10. Charlie Sheen
Carlos Irwin Estévez best known by his stage name « Charlie Sheen » wasn’t always the towering figure he is today. As a young man, Sheen made a name for himself in iconic American movies of the 1980s such as Platoon, Wall Street, Major League, and Hot Shots. Sheen really hit the big time in the early to mid-2000s with his multi award winning performances in Spin City, alongside Michael J. Fox, Two and a Half Men, and most recently, Anger Management.
Sheen dominated the airways with his performance as the arrogant and wealthy jingle writer, Charlie Harper, in the hit sitcom Two and a Half Men. Charlie Sheen became a household name and Two and a half Men went on to win or get nominated for every major television award out there. After a highly publicized departure from CBS, Sheen spent his time touring the country, and working on Anger Management.
In terms of on screen success, there is no doubt that Sheen will be remembered as a man who’s reached the pinnacles of success both on the big screen and television. However,the story doesn’t end there. It’s Charlie Sheen’s personal life that has made him a topic of conversation in barbershops, dining rooms, classrooms, and hotel lobbies the around the world. His public breakdown, his confessions of alcohol and drug abuse, his relationships, and most recently his admission to testing positive for HIV, and the bizarre series of events all along the away, have contributed to making Sheen one of the most popular and polarizing celebrities of the modern era.
9. Jared Fogle
Jared Fogle is one of several celebrities on this list who were once seen as darlings of the public. Before we discovered that Fogle spent his free time collecting child pornography and enaging in sex with minors, Fogle was seen as this “average guy”, the kind of guy you would expect to host dinner parties and walk old ladies across the street. How deceiving appearances can be. Fogle’s public image flipped over night once his perversions came to light, becoming a public pariah and an embarrassment for the company which brought him fame and fortune. He’ll have plenty of time to reflect on his terrible decisions from a cell upstate, far removed from his precious low calorie subs.
8. Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby’s boasts an illustrious career in television and stand-up comedy. The first African American to co-star in a series and win three consecutive Emmy’s, creator and producer of “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids”, and of course the legendary “The Cosby Show”. Like many young boys, I remember sitting around the television set with my family after dinner and watching the Cosby Show. Laughing, crying, and learning life lessons through the trials and tribulations of the Huxtable family. Like many Americans I was at first in denial about the allegations regarding Mr. Cosby, however as more and more women came forward one could no longer deny claims as unjustifiable.
Scores of women have come forward, claiming Cosby drugged and raped them from as far back as the 80s and 70s. Given the immense social pressure to keep quiet, and the emotional trauma of the experience itself and the memories they create, it’s truly an act of bravery when these women step forth and reveal that they were raped.
In several interviews even, before these allegations came to light, Cosby himself boasts about how back in his day he would slip a pill into women’s drinks to make them more “agreeable” to his sexual advances. In an eerie interview alongside Sophia Vergara, we see the creepy predatory side of Cosby, the side that he kept hidden form the public for so long.
7. Dennis Rodman
Former NBA Forward Dennis “The Worm” Rodman epitomized the “bad boy” era of the Detroit Pistons. On the court Rodman was fierce, snatching rebounds, blocking shots, the man was a defensive dream for whichever team he played on. Off the court he was the stereotypical celebrity, rumors of his wild partying, coupled with his highly publicized relationships with famous singers and actresses. Rodman not only acted like a rock star but he looked the part too, crowds were as fascinated with Rodman’s wild hairstyles, piercings, and tattoos, as they were about his gameplay.
The rebellious bad boy image certainly turned off many mainstream Americans and his notoriety only grew when it was publicly revealed that Rodman not only visited, but he also befriended the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. From his wild days as a basketball player, to his strange post basketball career ranging from visiting dictators to competing in celebrity game shows, Rodman has acquired many fans and many more haters.
6. OJ Simpson
The early life of OJ Simpson was a true American success story, originally from Louisiana, Simpson was raised in the projects of San Francisco by a single mother. As a child, Simpson wore leg braces similar to those worn by Forest Gump. The community college running back was discovered by scouts at UCLA and he went on to become the greatest running back of his era, and had it not been for the issues in his personal life, some contend that Simpson could have very well become the greatest running back of all time. That’s saying a lot considering the early 90s were the era of running backs.
To truly appreciate the severity of OJ’s downfall we must first understand his status at his apex. OJ was unarguably the best running back of his time, he broke rushing records at every level of the game. His on the field success translated to marketing success, in between football games you could see OJ selling anything from cereal to sports cars, the man was a marketing sweetheart. Everyone loved OJ Simpson, A handsome all American, he was everything a marketer could dream for.
Unlike many other celebrities whose stories become tragedies, OJ’s decline began at the height of his career, not in his waning years but at the apex of his success. The footage of OJ running from the police in his white Bronco became an instant pop culture icon. OJ’s trial is easily one of the most influential moments in pop culture history and this claim is further supported by the fact that a lot of the events that occurred then, and a lot of people involved in that fiasco are still relevant today. Just look at Rob Kardashian, the fame he earned as OJ Simpsons lawyer translated to his wife, Kris Kardashian now Kris Jenner, which subsequently led to the creation of the 2010s most famous reality stars in Kim Kardashian and family.
