For these 9 famous Michiganders, the previous trip around the sun was one for the books.
Here’s how 2023 went for the following Mitten State natives:
- Tim Allen
- Kid Rock
- Taylor Lautner
- Selma Blair
- Floyd Mayweather Jr.
- Kristen Bell
- Dax Shepard
- Keegan-Michael Key
Ever-embroiled in controversy, Tim Allen lost fan after fan
Tim Allen is no stranger to controversy. In the past, his vocal support for Donald Trump, revulsion at anything he deemed “woke,” and DUI all resulted in plenty of backlash. But 2023 brought a whole new set of issues his way.
Firstly, Pamela Anderson claimed he flashed her in 1991 on the set of “Home Improvement,” an allegation he vehemently denied. At the time, she was 23 while Allen was 37. In her memoir “Love, Pamela,” the star wrote, “On the first day of filming, I walked out of my dressing room, and Tim was in the hallway in his robe. He opened his robe and flashed me quickly — completely naked underneath.”
Then, in November, the “Toy Story” star promised viewers that the new season of “The Santa Clauses” would embrace Christianity, flipping the script on a franchise with a built-in fanbase. “It originally had a lot of otherworldly characters, and ghosts, and goblins,” he told TheWrap. “I said no, this is Christ-mas. It’s Christ-mas. It literally is a religious holiday.”
Shortly after the controversial comments were published, Allen’s name trended yet again, this time for alleged comments about animals.
It seems to have begun with a tweet that read, “Per Tim Allen, animals aren’t capable of love…so, what does it mean when a dog licks you? Or for example, a man goes hiking with his dog, he has an accident and dies. When the rescuers finally found him a month later, the dog was still there by his owner’s side…”
Though it’s unclear if there’s any truth to this claim, it made its rounds on the internet regardless, losing him many fans among animal lovers.
Madonna set out on her “Celebration Tour” following an ICU stay
Even at 65 years old, Madonna has continued to stay in the spotlight.
In 2023, she released a handful of singles and remixes and planned a massive, 35-city tour. However, she had to delay her plans by a few months after spending some time in the ICU in June. The Celebration Tour finally kicked off in October at London’s O2 Arena, where she brought five of her kids onstage.
At a later concert in Belgium, she got candid with fans about the scary experience. “Less than four months ago, I was in a hospital and I was unconscious, and people were thinking, predicting that I might not make it,” she said, adding, “It’s a f***ing miracle that I’m here right now.”
Kid Rock led a Budweiser boycott
In a controversy that ended up dividing the country even further, Kid Rock occupied headlines for the better part of 2023. It all began in April when trans social media star Dylan Mulvaney posted a video featuring a Bud Light that had her likeness. Immediately after, scores of conservatives took to social media to denounce both Mulvaney and the beer company.
In addition to Ben Shapiro, Donald Trump Jr., Ron DeSantis, and other notable, anti-trans figures, Kid Rock spoke out. On April 3, he posted a video to Instagram showing him shooting cases of Bud Light with a gun and yelling, “F**ck Bud Light and f**ck Anheuser-Busch.”.
The singer was outed as a hypocrite when he was photographed drinking a Bud Light less than four months later.
Taylor Lautner was thrust back into the spotlight thanks to a mega-famous ex
Taylor Lautner ended 2022 by marrying his girlfriend, who also happens to be named Taylor. However, it was another lover (and another Taylor) that thrust him back into the spotlight this year.
On July 7, Taylor Swift released her version of the “Speak Now” album, which included a previously unreleased song titled “I Can See You.” The accompanying music video, featuring Swift’s ex (whom she dated around the time she originally wrote the album), quickly went viral.
A few days later, Swift surprised fans by bringing the “Twilight” star onstage during her Kansas City stop of the Eras Tour. To introduce the actor, she said, “He was a very positive force in my life when I was making the ‘Speak Now’ album, and I want to say he did every single stunt that you saw in that music video. He and his wife have become some of my closest friends, and it’s very convenient because we all share the same first name.”
Selma Blair opened up about MS and became a Woman of the Year
In 2023, actress Selma Blair became more vocal than ever about her multiple sclerosis diagnosis. In the cover story for the April issue of British Vogue, she discussed using a cane, saying she has “an emotional and physical attachment” to it and recognizes its positive effect.
“So many younger people have started publicly embracing their sticks more,” she said. “I do think representation matters. If I can help remove stigma or over-curiosity in a crowd for someone else, then that’s great.”
