The most talked-about celebrity moments of 2020

2020 end of year celebrity moments

  • 2020 was a significant year for stars in TV, film, and music. 
  • Billie Eilish was a big winner at the Grammys and became the second person ever to win all four major categories in one year.
  • Taylor Swift released two surprise albums, "Folklore" and "Evermore."
  • New shows like "Tiger King," "Normal People," and "Never Have I Ever" made a big splash.
  • Hollywood mourned the death of stars like Kobe Bryant, Naya Rivera, and Chadwick Boseman. 
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Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden kicked off the new year by revealing that they welcomed their first child together, daughter Raddix Madden.

The famously low-key couple revealed the news by sharing a statement on their Instagram accounts on January 3. 

"Happy New Year from the Maddens!" they wrote. "We are so happy, blessed, and grateful to begin this new decade by announcing the birth of our daughter, Raddix Madden. She has completely captured our hearts and completed our family."

In their statement, the stars also said that they "won't be posting pictures or sharing any more details" out of privacy for their newborn. 

According to the birth certificate obtained by The Blast, the baby's full name is Raddix Chloe Wildflower Madden and she was born on December 30, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Us Weekly reported that they welcomed their baby via surrogate.

This is the first child for Diaz and Madden, who got married in 2015. 

Tom Hanks' priceless facial expressions during comedian Ricky Gervais' Golden Globes monologue became widely memed.

Cameras always cut to celebrities for reaction shots during award shows, and Hanks didn't disappoint at the event, which took place on January 5. 

The beloved actor repeatedly had his jaw dropped or grimaced as Gervais, a controversial host, made pointed jokes about Hollywood stars. 

Brad Pitt called "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" costar Leonardo DiCaprio "LDC" at the 2020 Golden Globes, and people loved it.

Pitt appeared on stage at the ceremony to accept his award for best actor in a supporting role in a motion picture for "OUATIH."

In his speech, he referred to his costar as "my partner in crime, LDC."

"I used to watch, year after year, his costars accept awards and get up and thank him profusely. I know why. He's an all-star, he's a gent — and I wouldn't be here without you, man. Thank you," Pitt said, adding a joke about the widely discussed ending of "Titanic."

Viewers praised Chris Evans for being chivalrous and helping "Avengers: Endgame" costar Scarlett Johansson with her dress at the awards show.

The longtime friends presented the award for best actor in a musical or comedy to the "Rocketman" star Taron Egerton and the trophy for best actress in a musical or comedy to Awkwafina for her role in "The Farewell."

Evans offered Johansson his arm as they walked on stage together, and he was seen moving the train of her voluminous red Vera Wang dress out of the way to keep her from tripping over it.

This wasn't the first time he's received attention for being a gentleman.

During the 2019 Oscars, the actor jumped out of his seat and offered his arm to Regina King as she walked onstage to accept the award for best supporting actress for her role in "If Beale Street Could Talk." 

He also escorted legendary actress Betty White to the stage at the 2015 People's Choice Awards so she could accept her award for favorite TV icon.

On January 8, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were taking a "step back" from the royal family.

The news came following months of speculation.

"After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution," the couple said in a statement shared on Instagram.

"We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen," they added.

The pair also said that they planned on splitting their time between the UK and North America as they raise their son, Archie.

The CW's Arrowverse crossover had a jaw-dropping cameo from "Justice League" star Ezra Miller, who came face-to-face with Grant Gustin's version of The Flash.

During part four of the five-episode "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover in January, Gustin's Barry Allen/The Flash got an "energy boost" so he could travel through the speed force and use memories and connections to retrieve the other superheroes. 

Upon entering the speed force, he found himself at STAR Labs, where he came face-to-face with Miller's version of the Flash that's appeared in the DCEU films "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and  "Justice League." Miller will also be starring in a standalone "Flash" movie. 

The actor's cameo was shocking not only for comic-book fans but also for some of the Arrowverse stars.

The appearance was so top-secret that CW actors Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl on "Supergirl") and Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/The Atom on "Legends of Tomorrow") had no idea that Miller would be part of the crossover. 

Photos of exes Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston reuniting backstage at the SAG Awards went viral.

At the awards show, Pitt won best supporting actor for his role in "OUATIH" while Aniston won the prize for outstanding performance by an actress in a drama series for her role on Apple TV Plus' "The Morning Show."

