Over the years, many people, including celebrities, have tried to tell the truth about certain unfortunate events, but to no avail at the time.
As before the #metoo era, serious allegations were often ridiculed instead of investigated, many prominent people in Hollywood and beyond found themselves excluded from “society.”
Today we’re going to tell you about a few such examples.
Jake Lloyd was just 10 years old when he became the target of ridicule
The first of the Star Wars prequel films, The Phantom Menace, premiered in 1999 after fans had waited decades for a new film in the franchise.
Despite the long wait, viewers have long criticized the film’s lackluster plot, awkward dialogue, and controversial character, Jar Jar Binks.
It ended up being rated one of the worst films of the franchise and, as with many overzealous fans, the criticism went further than that.
So, flaws were sought and found in the character of young Anakin, played by Jake Lloyd, who was only 10 years old at the time.
The little actor had a few small roles before that, but nothing compared to Star Wars. Besides giving 60 interviews a day to promote the film, the kid was mocked by fans.
Lloyd was even bullied by his peers, to the point where it was said that his life at the time had become “a living hell”.
He quit acting in 2001, just two years after the film premiered, later saying the experience made him uncomfortable in front of a camera.
He was neither the first nor the last Star Wars actor to become the subject of public ridicule.
At the time, he tried to say what he was going through, but was not believed.
Lloyd’s later life was marked by another tragedy. His younger sister died in her sleep at the age of 26, and shortly afterwards Lloyd was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Speaking about Star Wars in 2017, Mark Hamill recalled, “I’m still angry about the way they treated Jake Lloyd. He was only 10 years old, that boy, and he did exactly what George wanted.”
Brendan Fraser’s acting opportunities dried up after he talked about what had happened
In the mid-2000s, Brendan Fraser quickly transformed from a Hollywood star idolized by millions of fans to a near unknown.
It’s hard not to correlate the change with 2003, when Fraser spoke out about alleged abuse by then-Hollywood Associated Press president Philip Berk.
Fraser went public with his story in a 2018 interview with GQ, revealing that he was touched in a totally inappropriate way by Berk: “I felt bad. I felt like a little kid. I felt like I had a ball down my throat. I thought I was going to cry,” Brendan Fraser said at the time.
Berk called Fraser’s accusation a “total fabrication” but admitted the incident at one point, although he said it would have been a mere joke.
Fraser stated that the response he received from the HFPA manifested itself as a “deafening” silence and that, from that point on, his job offers dwindled considerably until they disappeared altogether.
He also stated that the incident made him want to retire from the spotlight altogether.
The actor experienced other hardships in the years that followed: multiple surgeries, a divorce and the death of his mother.
After the 2018 interview, Fraser said the HFPA tried to approach him, admitting the incident was inappropriate but saying it was all a joke. The artist did not accept this explanation, for obvious reasons.
Berk, who was still a member of the HFPA at the time (he was later fired for his comments on Black Lives Matter in 2021), said, “I was told that the statement would absolve me of any wrongdoing.”
The HFPA eventually released a statement defending its decisions, stating that an investigation found that “the event was not an intentional sexual advance,” while reiterating that “what Mr. Fraser experienced was inappropriate.”
Prior to the announcement of the 2023 Golden Globe nominees, the actor decided he would boycott the event:
“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. No, I will not be attending. Because of the history I have with them. And my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite,” the artist said.
Anna Nicole Smith was ridiculed on her own reality show
People always seemed interested in Anna Nicole Smith, whether it was her opulent 1990s story or her tragic decline in the early 2000s.
Along the way, she made enough money and then began investing in her physique, getting breast implants or working on the figure that put her straight on the cover of Playboy. Later, Smith was dubbed the ’90s version of Marilyn Monroe.
Equally captivating was her 1994 marriage to billionaire J. Howard Marshall, who was more than 60 years her senior. While many, including Marshall’s family, considered Anna a profiteer, she always insisted she wasn’t interested in money.
“I’m not marrying him for his money. I have my own money,” Anna Nicole Smith said at the time.
However, by the time Marshall died in 1995, Smith was embroiled in a legal soap opera with the billionaire’s son, E. Pierce Marshall.
Her addiction to prescription drugs worsened. With almost no one willing to offer her contracts anymore, she agreed to participate in a reality series about her life called The Anna Nicole Show on E!
Many reviews of the show portrayed Smith as often stoned, and the show was compared to a car crash or wreck.
“In its desire to exploit the barely coherent Anna Nicole Smith, E! does something that comes pretty close to the idea of smut,” Ken Tucker once wrote for Entertainment Weekly.
Five months after her son, Daniel Wayne Smith, died from a lethal combination of substances, Smith died the same way, at age 39. Her death was as tabloidized a subject as her life.
Sources close to her claim that, in reality, she would never have been interested in money, as she claimed. The truth, however, is known only to Anna Nicole Smith.
Johnny Rotten, the first man to expose Jimmy Savile
John Lydon (Rotten) claimed at one point that he was banned from the BBC after he spoke out about Jimmy Savile’s “grabs”.
The member of the British punk-rock band, The Sex Pistols, gave an interview in 1978 during which he said that Savile had “(…) all sorts of weaknesses. We all know what it is, but we’re not allowed to talk about it. I know some rumors.”
Speaking to Piers Morgan recently on Life Stories, he said, “I’m very, very upset that people like Savile have been allowed to continue. I said the right thing. But they didn’t broadcast it.”
He continued, “I found myself banned from BBC radio for a while because of my controversial behaviour.”
The truth is that, at the time, The Sex Pistols already had a bad relationship with the BBC because of the song God Save The Queen, in which the punkers mocked Queen Elizabeth II.
Later, Rotten said, “Wasn’t I right? I think most kids wanted to go to Top of the Pops, but we all knew what it would mean to them.”
TV personality Jimmy Savile died in 2011, and shortly after his death reports emerged that he had abused a large number of children during his lifetime.