16 Times We Felt Really Embarrassed For A Celebrity In 2015

Looking back over the last 12 months, it’s a wonder that we don’t have a permanent red mark in the middle of our foreheads. That’s how often celebs compelled us to facepalm this year. It’s absolutely the case that when you’re in the limelight, your faux pas loom that much larger than those committed by us mere mortals. But it’s also true that most of these gaffes could have been avoided with a little bit of forethought. This could have come either from the stars themselves or the people they pay to keep them out of trouble. (Or, in Lenny Kravitz’s case, a seamstress armed with industrial-strength thread.)

We’ve pulled together 15 incidents from 2015 — plus one to grow on — that left us with minor headaches. From victim-blaming and body-shaming to poorly chosen wedding gifts and Nazi-themed subway cars, read on for some of the more memorable mess-ups from this year. Maybe 2016 is the year we bring back the helmet?
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Image: Via Twitter.
January 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
Ryan Seacrest attempted to gift George and Amal Clooney a “Game Over” T-shirt as a wedding present on the Golden Globes red carpet.

The couple gracefully did not accept, and viewers wondered why Seacrest thought this could possibly be anything but an embarrassing idea for everyone involved.

The After-Smack: Things only got worse from there at this particular event. On top of the inappropriate gift and the Clooneys’ classy snub, Giuliana Rancic later committed her own faux pas against the newly married couple. She tried (and failed) to get George to take shots of his own tequila, and totally missed the opportunity to ask him about the “Je suis Charlie” pin on his lapel and on Amal's purse.
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Image: Via Twitter.
February 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
During a Fashion Police discussion, Giuliana Rancic insinuated that Zendaya’s dreadlocks must smell like “patchouli” and “weed.”

The After-Smack:
The fallout on this one lasted for months. Zendaya posted an eloquent response to the tone-deaf comments via her Instagram account. Rancic tried to go the Twitter apology route, but ended up doing another mea culpa on the Today show. Kelly Osbourne and Kathy Griffin both quit Fashion Police in the aftermath of the scuffle.

And despite the fact that Zendaya has said that it was an overall positive experience that opened up an important conversation, we’re guessing Rancic just wishes the whole thing had never happened.
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April 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
Onstage during a performance at Coachella, Madonna smooched Drake while he sat in a chair, center stage, groping the air as though he was trying to escape from her kissy clutches. It looked like a wet — and unwanted — one.

The After-Smack: This was the “ew, grossss” heard round the world, particularly after Drake looked none too pleased seconds after the actual incident. The public reaction was mixed: Some claimed that the grab-and-smooch constituted assault, made all the worse, some said, because Madonna is an "old lady" at 57. Others dubbed the backlash against Madonna an example of sexist ageism.

Drake eventually tried to make amends on social media, and the Queen of Pop seemed super offended. When a fan later asked her what advice she’d give to her younger self, Madge said: “Don’t kiss Drake, no matter how many times he begs you to.”
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Image: Via Twitter.
April 2015

When Face Hit Palm:
Lindsay Lohan tweeted the word “habibi,” an Arabic term of endearment, and linked the tweet to an Instagram post that featured the phrase “You’re beautiful” in English above what we’re guessing she thought was the Arabic translation. Except that it wasn’t: The script actually said: “You’re a donkey.”

The After-Smack: She probably felt like a real ass. Though the actress quickly took down the post, she was not spared the giggles of the media or the internet at large. So far as we’re aware, Lindsay Lohan has not busted out any Arabic since.
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Photo: Via Instagram.
July 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
Kylie Jenner snapped and shared a selfie in which she's sporting cornrows, which compelled Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg to call her out for cultural appropriation.

Instead of learning something from the incident, Kylie chalked it up to sour grapes over a boy. Then, in the wake of their feud, she wore the hairstyle again during a beach romp.

The After-Smack: Kylie earned a reputation as someone who can’t be bothered to consider racial sensitivity in her styling choices. (Color us not surprised.) And apparently, Kendall didn’t learn anything from the backlash, either. She wore her own version of the 'do shortly thereafter. Maybe in sisterly solidarity?
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Image: Via Twitter.
July 2015

When Face Hit Palm:
When the VMA nominations were announced, Nicki Minaj felt she’d been snubbed in the video of the year and choreography categories. She tweeted that had she been a “different ‘kind’ of artist,” she might have made it into the races.

Taylor Swift took Minaj’s tweet personally and called her out for being unsupportive, but also told the “Anaconda” singer she could join Swift onstage if she won for “Bad Blood.” (Katy Perry piled on in the melee, but for her own reasons.)

The After-Smack: Everyone from Ryan Seacrest to Ed Sheeran dashed into Swift’s corner without truly understanding what Minaj was actually saying, which is that Black female artists have to struggle for recognition from the industry. In the end, the rapper conveyed to Swift that her white-woman-splaining was totally misguided, and America’s pop princess apologized for the error of her ways. Oh, and now she sends text messages instead of lobbing tweets.
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July 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
The Jenner sisters were cruising around in the car, Kendall at the wheel. When Kendall fixed the stereo and started celebrating — by sticking a long leg out the driver’s side window and throwing her hands in the air. Kylie uploaded the reckless driving to SnapChat, and the rest is traffic-school (and internet-outrage) history.

