This year in entertainment, Alec Baldwin took a wrecking ball to his career. So did celebrity chef Paula Deen. Both did it by opening their mouths.
Baldwin had just kicked off “Up Late,” a new interview show on MSNBC, when he was caught on video shouting disparaging remarks at a paparazzo. As seems to be a habit he cannot break, the epithets included demeaning slurs against gays. MSNBC dropped him like a rancid rutabaga.
Deen was accused of workplace racism. Apparently, she let slip racial terminology left over from her childhood in the deep South. The Food Network dumped her with the yard waste.
Meanwhile, pop phenom Justin Bieber did a good job destroying his cute and wholesome image in 2013, revealing an unappealing, disrespectful, spoiled-brat side of his personality. This did not necessarily hurt him with his huge fan base, but it did add Bieber to the list of overindulged young celebrities who need a good spanking.
There were other types of wrecks, including Johnny Depp’s “The Lone Ranger,” an attempted resurrection of an old entertainment franchise that may have been moribund too long. The movie cost nearly $250 million to produce and left the Walt Disney Co. with a loss estimated to be as high as $190 million.
Nevertheless, entertainment success stories abounded during the last 12 months, not the least of which was the quirky, twerky final evolution of Miley Cyrus from sweet Hannah Montana to the bad girl no one can stop watching. Sure, she couldn’t keep her clothes on or her tongue in her mouth all year, but Miley was clever enough to know, if a wrecking ball is headed your way, a savvy entertainer just hops on it and belts out a great song.