Did You Know Why Disney Fired These Celebrities?

In recent months, other movie studios have run into issues with problematic actors.

Most recently, Warner Bros. faced negative headlines over the erratic behavior of Ezra Miller, the star of 2023’s The Flash, who attacked a couple in Hawaii.

Ezra miller

Photo: allamericannews.com

Disney isn’t above the fray in this regard. Sometimes, the company has severed relationships with performers whose overhead outweighed their appeal.

Here are six celebrities that Disney fired.

Disney Say Gay

Roseanne Barr

The old fable about the scorpion and the frog applies to Roseanne Barr. Anyone who employs her knows what they’re getting.

The comedian has a brilliant mind but never developed an awareness of boundaries.

Roseanne barr

Photo: gotceleb.com

As such, Disney executives knew they were rolling the dice by rebooting Roseanne in 2018.

The second course of the former number one series proved remarkably effective at first.

Roseanne barr


Ratings for the first two episodes surpassed 18 million viewers. Those are early 2000s numbers. Alas, the charm wore off quickly.

By the end of the first season, Roseanne had dropped to 10 million, which is still really good. It hinted that the bloom might come off the rose quickly, though. When Roseanne made some regrettable, inarguably racist comments, Disney executives quickly moved to remove her from the show.

Photo: ABC

ABC unveiled The Connors the following season, which was Roseanne without Roseanne Barr. It proved a viable substitute during its first season and continues to this day.

The ratings have slipped more than half over the past four years. Still, Disney executives believe that’s due to the nature of modern television consumption.

Harlan Ellison

I’ve always loved this anecdote because it sounds made up. In fact, Snopes had to publish an article verifying its accuracy.

Harlan Ellison

Photo: Wikipedia

Back in the day, Disney hired sci-fi legend Harlan Ellison. We’re talking about a man who won eight Hugos (!) during his career.

Ellison also wrote The City on the Edge of Forever, one of the most acclaimed Star Trek episodes ever.

Photo: midnitereviews.com

However, Ellison’s Wikipedia page also includes a section called Temperament, which speaks volumes about how combustible he was.

During the 1960s, Disney hired Ellison to work on various film and television projects. He…didn’t last the day. I’m totally serious.


At lunch on his first day, Ellison joked that Disney should make a porn movie. He then proceeded to act out the various parts, mimicking beloved characters.

Ellison would later note in his memoir that Roy Disney, Walt’s older brother/company CEO, was sitting at a nearby table. Yeah, there was a pink slip waiting for Ellison when he returned from lunch.

The moral of the story: If you’re gonna make fun of Disney characters, make sure no Disney execs are sitting within hearing distance of you.

James Gunn

Hollywood has a golden rule that the industry loves a good comeback. Some of them are a bit sillier than others.

To wit, James Gunn is currently on his comeback tour from never really going anywhere.

James Gunn

During the earliest days of Gunn’s career, he worked at Troma Entertainment, the shock cinema group known for The Toxic Avenger.

Gunn sharpened his quirky sense of wit during his time there and then spent the early days of the internet testing boundaries.

In 2014, Gunn got his big break as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy, which has since turned into such a big deal that Disney has built two rides based on the franchise.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuted in 2017 and earned roughly $865 million at the box office.

james gunn

Photo: yahoo.com

However, the following year, the Roseanne Barr broke in May. That July, some people brought attention to Gunn’s regrettable tweets from 2008 to 2012.

Disney faced an outcry of hypocrisy over firing Barr but not Gunn, even though her comments were current, not old tweets made as jokes.

suicide squad

Photo: wired.com

So, they fired Gunn, which worked to his advantage. The director signed a lucrative deal with Warner Bros. to direct The Suicide Squad.

He also found time to create Peacemaker for HBO Max. After a time, the Tweets had blown over as Twitter turned…much crazier.

At that point, Disney rehired Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, something the cast had championed since his termination.

(Disney Marvel via AP)

Gunn is also creating a Guardians holiday special for Disney+ this year and filmed the new footage for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT.

Photo: D23

So, this firing comes with a happy ending.

Terrance Howard

Here’s the oddest of all the firings we’ll discuss today. In 2008, Paramount Pictures released the first MCU movie, Iron Man.

The following year, Disney would purchase Marvel and plan a sequel. So, this one comes with a bit of an asterisk.

You could argue that Terrence Howard was never officially fired by Disney. He just didn’t continue in the MCU once Disney took over.

Terrance Howard

Photo: celebrity insider

Reportedly, the film’s director, Jon Favreau, didn’t like Howard’s work as James Rhodes, the War Machine.

According to some reports, Howard actually earned more money than Robert Downey Jr. in the first film, something I struggled to believe.

Source: polygon.com

However, Howard himself has indicated that he had $8 million coming for Iron Man 2. And Disney didn’t like that any more than Favreau enjoyed the thought of working with him again.

So, Disney recast the role with Don Cheadle, who has benefited mightily from the gig. In fact, he’ll soon star in Armor Wars on Disney+.

Terrance Howard


Meanwhile, Howard fell upward with a career-defining gig on Empire…but he could have had that AND a prime role in the MCU.


I realize some of you don’t know Patty Jenkins by name, but she has a Funko Pop!, which tells you she’s a big deal.

Photo: Funko

The director helmed Wonder Woman and its sequel, two of Warner Bros.’ most successful superhero projects.

She previously directed Charlize Theron’s Academy Award-winning performance in Monster as well. So we’re talking about a big-time talent here.


Disney had planned for Jenkins to join the MCU before she made DC Comics movies instead.

Jenkins was the early choice for director of Thor 2. Remember that rift Natalie Portman had with Marvel in the wake of Thor: The Dark World?

Photo: screencrush.com

Yeah, that was because of Patty Jenkins. Marvel hired her to direct the movie. Disney canned her once it became clear she worked at her own pace.

The problem stemmed from Jenkins’ pace in writing the script for Thor 2. Unfortunately, she wasn’t going fast enough for the movie to make its scheduled release date.Given the respective quality of Thor: The Dark World and Wonder Woman, I’ d say Jenkins had the last laugh.

Sometimes, good things come to those who wait, Disney.


If you’re over the age of 30, you might not even know who Jake Paul is.


Photo: YouTube.com

The YouTube star and his brother, Logan, were early success stories as YouTube content creators.

Logan has since gone on to become the new Butterbean, fighting exhibition boxing matches against people like Floyd Mayweather. He even appeared at WrestleMania in April of 2022.

Jake has also embarked on an amateur boxing career, but he hasn’t achieved his brother’s success. Unfortunately, he also hasn’t avoided infamy.


Photo: Disney

While co-starring on Disney’s Bizaardvark, the younger Paul found himself in a – and I can’t believe I’m typing these words – t-shirt cannon assault on a KTLA reporter.

Right around that point, Disney decided that Bizaardvark was fine with Olivia Rodrigo and Madison Hu as the leads. Go figure.

Given later allegations and legal issues involving Jake Paul, Disney made the right call.

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