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12 Celebrities Who Didn’t Deserve To Be Canceled

Yoko Ono
Image Credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com.

The phenomenon of cancel culture isn’t a new thing. It’s been around for as long as people have been famous. In some cases, like Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly, the cancelation was morally justified. In other instances, the cancelation was undeserved. Users from an online question-and-answer forum weighed in on famous people who did nothing to merit having their careers destroyed. 

1. Sinead O’Connor

VENICE, ITALY - APRIL 02: Irish singer Sinead O'Connor during the first concert of "THE CRAZY BALDHEAD TOUR" at the Teatro la Fenice and for the first time in Venice. April 02, 2013 in Venice, Italy
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In 1992, O’Connor infamously ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a broadcast of Saturday Night Live to bring attention to the Catholic Church’s coverup of child sexual abuse. While she rightly shed light on a well-hidden scandal, her singing career never recovered from that moment. 

2. Rachel Nichols

Rachel Nichols
Image Credit: 1022 Project / Shutterstock.com.

Nichols’ job with sports entertainment giant ESPN ended after a secret recording of her criticizing how her employer’s “policies for minority representation should not supersede her contractual obligated work hosting the NBA finals” was made public. 

3. Mo’Nique

LOS ANGELES - NOV 3: Mo'Nique arrives to the "Almost Christmas" World Premiere on November 3, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA
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Despite her Academy Award-winning turn in 2009’s Precious, actress Mo’Nique asserts she’s been effectively canceled. Mo’Nique was paid $50,000 to act in the movie but refused to promote the film, allegedly stoking the ire of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, the film’s producers.

4. Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder
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After her 2001 arrest for shoplifting, Ryder’s acting career was put on ice for several years. After acting in some independent films, she returned to considerable screen prominence in 2010’s Black Swan. Her resurgence has continued since 2016, starring in Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things

5. Chris Hardwick

Anaheim, CA US March 25 2023: Chris Hardwick arrives at The Walking Dead: Dead City photocall at WonderCon Day 2 2023 at the Anaheim Convention Center on March 25, 2023
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After his ex-girlfriend published a Medium post about an unnamed, abusive ex-boyfriend, many assumed Hardwick was the man in question. His AMC shows were pulled but reinstated after an investigation failed to substantiate the allegations. 

6. George Michael

George Michael in Concert
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In 1998, the former Wham! lead singer was arrested for lewdness after an incident in a public restroom in Beverly Hills, California. While Michael recorded a single called Outside with a video poking fun at the situation, he never quite reached the heights of popularity during his solo career. Sadly, the singer died on Christmas Day in 2016. 

7. Howard Dean 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, July 26, 2016 Former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean delivers remarks during the second day of the Democratic National Nominating Convention in the Wells Fargo Center
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Physician turned politician Howard Dean launched a promising presidential campaign for the 2004 election. His campaign stopped after his third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses and the infamous “Dean Scream.”    

8. Colin Kaepernick

LOS ANGELES - MAY 03: Colin Kaepernick arrives for the VH1's 3rd Annual 'Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms' on May 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

As a player with the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick felt the call to engage in civil rights activism and began kneeling as the national anthem was played to protest racial injustice and police brutality peacefully. Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since becoming a free agent in 2017. 

9. Eric Reid

LOS ANGELES - AUG 28: Richard Wright, Eric Reid, Jennifer Garner, Gary Lucchesi at the "Peppermint" World Premiere at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE on August 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Like his then-teammate Colin Kaepernick, safety Eric Reid also knelt while playing the national anthem before NFL games. Like Kaepernick, Reid hasn’t played in the NFL since being released by the Carolina Panthers in March 2020. 

10. Fiona Apple

SEATTLE - JULY 25: Rock star, singer and songwriter Fiona Apple performs on stage at the Paramount Theater in Seattle on July 25, 2012.
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During the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards show, when she won an award for Best New Artist, singer Fiona Apple gave a controversial speech criticizing Hollywood’s popular culture and its toxic influence on young people. Despite her early success, this speech spawned a backlash against her for her supposed lack of gratitude. 

11. Yoko Ono

LOS ANGELES - FEB 10: Yoko Ono arrives at the 2012 MusiCares Gala honoring Paul McCartney at LA Convention Center on February 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Ono is unfairly blamed for the breakup of the Fab Four, but as one user in the discussion states, “The Beatles broke up because John Lennon was difficult to work with, not because of Yoko, but because of his inflated ego.” But it’s easier to make her the scapegoat. 

12. Oscar Wilde

LONDON , UK - JUNE 7, 2015: Wax figure of Oscar Wilde (1864-1900) at Madame Tussaud museum. It is one of major tourist attraction.
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The late nineteenth-century Irish poet and writer was gay, but because homosexuality was outlawed in Victorian society, he was convicted of an indecency charge and sent to prison. His incarceration destroyed his reputation, health, and career; the final years of Wilde’s life were spent in poverty. 

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Written by Stephanie Allen

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