Plenty of famous people worked "normal" jobs before making it big. However, once they reach a certain level of wealth — or if they were born into it — they sometimes seemingly forget that people working non-Hollywood jobs deserve just as much respect.
Here are 13 times rich celebs were disrespectful towards people working "normal" jobs and got called out:
1.In 2019, Lizzo wrongly accused a Postmates delivery driver of taking her food. In a since-deleted (but very public tweet), she said, "Hey @Postmates this girl Tiffany W. stole my food. she lucky I don’t fight no more."
Postmates Support replied, "Hi! We're sorry to hear you've had a less than satisfactory experience on our app. Would you mind DM'ing the email address linked to your account, so we can look further into this for you?"
A spokesperson told Page Six that the driver actually did show up and waited for five minutes. However, after being unable to get ahold of Lizzo, she had to move on.
In her replies, people took the driver's side, advising Lizzo that publicly putting her on blast probably wasn't the best idea:
i get this shit is frustrating @lizzo, but the solution shouldn’t be to use your followers to attack someone and probably get them fired. it’s really not worth all that when she’s just tryna make a living. maybe she gave the food to the wrong person, happens all the time
— a (@animeicon420) September 17, 2019
Lizzo ended up apologizing, tweeting, "I apologize for putting that girl on blast. I understand I have a large following and that there were so many variables that could’ve put her in danger. Imma really be more responsible with my use of social media and check my petty and my pride at the door."
Tiffany ended up suing Lizzo for emotional distress, libel, and false light invasion of privacy. In her lawsuit, she said that she "feared for her physical safety" and got "direct threats of violence." She also said that she was "scared to leave her house and as a result was forced to stop delivering as a courier altogether."
The suit said, "[Lizzo] knew or should have known that her false and defamatory statements would be republished over and over by third-parties...Lizzo lacked reasonable grounds for any belief in the truth of her statements and acted negligently in failing to determine the true facts...[She] acted with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth when she tweeted the false statements of or concerning [Tiffany]."
The entire campus was upset with her remark. In the Columbia Spectator, the student newspaper, an editorial writer called her a "sloe-eyed Hollywood wench" in retaliation.
In a Columbia Spectator op-ed of her own, Julia said, "I have received a lot of criticism, both to my face and in print, about flippant comments I made while appearing on talk shows to promote Save the Last Dance. I was denigrated in one Columbia media outlet and nearly slandered in another, all because I made a joke about the dining hall on national television. Talk shows require a pre-interview, where the guest is grilled for funny anecdotes....In the case of my appearance, I was asked about the quality of food at school and told to exaggerate for the sake of comedy.
Granted, I was not forced to say anything, but under the circumstances I wanted to get through the interview alive. Having every comment examined under such heavy scrutiny has made me consider the repercussions of what I say. I have apologized in writing to the dining staff; they seem to understand that I wasn't commenting on any particular person. They understand that it is a very common, if not clichéd, joke to poke fun at cafeteria food. Adam Sandler did it, and so did a writer for an on-campus publication that took issue with my comments.
I didn't realize that so many Columbia students have made it their cause to go crusading for Dining Services. I also didn't realize that the way to criticize thoughtless jokes was to mudsling...You may be attempting humor to get in good with your audience, but even lunch ladies and Hollywood wenches have feelings."
Then, in 2019, she told Glamour UK, "I went on late night talk show; I think it was Conan O’Brien or David Letterman. I was in college at the time and I was talking about college life and they asked me if I ate in the cafeteria like a normal kid. I rambled on because I was insecure and I think I used the term, ‘mole people.’ But my thought was there was an Adam Sandler song at the time where there was a character on a sketch comedy show where he was playing the lunch lady and she had a hairnet and a mole.
It backfired on a very immediate level. The people I was in school with were furious with me. Someone wrote in the school newspaper, ‘she’s an elitist! How dare she insult the cafeteria workers,’ which was so not my intention and not who I am as a person. To know the people who were working hard in the school, cleaning up the garbage, feeding us meals thought I was insulting them was so devastating to me because it was absolutely not my intention. So, I wrote something in the newspaper. I issued a handwritten apology to the cafeteria workers, but I learnt a valuable lesson aside from 'think before you speak'. That kind of thing is so exaggerated now because of social media. You do have to be careful about how what you say is perceived and the impact it will have."
