The Worst People Of 2009
There are evil-doers all around us. The world is filled with criminals. But since we are not in charge of the criminal justice system (not yet!), the best we can do is bring a voice of justice to a tiny corner of the Internet on a pop culture blog. Is it enough? Probably. I mean, these guys are not murderers, and I am sure that actual judges are pretty busy doing judge stuff (judging?) and don’t have time to verbally put Jeremy Piven in his place. (SPOILER ALERT!)
Anyway, it is worthwhile, as we stand at this precipice of an enormous crossroads, to take a look back at the year and remember all the people who hurt our feelings the most.
Cut it out, you jerks! Stop it!
This programming executive for Bravo is not only responsible for ruining actual children’s lives with NYC Prep, but now he fancies himself a genuine celebrity! Clearly, hosting reunion episodes of The Real Housewives of Fart Town was not enough. He needed a bigger stage. So he built himself a bigger stage (for $40, apparently), and gave himself his own show, and now he makes crass, unfunny pronouncements about Levi Johnston in the name of a gay community that does not want him. Relax, technoandycohen.
Compared to some of the people on this list, Christian Bale is a tiny fish to be humanely unhooked and tossed back into Whoops Ocean. His melt down on the set of Terminator: Salvation is ultimately not that big of a deal. I mean, in 2008 dude SHOVED HIS MOM. That was worse. But the truth is that regardless of what happened on the movie set, that is just not how one human being treats another human being, period. And all of the claims that he was just in the midst of an intense emotional scene as a perfectionist actor became hilarious once the movie actually came out. That thing was a piece of crap! Hahaha. Emotional intensity like my butt.
Katherine Heigl is a feminist and she is your girlfriend. Admittedly, Katherine Heigl just seems like another self-obsessed Hollywood starlet, but it’s the contradictory cloaks she wears of false-intellectualism and grandiose entitlement that really set her apart from the rest. She publicly shit on the only good thing she ever did (Knocked Up) under the banner of enlightened and empowered womanhood (with an opinion she clearly stole from someone else without really even understanding it), only to turn around and star in The Ugly Truth this year, a treatise on female equality and dignity, I’m sure. Although, Katherine Heigl does make one powerful point on behalf of women everywhere: we can be just as big of an asshole as any MAN.
Although Slumdog Millionaire came out in 2008, the (inevitable) fallout from that (awful) movie has mostly happened this year. There was just no way that things were going to work out for those admittedly cute children, and things didn’t work out. Their families were torn apart by their fame and assumed wealth, and they still lived in poverty so their houses were razed and their parents died. Just a living nightmare basically. And while I know that Danny Boyle has set up a charitable foundation to try and make a better life for his tiny little soot-covered stars, the reality is that he used them to win big awards with a disingenuous after-school special that turns abject poverty into an aesthetic quirk to make white people feel better about themselves for their ability to recognize that the world is filled with magic (the world is not filled with magic). And when he was done, his pockets stuffed with trophies and millions, he sent them back to where no one is actually charmed by someone jumping into a toilet, but people do it anyways. Probably. Because they’re so fucking poor.
“We’re gonna need a bigger Father of the Year mousepad!” This guy, total pro. On the one hand, constructing an elaborate hoax involving the staged demise of your child for no purpose other than to get a reality TV show is a crime against humanity that nearly tore this country apart. But I have to admit that I kind of loved watching this one unfold. Each week brought some new previous failed attempt at success, like Psycience Detectives, and Box Talk, and that racist bathroom book? What a winner. And that nightmare rap he made his kids do? So good. I wish you could buy stock in Richard Heene. My LOLk portfolio would go through the roof!
The worst thing is not that Jay Leno is not funny. Lots of people aren’t funny. The worst thing about Jay Leno is that he does not care that he’s not funny. His complete resignation to phoning it in since phoning it in has proven successful in the past, in order to continue earning enough money to maintain his fucking AIRPLANE HANGAR full of cars, is insulting and insufferable. Not to mention the fact that The Jay Leno Show, in addition to being a bad show, was also just an obnoxious, egotistical powergrab. I don’t wish bad things to happen to anyone, but I genuinely wish that show would get pulled out from under him, just so he’d land on his stupid face. I’m sure his millions and millions of dollars would cushion the blow, so it’s fine.
As an actor, Jeremy Piven plugged along in 2009, with another GREAT season of Entourage, and the HIT movie The Goods, both of which featured Piven prominently spouting homophobic and racist jokes. Well done, dude, you are 44 years old. But perhaps the most notable event for @THE_REAL_ARI_GOLD was the Sushi Scandal of 2009 in which he broke his contract on a Broadway play because he had “mercury” poisoning from eating too much sushi. Unbelievable. Why didn’t he just say that he had to leave the play because he’d come down with a chronic case of being a douchebag. More believable because more true.