Pitt and Aniston, who were married from 2000 to 2005, were seen smiling as they briefly interacted backstage at the event, which sent fans into a frenzy.

Basketball icon Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on January 26 at the age of 41.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter named Gianna, and seven other people also died in the accident.

In the days after his death, people mourned the loss of the athlete by sharing touching tributes and heartfelt stories about the basketball star.  

NBA teams honored the late star with tribute jerseys, moments of silence, and chanting Bryant's name. Meanwhile, fans gathered for makeshift memorials at Bryant's Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks and outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Stars like Alicia Keys, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Dwyane Wade also honored Bryant or spoke out about his death. 

18-year-old Billie Eilish dominated the 2020 Grammy Awards, becoming the second person ever to win all four major categories in one year.

First-time nominee Eilish had a sweep at the Grammys, winning awards for best new artist, record of the year ("Bad Guy"), album of the year ("When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?") song of the year ("Bad Guy"), and best pop vocal album ("When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?").

Right before winning the award for album of the year, which was her fourth win that night, Eilish mouthed "please don't be me."

Her candid reaction went viral, along with another moment from the ceremony when Ariana Grande told Eilish to enjoy her moment after losing to the "Ocean Eyes" singer in the same category.   

The supercharged trailer for "Fast & Furious 9" had several jaw-dropping moments.

The stars of the movie marked the trailer drop with an elaborate event held in Miami on January 31, which featured performances from artists like Cardi B (who will appear in the movie) and interviews with the cast. 

The trailer made fans emotional from the start, as it showed Dom bonding with his song to the tune of Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again."

It kicked into high gear when it was revealed that John Cena's villain is more than just an antagonist — he's Dominic Toretto's brother. 

The trailer also showed the return of actor Lucas Black, who was introduced as Sean Boswell in "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift."

But the biggest shock came at the very end of the trailer when fans learned that Han, who was believed to be killed by Deckard Shaw, was actually alive.

Some of the stars have also teased that the movie will be headed to space.

Originally set for release on May 22, 2020, "F9" has now been pushed back to April 2, 2021 in the US.

Demi Lovato had a career comeback.

She performed an emotional track titled "Anyone," which was recorded four days prior to her accidental overdose in 2018, during the 62nd Grammys.

Days later, she performed a stirring rendition of the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Lovato also released several new tracks, beginning with the self-love song "I Love Me." The accompanying music video was filled with references to the highs and lows of her career.

She later teamed up with Sam Smith for a song called "I'm Ready" and collaborated with DJ Marshmello for the song "OK Not To Be OK." 

Following her whirlwind relationship with actor Max Ehrich, who she was engaged to for two months in 2020, Lovato dropped another self-love ballad, called "Still Have Me."

Fans applauded Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's dazzling Super Bowl Halftime performance.

Viewers raved about the performance and called it one of the best in years. 

Lopez sang a variety of her hits, including "Jenny From the Block," "Waiting For Tonight," and "On the Floor."

She also brought out her daughter, Emme Maribel Muñiz, for a rendition of "Born in the USA."

Meanwhile, Shakira performed several of her famous tracks, from "She Wolf" and "Hips Don't Lie" to "Waka Waka."

The Colombian singer also had several outfit changes, including one look that closely resembled her "Zootopia" character. 

Nick and Vanessa Lachey's awkward "Today" show interview in which he was asked about ex-wife Jessica Simpson, went viral.

In early February, the Lacheys appeared on the talk show to promote the Netflix reality TV series "Love Is Blind," which they cohost.

During the interview, "Today" show anchor Hoda Kotb brought up her recent interview with Simpson, who's now married to Eric Johnson. Kotb mentioned that Simpson told her the Lacheys "sent me something beautiful when we had our children."

In response, Nick said that they have a "mutual respect," but "it was a long time ago. We've all moved on." 

Then, Vanessa, confused, chimed in saying, "I feel bad. I'm sorry, but you said somebody sent her … It wasn't us."

Kotb tried to elaborate, prompting Nick to ask his wife, "What'd you send her?"

"I didn't! I don't know her address," Vanessa replied. "But thank you, whoever sent it from us!"

After the interview went viral and Vanessa was accused of throwing shade, she doubled down on her previous comment and said that she "didn't want to take credit for something we didn't do."

"Seems weird to ignore sending a big beautiful gift basket and taking that credit," she wrote. 

