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In light of Bill Cosby’s recently surfaced admission that he purchased drugs for women to use during sex, numerous activists and advocacy groups (including Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable and Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope) have called upon the Walk of Fame to remove Cosby’s star.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, however, has resolutely refused to remove Cosby’s or anyone’s stars, saying, “Once a star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, we have never removed a star from the Walk.”
As tourists around the world flock to Hollywood Blvd and the surrounding streets, there is no doubt that the Hollywood Walk of Fame is an iconic marker of the entertainment industry around the globe. Getting a star on the Walk of Fame, for many, is a top career achievement, deserving recognition of a significant contribution to the most glamorous of professions.
However, at what point does an entertainer’s tarnished legacy outweigh his or her contributions? With scandal so ingrained in the fabric of Tinseltown —and with more than 2,500 stars on the Walk of Fame — there are bound to be more than a few scandalous honorees lining the streets of Hollywood.
THR rounded up some of the more controversial Walk of Fame stars below:
1) Bill Cosby
Though whispers and rumors surrounding Bill Cosby’s interactions with women have been around for decades, it wasn’t until comedian Hannibal Buress called the former sitcom star “a rapist,” that the full scope of Cosby’s wrongdoings was revealed. More than 40 women have accused the former epitome of morally upstanding fatherhood of drugging them and sexually assaulting them. Cosby himself, as it was recently revealed, said in a 2005 deposition that he purchased drugs to give to women for the purposes of sex.
Cosby’s star has been defaced multiple times with the word “rapist.”
— LAist (@LAist) July 9, 2015
2) Donald Trump
Echoing the calls for the removal of Cosby’s star, Latino advocacy groups have called for the removal of Donald Trump’s star as well. The magnate and one of many GOP candidates for president has come under fire as of late for his comments on immigration, in which he called Mexican immigrants “cartel members” and “rapists.” The comments have caused Macy’s, NBC and numerous others to sever their partnerships with the businessman.
3) Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle
The silent film star and comedian was responsible for discovering Bob Hope and Buster Keaton, among others, and helped mentor Charlie Chaplin, but in 1921, he was accused of brutally raping and killing actress Virginia Rappe. After three trials — two of which were mistrials due to a hung jury— Arbuckle was eventually acquitted of the charges. The scandal hung over the star for the rest of his career, as he was ostracized and blackballed from (though eventually reinstated to) the industry.
4) Gig Young
Young, an Academy Award winner for his role as a dance-marathon emcee in 1969’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? is perhaps more infamously known for killing his wife and then himself in a murder-suicide in 1978, after years struggling with alcoholism.
5) Randy Quaid
Brother to fellow actor and Walk of Fame honoree Dennis Quaid, Randy Quaid, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1973 for The Last Detail, has increasingly become known for his ramblings about America, as well as his mounting legal troubles. He and wife Evi were being held in a Canadian immigration jail after asking for refugee status to escape “starwhackers” — killers believed to target the famous — that they would encounter in the U.S.
6) Charlie Sheen
Still #winning? Sheen, infamous for his struggles with drugs and domestic abuse, hit a low point in 2011 after he was ousted from his CBS sitcom, Two and a Half Men, and went on multiple extreme and bizarre rants against creator Chuck Lorre (the words “warlock” and “tiger blood” come to mind). The actor has continued with the odd behavior in the years following, never straying too far from scandal.
7) John Drew Barrymore
The Barrymores are the most honored clan on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but John Drew Barrymore, Drew Barrymore’s father, is perhaps the black sheep of the family. Having some success on TV, the actor struggled with alcohol and drugs and was charged with domestic abuse, causing estrangement between daughter Drew and himself.
8) Michael Jackson
Controversy surrounded the pop star throughout his career, from dangling his son Blanket over a railing to peculiar tastes and child friendships with stars like Macaulay Culkin. In 2005, Jackson stood trial on child molestation charges, and although he was eventually acquitted, the charges have colored the king of pop’s legacy.
9) Don Cornelius
The creator of Soul Train was arrested in 2008 on a felony domestic violence charge for spousal abuse against his estranged wife. Though he originally pleaded not guilty, he changed his plea to no contest and received 3 years probation. Cornelius committed suicide in 2012. According to former Soul Train host Shemar Moore, Cornelius may have been suffering from early onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and his health had been on the decline.
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