10 celebrity ambassadors who got dropped by big-name brands: Ye lost Adidas and Gap after his controversial remarks, Disney dropped Johnny Depp, and Kate Moss got cut off by Chanel in her party days
- Ye, aka Kanye West, was recently dropped by Adidas and Gap after his anti-Semitic remarks – but he’s not the only celebrity to lose out on big endorsements
- Korean actress Seo Ye-ji was cut off by Luna when reports claimed she barred then-boyfriend Kim Jung-hyun from doing romance scenes with his Time co-star, Seohyun
Many celebrities earn their wealth through their respective professions, but we all know that even bigger bucks often come from lucrative endorsement deals. It’s therefore expected that the celebrity in question stay on their best behaviour – especially when being paid so much to represent a brand that wants to maintain a good image.
But what happens when it all goes wrong? As we’ve seen with Ye’s, formerly Kanye West’s, recent anti-Semitic remarks and the subsequent public outrage, it’s up to brands to decide how they handle such partnerships going forward. For Ye, the consequence has been a ruthless slashing of his net worth after Adidas, Gap and others severed legally-binding ties with the controversial rapper.
But which other celebrities have been cut off by brands over the years and … why?
1. Kate Moss
Now 48, the iconic British supermodel suffered a major blip in her life with reported drug abuse during the early 2000s.
3. Seo Ye-ji
The 32-year-old It’s Okay Not to be Okay K-drama actress found herself embroiled in scandal last year when she reportedly barred her then-boyfriend – Kim Jung-hyun of Crash Landing on You fame – from doing romance scenes with his Time co-star, Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun.
Although her agency denied the claims, the drama was all too much for her big-name endorsers, with Inner Flora, Aer and Rieti all scrubbing photos and videos of the star from their respective websites. Cosmetics brand Luna cut ties with her too.
4. Maria Sharapova
Regardless of her reasons though, Nike and Porsche were quick to cut off their partnerships with the star, and Tag Heuer suspended negotiations to extend her contract as well, according to NPR.
5. Aamir Khan
The Bollywood veteran, 57, is no stranger to controversy. Netizens have recently boycotted his movies, accusing him of “mocking Hindu traditions”, reported Mens XP.
6. Sharon Stone
Back in 2008, the Basic Instinct actress found herself in hot water when she made comments suggesting that the devastating earthquake in southwest China was “bad karma” for Beijing’s occupation of Tibet, according to The Guardian. The earthquake killed over 68,000 people.
7. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods was at the top of his game until he was exposed in 2009 for cheating on his Swedish wife, former model Elin Nordegren, with at least 15 women – with the New York Post even stating that he confessed to sleeping with over 120 women.
In the wake of the golf pro’s scandal, Woods lost a huge chunk of his fortune as sponsors pulled out. Brands that exited partnerships with the American star, now 46, included Gatorade, Gillette, AT&T and Accenture.
8. Kathy Griffin
The 62-year-old American comedian and actress was recently banned from Twitter – along with plenty of others – for impersonating Elon Musk, reported The Guardian. Before that, she, like many celebrities, publicly mocked former US president Donald Trump.
However, Griffin took things a bit too far when she shared a photo of herself with a bloody replica of Trump’s decapitated head in 2017, per People. The grisly image led to her losing an endorsement gig with Squatty Potty. She was also fired from her role as New Year’s Eve host for CNN that year, and 25 theatres cancelled her upcoming stand-up shows as a result of the backlash, reported People.
9. Kris Wu
The 32-year-old Canadian-Chinese rapper and former member of Exo was arrested for sexual assault in 2021, marking one of the most explosive scandals in the history of China’s entertainment scene. It all started when teenage beauty influencer Du Meizhu accused Wu of preying on underage girls on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, and accusing him of taking advantage of her when she was drunk, leading Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Porsche to immediately drop partnerships with the disgraced star.
10. Johnny Depp
When Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post calling herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse”, all eyes turned to the Edward Scissorhands star, with the media demanding answers to Heard’s allegations.
The accusations caused Disney to drop the actor from its multibillion-dollar Pirates of the Caribbean franchise just four days after the op-ed was released in 2018. And, of course, it led to Depp’s highly publicised defamation lawsuit against the Aquaman actress, which he later won. However, Dior, a long-time collaborator of his, chose not to cut him off as a partner throughout the legal battle.