By Sabrina Balina
For a lot of us, 2020 was a year that just seemed to keep getting worse and worse as time dragged on. The defining theme for this year could be whittled down to one word: loss. We lost our jobs, we lost our friends, we lost our family, we lost our passions, hobbies, goals; we lost our overall faith in humanity. But while over 300,000 Americans lost their lives due to COVID-19 this year, perhaps more importantly, we lost somewhere between twelve and twenty-six pretty notable and relatively famous celebrities to a fate much worse than death: cancellation.
We all know that routine that inevitably unfurls when we lose another star due to cancellation. It usually starts with a text from someone close to you: oh my god, did you hear what Liam Neeson said??? You suddenly feel your heart drop, fearing the worst but knowing you must Google what they’re talking about. Then you see it. Scroll after scroll of headlines, tweet after tweet sharing links, hashtag after hashtag urging to cancel. Another one gone too soon. All you can do is bow your head in memoriam and try to remember the good times; Schindler’s List, Qui-Gon Jinn, that monologue he delivers on the phone every time his daughter gets kidnapped. But as days pass and news ages, we ultimately carry on and attempt to move forward with our lives, trying our best not to watch their movies or listen to their songs, until another celebrity casualty is claimed.
2020 saw the cancellation of some of pop culture’s most beloved and cherished figures. Nick Cannon fell victim to anti-Semitic tweets, Ellen DeGeneres was stricken by being really mean to her staff, and Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon caught a damning case of blackface. But while their cases of career mortality captured the headlines in between the occasional COVID-19 death toll update and whatever wild shit the President said that week, unfortunately there were many other relatively famous and quasi-successful celebrities whose cancellations got overlooked and snubbed, due to all the hoopla of overpopulated hospitals and rallying cries of social justice this year. So to properly send off these celebrities before they confine themselves to their ranch properties in Montana and Wyoming for the remainder of eternity, we thought we’d pay respects to the famous people you didn’t know got cancelled in 2020:
1) Danny Tamberelli
90’s kids will definitely mourn the loss of one of their favorite Mighty Ducks and Petes from The Adventures of Pete & Pete. From child star to podcast and video game voice talent, Danny Tamberelli was America’s ginger, striking chords with audiences for his infectious charm and witty dialect. However, all his glitter turned out to not be gold, as Tamberelli was arrested in early June of 2020 outside of an Office Depot in Louisville, Kentucky for refusing to wear a mask inside the store and defecating all over several packages of printing paper.
Amateur video captured at the scene portrayed a livid and enraged Tamberelli, spitting all over binder clips and paper punchers, engaging in frenetic rants that included, ‘WHO THE FUCK EVEN BUYS THIS SHIT?? WHO THE FUCK EVEN SHOPS HERE?? DON’T PEOPLE HAVE THE INTERNET?? WHY WOULD YOU COME HERE??? THIS STORE IS FAKE!!!!’ Tamberelli has yet to comment on the escapade, but his conduct all but guarantees him being left off any impending ‘All That’ reunion Zoom conference-table reads.
2) Shannon Elizabeth
For many men of a certain age, Shannon Elizabeth’s breasts were the first precious pair of titties their eyes ever came across, in her scene-stealing, sultry cameos in the award-winning American Pie franchise. But while her emboldening of the ‘male gaze’ charted a quest for unattainable lust for thousands of sex-starved adolescents, the actress refused to let her beauty define her work, and balanced her acting jobs with noteworthy charitable efforts, specifically regarding animal rescue.
Nonetheless, it’s her career that’s now in need of saving after a May 2020 incident in which the knockout star dropped a bombshell tweet, unprovokingly stating that,
‘ETHIOPIAN FOOD MAKE ME SAY YUCKY YUCKY!!! I HATE ETHIOPIAN FOOD!!! I ONLY EAT SONIC TATER TOTS AND PANERA BREAD SOUP, SORRY NOT SORRY, EAT MY ASS!!!!’Shannon Elizabeth
Twitter immediately exploded, as thousands of Caucasians mobbed Elizabeth’s account with accusations of ‘culinarism’ and ‘sustenance privilege’. Needless to say, Elizabeth is certainly now eating her words, and is all but guaranteed to be left off any impending ‘American Pie’ reunion Zoom conference-table reads.