3.In 2018, Gwyneth Paltrow told the Wall Street Journal, "Forgive me if this comes out wrong. I went to do a yoga class in LA recently, and the 22-year-old girl behind the counter was like, 'Have you ever done yoga before?' And literally I turned to my friend, and I was like, 'You have this job because I’ve done yoga before.'"
On social media, people criticized and made fun of her comments.
No bullshit, last year Gwyneth Paltrow said in an interview w the WSJ that yoga is basically popular because of her. Even though people have been doing yoga for literally 5000 years. Peak white woman nonsense https://t.co/dlP0TinkfH
— bunny sanders (@whatbunnysaid) April 8, 2019
Shout out to the 22 year old girl at a yoga studio who pretended not to recognize Gwyneth Paltrow; “Have you done yoga before” is the best subtle LA negging I have ever heard.
— Anna O (@Annabelera) December 5, 2018
4.During a 2012 appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, Emily Blunt made unkind and unnecessary comments about a server's weight while sharing a story about going to Chili's.
The clip recirculated on social media in 2023, leading to a lot of backlash. So, Emily made a public apology, telling People, "I just need to address this head on as my jaw was on the floor watching this clip from 12 years ago. I’m appalled that I would say something so insensitive, hurtful, and unrelated to whatever story I was trying to tell on a talk show."
She continued, "I’ve always considered myself someone who wouldn’t dream of upsetting anyone so whatever possessed me to say anything like this in that moment is unrecognizable to me or anything I stand for. And yet it happened, and I said it and I’m so sorry for any hurt caused. I was absolutely old enough to know better."
Here's a clip of the original interview, with this part starting a the 1:11 mark:
5.In 2019, former The Real Housewives of Orange County cast member Alexis Bellino posted an Instagram picture of the dirty floor under her couch. In the caption, she said, "When your couch accidentally disconnects and you realize your maids aren’t doing deep cleaning. Found 2 socks too... 😂🤦🏼♀️🤔"
Her commenters called her out for publicly shaming her staff rather than simply cleaning it up herself.
In a follow-up Instagram post, Alexis claimed she'd been joking. She said, ""To All: I can and WILL post whatever I want on my [Instagram]. My maids are well paid for and I love them. It was a joke. Get over yourselves, stop trolling, find happiness and please unfollow me ASAP as I’m not looking for any of your approval on my [Instagram] and I DON’T need followers."
6.On a 2021 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian Barker discussed a disagreement that Kourtney had with Kim's nanny while on a trip.
However, Kim was quick to call her sister out on how she handled the situation.
And she called her out for how she allegedly treats nannies in general, which Kourtney said was all "lies."
Watch the full clip below:
Kim faced backlash across the internet as many people pointed out that her comments failed to acknowledge her privileged background, which gave her a boost.
Holy shit, if only we could all grow up rich with influential parents and then tell less fortunate individuals that they need to work harder. I’m not even doubting that she works hard. But holy shit lady.
— Axel Foley (@HottyToddyAspen) March 9, 2022
I love when people who were born to obscenely rich, highly networked and well connected parents pontificate about importance of work.
— WanderingNomad (@WanderingNoma14) March 9, 2022
Kim told Good Morning America, "It wasn't a blanket statement towards women...it was taken out of context, but I'm really sorry if it was received that way."
Variety denied that the quote was "taken out of context."
Here's the full video, with this part starting at the 5:12 mark:
8.In 2022, on her podcast Anything Goes, Emma Chamberlain compared being a self-employed influencer to working a more traditional 9-to-5. She said, "Because you're an employee of somebody else, mentally, it's easier for you to disconnect after work so that you can enjoy all of your free time to the fullest without having to think about your job."
She continued, "Whereas, when you're self-employed...you never stop thinking about it. You never get to disconnect. You never get to be like, 'Oh, I'm done for now.' It is so hard."
In a Reddit thread about the episode, listeners expressed their frustration with her comments.
9.In a since-deleted 2018 social media video, makeup influencer Sondos al-Qattan complained about new laws in Kuwait, where she lives, that had been recently passed to provide more protection for domestic help employees, such as housekeepers. She said, "For people who want to go get a Filipino domestic worker, what are these ridiculous work contracts you've got to sign? But how can you have a servant in your house who gets to keep their passport with them? Where are we living? If they ran away and went back to their country, who'll refund me? Even worse is that they get a day off every single week! What's left?"
"Honestly, with this new contract, I just wouldn't get a Filipino maid. She'd only work six days a week and get four days off a month," she said.
In a follow-up video, the influencer said she was glad her post went viral because "maybe that will help her as an employer get more rights."
