Celebrity feuds: A look at famous Hollywood fights
Katy Perry and Taylor Swift
Hold on to your hats, because this story has more than a few twists and turns.
It all started, famously, with a fight over a backup dancer, and intensified with several back-and-forth diss tracks. Swift wrote "Bad Blood" about their feud, and things heated up in 2017 when Perry dropped the album Witness.
When asked whether she would respond to "Bad Blood" on the new album, Perry told EW, "There is no one thing that’s calling out any one person," but added, "Everything has a reaction or a consequence, so don’t forget about that, okay, honey." Soon after, Perry dropped the album's second single, possible diss track "Swish Swish," which featured Nicki Minaj (who has her own problems with Swift), and finally explicitly confirmed the feud, saying, "She started it, and it's time for her to finish it."
Swift said nothing in reply, but actions speak louder than words: A longtime streaming holdout, she returned her entire catalogue to streaming services on the same day as the Witness release. Soon after, Perry expressed her wish for the feud to be over, saying in an interview, "I forgive her, and I'm sorry for anything I ever did."
The moment that Swift's latest album, Reputation, dropped, feud watchers everywhere were glued to their computer screens for any word of another update. On the eve of the tour's big kickoff show, that update finally came: Katy Perry extended an olive branch. No, really, a literal olive branch — she sent Taylor a cheeky gift basket complete with an apology note.
And it worked! Swift told U.K. radio show Capital Breakfast that Perry's gesture is what got the ball rolling on them becoming friends again, and squashing their beef dressed as fries and a hamburger in the singer's "You Need to Calm Down" music video.
Drake and Pusha T
The beef between Drake and Pusha T has been brewing since the early 2010s — at which point Pusha T’s bigger problem was still with Lil Wayne, who had recently signed Drake to his label Young Money — but reached a new high with a brutal exchange of diss tracks in 2018. Over the course of the decade, the pair swapped occasional insults, but the rhyme that became a line in the sand came on Drake’s 2016 track “Two Birds, One Stone,” in which he questions the authenticity of Pusha T’s drug-dealing stories. Pusha-T responded a year and a half later, in May 2018, with the release of his Kanye-produced album Daytona, the final track of which, “Infrared,” includes a reference to Drake using ghostwriters. The very same day, Drake fired back with “Duppy Freestyle,” which takes aim at both Pusha T and Kanye; Drake is publicly credited as a co-writer on two songs off the latter's The Life of Pablo.
Pusha T came back at Drake a few days later in spectacular fashion, dropping “The Story of Adidon,” a track packed with scathing disses about Drake’s family, his rumored illegitimate child, and his friend with multiple sclerosis. The cover art for the savage track was an image of Drake, grinning in blackface. He soon responded to the use of the photo, explaining that it was taken over 10 years ago, when he was working as an actor “on a project that was about young black actors struggling to get roles, being stereotyped and type cast. The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment.”
While both rappers suggested that the beef had cooled down at the end of 2018, Drake again subbed Pusha T on the June 2019 single "Omertà," saying last year people got big off telling on him and "death to a coward and a traitor."
Khloe Kardashian and Jordyn Woods
Keeping Up With The Kardashians fans were shocked to see news claiming Khloe Kardashian's baby daddy Tristan Thompson cheated on the reality star with Kylie Jenner's best friend and Life of Kylie costar Jordyn Woods.
After back and forth on social media, with Kardashian claiming Woods was responsible for her "family being ruined," Woods cleared the air on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith by admitting that she handled the situation wrong after Thompson had kissed her.
Woods has moved on from the situation onto new projects like a guest appearance on Freeform's grown-ish, while summer 2019 episodes of Keeping Up With The Karadashians are relitigating the situation, again unsuccessfully trying to turn audiences against someone they once considered their sister.
Bella Thorne and Whoopi Goldberg
Rather than allow a hacker to continue to blackmail her with them, actress Bella Thorne posted her own nude photos.