I’m not sure where Jon Gosselin came from, but I would like him to go back to there! Soon enough, I’m sure. In addition to being a bad parent, and being friends with Ed Hardy and Michael Lohan, dude is just a liar. I mean, it’s one thing to desperately crave a spotlight you don’t deserve. That’s actually not that big of a deal. But Jon Gosselin craves that spotlight while constantly talking about how much he doesn’t crave that spotlight. He seems to blame the media for ruining his life, as if they were the ones who signed him up for a reality TV show and fucked a 23-year-old babysitter (or whatever). Also: “Actually these are CZ’s.”
What a team! Kate Gosselin might be even worse than Jon. With her book deals and her guest-hosting jobs on The View. Not that there’s really any point in picking out which of them is worse, unless you are one of their kids. But I’m sure that is going to be their kids’ favorite game when they get older. “I hate mommy the most for the negligent, exploitative, and selfish decisions she made when we were growing up.” “Well I hate daddy more, because of his face.” Stop! You’re all right!
I’m more than willing to accept that certain aspects of the Roman Polanski legal saga are, to say the least, complicated. It is true that there were questionable aspects about his trial, and that many of the people involved throughout this entire process have been enthralled and compromised by the allure of celebrity. I understand that some people don’t see the point in arresting and jailing a man 40 years after the fact. Personally, I’m ambivalent. On the one hand, I’m not sure how the arrest and prosecution of Roman Polanski actually serves any kind of meaningful justice. On the other hand, I’m neither a judge, nor a lawyer, nor a rapist, and I don’t really feel sympathy for a man who has lived as a beloved millionaire fugitive for his entire life, piling up accolades and ski lodges, while the girl he drugged and sodomized tries to put the pieces of her life back together, having to actually go to jail for what he did. Because either way, justice or impotence, the fact of the matter is at some point in time Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl (excuse me, rape-raped). That is just a FACT. And that fact is clearly awful.
Tucker Max pretends to be an asshole. Kind of. I mean, I’m sure he is an asshole, but he exaggerates it for effect. That would be fine, I guess, but the guy is getting older and this routine is getting tired. Aren’t you tired, Tucker Max? Wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from being a shithead and be a decent human being for, I don’t know, a week? America loves a redemption story, even if it is written in crayon with meat fists. You should try it out. But even if you do not try it out, please do not make any more movies. The one you made was bad enough.
We welcome Seth MacFarlane to the list of the Worst People for a record second year in a row. Obviously, a certain puppeteer gave Mr. MacFarlane a run for his worstness this year, but he managed to remain a fierce competitor in his awful field. There was, of course, his miserable, nauseating, tasteless, and graceless campaign to win an Emmy in which he insulted his fellow nominees to a backdrop of gross and unfunny violence (that is when he was not comparing the Family Guy nomination to BARACK OBAMA?!). Not to mention the completely unnecessary and unasked for but nonetheless offensive revelation that Stewie is gay? And then there was his miserable, miserable live show with Alex Borstein, which if you do not remember that, lucky you. We should all be so lucky as to not remember that. It was the wooooooorst.
In addition to apparently directing his latest movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox, via SEXTING from his recherche Paris pied-a-terre, much to the frustration and disgust of his crew, Wes Anderson was also a prominent signatory on the Free Roman Polanski petition. The thing is, I’m willing to accept that the legal ramifications of Roman Polanski’s case are complicated, but the moral fact of the matter is that he drugged and sodomized a 13-year-old girl (not necessarily in that order), so even if you think that he is a hero for doing this, keep that opinion to yourself. You do not need to go signing public petitions as if you are some kind of legal and/or rape scholar. Mind your own business. On the other hand, Fantastic Mr. Fox was the best movie of the year. So. (See also: The Best People of 2009.)
Yuck. No explanation necessary. The worst.
Chris Brown is one of the Worst People of 2009 because he punched his girlfriend in the face repeatedly in a parked car before disappearing into the night. And then for this. And also for this. And also for this. And also for this. And also for this. And also for this. And also for this. But especially for punching his girlfriend in the face repeatedly in a parked car before disappearing into the night. Top 3 worst, definitely.
What hurts most about Jeff Dunham is not his unapologetic racism, homophobia, misogyny, and anti-semitism, which he passes off as jokes but are not jokes. Lots of people are aggressive, unapologetic bigots, and some of them probably think they are funny. What hurts most about Jeff Dunham is his popularity. It would be one thing for some asshole to pass off their awful belief system as “edgy humor” via hand puppets if they were doing it in their parents’ basement where they belong. This guy is making millions of dollars. And it’s not his fault, he is not WILLING that money out of AIR. People are giving it to him. Happily. The thing that hurts second most about Jeff Dunham is his unapologetic racism, homophobia, misogyny, and anti-semitism.