Y’all know the saying -- the bigger they are, the harder they fall. So when it comes to celeb screw-ups, they get blown up TMZ-style and put on Twitter trial faster than you can google their mugshot. But when those same disgraced stars seek to redeem their reps, the whole sitch can go from #SMH to #FTW with the right gesture of goodwill. So here’s a list of 5 celebs who’ve taken action to make up for some major missteps.
+Michael Vick Plays Nice with a PSA
“You know who I am. You know why I’m here.” Those are Michael Vick’s opening lines in his recently released PSA for the Humane Society’s animal fighting tipline and Pets for Life campaign. It’s a simple way of stating the obvious -- most of us were part of the puppy-lovin’ public outrage directed at the star quarterback when he was arrested and jailed back in 2009 for his role in running a nasty dog fighting operation. At the time, it seemed like this insanely talented athlete had squandered his future on a disgustingly cruel hobby -- but the dude did his time, expressed regret, came back to the NFL with a fierceness and has been serving as the HSUS’s anti-dog fighting spokesperson in schools and on the steps of Congress. His team, the Philadelphia Eagles, even launched a program called “Treat Animals With Kindness” to provide grants to animal welfare groups. Vick has been putting in some serious time off the field to prove he’s changed his ways and his voice has given a ton of exposure to this important cause, so let’s hope this QB continues to score big for animal rights.
+Kim Kardashian Hits Up Haiti
When Kim Kardashian’s nanosecond nuptials rang in at a ridic $27.9 million, the backlash against the over-the-top reality TV beauty was understandably harsh. The bombshell’s lavish spending sprees came during a time when most Americans are seriously struggling and earned Kim a Big Gulp-sized serving of public haterade. To escape the PR heat and show she still had a heart underneath the bling, Kim and her hot mama, Kris Jenner, headed to Haiti to meet earthquake victims. The media accused her of yet another publicity stunt, but Kim took to the blogosphere to defend her “life-changing” trip. Recently, Kim was involved in more cause-related controversy when she was flour-bombed on the red carpet by a PETA activist for her fur fashion choices -- sister Khloe dropped her involvement with the radical animal rights org because of the incident, but what will Kimmy’s next move be? Do y’all think the couture queen will go faux fur from now on to make up for her controversial sartorial choices?
+50 Cent Flips the Script
When Fiddy gets feisty, the world knows. And unforch, his social media tirades and public displays of pissed-off-ness have a tendency to veer into some seriously un-PC territory. In 2010, the jacked hip-hop star tweeted several homophobic statements that put him on the LGBT community’s s*** list -- plus, there’s the mayhem of his nasty multimedia MC beef with Florida rapper Rick Ross. But lately, Curtis Jackson has been showing he’s about more than just “get rich or die tryin’.” He flipped the script on his critics by tweeting his support for the OMAs record-breaking Dance Marathon, which benefitted anti-hate LGBT groups like the It Gets Better Project and The Gay Straight Alliance Network (GSA), started the hunger-fighting Street King Energy Shot AND wrote a semi-autobiographical YA book about a young bully’s road to redemption. You never know what the volatile G-Unit general will do next, but we hope he keeps this feel-good flow goin’!
+Eminem Surprises at the Grammys with Unexpected BFF
The Real Slim Shady can be, well, shady. And when he burst onto the scene back in the day, his in-your-face lyrics got him plenty of attention, both for their creative flair and questionable content. Like his homey Fifty, he got slammed for allegedly hateful rhymes and caught up in a public feud with Moby when the electro-pop icon called him “a misogynist, a homophobe, a racist, and an anti-Semite.” OUCH. But Marshall Mathers wasn’t gonna be pigeonholed, so he surprised all the haters when he showed up at the 2001 Grammys to sing his hit “Stan” in an unforgettable duet with one of music’s most celebrated out-and-proud artists, Sir Elton John. Em said, "I was like, 'The only way I'll perform at the Grammys is with Elton John.' And I was saying it in kind of jest, thinking it would never happen. The idea of it started becoming more, 'OK, this is a way to really flip it around and really f--- people's heads up." When the hip-hop star hugged Elton after their performance and then they held their hands up in solidarity, it sent a clear message to the Detroit rapper's detractors, "It was more so just a statement, period," the unpredictable MC explained. "If you really think that about me, you really don't know Marshall. You really don't know me."
+Drew Barrymore Says No To Drugs, and Yes to Crime Dogs
The Drew Barrymore we all know and adore now is a gorgeous Cover Girl, hella cute romcom actress and generally scandal-free, fun-lovin’ celeb. But she’s been in the biz for a minute – remember her as the most precious alien-lovin’ lil sis ever in "E.T."?! -- and got caught up in the Hollywood party-hard lifestyle at a SUPER young age (we’re talking like 9 years old). After two stints in rehab the starlet emerged sober at age 14 and even wrote a tell-all book called "Little Girl Lost" to air out those closets before taking on a cleaned-up career. It was tough -- "I walked into [an] audition and the casting director just sat there laughing," recalled a 17-year-old Drew Barrymore. "He said, 'I can't believe you have the balls to walk into this audition, Little Miss Drug Addict. Right, like we're going to give you this job.' I was blacklisted, big time." – but the determined Barrymore made it back, big-time. In honor of her journey from "Little Miss Drug Addict" to Awesome A-List Actress and Activist, here’s a old school PSA featuring a retro Barrymore and the 80s icon McGruff the Crime Dog: