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6 Celebrities Who Torched Their Legacies in 2022

The Slap heard 'round the world was only the beginning for these falling stars

Fame and fortune are all well and good, but celebrities crave a higher level of stardom.


It’s not just a few hit songs or a blockbuster film franchise. Think a body of work that says something, means something, to the culture at large.

Clint Eastwood, Whitney Houston and Lucille Ball rush to mind.

The following stars had that entering 2022. Now? Those legacies have been tarnished, and some may never be the same.

Will Smith

“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” “Gettin’ Jiggy with It.” “Bad Boys.” “Men in Black.” “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” “I, Robot.”

Funny. Handsome. Charming. Versatile. And, on a fateful night last March, Smith became an Oscar winner for his bravura turn in “King Richard.”

Only minutes earlier, though, the actor torpedoed decades of goodwill by slapping presenter Chris Rock for a mild barb directed at Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith SLAPS Chris Rock at Oscars 2022

That slap, the most shocking moment in the history of the Academy Awards, turned the icon into a laughingstock. Smith has yet to recover from the incident.

His most recent film, “Emancipation,” drew mediocre reviews and little cultural buzz. It remains to be seen if he can reassemble his career, his legacy, moving forward.

He has the talent, of course, to do just that. Americans are a forgiving lot, assuming the troubled souls in question seem genuinely contrite.

Howard Stern

The shock jock once dubbed himself the King of All Media, and it stuck. Why? He transformed terrestrial radio for a new generation of talkers. His 1997 film biography “Private Parts” came in first place at the U.S. box office on its opening weekend, its $14.6 million haul more than most Oscar-bait movies earn today.

He sold books aplenty, garnered endless media attention and proved a walking, talking embodiment of the First Amendment. If you don’t like him, change the station. Except for a few, that wasn’t enough.

Stern fought that minority with everything he had. And the battle made him stronger, more willing to share his opinions.


His slippery slope downhill didn’t start in 2022. The softer, kinder Stern was a bore, beholden to media narratives and missing from the 21st century free speech fight. Last year, he screamed, “f*** your freedom” to those who didn’t follow every last COVID-19 dictate and wished the unvaccinated wouldn’t receive medical care.

The last 12 months found Stern hold up in his Southhampton estate, unable to leave for fear of a waning pandemic.

He ventured out twice, once to shmooze with his Hollywood chums and again to interview rock icon Bruce Springsteen, who threatened his own legacy with his bald-faced greed.

Stern may not have the creative fires left to rekindle his legacy. At 68, he only works three days a week and takes the summers off. He could start, though, by reclaiming his mantle as a free-speech warrior.

We need Stern, the old, unexpurgated Stern, now more than ever.

Neil Young

The prototypical hippie has done it all in music, and he’s not about to retire at 77. Still, Young’s 2022 proved calamitous for his brand.

Young picked a curious fight with a comedian/podcaster back in January, arguing Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast hurt the struggle against COVID-19. Rogan didn’t recite every CDC mantra regarding the pandemic, suggesting young, healthy people may not need the vaccine.

Rogan also invited guests on his show who countered the conventional wisdom on the pandemic. Science exists to be explored, debated and questioned, and that’s precisely what Rogan and co. did.

For that “sin” Young insisted his music be removed from Spotify, and a few aging rockers joined his protest (Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby).

Neil Young Embarrasses Himself in Viral Feud With Spotify & Joe Rogan

Young became the face, and the voice, behind the Rogan protests, and the irony could be sliced with a Ginzu knife. The rocker once fronted the Freedom of Speech tour in 2008, defending our rights to protest the Iraq War.

And Rogan proved more right than wrong with his pandemic opinions.

That didn’t spark an apology from Young, who now wants less voices, not more, in the cultural arena. His hippie days have long since elapsed.

Jon Stewart

He made “The Daily Show” a cultural institution, even if it never garnered the ratings to deserve that status. Stewart transformed late-night comedy, making it more about the headlines than the bipartisan yuks.

Even conservatives admired his wit, and Stewart responded by occasionally poking fun at his progressive pals.

Stewart retired from the Comedy Central perch in 2015, but he couldn’t stay away for long. He returned last year with “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” an Apple TV+ show with a fraction of the reach of his old program.

That wasn’t the “problem.”

Jon Stewart Shocks Audience, Goes Full Woke w/ 'Anti-White People' Segment | DM CLIPS | Rubin Report

Stewart bought into the woke mindset, using his “Problem” to promote its freedom-snuffing methods. He badgered free thinker Andrew Sullivan and embraced Identity Politics to an embarrassing degree.