While many praised Thorne for the bold move, comedian Whoopi Goldberg made a point on The View that celebrities should anticipate being hacked and therefore avoid taking nude photos.
Thorne did not take the criticism lightly, and posted a tearful response to Goldberg telling her "shame on you," and comparing her hacking experience to sexual assault.
The View and Goldberg have yet to respond.
Anjelica Huston and Jacki Weaver
When Huston called out the 2019 film Poms, telling New York Magazine "I’m looking for movies that impress me in some way, that aren’t apologetically humble or humiliating like, ‘Band of cheerleaders gets back together for one last hurrah," Poms star Weaver responded by telling Vanity Fair that the John Wick 3 actress can "go f--- herself."
Weaver's clapback did not stop there, with her adding "I would say she must be going through menopause, but she must have had that ages ago."
The women have since walked back their insults towards each other in interviews.
Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity
The feud between the late-night host and the Fox News personality began when Kimmel made a joke about Melania Trump on his show. A few days later on Fox News, Hannity called Kimmel a “despicable disgrace” and an “ass clown.” Kimmel responded during his monologue that night, “This is the guy who defended multiple alleged pedophile Roy Moore, and I’m a despicable disgrace? I’m the ass clown? Here’s the thing: If I’m an ass clown — and I might very well be — you, Sean, are the whole ass circus.”
Hannity fired back on social media, releasing a string of tweets comparing Kimmel to disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein based on clips from Kimmel’s comedy series The Man Show, which ran from 1999–2004 (there have not been any accusations of sexual misconduct against Kimmel). The Fox News host continued his Twitter tirade the next day, repeatedly tagging Disney (which owns the ABC Television Group; Jimmy Kimmel Live airs on ABC), referring to Kimmel as “Harvey Weinstein Jr.,” and using the hashtag #pervertkimmel. When Hannity tweeted an informal poll asking whether Kimmel would harass teenage girls, mock the First Lady, or “be a racist a–hole” next, Kimmel responded, “I vote for whichever one best helps you trivialize the horrors of Harvey Weinstein by comparing them to televised bits of comedy in which every woman was a willing participant who gladly signed a release.” The two of them continued to exchange barbs on Twitter, with Kimmel bringing up Trump’s infamous “grab ’em by the p----” comment in response to Hannity’s accusations about Kimmel’s old comedy sketches. Hannity told him to “stop deflecting” and once again called the comments “locker room talk.”
Lala Kent and Jennifer Lawrence
It may seem odd to utter the Vanderpump Rules star's name in the same sentence as one of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses, but welcome to 2018. This feud started when J.Law jokingly pointed a finger at Kent's constant on-air drama during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live! — and added "I'm like bitch, you's a c----." Lala rebelled on Twitter and warned Jen not to "see her in the streets."
The Vanderpump Rules star also added fuel to the fire by giving a rant to Heather McDonald (on the podcast Juicy Scoop) in which she congratulated the Red Sparrow star on "two bombed movies in a row."
Kent went on "The Jenny McCarthy Show" later in 2018 though, and revealed that things healed up between her and the Hunger Games actress after Lawrence sent her a geniuine apology over email.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall
If you asked SJP, she would tell you there actually isn't a fight between her and her former Sex and the City costar. But if you asked literally anybody else who has witnessed the drama, they would say otherwise. There are so many different layers to this feud but it can be easily whittled down to this: Kim Cattrall thinks SJP was mean on Sex and the City, SJP thinks she wasn't.
The show's many cast members are taking their respective sides but it all adds up to the cold, hard truth that we are probably never going to get a Sex and the City 3 — unless holographic technology gets really good.
Jay-Z and Kanye West
Kanye West is the king of the celebrity feud but even his biggest fans didn't see this one coming. It began back in November of 2016 shortly before West's hospitalization, when he unleashed a rant onstage during a Saint Pablo Tour concert stop, calling the Carters out for a variety of transgressions. Their relationship remained icy after Jay-Z told his side of the story on a TIDAL podcast last summer, adding that West never should have brought Beyoncé and Blue Ivy into their beef. He also told The New York Times that certain things happened between the two rappers that he found "unacceptable."
