People Are Calling Out The Dead Celebrities Who We Should Stop Treating Like Saints, And It’s Wild

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Dr. Seuss, Paul Walker, DMX, and more.

Warning: If you don’t believe in speaking ill of the dead, this will not be the BuzzFeed post for you. Turn back now!


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Recently, Reddit user u/misterZ_6000 posed a question to the internet: “Which dead celebrities are treated like saints, but were truly awful people when they were alive?”


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The thread quickly went viral, garnering nearly 40,000 responses from users. Here are some of the top-voted submissions.

1.

“Dr Seuss. Had an affair for years while his wife battled cancer. Drove her to suicide. Married the woman he’d been having the affair with a couple months later.”


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2.

“Steve Jobs was an asshole to his family. His own kids hated him… He also was known for throwing work colleagues under the bus to cover his own ass, and taking credit for things he didn’t invent.”


Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

3.

“I hate saying it because outside of this incident he actually seemed like a good guy. But on two occasions, Paul Walker dated 16-year-old girls. Once when he was 28, and again when he was 33. This was all while he had a young daughter of his own. The age of consent in California is 18.”


Christopher Polk / FilmMagic

4.

“XXXTentacion beat his pregnant girlfriend, as well as a gay man while he was in jail.”


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5.

“Mother Teresa. She abused the sick. Denied them pain-relieving and lifesaving treatments. Somehow projected such a holy and helpful face to the world. So many suffered.”


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6.

“DMX. My dad was a Yonkers, NY cop for 35 years. Arrested X on several occasions in South Yonkers in the mid-to-late 90s for running pit bull dog fight rings. My dad HATED him, only because he was so cruel to animals. They had to on a couple of occasions euthanize the dogs on the spot. Many times dogs were found half-dead from fights.”


Streeter Lecka / BIG3 / Getty Images

7.

“John Lennon. Guy sang about peace and love and acted like he was a saint and some holier-than-thou person. Dude abused women and abandoned his son and had a smug personality. But he was in the Beatles, and to some people that excuses any wrongdoing.”


Rowland Scherman / Getty Images

8.

“Johnny Carson. He cheated on his wives and was an all-around prick when he wasn’t on camera. The most widely know example was him telling Joan Rivers that she’d never become the star of The Tonight Show (she was a guest host at the time), then refused to ever speak to her again after she got a job elsewhere.”


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9.

“Coco Chanel. Revered fashion icon, and also Nazi sympathizer.” [Editor’s note: There’s evidence to suggest that Coco Chanel was more than just a Nazi sympathizer, but an actual Nazi agent.]


Evening Standard / Getty Images

10.

“Pablo Picasso was an abusive, raging narcissist who sucked the life out of people around him. His ‘muses’ were generally young women he’d domineer and destroy.”


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11.

“Elvis. He was with his wife Priscilla when she was 14. I think it’s probably safe to assume they were having sex.”


Gab Archive / Redferns

12.

“Sean Connery said that women need to be smacked once in a while to keep them in line.”


Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

13.

“Sinead O’Connor said Prince was an abusive jerk who used to rage when he was on drugs.”


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

14.

Frank Sinatra. My grandpa’s girlfriend and her husband used to work for him, and he was a right bastard. Didn’t think that he had to pay people that worked for him, treated employees bad, all the usual human stuff.”


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15.

“Christopher Columbus. Truly awful human being, but in schools I was told he was a hero and shit. All lies.”


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16.

“Jerry Lewis. He treated his family like shit, cut his kids out of his will, and was a real POS on set. Watch some clips on YouTube of him and his behavior. Terrible. Most likely stemming from when he and Dean Martin split from being ‘Martin and Lewis,’ everyone thought Dean would disappear and Jerry would go on to be a massive star. As it turned out, it was the complete reverse. He was a bitter, bitter person.”


Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

17.

“Frank Lloyd Wright. He is seen as a visionary in architecture but he was a horrible person IRL. Raging narcissist, abandoned his wife and kids to run off with the wife of one of his clients, nailed down his selected furniture in a client’s home because he didn’t like what the client wanted, etc.”


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18.

“Bing Crosby. Father of the century. Physically and mentally abusive to his kids, an adulterer, and an alleged slimy businessman.”


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19.

“Charlie Chaplin was pretty much the Harvey Weinstein of the 1930s. His first two marriages were with teenage actresses (both 16 at the time) from his films that he fucked and got pregnant so he married them in a hurry to save his public image, then divorced them a couple years later. He was in his 30s. He went on to have relationships with very young actresses throughout his career.”


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20.

“Salvador Dali was a fascist who beat women.”


Hulton Archive / Getty Images

21.

“I absolutely loved The Greatest Showman, but PT Barnum IRL was undoubtedly a pretty shit person. Even in the musical, there’s several pointers as to how he’s dishonest and doesn’t really care about his circus troupe.”


Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length, accuracy, and/or clarity.

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