One in four people in the UK have experienced some form of cyberbullying, research reveals. Bullying has been a persistent problem for years, but this problematic behaviour seems to be worse online. Even celebrities aren’t immune to bullying: some stars have received online criticism or threats from their followers and anti-fans. However, some celebrities are known to have been on the other side of the bullying fence too, and they have made their peers highly uncomfortable with their unprofessional conduct online. Even before the prevalence of the Internet, reported instances of certain actors’ toxic behaviour suggest that bullying is rampant on countless movie sets and TV productions. From acclaimed actors to reality stars, here are some celebrities’ bullying tactics that made them a challenge to work with.
Physical bullying as a show of dominance
Bullying can cause health issues that range from anxiety, insomnia and depression to an impaired immune system. But those who have experienced schoolyard bullying know that it can also cause physical pain once the bully becomes overly aggressive. In the case of celebrities, some male actors have reportedly asserted their dominance on the set by physically assaulting their co-stars, staff and directors. Steven Seagal is one actor who is said to have often used a bullying approach when making movies, and back in the 90’s, John Leguizamo became the focus of the action star’s wrath while filming “Executive Decision.” In an interview with A.V. Club, Leguizamo said that on the first day of their rehearsal for the 1996 film, Seagal came in announcing that he was “in command,” and when the “John Wick” actor laughed, the action star allegedly slammed him against a brick wall.
Other actors who are said to have assaulted their co-workers on set include Tom Hardy, who reportedly put Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Innaritu in a headlock while filming “The Revenant” in 2015. There’s also James Franco, who, despite being told to lighten up during rehearsals, allegedly punched his co-star Tyrese Gibson multiple times during fight scenes for the 2006 drama “Annapolis.”
Verbal bullying to demean or degrade their peers
The first instalment of the “Charlie’s Angels” films starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu was rife with tension, as Liu is said to have clashed with co-star Bill Murray. In reports, the “Groundhog Day” star was allegedly unpleasant to Liu and even questioned why she was in the movie when she “can’t act” at all. Jim Carrey experienced the same thing when he acted alongside Tommy Lee Jones in “Batman Forever,” and director Joel Schumacher confirmed in an interview that Jones was difficult to work with. “Jim Carrey was a gentleman, and Tommy Lee was threatened by him,” said Schumacher to EW.
Cyber bullying to defame
It can be recalled that Kanye West and Taylor Swift have had an ongoing feud since the 2009 VMAs, and while they seemed to have made up in 2015, Kanye’s song that was released the following year reignited the feud with explicit lyrics about the “Lover” singer. The rapper claimed that through a phone call, Swift approved of the lyrics before it was released. However, the “Bad Love” singer denied giving approval, and her statement made Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian, decide to post the alleged recording of the phone conversation on her Snapchat account. The reality star also went on Twitter and made a pointed remark about Swift, calling her a “snake.” As a result, the singer was on the receiving end of criticism and trolling online, which Swift said made her “feel lower than I’ve ever felt in my entire life.” But it seems like Swift was finally avenged after an unedited recording of the phone conversion floated online in March 2020, which seems to prove the fact that she never gave permission for Kanye to say that he “made her famous” in the song.
These incidents prove that even celebrities aren’t immune to bullying from their peers. Moreover, despite being professionals, it’s likely that these celebrities may never work together again after all that bad blood between them.