Food Network star Paula Deen was the subject of major backlash after a desposition surfaced in which she is quoted making racist statements and admitted to using the "N word." The controversy caused Deen to loose her Food Network job, and she later issued an apology where she "begged" for forgiveness. She has since announced that she is launching a digital network.
"Transformers" star Megan Fox knows a thing or two about problematic press. In 2011, she likened her director, Michael Bay, to Hitler in an interview with Wonderland Magazine and producer Steven Spielberg had her fired. She was subsequently fired from the next "Transformers" movie and replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The two seem to have reconciled their differences and Fox will appear in Bay's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie.
Director Brett Ratner's off-handed comment that "rehearsal is for fags" during a Q&A for his comedy "Tower Heist" cost him the choice job of producing the 2012 Oscars.
Heiress/sometimes actress Paris Hilton is known for her reckless behavior and clueless statements, so not many were surprised when Neil Strauss's book "Everyone Loves You When You're Dead" suggested she was against interracial dating. Hilton has also been caught making gay and racial slurs.
Fashion designer John Galliano's anti-Semitic rant in a Paris bar in 2011 cost him his job as creative director of Christian Dior, his industry credibility and 6,000 euros in fines. He has since claimed he was too drunk to remember the incident and has been given a temporary position at Oscar de la Renta's fashion house.
"Seinfeld" actor and comic Michael Richards wasn't getting any laughs when he took a racially charged response to black hecklers while on stage in 2006 at the Laugh Factory. Richards apologized for his statements via satellite on "Late Show with David Letterman" and, judging by the way he referenced the incident in an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," seems aware that it permanently altered his reputation.
"30 Rock" actor and stand-up comic Tracy Morgan has put his foot in his mouth in regards to gays and lesbians (In 2011, he told a Nashville audience he'd "pull out a knife and stab" his gay son) and disabled children (also in 2011, he told a New York City audience "don't ever mess with women who have retarded kids".) In his apology for the first comment, Morgan said " I am an equal opportunity jokester."
Baldwin lost his MSNBC job after calling a hassling photographer a "f-g" on the streets of New York.
90s dreamboat Mel Gibson's rants are legendary. In 2010, his estranged girlfriend famously released recordings of his litany of slurs against her. This, partnered with the PR nightmares of his alleged racist, anti-Semetic and homophobic comments, have ensured that entertainment journalists will forever be writing stories on whether his career is salvageable.
In an interview with Playboy, "Dark Knight" star Gary Oldman blasted Hollywood liberals for their double standard and defended Mel Gibson: "We're all hypocrites...The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n***** or that f****** Jew?"
It seems difficult to imagine a time when movie screens weren't packed with comicbook titles, but before June 23, 1989, masked heroes were in short supply. On the 25th anniversary of “Batman,” here's how the Michael Keaton starrer revolutionized the modern comicbook movie.
Designed by British costumer Bob Ringwood, the Tim Burton bat-suit put an end to five decades worth of corny spandex jokes. Replete with a bullet-proof chest-plate, weaponized boots and lethal forearm gauntlets, it instantly became the template for virtually all future cinematic superheroes. One need only look at Captain America's Kevlar stealth outfit, Wolverine's black leather combat suit or the sculpted design of Henry Cavill's "Man of Steel" costume to see its lasting influence.
Burton's nightmarishly beautiful Gotham City earned production designer Anton Furst an Academy Award and raised the creative bar for all subsequent comicbook films. While the previous Superman films were set in a realistic world, Burton created an entire universe from scratch. Combining Gothic architecture and a noir-steampunk aesthetic, its striking impact can be felt in films like “Blade,” “Hellboy” and “Watchmen.”
Eschewing the campiness of the classic 60s era TV show, Burton reinvented the caped crusader as a psychologically damaged loner, prone to brooding in the shadows when he isn't stalking the streets like a haunted vigilante. In many ways, he's as frightening as The Joker himself. This grimmer, darker version of the character proved so popular that 25 years later it is echoed in films like “The Punisher,” “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” and Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.
With only two modestly -budgeted, yet commercially successful, features under his utility belt, “Batman” catapulted Tim Burton onto the world stage as a visionary filmmaker whose unique imagery and recurrent themes are instantly recognizable. His artistic integrity helped legitimize the still-fledgling comicbook genre, laying the groundwork for directors like Nolan, Sam Raimi and Guillermo del Toro to take the reins decades later.
Although controversial at the time, Burton and producer Jon Peters insisted that comedic actor Michael Keaton had the "edgy, tormented quality” necessary to portray their darker version of Bruce Wayne and his costumed alter-ego. The film's critical and financial success proved their quirky instincts correct. This risky decision opened doors for the unlikely casting of Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo, and helped redefine what cinematic superheroes look like.
Behind every great hero is an even greater villain, which is why casting Jack Nicholson as Batman's cackling nemesis was a true game-changer. The presence of a two-time Oscar winner hidden beneath layers of comicbook makeup helped pave the way for future evildoers like Ian McKellen, Jeff Bridges and Willem Dafoe. Nineteen years later, Heath Ledger would win an Academy Award for his interpretation of the same diabolical character.
In the 2005 reboot “Batman Begins,” Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne delivers the line “As a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.” He may as well have been discussing the gleaming black-and-gold Bat-logo that became a phenomenon during the summer of '89. The instantly-iconic image drew global attention to Burton's film without even mentioning its title. Today, Captain America's shield, Spider-Man's webbing and The Fantastic Four's metallic “4” are used in similar fashion.
Before “Batman,” superhero movies took inspiration loosely from comicbooks, incorporating some aspects while ignoring others, often to fans' displeasure. Burton rewrote the rules by mirroring imagery directly from the books themselves, particularly Frank Miller's “The Dark Knight Returns” and Alan Moore's “Batman: The Killing Joke.” This type of fidelity to the source material is now a signature of directors like Zack Snyder, Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer, who painstakingly recreate specific panels from memorable issues.
While the previous Superman films were content to market T-shirts and a handful of toys to children and comicbook fans, Warner Bros. took a page from the “Star Wars” playbook and merchandised “Batman” tie-in products of every conceivable variety. In a single bound, their marketing blitz brought superheroes into the consumer mainstream, setting the precedent for unlikely-seeming partnerships like Limited Edition Captain America Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer for Men from Kiehl's cosmetics.