Celebrities

5 Celebrities Who Went on Antisemitic Tirades and the Price They Paid

Kanye or Ye or whatever the hell he's calling himself has been spewing some pure hate speech online and in the media, and he's not backing down from it.
Kanye or Ye or whatever the hell he's calling himself has been spewing some pure hate speech online and in the media, and he's not backing down from it. Karwai Tang/Getty
The ugly head of antisemitism has once again popped out of its murky, muddy swamp thanks to the current king of the loudmouths Kanye West ... or Ye, or whatever name he wants to call himself.

He's already lost some huge endorsement and product deals that he thought were bulletproof even after he Tweeted a photo of himself with conservative commentator Candace Owens in matching "White Lives Matter" shirts and declaring "I'm going death con [sic] 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE." Even more of his ex-employees are claiming he's said how much he likes Adolf Hitler and that he paid settlements to them to keep it out of the public's ears.

Will his career suffer for it? Let's see how some other bigoted mouths made out when they started spouting hate-filled nonsense.
Mel Gibson
The Lethal Weapon star is perhaps the most infamous modern perpetrator of this behavior because of the size of his star status and the level his explosive temper reached. The first instance happened in 2006.

TMZ discovered that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office arrested Gibson for drunk driving  along the Pacific Coast Highway. He was belligerent to the officers and even tried to run away while still in handcuffs. When they finally got him in the squad car, he launched into "a barrage of antisemitic statements like 'the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,'" TMZ reported. Police released a redacted report without the comments until TMZ revealed the true nature of its contents and Gibson issued an apology.

What happened next?
He entered a no contest plea for his DUI and got probation. He went to rehab for alcohol addiction and the court record was expunged three years later. He stayed out of the spotlight for four years until 2010 when he starred in the crime drama Edge of Darkness. That same year, TMZ released a recording of a phone call of Gibson screaming insults that included some egregious uses of the "n-word" at the mother of his child Oksana Grigorieva. He appeared in films the following year including Dragged Across Concrete, produced by local studio Cinestate, now known as Bonfire Legend.

Charlie Sheen
The star of films such as Platoon and Wall Street seemed poised to reach a level of stardom most actors never make, but he rode that rocket right into the ground. Between seasons of his CBS sitcom Two-and-a-Half Men, Sheen appeared on Alex Jones' radio show in 2011, a move that's a big step toward crazy on its own. Sheen spewed ego-driven claims that he was "rolling out magic bro" and even challenged his sitcom's creator Chuck Lorre to a fight.

Then he called Lorre "a certain Chaim Levine," and Lorre and CBS fired him and killed his character from the show. Then The Smoking Gun published a text message from Sheen to his ex-wife saying "I must execute mark b like the stoopid jew pig that he is." Sheen denied that he sent it.

What happened next?
Fueled by his own ego, he refused to apologize and denied that he was calling out Lorre. He followed up with a "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour in which fans paid big bucks to watch Sheen on stage talking about how awesome he is for a full hour. He got roasted the following year on Comedy Central and got his own FX sitcom Anger Management. The rest of his career pretty much fizzled to a crawl after allegations of rape and abuse towards women also began to mount.
John Galliano
The Christian Dior designer known for being the "bad boy" of fashion more than lived up to his name in 2011. A video surfaced on The Sun's website showing Galliano spouting phrases to a pair of onlookers outside a Paris cafe such as "I love Hitler" and "People like you would dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers would be fucking gassed and fucking dead."

What happened next?
Everyone dropped Galliano's ass like it was made out of molten lava. Dior fired him. Actress Natalie Portman, who struck an endorsement deal for a line of Dior perform, called his comments "disgusting" and said she would not work with him. A French court found Galliano guilty of spouting bigoted statements in public and fined him 10,000 euros. Three years later, the fashion house Maison Margiela hired him as its creative director.
PewDiePie
The Swedish gamer also known as Felix Kjellberg became one of YouTube's first superstars of gaming vlogging, in which personalities play video games and provide commentary over the action for their fans. He made appearances on The Walking Dead and South Park and late shows hosted by Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brien. He inked a deal with Disney and Maker Studios to launch a new reality comedy show Scare PewDiePie on YouTube's streaming platform.

In 2017, The Wall Street Journal published a story and video compilation of moments from PewDiePie's YouTube series containing Nazi and antisemitic content. In one, he watched a video of a speech by Adolf Hitler's while wearing a brown military uniform. He paid two Indian men on a freelance site to hold a sign reading "Death to all Jews" who laugh and dance and clearly don't understand what the sign means. He said straight into the camera, "Hitler was right. I really opened my eyes to white power and I think it's time we did something about it" and tried to walk it back by claiming his words were taken out of context.

What Happened Next?
YouTube canceled and removed all episodes of Scare Pewdiepie, and Disney and Maker Studios fired him. He responded with apologies and claims that these incidents were jokes trying to mock antisemitism by committing the same sins. Later that same year, he called an online opponent the n-word during a livestream. Alt-right websites like The Daily Stormer took a liking to the YouTube star and posted photos and videos of his Nazi material, causing PewDiePie to publicly declare that he wouldn't explore such fields for comedic gain ever again.
Tila Tequila
This former MTV reality show star is one of those celebrities who make you wonder how they became one. She doesn't have a successful music career. She can't act, something that's obvious when her biggest claim to fame is starring on a reality show that can't capture reality. And she's a huge Nazi.

That's not hyperbole. She's gone full-blown bigot.

The fallen, self-proclaimed MySpace queen started slowly in 2013 by spouting claims about interstellar battles and conspiracy theories, according to The Washington Post. Then she ramped up the hate to 11 by posting a photo of herself on Facebook in a sexy Hitler costume that she dubbed "Hitila." In it, she stands in front of the Auschwitz concentration camp and an adjoining poster titled "What I Sympathize with Hitler: Part 1."

What Happened Next?
She was kicked off the UK reality series Celebrity Big Brother when the images and her racist manifesto resurfaced online. She issued an apology and said she was "absolutely not 100 percent a Nazi supporter."

She's since walked back that apology and kept digging straight down the hate rabbit hole. These days, she calls herself the "alt-reich queen" and continues to post Nazi imagery of herself and photos of her giving the Wilhelm salute with the likes of hatemongers Richard Spencer, the head of the alt-right group National Policy Institute. She even posted a photo on Instagram in which she gives her baby a Hitler mustache. She's been suspended from social media platforms like Twitter and resorted to online fundraising campaigns on GoFundMe to help her with private issues like decorating her home. Swastika couch covers can get pretty pricey. 
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

Latest Stories