Getting fired from a job is an awful experience no matter who you are, but at least the average person doesn’t have to deal with the details of their dismissal being made public. The same can’t be said for most actors, whose careers — the good and the bad — are matters of public discourse. Most of the time, when an actor leaves a TV show, it’s usually because of a creative decision, such as the character they played being killed off.
However, there have been a number of cases over the years where actors have found themselves terminated because of something they did or because of unfair and discriminatory practices behind-the-scenes. Everything from unwanted pregnancies to drug use and sexual abuse has been used to justify an actor’s firing over the years, including the following 22 celebrities.
22. John Amos – Good Times
John Amos first landed what would become arguably his best known role as James Evans, Sr. on the sitcom Maude, who would become a main character on the spin-off Good Times (making it a spin-off of a spin-off of All in the Family). Amos appeared in 61 episodes of Good Times between 1974 and 1976, but he grew unhappy with how the show was presenting African American families.
After voicing his dissatisfaction with showrunner Norman Lear and Good Times’ writers over how his character’s son J.J. (Jimmie Walker) was being portrayed , Amos was fired following the third season due to being, in his own words, “a disruptive factor” and his character was killed off in a car accident in the first episode of the fourth season. The following year, Amos would star in the acclaimed miniseries Roots.