10 Celebrity Boycotts
When they got fed up, celebs left these things behind—sometimes temporarily, and sometimes for good.
Florida won't be the sunshine of Stevie Wonder's life ... A day after the Zimmerman trial verdict, the legendary soul singer announced that he's boycotting Florida until the "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law is abolished. "As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world," Wonder said. That would take 23 other states—including Illinois, Oregon, and even Michigan, home of Motown—off his tour schedule.
2. Kick-Ass 2
Critics are one thing. But what happens when a leading man gives his own movie a bad review? In June, Jim Carrey denounced Kick-Ass 2, claiming that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December had changed his views on movie violence. The movie's executive producer quickly rushed to its defense. Despite Carrey's change of heart, the actor is probably contractually obligated to walk the red carpet and promote Kick-Ass 2 when it opens on August 16.
4. Zero Dark Thirty
The 2012 war film Zero Dark Thirty made many viewers uncomfortable, including actors Martin Sheen and Ed Asner. The two, along with Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member David Clennon, claimed the film promoted torture and started a campaign against it during the 2013 Academy Awards season. Zero Dark Thirty received five nominations, but only tied with Skyfall for Best Sound Editing.
5. Two and a Half Men
Two years after becoming the highest paid child star on television, 19-year-old Angus T. Jones urged the public not to watch Two and a Half Men. The born again actor called the show "filth" during a video interview with the religious website Forerunner Chronicles. Jones issued an apology the next day. Former co-star Charlie Sheen's response: "I like the apology his lawyers wrote for him—that was pretty good." Jones will play a smaller recurring role in season 11.
6. Awards campaigning
Mo'Nique was thrilled when her performance in Precious was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009. But she wasn't eager to campaign for the Oscar with countless interviews and media appearances, like most actors do. So she didn't, and it led to an angry backlash. Film industry insiders and critics called Mo'Nique unprofessional and ungrateful. She won the Oscar, anyway.
7. Hugo Boss
The same year that Mo'Nique took home an Oscar, Danny Glover told attendees what not to wear. Fashion house Hugo Boss was set to close its Cleveland plant and lay off 400 workers a few weeks after the ceremony. Glover and the labor union Workers United urged Hollywood stars to dress up in another label in protest. Most Oscar-goers went along with the plan, and the plant stayed open. In 2012, Hugo Boss workers signed a three-year contract with the company.
8. Jay Leno
Thousands of supporters proclaimed "I'm With Coco" when Conan O'Brien left The Tonight Show and was replaced by his predecessor Jay Leno. Fellow late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel even compared Leno to Jason from the Friday the 13th movies: “Just when you think he’s dead, he comes back.” Every other late night talk show host agreed. In May, NBC announced that Leno's finally being put to rest. Jimmy Fallon will take over The Tonight Show on February 24, 2014.
9. Hilton Hotels
In a 2007 appearance on The Tyra Banks Show, Senator Barack Obama revealed that his 9-year-old daughter, Malia, had been watching the news and didn't approve of Paris Hilton's bad behavior. At the time, Hilton had been sentenced to jail for driving with a suspended license after an earlier drunk driving arrest. Obama explained that Malia feels so strongly that she's asked her parents not to stay in Hilton hotels. Maybe she has a future in politics, too.
Diss and ye shall receive. In a 2006 interview with The Economist, Frederic Rouzaud, managing director of the company that produces Cristal, was asked if mentions in rap music have been detrimental to the high-end champagne brand. His response: "That's a good question, but what can we do? We can't forbid people from buying it. I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business." Rapper Jay-Z immediately announced that he was pulling the bubbly from his 40/40 Club chain and wouldn't be drinking it at home, either. In the 2009 single "On to the Next One," he rapped, "I used to drink Cristal, them f***ers racist/So I switched gold bottles on to that Spade s**t."