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Actors Who Refused To Apologize For Their On-Set Actions

Hollywood is often known as much for its scandals as it is for movies and TV shows. In recent years, it has been hard to ignore the industry shifting to hold actors more accountable for their off-screen actions, whether they've been accused of verbal abuse towards the crew, disgruntled behavior that causes problems for the cast, or worse, sexual misconduct and allegations of assault.

More often than not these days, when an actor gets swept up in this kind of controversy, a network will immediately conduct an internal investigation. If the accusations are true, they're often fired from the production. In the aftermath, the star will typically release a lengthy statement apologizing for their poor judgment and bad conduct, begging the industry to give them a second chance. But not all actors are so eager to apologize for their actions, even when faced with overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing. In fact, some have chosen to dig their heels in, refusing to admit fault or give any apology at all for the harm they've caused. 

Whether it was an actor who simply made production an unpleasant experience, or a star who took advantage of their power to abuse those around them, we've found a surprising number of stars who've refused to apologize for their on-set actions.

Jeff Garlin

"The Golbergs" may be the story of a delightful '80s family, but it seems that the family dynamic isn't always as loving off-screen as it is on it. Series star Jeff Garlin — who plays family patriarch Murray Goldberg — is said to have made things particularly difficult for everyone on the set for years when in 2021 he was said to be causing problems during production of the series. Following an internal investigation into his misbehavior, Garlin exited the show, with an anonymous employee telling Deadline that Garlin was "extremely verbally and emotionally abusive."

In the wake of his departure, fans and critics began to notice that his character had been awkwardly inserted into scenes filmed towards the end of his tenure. Journalist Noel Murray took to Twitter and pointed out how Garlin was seemingly filmed separately from the rest of the cast in some scenes, and series star Wendi McLendon-Covey all but confirmed it. "It's hard to incorporate someone who doesn't want to be there," she responded (via the New York Post).

Before being booted, though, Garlin was unrepentant after talk of his misbehavior surfaced, insisting he'd done nothing wrong. "HR has come to me three years in a row for my behavior on set. It's always the same thing," he told Vanity Fair in 2021. "It's about me and my silliness on set. They don't think it's appropriate. I do. That's where we're at ... We just think differently." 

Jennifer Lopez

Not all bad behavior on set is malicious. Even the most famous actors can have a bad day, or make a mistake in a crucial moment that can upset their co-stars and crew. Well, that's exactly what happened in the case of Jennifer Lopez, while filming "Monster-in-Law," the 2005 rom-com that co-starred Jane Fonda and Wanda Sykes. The film put Lopez in the role of Charlie, whose upcoming nuptials are threatened by her domineering mother-in-law Viola (Fonda). In 2023, though, Fonda came forward during an appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show" to describe an injury she sustained during the making of the movie that was all Lopez's fault.

It occurred in a scene in which Charlie and her mother-in-law-to-be go back and forth slapping each other across the face. "[Jennifer] had this enormous diamond ring and so when she slapped me one of the times, it cut open across my eye, my eyebrow," she told Barrymore. "You know, she's never apologized," Fonda revealed. But while Page Six reached out to Lopez for comment, and received no response, this actually doesn't appear to be a situation in which there's any animosity between a pair of major stars. Because while the audience on Barrymore's show reacted with apparent shock at Fonda's description of the incident, the actor seemed to be relaying the story with good humor.

Chevy Chase

There are some actors known for their friendly reputations, whose bad on-set behavior comes as a surprise. Sadly, Chevy Chase is not one of them, with a long history of co-stars complaining about what he's like to work with, going all the way back to the cast and crew on "SNL" in the 1970s. So it really didn't come as much of a surprise when talk began to surface from the set of "Community" that Chase was once again ruffling feathers behind the scenes. 

In a 2018 interview with the New Yorker, series star Donald Glover said that Chase made the entire set uneasy with repeated racist remarks, which didn't make series creator and director Dan Harmon's job any easier. At the time, Chase reportedly was "saddened" to hear that Glover was offended, but stopped short of an apology. This prompted a new wave of criticism from former co-stars, including "SNL" star Pete Davidson, who told Howard Stern that Chase was "a genuinely bad, racist person, and I don't like him ... He's a putz."

But rather than show any kind of remorse or accountability, Chase instead doubled down. "I don't give a crap. I am who I am. And I like who I am," Chase told CBS Sunday Morning in 2022 (relayed by Variety). "I don't care. And it's part of me that I don't care. And I've thought about that a lot. And I don't know what to tell you, man. I just don't care."

Frank Langella

Known for playing a variety of iconic roles on the big screen — from Skeletor in "The Masters of the Universe" to Perry White in "Superman Returns" — Frank Langella signed on for a trip to the small screen in 2021. Alongside Carla Gugino and Mark Hamill, Langella was announced that year to be a part of Netflix's mini-series adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe classic "The Fall of the House of Usher," but not long after, he exited the project under contentious circumstances. Namely, that his behavior on the set had been problematic, to say the least.