The feud was never really resolved publicly, but there hasn't been any mudslinging from either side so it seems like a stalemate for the time being.
Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey
"I don't know her!"
Not since "Imma let you finish" has a collection of four simple words sent such a chill down the collective spine of America. We don't know why Mariah Carey has it out for Jennifer Lopez, we don't know why she refuses to admit that she knows who she is, we don't know why we find it all so deliciously entertaining. What we do know is that these two pop stars will never ever be friends.
The Rock and Vin Diesel
For costars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Vin Diesel, it seems their different approaches to making movies may have generated friction on the set of Fast 8. Johnson first alluded to the drama with an Instagram post venting about some unnamed male costars, calling them "candy asses" who failed to "conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals." Speculation began to swirl that Johnson was referring to longtime F&F star and producer Diesel, although neither of the two action heroes — nor their costars — seemed willing to address the alleged feud directly. Instead they opted to make cryptic statements, as when Diesel posted an Instagram video promising fans, "I will tell you everything. Everything." A week later, Diesel appeared in a Facebook Live video and at one point thanked fans who had called for Johnson's casting in the Fast franchise. And yet later that day, Johnson posted a Fast 8 wrap photo giving props to his cast mates — while conspicuously not naming Diesel. Ouch.
Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj
The feud between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj, which began a decde ago when Minaj dissed Ma in the 2007 freestyle "Dirty Money," has heated up over the first half of 2017, beginning with a pair of diss tracks ("Shether" and "Another One") that Ma dropped at the end of February. At the time, she explained on The Wendy Williams Show that her feud with Minaj was the result of "behind the scenes things that you people will never know about." Soon after, Minaj retaliated with three diss tracks, the Drake- and Lil Wayne-assisted "No Frauds," "Changed It" featuring Lil Wayne, and solo effort "Regret in Your Tears." At June's BET Awards, Ma kicked it up a notch when she rapped her acceptance speech for the award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, which had gone to Minaj for the past seven years in a row (and for which she was nominated again this year). "Y'all bitches got fat while we starved," Ma rapped at the podium. "Shots in your ass, pads in your bras/ Y'all some liars, it ain't no facts in your songs/ And yeah, that crown is coming back to the Bronx." The following night, onstage at the inaugural NBA Awards, Minaj performed "No Frauds" in response.
Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian
While Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian seemed to be on good terms in 2015 after Swift's feud with Kardashian's husband Kanye West had died down, the two battled again in the summer of 2016. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star hinted at the tension in a June interview with Esquire, addressing Swift taking issue with a lyric in West's "Famous."
“She totally approved that," Kardashian said of the line "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? Because I made that bitch famous," and Swift. "She totally knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t. I swear, my husband gets so much s— for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved." Swift's camp denied the words.
Then, as Swift faced heat from ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris and constant rival Katy Perry, Kardashian joined in. She tweeted snake emojis in a tongue-in-cheek nod to those speaking out against Swift, and took it a step further, releasing audio of Swift's call with Kanye via Snapchat. Swift hit back in turn, sharing a screenshot of a note on her phone, which reads, "Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song?’ It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world... While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot ‘approve’ a song you haven’t heard... Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination."
Both Swift and Kardashian seem to have moved on from the feud after the singer's Repuation era. Kardashian told Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen she was "over it" when she appeared on the talk show at the beginning of 2019.
Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris
The relationship between the two artists turned sour in 2016 a few weeks after they stopped dating. Taylor Swift made headlines for cozying up to Tom Hiddleston soon after the split, a bit of drama Calvin Harris acknowledged in a Twitter rant against his ex on July 13. After it was confirmed by Swift's rep that she wrote her ex-boyfriend's collaboration with Rihanna, "This Is What You Came For," Harris went off, tweeting, "And she sings on a little bit of it too. Amazing lyric writer and she smashed it as usual... I wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals though. And initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym... Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though... I figure if you're happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do... I know you're off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy ETC but I'm not that guy, sorry. I won't allow it... Please focus on the positive aspects of YOUR life because you've earned a great one... God bless everyone have a beautiful day."