The trial itself split the country along largely racial lines and created a huge controversy, virtually everyone had an opinion on the OJ trial and that still holds true today. But even if you thought OJ Simpson was innocent of murdering his wife and her lover there are few who supported him when he released his book in 2006 “If I did it” and the rereleased version “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer”, supposedly fiction novels that describe in gruesome detail how OJ Simpson would have killed his wife “if he did it”. Being found not guilty is one thing, but exploiting the murders by writing a book about it is hitting way below the belt. Also it’s worth mentioning that the letters “if” were written so small that the title looks like “I Did It”, a phrase I’m sure many people would have liked to hear. Whether or not he actually did commit those murders no one truly knows, however after writing this book many are convinced he did.
To top off his decline from the top, OJ Simpson was arrested for petty crimes and then for armed robbery, assault, and kidnapping, guaranteeing his place on this list.
5. Miley Cyrus
Once America’s sweetheart, the name Miley Cyrus is now associated with twerking, drugs, and indecent exposure. Cyrus was born to 90s country music star Billy Rae Cyrus, after several seasons in the hit Disney show “Hannah Montana”, Cyrus violently broke from her public perception as a “girl next door” once videos of her smoking weed were released. Several nude photos sessions and controversial outfits later Miley Cyrus has embraced her new persona as a millennial wild child, some view this transformation as an endearing move towards self-acceptance and liberation, others view her actions as lewd, crass, and negatively impactful of young women.
4. Justin Bieber
Teen idol Justin Bieber is revered by his fans yet his careful crooning has done little to endear the hearts of adults around the world. Bieber started out making music on YouTube, soon he was discovered and signed to a major record deal capitalizing on the Canadians ability to bring tween and teen girls the world over to tears.
The mere fact that he is a highly successful teen pop celebrity causes enough people to dislike him, the fact that he’s constantly on the front page of tabloid articles due to issues with the law has only further led to the negative perception of Mr. Bieber. Regardless of how many people dislike him we’re sure we’ll be hearing more about Justin over years due to the fact that millions of people are still buying his albums and going to his concerts.
3. Mel Gibson
The man who brought us Braveheart, the Patriot, Lethl Weapon, and the classic buddy cop series “Lethal Weapon” will always be a legend on the screen, however his actions due to his alcoholism and confessed manic depression will always be a stain on an otherwise prolific career. Although he has apologized for his anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist remarks, many people still believe those apologies were insincere, a mere attempt to save face.
2. Shia Labeouf
The Transformers star has recently caused quite a disturbance in media outlets due to his bizarre public displays, arrests, and multiple appearance changes. Shia has had a very strange relationship with the media, and the public at large since he reached international fame with the critically disclaimed yet commercially successful Transformers franchise.
Besides driving drunk and getting into a car accident, and getting into a fight with his neighbors, Labeouf’s first career controversy occurred when he plagiarized the works of cartoonist Daniel Clowes for his short film. Perhaps he thought no one would notice since Clowes is relatively unknown outside of art circles, but people did notice. It’s one thing to have a strange personal life, but to discredit your own capabilities by copying the talent of another is a disgrace to creativity itself. Then there was the “I’m not famous” publicity stunt, which many see as just an attempt to get more attention. Besides these he’s done a lot of other strange and disreputable things like chasing a homeless man around Times Square for a McDonald’s sandwich, going to rehab for alcoholism, and getting arrested after leaving a bar.
1. Bill O’ Reilly
The outspoken conservative television host is especially disliked by liberal and moderate Americans. His program “the O’reilly Factor” has been mocked and parodied by comedians such as Stephen Colbert. Many people dislike O’reilly due to his use of inflamed rhetoric and skewed facts to promulgate a conservative agenda contrary to the standards of journalistic ethics. Nonetheless he is obviously well liked by conservatives, his show is consistently ranked as one of the most watched broadcasts on cable television, but considering how over half of the population in his own country doesn’t agree with him, nor do most people in other liberal democracies, it’s safe to say he’s earned his spot on this list. Not to mention there’s actually a book called “Sweet Jesus I hate Bill O’Reilly”, if someone hates you so much they can write a book about it, then obviously you must be doing something wrong.
Bonus: Kanye West
The self-proclaimed college dropout has made a career of redefining the boundaries of hip hop while simultaneously serving as the poster boy for celebrity egos. Loving and accepting oneself is a healthy aspect of high self-esteem, however Mr. West has taken that concept to the extremes. “I am a god” he proclaims on his latest album “Yeezus”, contrary to that proclamation Mr.West has done many things that have many believing he could in fact be the opposite.
Beginning with his bold statement during a hurricane Katrina fundraiser that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” Kanye has since then continued to fascinate the media and irk people around the world. From snatching an award from Taylor Swift, complaining about how the fashion world doesn’t take him seriously, comparing himself to Michelangelo, and ranting and raving at every concert he attends, there’s no wonder some people have gotten sick and tired of hearing the name Kanye West.
His magnum opus in terms of celebrity culture occurred when he married reality television star Kim Kardashian, another much disliked figure, and then proceeded to name his daughter after a direction. This egomaniac seems to have calmed down in recent years and hopefully family life will mold him into a calmer, more down to earth Kanye.