Sometimes the good guys win.
Such was the case on Monday after another TV network severed its ties with GOP candidate and Important Man Donald Trump. Sure, it may have taken 20-plus seasons of MBAs-slash-Penn Jillette trying to sell pizza, but eventually the tide turned. NBC made the decision to join the good people at Univision in kicking Trump to the curb after the man known for successfully running four different companies into bankruptcy made some choice remarks about Mexican immigrants.
This was a notable display of putting one's foot into one's mouth, but the Donald is not the first to lose a TV show due to his general awfulness. In fact, he joins an increasingly long list of celebrities whose off-screen actions have caused networks to end things. Let's go to the tape.
(Note: 19 Kids and Counting has not officially been canceled [which: really?!] as of yet so it will not be included in this rundown. Sorry.)
The Disappeared Show: Flip It Forward
What Happened Here Then? HGTV greenlit a show about two brothers, Jason and David Benham, who decided to stop flipping houses for profit and do it for charity and basic cable residual checks. However, the blog Right Wing Watch noticed that Jason and David Benham bore a strange resemblance to the Jason and David Benham who said some ugly things about homosexuals, Muslims, and just about anyone else you can think of. HGTV quietly announced on Twitter that they were pulling the plug and the Benham brothers were banished to obscurity.
The Disappeared Show: Anything Paula Deen Was On
What Happened Here Then? America, land of the free that she is, was perfectly willing to roll with Paula Deen when she was promoting ridiculously unhealthy living with her recipes—and all power to her, really. But once the topic turned from best fried chicken practices to casually using racial epithets in the presences of employees, common sense won out. Deen repeatedly referred to African-Americans using rbecause apparently she was witness to a bank robbery once. Deen was unsuccessfully sued by an employee who had bi-racial family members, but the damage was done—she lost, among other things, most of her endorsements, the TV shows, and a book deal.
The Disappeared Show: Bill Cosby's new NBC sitcom and Netflix standup special
What Happened Here Then? After comedian Hannibal Buress brought up the years and years of accusations and allegations concerning Cosby's attacks on women that had pretty much gone ignored, the story got too big to brush aside. NBC (the network where Cosby became a disarming presence on his ride to superstardom) ceased development on a proposed sitcom that likely otherwise would be debuting in the fall. Netflix followed suit by refusing to stream a standup special that was recorded on Cosby's 77th birthday.
The Disappeared Show: Luck
What Happened Here Then? HBO decided to stop production on the Dustin Hoffman-And-Also-Every-Great-Character-Actor-starring, David Milch-headed prestige drama about horse racing in California after the horses just would not stop dying on set. They were accidents…or were they?
The Disappeared Show: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
What Happened Here Then? Everything about this one is just sad—the mom, "Mama June," turned out to be dating a child molester who had previously served prison time for assaulting one of her non-titular daughters. TLC ditched the show soon thereafter. Will the family return to the airwaves in some form? Probably. It's all very unfortunate.
The Disappeared Show: Politically Incorrect
What Happened Here Then? Long story short, Bill Maher happened. Maher often takes shortcuts in his logic to create incendiary soundbites; dude should have just cut out the middle man and run for Congress. Nevertheless, before he was able to curse and deliver Jay Leno-ish monologues on HBO, he was being a little more subtle and delivering Jay Leno-ish monologues on ABC.
Anyway: After the September 11th attacks, then-President George W. Bush described the 19 hijackers as cowards. Bill Maher disagreed.
Let's think about the mindset here. September 11th affected everyone, even someone as jaded as Bill Maher. Barbara Olson, a frequent guest on Politically Incorrect, died on Flight 77. Though it's easy to see that Maher respects the panelists on his show, even those who diametrically oppose him, it's clear that Maher was testier than usual that night. He was speaking from his heart, unwilling to toe the line and automatically agree with President Bush.
But: Should he have made these comments the Monday after the attacks? In hindsight, probably not.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org