The After-Smack: Kendall's critics called her out for dangerous driving techniques, and went so far as to say that she could have recreated the same type of tragic auto accident in which Caitlyn Jenner was involved earlier in 2015. The moral of the story is twofold: Drive safely, and when you don’t, definitely refrain from putting it on social media.
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August 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
Kelly Osbourne was chatting with her View co-hosts about Donald Trump’s plan to eradicate illegal Mexican immigrants from the U.S. But her critique went down like a pile of bricks.

“If you kick every Latino out of this country,” Osbourne asked, “then who is going to be cleaning your toilets, Donald Trump?” Yiiiiiiikes.

The After-Smack: Osbourne kept digging herself in deeper on this one, trying to backtrack and explain what she meant. Her co-hosts were clearly shocked — and in the case of Rosie Perez, seriously pissed — but Osbourne also landed herself in social media hot water. Eventually, she issued an apology via her own Facebook page for her “poor choice of words,” though not for racism.
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Photo: Via Instagram.
August 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
The moment that people on Instagram started posting photos of themselves replicating Canadian model Winnie Harlow’s skin condition, vitiligo, with makeup.

The After-Smack: Harlow was gracious about the copycatting and asked critics to stop accusing people who were showing “love and appreciation" of being hateful. Her lack of outrage led to (what do you know?) more outrage.

Harlow was called both ignorant and out of touch; so she posted a second message, this time to address the backlash against her chillness over the photos, which she did not find racist. “It's one thing to recreate my skin & wear a crown in a photo, & it's another to recreate my face & then wear a noose (which is not the case). There is a difference in love vs hate & it's easy to see.”
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Image: Via Twitter.
August 2015

When Face Hit Palm:
Pretty Little Liars has by and large been a progressive show when it comes to LGBT issues. But back in August, a copywriting misstep undid some of the rapport the series has built with the trans community and its supporters. “He. She. It. Charlotte,” read the text of a tweet promoting a pivotal episode involving a trans character.

The After-Smack: After followers accused the network of promoting transphobia, ABC Family issued an apology and tried to explain the context of what was going on within the show. But the damage was already done.
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Image: Via Giphy.
August 2015

When Face Hit Palm:
This one's more of an "oops!" Lenny Kravitz was performing onstage in Sweden when he did a deep squat and his pants split, revealing his little Lenny — and an intimate piercing — to the the world.

The After-Smack: Initially, Kravitz took all the attention to his swinging member in stride, even sharing a text from Steven Tyler he got on the subject via Twitter. (“Dude… No underwear and pierced,” the Aerosmith singer wrote. “You never showed me that.")

But not everybody thought it was so hilarious. Eventually, Kravitz's lawyers decided enough was enough, calling the circulating images a breach of “human rights, right-of-publicity and performer’s rights.” All potential legal action aside, perhaps Kravitz will rethink tight leather pants without underwear the next tour. Or maybe the dude's just too cool to care.
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Image: Via Twitter.
September 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
During Suffragette promotions in the United Kingdom, Time Out London outfitted the film’s stars in T-shirts featuring a quotation by famed feminist Emmeline Pankhurst. Which would have been totally fine…except that the quote was “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” Oops.

The After-Smack: Though the tees were referencing a rallying cry — and not purposefully trying to compare women’s suffrage to the horrors of slavery — Time Out faced major backlash, particularly on this side of the pond.

And while the mag was quick to point out that it hadn’t heard any complaints from British readers, that excuse only emphasized that they just didn’t understand why anyone might be taken aback. Add to that the fact that the film itself doesn’t feature any women of color, and we’ve got ourselves a mini inclusivity maelstrom.
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October 2015

When Face Hit Palm:
In late October, Raven-Symoné was discussing the viral video footage of a high school student in South Carolina being dragged from her desk by a police officer. Though she acknowledged that the cop displayed excessive force, Symoné turned the conversation toward why the girl had her cell phone out in the first place. Her remarks sounded an awful lot like victim-blaming.

The After-Smack: Rapper Angel Haze threatened to fight Symoné — and affirmed that she really meant it during a HuffPost Live segment. Next, petitioners — numbering nearly 140,000 to date — threw their weight behind removing the former Cosby star from The View. ABC took these actions seriously enough to issue a statement clarifying that they would be doing no such thing. Thus, Raven-Symoné remains on The View to offend another day.
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October 201 5

When Palm Hit Face:
ABC Family announced it would be creating a television series centered on Nicki Minaj’s life as a '90s kid growing up in Queens.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show
marked the occasion by crafting a parody segment in which the young Nicki character, along with her mother, father, and the family dog, had gigantic butts.

The After-Smack: Ellen got called out for the sketch, which audiences deemed racist and body-shaming. The punch line was pretty clear — “They have big butts, that’s the joke,” DeGeneres explained after the clip — but it didn’t seem to get any giggles beyond the cheesy laugh track.
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Photo: Courtesy of AnytimeCostumes.com.
October 2015

When Palm Hit Face:
Halloween purveyors hawked a Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover costume this year, which understandably ignited rage across the internet.

The After-Smack: Activists rallied against the costume sellers, calling them out for transphobia and starting a petition to strike the costume from offending inventories. Ultimately, they succeeded. Huzzah!
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Image: Via Twitter.
November 2015

When Face Hit Palm:
The Amazon series The Man in the High Castle — which imagines a dystopian alternate reality, in which the Axis powers won World War II — ran ads on New York City subway cars. The ads were Nazi-themed. Not cool, guys.

The After-Smack: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called them “irresponsible and offensive to World War II and Holocaust survivors, their families, and countless other New Yorkers.” But it still took two weeks for the ads to be pulled down.