Quentin Tarantino and Police Unions
Quentin Tarantino found himself in conflict with various police unions across the country in October 2015. The Oscar-winning director voiced his support for those protesting against police brutality and joined a rally for the cause in New York City. Tarantino's actions did not sit well with police unions in NYC, as well as those in L.A., Chicago, and Philadelphia, among others. The groups have since called for a boycott of Tarantino's movies and sparked ongoing inflammatory language from both sides.
Sean Penn and Lee Daniels
The disagreement between Sean Penn and Lee Daniels is going all the way to court. The Milk actor filed a $10 million lawsuit against the Empire director in September 2015. The bad blood between the two began when Daniels invoked Penn's name while defending Empire star Terrance Howard in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Commenting on the controversy surrounding Howard's reported beating of his ex-wife, Daniels said, "[Terrence] ain't done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he's some f—in' demon." Penn's defamation lawsuit alleges that "Daniels has falsely asserted and/or implied that Penn is guilty of ongoing, continuous violence against women."
As part of a settlement on the defamation case with Penn, Daniels apologized to the actor in 2016 and made a significant donation to a charity benefiting Haiti.
Drake and Meek Mill
The rappers’ feud began on July 22 when Meek Mill went on Twitter to publicly accuse Drake of not writing his own raps. Drake responded with a diss track titled “Charged Up” a few days later, and another one called “Back to Back Freestyle” after that. Mill came back with his own diss track, “Wanna Know” — featuring Quentin Miller, who wrote a Tumblr post just days before clarifying that he’s collaborated with Drake and is “not and never will be a ‘ghostwriter’ for him.” Instead of releasing another track, Drake simply posted an Instagram photo of himself laughing — and then proceeded to not-so-subtly insult Mill at an OVO Fest 2015 show.
After Mill was controversially sent to prison, and then freed in 2018, the pair of rappers mended fences and collaborated on a track off Mill's 2018 album Championships.
Ja Rule and 50 Cent
Meek Mill’s accusations of Drake ghostwriting pale in comparison to this rap beef, which peaked in the early 2000s. The 50 Cent/Ja Rule feud went beyond dueling records into real-life altercations. Ja Rule’s associates, for example, were implicated in a 2000 stabbing of 50 Cent, and were known to threaten DJs for playing 50 Cent’s music.
As with all rap beefs, it’s hard to tell how much was exaggerated to sell records. The fiery feud cooled off as years went by and the two rappers receded into the background of hip-hop, but then the Drake-Meek Mill beef’s social media dominance heated it back up. 50 Cent and Ja Rule traded dueling Instagram posts arguing about old details, such as who exactly beat who with a baseball bat.
Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell
Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell's public feud began in the early ‘00s, and peaked in 2011 when Trump called O’Donnell “a true loser” in a tweet. The Twitter fight between the two escalated when O’Donnell labeled Trump “an ass” and linked to a story about his professional failures. Fox News’ Sean Hannity recently brought up the feud to Trump — now a presidential candidate — in a June interview, in which Trump said “Rosie’s a bully and she bullies people, but she didn’t bully me.” However, O’Donnell sees it the other way around: “Probably the Trump stuff was the most bullying I ever experienced in my life, including as a child,” she told People in 2014.
The barbs continued in 2015 during August’s Republican debate when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly said to Trump, “You’ve called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs, disgusting animals.” He interrupted her to say, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” O’Donnell seemingly responded to the comment with a vague tweet: “try explaining that 2 ur kids.”