3) Jet (The Band)
Everybody remembers exactly where they were when they first watched and listened to the iPod commercial featuring several dancing silhouettes rocking out to Aussie heartthrobs Jet’s debut single ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’ I know where I was; I was in the midst of a Robitussin bender, sucking down Go-Gurt pouches, trying to hide from my Stepdad Jeremiah who’d been in a bad mood ever since he lost his job at Sam Goody, which he blamed on 9-11. When I heard that first wiggle of the tambourine and my eyes turned to see dancing shadows grooving out to a Disney Channel version of Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’, I was overcome with bursting optimism and immediately signed up for the Air Force. Fast forward almost two decades and millions of albums sold later (and a dishonorable discharge and a short stint in Rikers Island for me), Jet continues to tour the world and soar through the airwaves.
But all that success has seemingly crashed and burned after a gig gone wrong in September of 2020. When news spread that Jet was headlining an anti-circumcision music festival in Arkansas called ‘Save The Skin Fest’, pro-circumcisionists around the world took to the Internet to hold the Aussies accountable. When pressed about their stance on circumcision, Jet doubled down on their allegiance, publicly declaring that ‘Foreskin genocide is an ongoing issue the mainstream media continues to cover up, and we will not remain silent as millions of baby dicks are snipped without consent!!!’ Obviously their fierce diligence on such a sensitive subject will cost them more than a handful of baby dick dermis, especially given recent news they’ve been dropped by their label and publicist for their phallus extremism.
It seems forever ago that South Korean Pop sensation PSY took over the world with his equestrian-inspired dance moves and irresistible cock. But what has ol’ PSY been up to after nobody cares about ‘Gangnam Style’ anymore? Apparently he’s been keeping busy. But instead of being busy producing catchy, sexual innuendo-filled pop songs, it turns out you could say he’s getting busy. And not with humans. In April of 2020, leaked video insinuated that PSY’s love of horses went beyond simulating jockey-riding techniques (he fucked a horse).
While the video has since been deleted from most websites, self-research has confirmed the footage is still circulating on various adult websites, specifically YouPorn, XNXX, and HDPoon. Backlash was swift, as various animal-rights organizations condemned PSY for taking his love of animals ‘too far’, and the hashtag ‘NEIGH MEANS NEIGH’ began trending soon after. PSY has yet to publicly respond to the accusations and his whereabouts remain unknown.
5) Jonathan Goldsmith
While the name may not jump out at you, that mug must certainly ring a bell. For ten years, Goldsmith was the face behind Dos Equis’ ‘Most Interesting Man In The World’ advertising campaign. A struggling stage actor for decades, his appearances in the commercials provided him with newfound fame, and, assumingly, many propositions for no-strings-attached-sexual relations. While I’m sure you’re assuming this dude did some very naughty, no-no sex shit, like some Lauer-level shit, or maybe he C.K.’d someone, unfortunately no one has come forward denouncing Goldsmith for sexual misconduct of any kind.
HOWEVER, in August of 2020, hate-spreading Internet bulletin board-site 4chan began incorporating Goldsmith’s iconic face on a series of QAnon-inspired memes suggesting Hunter Biden is actually the bastard lovechild of Goldsmith and Hillary Clinton; an affair that began during Bill Clinton’s tenure as Arkansas Governor and was ultimately covered up by leaked documents concerning the Iran-Contra Affair. The theory insists that Hunter was adopted by the Bidens to further hush the liaison, and connects various dots correlating between Goldsmith’s employer Dos Equis’ ‘XX’ logo with Hillary Clinton providing the ‘XX’ chromosomes to Goldsmith’s ‘XY’ chromosomes that conceived Hunter, who’s birth given initials (Hunter Clinton = H.C.) align with Hillary’s (Hillary Clinton = H.C.), which according to the periodic table equates to Hydrogen plus Carbon, which creates the covalent bond compound that produces diamonds, which alludes to the diamond Hunter received on behalf of a Chinese energy tycoon, a transaction that is currently under investigation. Essentially, QAnon has adopted Goldsmith’s face as a mascot, so I guess you should just avoid affiliating yourself with the Dos Equis’ spokesperson at all costs or risk being associated with those assholes.
6) John Rocker
Twenty years ago, former Atlanta Braves closer John Rocker rocked the sports world with a controversial interview in which he divulged numerous explicitly racist and homophobic feelings toward various minority groups. It was an extremely contentious story that despite his attempts at public apologies, ultimately cost Rocker his career. While Rocker has been retired from baseball for nearly fifteen years and seemingly removed from the public spotlight for just as long, in July of 2020, the controversial interview began recirculating across social media platforms during a slow news day where no social justice demonstrations took place and nobody was kidnapped by federal agents.