Then, for People Magazine’s Beautiful Issue, she wrote an open letter to her younger self. “It will be okay. That thing you couldn’t put your finger on. It’s hope. Trade your fear for hope,” she wrote. “Good things will happen. And horrible things. And it will all be part of finding your footing and carrying on. You are worth loving.”
The mother of one also had the honor of meeting with President Joe Biden to work on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. In November, she became a Glamour “Woman of the Year,” earning the outlet’s Daring to Disrupt Award.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. made his opinions known
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never had a problem flaunting his wealthy lifestyle, but in 2023, he had no problem taking his strong opinions into the public sphere as well.
In June, the professional boxer took on John Gotti III in Florida. In the middle rounds, both parties were given warnings about trash-talking and violent language. When the referee ended the match in the sixth round, an actual fight between the contestants broke out. Gotti initially charged at Mayweather before onlookers joined in and stormed the ring, causing chaos in the venue.
The following month, he made his first stop on what he calls the Motherland Tour. Touching down in Zimbabwe on July 14, he delighted fans with his surprising presence. The free event took place on a soccer field in Mabvuku, one of the country’s oldest Black townships.
After Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, the 46-year-old was quick to respond. He not only made a series of Instagram posts condemning antisemitism but also marched in a pro-Israel rally in L.A. and filled his private jet with supplies for Israeli soldiers.
Kristen Bell continued to get candid about parenting
Although she lent her voice to several projects in 2023 including “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” and the video game “Disney Speedstorm,” Kristen Bell’s year was less about acting and more about mom-ing. In the February issue of Real Simple magazine she said, “I’ve taken the last year and a half almost off, to be a mom, and a producer when my kids are at school.”
Although she delighted many fans with her vulnerable and often-sidesplitting tales of motherhood, others found opportunities to call her out. For example, some were outraged after Bell admitted to Kelly Clarkson that she allows her daughters (Delta, 8, and Lincoln, 9) to drink non-alcoholic beer with their father (actor Dax Shepard), who is a recovering addict.
Even more haters came when the famous duo documented their overnight stay at the Boston Logan Airport after becoming stranded. Afterward, they discussed the ordeal on Dax’s podcast, “Armchair Expert.”
“You have to stop trying to prove things to people because it happens everywhere,” Bell told her husband. “It doesn’t just happen to us. It happens to every single person no matter how known you are on social media. Someone makes a comment and you just have to ignore them because they are not on your level. People suffer from outrage addiction.”
Unfortunately, the end of the year brought more troubles for the duo, as their baby brand, Hello Bello, went bankrupt.
Dax Shepard faced major backlash over his podcast
While Dax Shepard experienced many of the unfortunate events mentioned above, he also waded through some controversy of his own. Namely, the actor faced major backlash after a podcast episode with Jonathan van Ness went awry.
The “Queer Eye” star, who identifies as nonbinary, was a guest on the Sept. 25 episode of Shepard’s podcast “Armchair Expert.” Things started to get heated when Shepard called the New York Times a “left-leaning” newspaper, which van Ness took issue with as the hairstylist believes the outlet is “anti-trans.”
The pair then got into a discussion about trans athletes and teenagers transitioning. When the comedian bemoaned the fact that being “critical” of trans rights can often make someone an “enemy,” van Ness said he felt like he was talking to his dad.
“I’m not calling you a transphobe,” van Ness said. “You can not be transphobic and still have thoughts that espouse trans misogyny and espouse transphobic ideologies and beliefs.”
In turn, Shepard apologized, saying he “did not intend” to start a debate and told the reality star, “I adore you. I think that you’re hysterical and talented and I love that you’re an activist,” leading van Ness to tears.
“I could just cry because I’m so tired of having to fight for little kids because they just want to be included,” van Ness said.
Keegan-Michael Key wrote the book on comedy — literally
With the release of “The History of Sketch Comedy: A Journey through the Art and Craft of Humor,” comedian Keegan-Michael Key had a big year.
In the book, he and his wife Elle Key cover the evolution of sketch comedy, complete with historical examples, personal anecdotes, and guest essays by comedic giants like Carol Burnett, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mike Myers, and Jim Carrey. Many of the insights originated in the couple’s podcast, “The History of Sketch Comedy.”
The Southfield, Michigan, native also had some notable acting and voiceover roles in 2023, including the feature films “Wonka,” “Migration,” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”
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