In another tweet, the actress said: "The statement wasn't true, so I was simply clearing that up. But definitely a beautiful sentiment if it was."

Simpson herself went on to confirm that she didn't receive a gift from the Lacheys, telling Andy Cohen: "I don't really know that I got a gift, per se. My gift with Nick is that he is happy and that he is married and he has three beautiful children and he's a father and he's celebrated for that."

"Parasite" director Bong Joon Ho was a big winner at the Oscars in February.

Bong won the Academy Awards for best original screenplay, best international feature film, best directing, and best picture for "Parasite" at the awards show. 

Bong's first trophy of the evening was presented by beloved actor Keanu Reeves, and many fans called the moment a significant win for "Asian history." 

After the show, Bong went viral for jokingly apologizing to Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger for having "so many" trophies that required engraving. 

"Friends" fans rejoiced when an unscripted reunion special for HBO Max was announced in late February.

The stars of the hit sitcom confirmed the news by sharing a photo on social media with the caption: "It's happening."

Initially, cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer were supposed to head to the original "Friends" soundstage, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, to film the reunion special.

It was originally intended to be ready upon the streaming service's launch in May. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, filming of the reunion special has been delayed.

According to Perry, the stars will film the reunion special in March 2021. 

Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, received an outpouring of support in March after testing positive for COVID-19.

Hanks first revealed the news in an Instagram post shared in early March. He was met with well wishes from stars like Reese Witherspoon and Tim Allen.

Following the diagnosis, Hanks kept fans updated on his and Wilson's health journey, posting selfies and sharing his coronavirus-themed Spotify playlist. 

The couple eventually returned home to the US after recovering from COVID-19 in Australia.

Hanks also donated plasma to help other coronavirus patients. 

The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers shared a 30-second video of himself washing his hands while singing "Mr. Brightside," one of the band's biggest hits.

The video, which accumulated more than 3 million views, was posted in response to a doctored video of Italians singing from their balconies after being told to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In dubbed versions that circulated online, the people appeared to sing popular songs. 

Stars like Katy Perry and Madonna fell for the fake videos, but not The Killers, who tweeted: "This isn't real."

Then, the group posted an authentic video of Flowers himself singing "Mr. Brightside" from the band's 2004 album "Hot Fuss."

Vanessa Hudgens faced backlash after appearing nonchalant about the severity of the coronavirus.

The actress was called "heartless" after saying in an Instagram livestream: "It's a virus, I get it. I respect it. At the same time, even if everybody gets it… like yeah people are going to die, which is terrible, but like inevitable?" 

"I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't be doing this right now," she added while laughing. 

Hudgens went on to respond to the criticism in videos posted on her Instagram story.

"I realize today that some of my comments are being taken out of context. It's a crazy time. It's a crazy, crazy time," the "High School Musical" star said.

"I am at home and in lockdown, and that's what I hope you guys are doing too — in full quarantine and staying safe," she continued. "Yeah, I don't take this situation lightly by any means."

Cardi B's profanity-filled Instagram video, in which she opened up about her fears surrounding the coronavirus, became a meme.

"A b—- is scared. S— got me panicking," the rapper said in the video.

She concluded by yelling "coronavirus" several times and telling viewers, "s— is getting real," which became the basis for a remix from DJ Markkeyz. 

The remix became so popular that it cracked the iTunes top 100 hip-hop and rap chart.

Cardi herself gave the track her seal of approval, tweeting, "Steam I guess."

Gal Gadot recruited several stars for a well-intentioned cover of "Imagine," but many people called it distasteful.

In March, the "Wonder Woman" actress teamed up with stars like Jimmy Fallon and Kristen Wiig for a feel-good rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine."

While many people enjoyed the video, others slammed the participants for not doing more to help relief efforts.

Speaking to Vanity Fair months later, Gadot addressed the backlash, saying: "Sometimes, you know, you try and do a good deed and it's just not the right good deed."

"I had nothing but good intentions and it came from the best place, and I just wanted to send light and love to the world," she added. 

2020 was the year of backlash against Ellen DeGeneres.

The controversies began in late March, when the Dutch beauty YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, known as NikkieTutorials, appeared on a talk show in her home country and said that she had an unpleasant experience on DeGeneres' show.