Additionally, on Instagram, she said, "Due to the spreading rumors, it was only necessary to make a responsive clarification. The passport of any expat employee should be in the poseseccesion of the employer to protect the employer's interests. Irrevelant of the employer/employee nationality...I have not [in] any circumstances in present or past... degraded or in any way mistreated an employee of mine. I consider all employees as equal human being [sic]."
10.In 2005, Russell Crowe was arrested at a SoHo hotel because, after he wasn't able to get a call to his wife in Australia to go through, he threw the telephone at the concierge, who got a cut under his eye as a result.
Afterward, Russell publicly apologized on The Late Show with David Letterman, saying it was "possibly the most shameful situation that I've ever gotten myself in my life."
He later went to court. After pleading guilty to third-degree assault, the actor was sentenced to a conditional discharge, which meant he must meet the condition of not getting arrested again for a year.
He also settled with the concierge.
11.In 2006, Paula Abdul allegedly wanted to change her 7:40 a.m. flight and called the front desk of her Las Vegas hotel. Carol Good, one of the hotel workers, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "I stayed over and printed out the flight schedules." She also said that, just as she was about to call her, Paula called the desk again and "went off on" her and blamed her and her coworker for making her missing the flight.
Carol and her coworker were reportedly suspended afterwards.
Paula's lawyers didn't respond to the story.
12.In 2013, Lady Gaga went to court with her former assistant, Jennifer O'Neill, who was suing her for unpaid overtime. In her deposition, the singer reportedly called her a "fucking hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn’t earn." She said, "She’s just — she thinks she’s just like the queen of the universe. And, you know what, she didn’t want to be a slave to one, because in my work and what I do, I’m the queen of the universe every day."
"I’m quite wonderful to everybody that works for me, and I am completely aghast to what a disgusting human being that you have become to sue me like this," she said. "Because she slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar, partying with [photographer] Terry Richardson all night, wearing my clothes, asking YSL to send her free shoes without my permission, using my YSL discount without my permission...[This job] was essentially a favor, and Jennifer was majorly unqualified for it...I expect there to be a certain level of, like, you know, knowledge and academia about, like, your job."
Lady Gaga said, "One of the biggest problems I had with Jen is that I felt like she didn’t enough lay out all my stuff for me [when traveling]. "She also said that her former assistant "was asleep until 12:00 most of the time" and "got lazy."
"This job is a 9-to-5 job that is spaced out throughout the day. You don’t get a schedule that is like you punch in and you can play fucking Tetris at your desk for four hours and then you punch out at the end of the day. This is — when I need you, you’re available," she said. "I do six shows a week, and I make a lot of money. I work, I work 24 hours a day. I’m not standing next to Steve holding tea, waiting for him to take a sip, that is not what I do. Not that people who do that don’t deserve their hourly pay, but I’m just pointing out that I deserve everything I’ve worked for. I deserve every dollar of it. And she deserves every dollar of her $75,000 that we agreed to. But she does not deserve a penny more."
In her lawsuit, Jennifer alleged that she had to share Lady Gaga's bed while they were touring so that, if the singer wanted the DVD changed in the middle of the night, she could wake up her assistant to do it for her.
She also said, "Every day is a work day for her, so every day is a work day for the rest of us. There is no, ‘We’re going to stay in, we’re going to sleep.’ There is no, ‘Let’s put on sweatpants and go out to the movies and be girlfriends.’ It doesn’t work like that."
Eventually, the two settled out of court.
13.And finally, Naomi Campbell has been accused of allegedly hitting her staff members multiple times. She pleaded guilty to throwing her telephone at an assistant (in 2000), got sued for throwing the phone at another assistant while having a "tantrum" (in 2003), accused of slapping a housekeeper in the face (in 2004, when she claimed the maid started it), accused of smacking her assistant in the head with her Blackberry (in 2005), arrested for allegedly assaulting her drugs counselor (in 2006), sued by a former maid who accused her of being "a violent super-bigot" (in 2006), and sentenced to community service for assaulting her housekeeper by throwing her bedazzzled cellphone at her head so hard she needed stitches after she couldn't find a specific pair of jeans (in 2007).
When she cameoed on Ugly Betty in 2008, the phone incident was treated as a joke. When Naomi answered her cell at a baseball game, everyone else ducked in fear.
Likewise, in 2007, after she was arrested for allegedly hitting and head-butting an ex-assistant, Naomi was spotted wearing a "Naomi hit me, and I loved it" shirt.