"There was a general sense of toxicity that followed him around," one unnamed person involved with the series told Deadline. "A lot of the cast and crew were very uncomfortable around Frank from the beginning." Reports suggested that Langella had broken intimacy protocols during a love scene, while others accused him of being inappropriately vulgar between takes. Following an investigation by Netflix, more accusations surfaced, and the streaming network felt they had no choice but to let the actor go.

But Langella refused to apologize, insisting all he'd done was touch a woman's leg — in a fully clothed scene — in a way that hadn't been scripted. In an op-ed for Deadline mere weeks after his firing, Langella decried "cancel culture" and said that even though he'd been urged to apologize, he was insistent that he'd done nothing wrong, and even his off-camera antics were innocent.

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes is probably just as famous for serving prison time for tax evasion as he is for any of his hit movies, but he is also notorious for being difficult to work with. Specifically, it emerged that during the making of "Blade: Trinity," Snipes was so problematic that he got into a physical altercation with the director, while CGI was allegedly used for a scene where the actor outright refused to open his eyes.

Though Snipes has rarely addressed the controversy, he did deny trying to strangle the film's director, David S. Goyer, an allegation slung by co-star Patton Oswalt in 2012. "If I had tried to strangle David Goyer, you probably wouldn't be talking to me now," he told The Guardian, claiming the fact that he wasn't arrested was proof that it didn't happen. Going further, Snipes blamed the accusations on racism, saying "[people] are predisposed to believing the black guy is always the problem. And all it takes is one person, Mr. Oswalt, ... his statement alone was enough to make people go: 'Yeah, you know Snipes has got a problem.'"

Though it's hard to say who is telling the truth, Oswalt isn't the only one to make the claim that Snipes was a problem in the film. Goyer himself even backed up Oswalt's story. 

Elizabeth Taylor

Many actors on this list have become well-known for causing problems behind the scenes and being abusive to their workers, but when it comes to Elizabeth Taylor, the case is somewhat unique. In the golden age of Hollywood, she was one of the biggest stars, and while she was not without controversy during her heyday, it mostly involved the many passionate love affairs that she was never shy about detailing. On one occasion, however, Taylor did get in trouble for verbally attacking a studio executive during a film production, but when you hear the details, we don't think you'll blame her.

Rising to stardom as a teenager, Taylor has spoken about how controlled her life was in her early years. "I was so totally chaperoned that I couldn't go to the bathroom alone," she once recounted in her memoir. This often meant having her mother on set, and in one infamous incident, producer Louis B. Mayer was caught swearing at Taylor's mother, and the young actress knew that as one of the studio's biggest actors, only she had the power to intervene. Responding in kind, Taylor reportedly barked right back, "You and your studio can go to hell!"

While Taylor would later gain a reputation as something of a diva, few would probably blame her for coming to her mother's defense that day, and for refusing to apologize for it.

Michael Weatherly

Typically in Hollywood, allegations of misconduct by a major star on the set of a movie or TV show will often come through back channels, surfacing anonymously through gossip or trade magazines. Though not unheard of, it's not quite as common for another big-name actor to come forward as publicly and directly as Eliza Dushku did in 2018 when she levied some serious accusations against her "Bull" co-star Michael Weatherly. In a series of stunning allegations, Dushku claimed that Weatherly didn't just make lewd remarks about her around the set, but directed them at her specifically, telling her in front of the crew about his sexual fantasies that involved her. 

"This is not a 'he-said/she-said' case," Dushku told the Boston Globe (via TV Insider), making it clear that what she says happened actually did happen. "Weatherly's behavior was captured on CBS's own videotape recordings." Tragically, when Dushku filed a formal complaint with the network, the actress was fired, and years later, she would walk away with nearly $10 million in a settlement over the scandal. 

But what about Weatherly? Though the actor made a statement saying he was embarrassed that Dushku had been offended by his vulgar comments around the set, and claimed he'd apologized to Dushku, the actress shot back. Insisting it wasn't a real apology, Dushku called his comments merely "more deflection, denial, and spin."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Vincent Kartheiser

The AMC smash hit "Mad Men" didn't just win 16 Emmys, it made almost everyone in the cast a star, from Jon Hamm to Elisabeth Moss, and beyond. One of the actors catapulted to fame was Vincent Kartheiser, who parlayed his part as snot-nosed ad man Pete Campbell into roles in movies like "My Friend Dahmer" and TV shows like "The OA" and "Titans." In the later series, Kartheiser was cast to play the Batman villain known as the Scarecrow, but it's also where he faced multiple probes thanks to allegations of misconduct on the set.