DeGeneres, who built up a reputation as a charming public figure who spreads a message of kindness, was accused of being "cold and distant" during de Jager's appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

The following month, a comedian named Kevin T. Porter crowdsourced "insane stories you've heard about Ellen being mean" in exchange for $2 donations to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

He received thousands of responses from people accusing the host of being rude or unkind. 

Over the course of the year, more and more former employees from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" came forward with allegations of toxic workplace culture.

Celebrities went on to speak out about their positive and negative experiences with the host, and videos of cringe-worthy moments from her show went viral. 

DeGeneres publicly addressed the allegations in her opening monologue for the season 18 premiere in September, saying: "I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected."

"We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace, and what we want for the future," she added. "We have made the necessary changes and today, we are starting a new chapter."

Netflix's true-crime documentary miniseries "Tiger King" became a pop culture phenomenon.

"Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness" debuted on the streaming service in March and was watched by 34.3 million unique viewers in its first 10 days of release in the US, according to Nielsen.

People instantly became addicted to the controversial series, which focused on the wild and shocking life of zoo owner Joe Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage).

The popularity of "Tiger King" even sparked forthcoming adaptations, one of which will star Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic. 

John Krasinski launched a feel-good web series called "Some Good News."

Krasinski began filming the series from home in late March, after asking fans to send him positive news to cheer people up.

The episodes included appearances from famous faces, including the stars of "The Office" and the cast of Broadway's "Hamilton."

Krasinski also hosted a virtual prom with guests like Billie Eilish, the Jonas Brothers, and Chance the Rapper.

Chef Ina Garten making herself a massive cosmopolitan at 9 a.m. because "it's always cocktail hour in a crisis" was so relatable.

In the viral video shared on her Instagram, Garten gave fans a "cocktail hour" tutorial.

"During these stressful times, it's really important to keep traditions alive," she said in the video. "My favorite tradition is the cocktail hour."

Garten then instructed fans to use a big pitcher to add in all the ingredients. After shaking the drink in a large shaker, she poured the cocktail into a hilariously large martini glass.

Tom Holland nailed a viral handstand T-shirt challenge, and Ryan Reynolds had the best response.

In April, the "Spider-Man: Far From Home" star posted a video of himself on his Instagram story taking on a fitness challenge that requires strength and agility.

As part of the challenge, a person must attempt to put a shirt on by maneuvering their body and maintaining a handstand position the entire time.

After successfully completing it and sharing the video, the 24-year-old actor tagged three people to do the challenge next: his "Spider-Man" costar Jake Gyllenhaal, his fellow Marvel star Reynolds, and his best friend, Harrison Osterfield.

Although Gyllenhaal and Osterfield both accepted the challenge, Reynolds refused.

Instead, the "Deadpool" star reposted parts of Holland's video on his Instagram story and appeared puzzled and disgusted for several seconds before saying, "No."

Fans loved Ariana Grande's gorgeous, six-part harmony cover of "I Won't Say I'm in Love" from "Hercules" for Disney's first sing-along special.

The TV special aired on ABC in April and Grande was among the many stars who performed covers of beloved Disney songs, from the comfort of their homes. 

The "Sweetener" singer channeled her inner Megara (as well as the Muses) as she performed the track and harmonized with her own voice. 

Nickelodeon boy band Big Time Rush delighted fans when they reunited virtually twice in 2020.

In a video shared in April — seven years after their last album was released — members Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos PenaVega, and Logan Henderson encouraged fans to stay safe, healthy, and connected amid the pandemic.

The video has since accumulated more than 13 million views on Twitter.

Then in June, they surprised fans with an acoustic rendition of their song "Worldwide," which was recorded by the band from their separate homes. 

"We got inspired to record and sing together again seeing how many smiles our check-in video created weeks back," they captioned their video.

"We spent some time recently recording one of our favorite songs (safely apart) and wanted to share it with you all as our small way of saying thank you," the band added.

People couldn't get enough of Stanley Tucci's Negroni tutorial.

People loved his classy, step-by-step tutorial and bartending skills.

Chris Evans, who starred alongside Tucci in "Captain America: The First Avenger," reacted to the viral video, revealing that he was already familiar with Tucci's flair for making drinks. 

"On some(most) days after we finished filming on the first 'Captain America' movie, Stanley would make us martinis in his trailer," Evans tweeted. "He's an absolute gem. However cool, fun, witty, and charming you think he is, double it and you're halfway there."

"Normal People" (and Connell's chain) was a huge success following its debut on Hulu in late April.

