Stars Who Survive Big Scandals
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Celebrity

As unlikely as it may seem, some celebrities have managed to regain public's trust and maintain their careers in the industry after facing backlash over their controversial remarks or behaviors.

AceShowbiz - Celebrities are always prone to controversies. With their big fanbase, they are expected to use their platform to set positive examples for the public. But celebrities are not saints. Especially living in this digital era, many public figures are often scrutinized for what they say on social media.

Over the years, a number of stars have landed in hot water for various reasons, such as making racist remarks, using racial slurs as well as being accused of bullying among other things. These controversies inevitably cost their jobs and fans despite their apologies.

However, a few of them have somehow managed to regain public's trust and keep their careers in the industry with bright future. As unlikely as it may seem, here are ten celebrities who have survived big scandals.

1. Nick Cannon


Nick Cannon
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Before Kanye West and Kyrie Irving are slammed for anti-Semitism, Nick Cannon was caught in a similar situation in 2020. The multi-talented entertainer came under fire after accusing white people of being "evil," "rapists" and "true savages" in addition to spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, claiming black people are the true Hebrews and that Jews have usurped their identity. He was soon fired by ViacomCBS and almost lost some of his gigs, including "Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out".

Always open to conversation, Nick realized his mistakes after Rabbis reached out to "enlighten" him. He apologized to the Jewish community for his comments that "reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people." FOX accepted his apology, believing that he was "remorseful," and allowed him to remain host "The Masked Singer". The former husband of Mariah Carey also keeps his role as host on "Wild 'N Out" and his daytime talk show was revived, though it was only short-lived.

2. Khloe Kardashian


Khloe Kardashian
Cover Images/Darla Khazei

To be fair, the Kar-Jenners did sign up for people's judgment when they let cameras follow them for their now-canceled reality series. One of the moments came when Khloe Kardashian was called racist after an old clip of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians", in which she allegedly used the N-word, resurfaced online earlier this year. The clip in question saw the 38-year-old defending her sister Kim Kardashian after trolls accused her of appropriating black culture.

After a Twitter user reshared the old clip, many rushed to plead with Hulu to "cancel" their new show "The Kardashians". Khloe further faced backlash after sharing cute photos of her daughter True Thompson, which people saw as her way to distract attention from the racism scandal. She never apologized for it nor addressed the backlash, but Hulu decided to stand by the famous klan and continue their reality show.

3. Liam Neeson


Liam Neeson
Cover Images/Sean Thornton

While Liam Neeson has most of the time kept a low profile, he made headlines for the wrong reason in 2019 after admitting that he wanted to kill a random black man. In an interview to promote his film "Cold Pursuit", the 70-year-old said that he generated his character's "primal" anger after recounting an experience he had 40 years ago, after his female friend was raped by a black man. The "Taken" star said that he spent a week going "up and down areas with a cosh, hoping some 'black bastard' would come out of a pub and have a go" so that he "could kill him."

Liam immediately followed his admission by saying that he was "ashamed" of the experience and that the things he did and said were "horrible." After earning tons of criticism for his remarks, during an appearance on "Good Morning America", he denied being a racist, stating that he would have done the same if the rapist was "a Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian." He said that he "did seek help" and counselling from his friends and a priest after coming to his senses. Many of fellow actors, namely Michelle Rodriguez, Whoopi Goldberg, John Barnes and Ralph Fiennes, also spoke up to defend him.

4. Kevin Hart


Kevin Hart
Cover Images/BauerGriffin

Kevin Hart would have hosted the Oscars for the first time in his career, had it not been because of his old homophobic tweets. Just two days after he was announced as the host of the 2019 ceremony, he stepped down from the gig after his comments from 2010 and 2011 resurfaced online. After initially refusing to apologize as he characterized the protest as non-constructive, he issued one to the LGBTQ+ community for his "insensitive words" from the past.

Claiming that he's "evolving," the comedian was defended by Ellen DeGeneres, who wished that he would be able to reverse his decision to withdraw from the Oscars hosting gig. Though Kevin eventually did not host the Academy Awards, he never runs out of job. The 43-year-old star has since returned for "Jumanji: The Next Level" and starred in other movies, such as "Fatherhood", "The Man From Toronto" and "DC League of Super-Pets".

5. Morgan Wallen


Morgan Wallen
Cover Images/Brandi Benton

Morgan Wallen was a rising star in country music when his reputation was tarnished in a night. In early 2021, he was filmed using racial slur after a night out with his friends in Nashville. He immediately apologized for it, saying he was "embarrassed and sorry." He added, "I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better." Still, his music was temporarily pulled from radio stations and streamers, while he was banned from awards shows.

