The 20 Most Sensational Reality Star Scandals Of All Time

Reality television generally delights in showing us the absolute worst of humanity. And we love it, of course. These days, most seasoned viewers are unfazed by the ill-advised and unsavory antics of the shows’ stars, but every now and then, a reality star manages to shock the public with some wild new scandal – be it sexual abuse, jail time, or blatant racism. Read on for some of the best of these moments…

20. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

This spin-off of Toddlers and Tiaras was meant to be a fun little show about sassy kids and the bonds of family. However, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo took an unbelievably dark and upsetting turn when it was revealed that Mama June Shannon’s ex-boyfriend was a convicted sex offender. Not only that, but he abused Shannon’s own daughter, Anna.

19. Dog the Bounty Hunter

Duane “Dog” Chapman became America’s most famous fugitive-nabber in Dog the Bounty Hunter, which followed Chapman as he traveled around bagging escapees. Alas, he fell briefly from grace when a phone recording was leaked that featured him repeatedly saying the n-word. One might think that would be a career-ender, but no. He made his apologies and was soon back to chasing down criminals.

18. Phil Robertson

Duck Dynasty, which featured a proudly redneck family of duck-call makers, was A&E’s most popular program of all time and ran from 2012 to 2017. But there was a brief firestorm when head of the family Phil Robertson casually shared his incredibly homophobic beliefs in an interview with GQ. Robertson likened homosexuality to bestiality, and producers briefly excluded him from the show. But not for long. He was soon back, and the duck calls sounded once more.

17. Paula Deen

Paula Deen was once the shining star of the Food Network, with her grandmotherly schtick and southern drawl encouraging us all to use “more butter.” But that drawl turned from sweet to nasty after it was revealed that Deen was a fan of throwing around the n-word and was also accused of discriminating against staff. Her show was dumped, as were her deals with Target and Walmart.