Celebrity business scandals of 2021
Lil Nas X, Kendall Jenner and Gwyneth Paltrow have all come under fire for business missteps
Celebrities provided us with some major newsmaking headlines in 2021, including marriages, divorces and a few business flops.
From insensitive marketing campaigns to allegedly underpaying workers, Hollywood A-listers gave fans plenty to talk about.
Check out this year's biggest celebrity business scandals below.
Kendall Jenner's 818 Tequila
Kendall Jenner faced some backlash for the advertising campaign surrounding her newly launched tequila brand, 818.
The campaign featured Jenner walking through an agave farm interacting with Mexican farmers. After the video dropped, the model was accused of cultural appropriation for wearing an outfit and hairstyle traditionally worn by people of Mexican culture.
KENDALL JENNER ACCUSED OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION FOR 818 TEQUILA CAMPAIGN
Critics claimed Jenner was perpetuating stereotypes about Mexican people and that she was insensitive toward workers who really do wear the style of clothing she wore for the photo shoot.
Michael B. Jordan's rum brand
Michael B. Jordan faced criticism for the name of his rum brand, J’Ouvert. Critics said the actor was appropriating Caribbean culture as J’Ouvert is the name of Carnival festivities in Caribbean countries such as Trinidad and Tobago.
"I just wanna say on behalf of myself & my partners, our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture (we love & respect) & hoped to celebrate & shine a positive light on," Jordan wrote on his Instagram Story at the time.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN APOLOGIZES FOR RUM NAME AFTER VENTURE IS ACCUSED OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION
"Last few days has been a lot of listening. A lot of learning & engaging in countless community conversations ... We hear you. I hear you & want to be clear that we are in the process of renaming. We sincerely apologize & look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of."
Lil Nas X's Satan Shoes
Lil Nas X found himself in hot water after Nike filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against the company that worked with the rapper to create his limited-edition sneaker collection that featured a drop of human blood in the soles.
The musician worked with MSCHF to modify Nike Air Max 97s to feature a pentagram pendant, a Bible verse reference to Luke 10:18 and the drop of blood. Fans who bought the $1,018 kicks claimed they thought Nike was involved in the manufacturing/design of the product.
NIKE SUES RAPPER LIL NAS X OVER ‘SATAN SHOES’ THAT HAVE REAL BLOOD IN SOLES
Nike filed the suit to maintain control over its brand "by setting the record straight" about what products can use its well-known "swoosh" logo and clarify that's it not affiliated with Satan Shoes.
"In fact, there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF's Satan Shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorized or approved this product," the legal docs said.
Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP
Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness and lifestyle brand-turned-e-commerce conglomerate, Goop, was under fire earlier this year after it was reported that some 140 members of her staff have allegedly left the company since 2019.
The actress, 49, allegedly paid her employees peanuts for their work despite the fact that since early 2019, Goop had raised nearly $135 million and amassed a valuation of more than $430 million, a report from Business Insider claims.
Apparently, getting along with Paltrow in-and-out of the building proved difficult for ex-employees.
GOOP CEO GWYNETH PALTROW ACCUSED OF UNDERPAYING, GOING ‘SOUR’ ON STAFF
Although some ex-staffers departed Goop due to coronavirus-related terminations, other former Goopers told Insider that a mass exodus of top-level executives began before the pandemic hit.
According to the outlet, Paltrow allegedly developed a penchant for playing favorites and turning "sour" on those she once championed at Goop.
Four former employees told Insider they experienced an exhausting workplace culture that was heightened by business pressures they felt were brought on by the pandemic.
FOX Business' Julius Young contributed to this report.