Lil' Kim and Nicki Minaj
Every rapper thinks they’re the best — it comes with the territory after all — but Lil’ Kim took issue when she thought Nicki Minaj was coming for her throne. The way Kim tells it, Minaj was taking shots at her in her songs and wouldn’t acknowledge the path Kim blazed for female rappers. The two women traded comments back-and-forth for a while before Kim took it up a notch: After the Minaj was featured on the remix of Beyoncé’s "Flawless," Lil’ Kim made her own version of the song, going so far as to Photoshop her own face over Minaj’s in the songs artwork. Minaj has called Kim a “sore loser,” and when asked if the two could ever reconcile, Kim told Power 105.1 that “it will never happen.”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Martha Stewart
Gwyneth Paltrow launched her own lifestyle brand, Goop, in 2008 — and Martha Stewart wasn’t the most supportive: “She’s a movie star,” Stewart told Porter magazine in 2014. “If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart.” Paltrow wasn’t too offended though. “If I’m really honest, I’m so psyched that she sees us as competition,” she told E! News.
Their following “exchanges” were less straightforward: Stewart published a story about pies titled “Conscious Coupling” — in reference to Paltrow’s divorce announcement, where she called her split from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin “conscious uncoupling" — and then Paltrow posted a recipe for what she called Jailbird Cake — likely a shot at Stewart, who went to prison in 2004 — on her website.
Taylor Swift and Kanye West
Taylor Swift and Kanye West are forever linked after West's infamous "I'mma let you finish" rant at the 2009 MTV VMAs. The rap star was blasted from all corners of the news cycle at the time— even Barack Obama called him a "jackass." West apologized to Swift the next week, and did so again on Twitter the year after.
They breifly reconciled in 2015, with Swift handing West the MTV Video Vanguard Award, but then the "Famous" debacle happened involving West's aforementioned wife Kim Kardashian. That lead to Swift building her album Reputation around their feud, and now while things are quiet between the two in anticipation of Swift's new album Lover, they'll likely never, ever, ever becoming friends again.
William Shatner and George Takei
The feud between these former Star Trek co-stars dates all the way back to their days on set, apparently. George Takei has said that William Shatner would ignore him and generally hog the spotlight from the rest of the ensemble cast.
Bad blood continues to this day. In 2008, Shatner said in an interview that he hadn’t been invited to Takei’s wedding, saying Takei suffered from some kind of "psychosis.” Takei later responded that he had invited Shatner to his wedding and suggested that the former Captain Kirk’s video was probably more about viral promotion for his talk show Raw Nerve.
“It’s not tension, it’s all coming from Bill,” Takei told the New York Times in 2015. “Whenever he needs a little publicity for a project, he pumps up the so-called controversy between us.”
50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather
50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather were friends for years before their beef began, seemingly out of nowhere. Mayweather allegedly stopped hanging out with 50, a member of the boxer’s “Money Team,” and the rapper responded by offering to donate $750,000 dollars to charity if boxer would read just one page of Harry Potter. Harsher still, he said that if the boxer were unable to do that, he’d still donate the money if he read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham instead. The two made up just before Mayweather’s May 2 fight against Manny Paquiao, with 50 Cent sharing his support on Instagram and betting money on his friend-turned-foe-turned-friend.
Megan Fox and Michael Bay
A few months after Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen — the second film in the franchise — came out, series star Megan Fox told Wonderland that director Michael Bay liked to be “Hitler on his sets, and he is.”
“He’s vulnerable and fragile in real life,” she said, “and then on set he’s a tyrant.” After that, a few people who claimed to be Transformers crew members published a response letter calling Fox “as about ungracious a person as you can ever fathom.” Bay apparently wasn’t one of those crew members: He later responded to the whole thing on his website, explaining he diddn't “condone the crew letter to Megan" nor her "outlandish quotes." He added: "But her crazy quips are part of her crazy charm.”
Fox didn't return for the third Transformers film in 2011; however, she and Bay collaborated again on 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel
After Kanye West's 2013 interview with BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, Jimmy Kimmel recreated the discussion with two kids sipping on milkshakes for a short clip on his late-night show. West wasn’t a fan: The rapper posted a series of tweets in response, telling Kimmel it was “out of line to try and spoof in any way the first piece of honest media in years.” He also created the now-famous hashtag, “#NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK,” in the process. (“ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL,” though.)