As reported by USA Today in 2021, Kartheiser was twice investigated by Warner Bros. labor relations department, and while the actor was allowed to remain in the role, his behavior wasn't considered bad enough to warrant a formal reprimand. According to an unnamed person involved with the matter, Kartheiser seems to have made the cast and crew uncomfortable with crude verbal remarks that were characterized as "immature" though not quite a fireable offense. Still, it upset his coworkers enough to lodge a complaint, and as of press time, the actor has never officially responded to the kerfuffle. Though it's possible he's apologized behind the scenes on the set of "Titans," he's never issued one publicly, preferring instead to allow time to do the work for him, as all the hubbub has seemingly died down on its own.

Cas Anvar

In the world of science fiction, even a character's death might not stop them from returning, with characters in "Star Trek" and "Doctor Who" coming back years after being killed off. But that won't be the case with "The Expanse" star Cas Anvar, whose character Alex Kamal was killed off in the fifth season finale. That's because Anvar was actually fired from the show after a laundry list of extremely serious accusations involving harassment and even sexual assault, which constituted a long pattern of behavior that simply couldn't be ignored.

Though the assault allegations didn't occur on the set of "The Expanse," many staffers on the series stepped forward to reveal serious sexual misconduct. In the wake of the allegations, Alcon Entertainment launched an independent investigation into the claims, one that the actor insisted he welcomed. "The women who have come forward should be heard," said the actor in a statement, while denying that any such wrongdoing took place. 

When it was all concluded, however, it seems the investigation turned up enough hard evidence to prove the actor was indeed complicit in misconduct, leading to his dismissal from the series. Ultimately, Anvar has chosen not to apologize for his behavior, nor even further comment on the controversy, and since 2021, seems to have mostly stayed away from Hollywood.

Louis CK

Even if you don't follow the gossip columns you're probably aware of the scandal that enveloped comedian Louis CK at the tail end of 2017. The same year he dropped his first original Netflix comedy special, the star — who'd had his own TV series "Louie" on FX for five seasons — faced serious charges of abuse and sexual misconduct when a number of women came forward to claim that the star had abused his power and influence in the comedy circuit to coerce women into sexual situations. 

With the floodgates opened following an expose in 2017, allegations came pouring in of CK's abuse through the years. As detailed by Vox, fellow comedian Rebecca Corry claimed that CK had once exposed himself to her while filming a TV series pilot, and that was far from the only incident, and the more that came out, the worse it got. 

Admittedly, CK acknowledged in a lengthy written statement that what he had done was wrong, admitted to his misconduct, and accepted responsibility, but he never actually said he was sorry or offered amends to the women he'd assaulted. While some in Hollywood came to CK's defense and praised him for owning up, his non-apology didn't go unnoticed, with major media outlets like CNN pondering if it even qualified as an apology at all.

Scott Baio

Scott Baio became known to audiences thanks to his role on '70s smash hit "Happy Days" as Chachi, and later got his own hit sitcom, "Charles in Charge" in the mid-1980s. In 2018, while the #MeToo movement was in full swing, Baio too became a target for serious accusations, this time from his former co-star, Nicole Eggert. According to the actress, who had appeared as a series regular on "Charles in Charge" alongside Baio before going on to appear in "Baywatch" — Baio had sexually abused her for years, starting when she was just 14 years old.

As chronicled by The Hollywood Reporter, Baio was vehement in his denials, insisting that while the pair did indeed have a sexual relationship during the show's run, it was all consensual, and didn't begin until Eggert was 18 years old. Laughing off the remainder of her claims about what occurred on and off the set of "Charles in Charge," Baio refused to accept responsibility for any impropriety, let alone come close to any sort of apology. As Eggert detailed in a taped interview on "The Dr. Oz Show," though, Baio wasn't just involved with her while she was underage, he was also well aware that what he was doing was illegal, as she alleged that he had sworn her to secrecy regarding their relationship at the time.

Bill Murray

Comedy icon Bill Murray has a reputation among his legions of fans for being down-to-earth, avoiding the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, showing up at everyday events so often that they inspired a book. But among Murray's many co-stars, it's emerged that the actor isn't always all that peachy on the set. In 2022, complaints against the "Ghostbusters" star swelled to such a degree that an entire film was canned because of it.

Starring Aziz Ansari, Seth Rogen, Keke Palmer, and Murray, "Being Mortal" was going to be Ansari's directorial debut, but following an investigation into a complaint against Murray for "inappropriate behavior," the actor wasn't just fired, but the entire production shut down. Rather than issue an apology, though, Murray deflected, telling CNBC (per Yahoo), "I did something I thought was funny and it wasn't taken that way," before casting blame on society. "The world is different than it was when I was a little kid. You know, what I always thought was funny as a little kid isn't necessarily the same as what's funny now."

A look back suggests this may not have been a one-time incident, though. This includes a 2021 story where the legendary Richard Dreyfuss told Yahoo that Murray was an "Irish drunken bully" on the set of "What About Bob?," while Murray's friend and frequent collaborator Harold Ramis once told The New Yorker that Murray had a penchant for demanding behavior childish tantrums.