Millennials and Gen Z’ers, who were too young to remember Rocker’s fallout when it happened, were now aware of the disgraced pitcher’s statements and intensely outraged. Major League Baseball began to feel the virtual heat when an online petition to remove Rocker’s name from all statistical databases, accolade mentions, and from the Internet in general began to pick up steam, resulting in MLB caving into pressure and deleting all accounts of Rocker’s career from any affiliated online or print publications. So… In case you weren’t aware or needed reminding, John Rocker still fucking sucks.
Beloved British Claymation Canine Gromit, along with its trusty human sidekick Wallace, have been spreading joy into the hearts of children and adults alike for over thirty years. While the animated dog has gone on to become a smashing box office and television ratings success, not to mention recipient of numerous critic awards and co-founder of several charity organizations, turns out the hand that draws Gromit hasn’t been washed in years.
In November of 2020, lead Gromit animator Wilson Wadkins was detained by English authorities for his involvement in an aggressive recruitment campaign for the infamous radical militant Islamist group ISIS. Wadkins had been under British Directorate of Military Intelligence surveillance for months, when anonymous sources alluded that the Gromit illustrator was utilizing various social media platforms to recruit terrorist prospects, as well as embezzling funds from Wallace and Gromit licensed merchandise revenue to financially support the terrorist organization. Sources later revealed that Wadkins had been responsible for successfully recruiting hundreds of British teenagers into ISIS, and may have also been slipping in subliminal Islamic extremist messages into the Wallace and Gromit filmography. Wadkins is currently awaiting trial in London, while DreamWorks Animation has suspended production of all Gromit-related content and merchandising.
8) Every Famous Rock & Roll Star Who Has Ever Lived
2020 was certainly quite the year for reflecting on morals and values. But even as we examined ourselves to survey our own personal opinions on a wide variety of issues ranging from police brutality, to immigration procedures, to climate change, one matter we once again refused to confront was how every single famous rock and roll star who has ever lived did something fucked up and unforgivable at some point of their lives.
Pick a rock star, any rock star. John Lennon? Wife beater. Jimmy Page? Pedophile. David Bowie? Pedophile. Steven Tyler? Pedophile. Chuck Berry? Pedophile and abuser. Jerry Lee Lewis? Incestual pedophile. James Brown? Abuser. Ozzy Osbourne? Attempted murderer. Vince Neil? Murderer. Jon Bon Jovi? … Um… Shit, I can’t find anything on the Internet, but he’s had to have done something, right? What, you’re telling me Jon Bon Jovi didn’t do some fucked up shit at some point in his multi-millionaire, world-touring, rock star life?? Come on!! Get real!!!
Look, I’m sure if I dug around long enough, I’d find some dirt on the guy, right? Let me see… I’ll just Google ‘Jon Bon Jovi abuse or assault or pedophile’ … Hmm… Doesn’t look like there’s anything.. Wait.. WAIT… BINGO!!! Here we go, here’s an article from People Magazine titled ‘Jon Bon Jovi Admits He’s Been No Saint’, A HA!!! I FUCKING KNEW IT!!! JOVI, YOU LITTLE WEASEL!!! THINK YOU CAN JUST GO AROUND, SELLING MILLIONS OF ALBUMS, PLAYING SOLD OUT ARENAS ALL OVER THE GLOBE AND NOT HAVE SEX WITH A TEENAGER OR SLAP A WIFE??? NICE TRY!!!
Let’s see here… Dah, dah, dah dah, dah… ‘Battling personal demons and alcohol abuse’, la dah dah dah, dah… ‘Missing children’s birthday parties and school plays’, pssh, yeah, like that’s all you’ve done Jon, ha! Dah dah dah, dah, dah… ‘Entering rehab for drug and alcohol abuse, citing his wife and lifelong partner Dorothea as the inspiration to kick drugs and booze for good, taking time off recording and touring to focus on his family’, dah dah dah, dah, dah… Hmm… Uh… Where’s the abuse? Like, real abuse, not taking drugs and partying and shit. Come on Jon! Where’s the goods?? Gimme the dirt!! None of this shit is gonna trend on Twitter, what the fuck??
WHERE IS IT JON??? HOW CAN I CANCEL YOU??? YOU ARE WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE BUDDY, YOU’LL SLIP EVENTUALLY, AND WHEN YOU DO, I’LL BE THERE!!! IT’S YOUR LIFE AND YOU’RE GOING TO FUCK IT UP NOW OR NEVER JON, YOU HEAR ME??? YOU’LL GIVE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP A BAD NAME, HOW BOUT THAT JON??? MARK MY WORDS, I WON’T REST UNTIL JON BON JOVI IS CANCELLED, ONCE AND FOR ALL!!! I’LL FIND YOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!