Despite the controversy and ensuing backlash, Wallen's music remained popular, with his album "Dangerous: The Double Album" sales surging after the incident, eventually becoming 2021's best-selling album. After vowing not to return to stage throughout the summer following the N-word scandal, he announced in November that he would embark on "The Dangerous Tour", which kicked off in February of this year. He has since also returned to awards shows, though his appearances were met with criticism.

6. Johnny Depp


Johnny Depp
Cover Images/Nils Jorgensen

For years, Johnny Depp battled abuse allegations after Amber Heard wrote an op-ed that detailed her experience of as a victim of domestic abuse. After losing his libel suit against The Sun for an article that labeled him a "wife beater," he had to withdraw from "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" in which he would have reprised his role as Grindelwald. Since then, his career appeared to come to a halt.

However, that has changed after he won his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber. After a bitter and much-publicized trial from April until early June, the fury found the actress guilty of defaming Johnny and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages. The Oscar-nominated actor has since returned to acting by starring in his French film "La Favorite" and landed a directing gig with "Modigliani". He also made a surprise cameo appearance at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards and appeared in Rihanna's "Savage X Fenty Vol. 4" show, while he continues performing as a rock star.

7. Doja Cat


Doja Cat
Cover Images/JOHN NACION

Doja Cat had just gained global fame when she was almost canceled in 2020 following racism allegations. In May of that year, her 2015 song titled "Dindu Nuffin" resurfaced. "Dindu Nuffin" is an alt-right term used to ridicule African-American victims of police brutality who claim they are innocent. She quickly apologized for it, but immediately came under fire again after it was revealed that she allegedly joined racist chat rooms. Though the raptress lost some of her social media followers due to the controversies, her fans never lost interest in her music.

It became apparent when Doja dropped her third studio album "Planet Her" in June 2021. The record debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and went on to become the biggest R&B album of the year and sixth best-selling album overall. The 27-year-old also earned eight Grammy nominations thanks to the album and won one of them for Best Pop Duo Performance through the song "Kiss Me More" feat. SZA.

8. Dave Chappelle


Dave Chappelle
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Over the years, Dave Chappelle has built plenty of jokes around trans subjects, but it wasn't until his special "The Closer" was released on Netflix that he faced a storm of criticism. In the 70-minute special, he addressed his past trans jokes and recalled his conversation with his late friend and trans comic Daphne Dorman about trans identity. Many rushed to ask Netflix to take down the special, but the streamer chose to stand by him.

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos acknowledged that "storytelling has real impact in the real world" but denied taking down the special, as he stated he "does not believe it falls into hate speech." Dave was also defended by Daphne's sister, who insisted that the comedian "loved my sister and is an LGBTQ ally." The comic continues performing stand-up shows in various cities, including teaming up with Chris Rock for a tour that will take place in December.

9. Lea Michele


Lea Michele
Cover Images/ROGER WONG

Lea Michele was a beloved actress best known for her TV role on "Glee" before she faced bullying allegations. In June 2020, Samantha Marie Ware claimed the Rachel Berry depicter bullied her and caused "traumatic microaggressions" while they worked together on the FOX musical drama series. Her other co-stars, including Heather Morris, Alex Newell and Amber Riley, later spoke up against Lea, alleging that she had been hostile and rude to others on set and had had a prima donna attitude.

The "Scream Queens" alum responded with an apology, noting that those accusations made her aware that her general treatment of all cast members during those years was "insensitive or inappropriate," a sign of "immaturity." For roughly two years, the 36-year-old was laying low, before she made her Broadway return in "Funny Girl", replacing Beanie Feldstein. Her performance was widely praised by critics as she received multiple standing ovations on opening night.

10. DaBaby


DaBaby
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DaBaby irked many when he made homophobic remarks at Rolling Loud in July 2021. During his set, he told attendees, "If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that'll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up." While Demi Lovato and Elton John debunked DaBaby's misinformation, T.I. spoke up in defense of the Grammy Award nominee.

DaBaby initially refused to apologize, before he acknowledged on Twitter that what he had said was "insensitive. " Despite his apology, the "Suge" hitmaker was cut from several music festivals that had already booked her, but that didn't last long. In August, he made his first performance since the controversy at Hot 97 Summer Jam 2021 and returned to Rolling Loud in NYC, four months after his homophobic rant at the Miami edition of the festival.

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