Woke is anti-comedy, anti-free speech and anti-American. And Stewart in 2022 couldn’t get enough of it.

Whoopi Goldberg

“The View” is consistently the dumbest political talk show on television, but the series reached new levels of ineptitude in 2022.

Goldberg is “The View’s” unofficial leader, tasked with steering the conversation in the most productive ways possible. The show’s fall from even its previous lows in 2022 falls directly on her. And that wasn’t her biggest problem this year.

She suffered a two-week suspension for saying the Holocaust wasn’t about race, but “white on white” crime. And, in the remaining days of 2022, Goldberg doubled down on those remarks.

Kanye West

What’s left to say about the rapper/fashion mogul’s disastrous 2022?

West courts controversy in his REM sleep, but in recent weeks he’s aligned himself with a Holocaust denier, repeatedly maligned Jewish people and snuggled up to Adolf Hitler.

The artist’s mental health struggles are well known, but his calamitous fall from grace appears irreversible.


  1. I noticed Hannity isn’t on the list, is it because he is on Fox? We know Hannity loves the sound of his own voice and pays lip service to many things but the revalations prove beyond a shadow of a doubt he is at best a rino.

  2. This is a stupid article – no, Jon Stewart and Woopie Golberg have not “torched their legacies”. Jon Stewart in fact successfully humiliated Republicans this year in the Senate like “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” who wouldn’t support the bill to give money to our veterans who suffer from burn pit related diseases from Iraq. Everyone knows Will Smith and Kanye West have torched their careers and legacies, so there’s no news there.

  3. Howard Stern is a worthless POS. He was never a “Champion of Free Speech” he was a champion of HIS speech.

  4. I guess the mere fact that all of them are LEFTISTS has nothing to do with their behaviors or failures! BUT it is rather interesting that this all happened only AFTER they offended OTHER LEFTISTS!

    1. She WAS on the list, initially … but I don’t think she has a legacy to speak of … she’s a working actress with a few solid credits to her name, but she’s not a brand or someone we’ve enjoyed watching over the years. But I still see your point!

  5. I beg to differ on the point that these people “torched their legacies” in 2022. Every one of these people have been studiously chipping away at any goodwill they ever had for years, including Will Smith. Self-importance is a career killer. It may take awhile, but eventually, all goodwill capital is spent and the public is just over you. Jennifer Lawrence should be on that list; she managed to gobble up her goodwill at a spectacular pace.

  6. Shout out to Alyssa Milano who’s never been on any list but continues to make us laugh at her pathetic attempts at relevance by jumping on every cause du jour (Covid/Ukraine/abortion/Musk de-censorship of Twitter).

  7. Why would anyone wish to have these people back? be done with them and be happy. They’re not worth what you think they are. Frankly, I find the lot of them bizarre.

    1. Yeah when he insulted the Southern Man and got his ass handed to him by Skynyrd he was toast. Go back to Canada Kneel!

  8. Alec “Shooter” Baldwin
    Ron “The Punk” Perlman
    Rob “Meathead” Reiner
    John “The Whiner” Cusack
    Jennifer “Catnip” Lawrence

    1. Agree. Also, like the nicknames you gave these out of touch celebrities. “Shooter”, The Punk”, “Meathead”, The Whiner” and “Catnip” are exactly who these five celebrities are.

  9. I’m not sure that the response to Will Smith’s new movie is entirely the slap. I’ve little interest in it, simply because I’m movied out on the “evil white men enslaved noble African men” storyline that appears over and over again. I can’t be the only one that’s ready to see another story.

      1. Me too. Lots of good old ones that I am discovering and have never seen. I like suspense, mystery, horror without gore and good story line from capable writers etc… I don’t need any CGI. There are lots and lots of good old movies with ZERO WOKE!

  10. I’d probably add Jennifer Lawrence to this list. Her career has tanked ever since her buddy Harvey Weinsein got arrested – gee, I wonder why – but her constant trashing of men and dubbing herself the first female action star has pretty much buried what was left of her public image. Does anyone want to see her in anything anymore?

    1. she was always a mouthy little self important idiot IMHO. Until Hunger Games hit the top of the charts she never had much of a platform, then they left the mics open for her to speak. Things went downhill quickly after that with her mouth going.

    2. I agree. Jennifer’s biggest problem is she is not very bright but when people make millions they seem to think they are smarter than everyone else. She quit school in the 7th grade to go to Hollywood and the rest is history

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