood in House of Cards

Netflix has pulled the plug on House of Cards after the upcoming sixth season (which is currently filming), due to accusations against star and executive producer Kevin Spacey. Anthony Rapp, who stars in Star Trek: Discovery, revealed that when he was just 14, Spacey, then 26, put him on his bed and climbed on top of him at the end of a party.

In a statement, Spacey wrote that he does not recall the encounter but if it is true, he is deeply sorry, before coming out as gay.

Thomas Gibson - Criminal Minds

Thomas had been on *Criminal Minds* for 11 seasons
Thomas had been on Criminal Minds for 11 seasons

After 11 years on Criminal Minds, Thomas Gibson was dismissed after kicking a writer on set. The actor, who played Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner, got into a disagreement over the script with writer Virgil Williams, and kicked him in the shin.

Thomas was also reportedly sent to anger management therapy after an incident in 2010.

Charlie Sheen - Two and A Half Men

Charlie (middle) with co-stars Jon Cryer (left) and Angus T. Jones
Charlie (middle) with co-stars Jon Cryer (left) and Angus T. Jones

Charlie Sheen was infamously fired from hit US sitcom Two And A Half Men in 2011, following media reports about the actor’s controversial life and outspoken nature. Sheen had already completed his third rehab stint when he publicly attacked his now former producer, Chuck Lorre.

His co-star Jon Cryer wrote in his 2015 memoir that Sheen was difficult to work with, stating that: “An astounding number of people stood up for Charlie, as though people should be able to show up to work ... verbally abuse their co-workers publicly with anti-Semitic slurs ... as well as abuse drugs to the point where they can barely function.”

Isaiah Washington - Grey’s Anatomy

Isaiah played Dr Burke on the hit medical drama
Isaiah played Dr Burke on the hit medical drama

In 2007, Isaiah Washington, who played surgeon Dr Preston Burke, was let go amid rumours that he had used a homophobic slur against co-star TR Knight. During an on-set argument with fellow star Patrick Dempsey, Washington used the word “faggot” in reference to Knight, and further reignited controversy by repeating it as part of his denial to reporters at the Golden Globes.

Although Washington was shown the door, the actor was brought back after seven years to tie up loose ends in the series.

Columbus Short - Scandal

Colombus played one of Olivia Pope's fiercest allies
Colombus played one of Olivia Pope's fiercest allies

Columbus Short’s personal life became too overwhelming for Scandal, after allegations of domestic violence against his wife and run-ins with the law. After he was fired, the actor, who played Harrison Wright, said it was the ‘right thing’ to let him go.

“I think, at a certain point, when you’re [hearing] a barrage of stories after stories, ABC justifiably would want to distance themselves,” he told Access Hollywood. “They did the right thing.”

Nicollette Sheridan - Desperate Housewives

Nichollette's character Edie was hilarious to watch
Nichollette's character Edie was hilarious to watch

Nicollette Sheridan (Edie Britt) was fired from ABC’s hit show Desperate Housewives, after reported tensions between her and the show’s creator Marc Cherry erupted. Sheridan accused Cherry of hitting her in the face during rehearsals and said she was dismissed when she complained about the incident. But the actress took the matter – and her wrongful termination - to court, which is still ongoing.

Jeremy Clarkson - Top Gear

Jeremy (middle) with co-hosts Richard Hammond (left) and James May
Jeremy (middle) with co-hosts Richard Hammond (left) and James May

He had been with the BBC for 27 years, but that didn’t stop Jeremy Clarkson getting dropped from the network in 2015 after an “unprovoked physical and verbal attack” with producer Oisin Tymon. He was suspended for the incident, and his contract was not renewed.

Jeremy is no stranger to controversies. In 2014, he was accused of making an anti-Asian racist “joke” on the show, and two months later, leaked rehearsal footage appeared to show the former host utter the N-word.

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