“D*mn, Why They Wanna Stick Me For My Paper?” Celebrities Who Lost Major Endorsement Deals For Acting A Fool
If Rick Ross and Lil Wayne have taught us anything, it’s that you had better watch your filthy mouth, because it could very well hurt your pockets. But they aren’t the first celebrities to get the boot from a company for acting a complete donkey. Or in the case of some of the celebrities on this list, for just being themselves. Here are 10 who lost lucrative endorsement deals over the years because of their antics.
It still makes me sad to think about how on top of the world Chris Brown USED to be. Back in 2008, he was the guy every mom wanted their young daughters to date, and he was blowing everybody’s mind with his great dance moves and catchy songs. But then that terrible altercation occurred the night before the Grammys in February of 2008, and his fame was forever altered. And of course, he was also hit in the pockets. Brown was dropped as the spokesperson for Wrigley’s gum, and while you might say, “Who cares about some Doublemint Gum?” if it wasn’t for writing jingle for the company, we would never have “Forever” (“Double your pleasure, double your fuuuuuun…”).
Pepsi loves to play crazy, because they knew what they were getting into when they decided to make the controversial Madonna the face of their soft drink back in the day. Yet and still, they dropped some pretty fab commercials with the diva, including one that featured the song “Like A Prayer.” Unfortunately, the actual video for “Like A Prayer,” which came after the Pepsi ad, was so controversial because of burned crosses, and many cries that it was all-around blasphemous. After folks of course did what they do best, protest, commercials with the singer were dropped, and they killed any plans to work with Madonna in the future.
Remember that time when Tiger Woods used to be squeaky clean in the public eye? Yeah, he jacked that all up by sleeping with almost every every chick he could get his hands on, and then getting whooped on by his wife, Elin, before crashing his car and letting the world in on his infidelity. After the press conferences, the released text messages, the interviews with his birds, everyone from AT&T, General Motors, Gatorade and more axed Woods for all the scandal he brought upon them. But surprisingly, Nike stood by the legendary golfer and even defended him in an ad later saying, “winning takes care of everything.” Riiiiiight….
They don’t call her a “Good girl gone bad” for nothing now! While Rihanna has been known for her love of being half-dressed if not completely undressed for a while now, somehow, Nivea overlooked that and brought her on as a spokesperson. But by 2012, she was all of a sudden too raunchy for the company and didn’t reflect the family-friendly image they wanted to portray. Per the usual, she didn’t give a you-know-what.
It was back in 2003 when Kobe Bryant had his image muddied. He was of course accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman who worked at a hotel he was staying at while in town for knee surgery. He would confess to the fact that he did engage in an affair with the woman, but didn’t rape her. In the end, charges were dropped against him, but he was also dropped from his endorsement deals with McDonalds and Nutella (you know, the delicious hazelnut spread).
Okay, now this was totally unfair. The rapper was doing his duties as Pepsi spokesperson only to have the always wack Bill O’Reilly come in and rain on his money-making parade. Back in 2002, the Fox News host went on an attack on the ATL lyricist, claiming Pepsi should rethink their decision to sign an individual whose music allegedly promoted violence, drugs and misogyny. Before he could even give his two cents, O’Reilly’s stans came for Pepsi, and the pressure pushed the company to fire him immediately.
When it comes to fashion, no one is probably as beloved even now as a fashion icon and model than Kate Moss (oh yeah, and Naomi Campbell!). But she found herself in the middle of a hot mess when cameras snapped Moss doing lines of coke and the pictures were sold and posted on the cover of a UK tabloid in 2005. Soon after, everyone from H&M to Burberry and Chanel dropped her from their campaigns. But don’t feel sorry for her, because homegirl has garnered even more opportunities since the scandal, including Rimmel, Calvin Klein and more, and she even got to collaborate on a clothing collection with Topshop.
Many companies have tried to do big things with T.I., but his past legal troubles definitely hindered these business arrangements from going far. When he got in major trouble for possession of unregistered machine guns and silencers (who was he about to kill???), after serving time, Remy Martin dropped the rapper. And after being thrown back in prison in 2010 for drug possession, AXE body spray, who signed him earlier in the year, had to cut ties with the rapper as well. You live and you learn! And now he’s the ultimate family man…
If folks are looking for Whoopi Goldberg to keep it PG, then they’re messing with the wrong one. The comedian has always been very outspoken, and back when she was endorsing Slim-Fast, that outspokenness got her canned. Why? She appeared at a fundraiser for John Kerry in 2004 and got very NC-17 when speaking about President Bush. Not only did that not help John Kerry win the presidency, right-wing folks boycotted Slim-Fast products and before too long, the company had to drop Goldberg. Clearly that hasn’t stopped her from telling it like it is after the fact.
As Dave Chappelle once said, when pretending he was Diddy, you can’t go around choking your problems away. But nobody told Latrell Sprewell that, because he went out and choked his Golden State Warriors coach, P.J. Carlesimo. Once you do that, there’s no going back, and of course, he lost his endorsement deals, including a deal with Converse. But he bounced back decently, going on to sign a deal with And1 (throwback!) later.