Fans praised rising stars Paul Mescal (Connell) and Daisy Edgar-Jones (Marianne) for their undeniable chemistry and acting skills in the adaptation of Sally Rooney's book. Mescal even earned an Emmy nomination for his role.

Aside from the show's content, Connell's chain became a major talking point. An Instagram account dedicated to the accessory — called @connellschain — gained thousands of followers, think pieces centered on the chain were written, and Mescal himself opened up about the item during interviews.

Mescal ended up giving Edgar-Jones the original chain as a gift when they finished wrapping the show and auctioning off another chain with proceeds going to the mental health organization Pieta. 

"Never Have I Ever" was released on Netflix and watched by more than 40 million households.

The show, centered on a first-generation Indian-American teen named Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), was created by "The Office" alum Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. It was also inspired by Kaling's own experience growing up in America. 

Upon its release, the coming-of-age series was praised for its refreshing — and long overdue — focus on a South Asian lead. People also applauded "NHIE" for its diversity and seamless ability to balance serious storylines with moments of levity. 

Although "NHIE" was snubbed at the 2020 Emmys, the show went on to win a People's Choice Award for comedy show of 2020. 

Fans were elated when it was revealed in April that Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik were expecting their first child together.

The news was reported by TMZ, and Yolanda Hadid also confirmed the pregnancy to the Dutch media outlet RTL Boulevard.

Gigi spoke about her pregnancy herself during an interview with Jimmy Fallon days later and said that the couple wished they could have "announced it on our own terms" but added that she was "very excited and happy and grateful for everyone's well-wishes and support."

The model went on to share her pregnancy journey with fans by posting portraits from her maternity photo shoot and other images that were taken while she was expecting her child.

The on-again, off-again couple welcomed their daughter in September.

Since then, they've shared photos of their child's face concealed and have chosen to not reveal their baby's name yet. 

Elon Musk and Grimes named their baby girl X AE A-XII, and people had a field day.

Musk revealed the birth of their child in May 2020 by posting a photo of him cradling the baby. 

"Mom & baby all good" he wrote on Twitter.

He also shared a photo of the newborn with a tattoo filter and said, "Never too young for some ink haha."

When asked about the baby's name, Musk said it's "X Æ A-12 Musk."

In May, Rupert Grint became the first major "Harry Potter" star to become a parent, welcoming a daughter with actress Georgia Groome.

A representative for the couple confirmed the news to Insider, saying: "Rupert Grint and Georgia Groome are delighted to confirm the birth of their baby girl. We would please ask that you respect their privacy at this very special time."

The "HP" star later joined Instagram and revealed that the baby's name is Wednesday G. Grint. 

The two actors have been dating since 2011, but have stayed quiet about their relationship.

Of the three main "HP" stars (Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson), Grint is the first to become a parent. 

Harry Styles earned his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Watermelon Sugar."

The track was included on the singer's 2019 sophomore album titled "Fine Line."

Styles' music video for "Watermelon Sugar" was "dedicated to touching" and featured a few details and hidden references. 

"Batwoman" star Ruby Rose shocked fans when she announced that she was leaving the show.

Shortly after season one of the CW series came to an end, Rose (who stars as Kate Kane/Batwoman) said in a statement shared in May that she "made the very difficult decision" to exit the show.

"This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew, and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles," she said. 

In an Instagram post shared days later, Rose said that "it wasn't an easy decision but those who know, know."

"I have stayed silent because that's my choice," she added.

Rose explained the reasons for her departure during an interview with Entertainment Weekly that was published in August. 

The "Orange Is the New Black" alum said that her 2019 on-set accident, in which she underwent emergency surgery to repair two herniated discs after doing her own stunts for "Batwoman," factored into her choice.

Rose said that she returned to work days after her surgery and said that being the lead of a project, in general, is "taxing."

She also said that aside from the injury, COVID affected the show's production. Like many shows, the most recent season of "Batwoman" was cut short and not given a proper finale. 

"You have time in quarantine and sort of isolation to just think about a lot of different things and what you want to achieve in life and what you want to do," she told EW. "I think for both [me and the producers], it was a great opportunity to have a dialogue about a lot of things."

Rather than recast the role of Kate Kane on season two, the show will introduce a new Batwoman named Ryan Wilder (played by Javicia Leslie)

After months of teasing and dropping hints, Zack Snyder announced in May that his extended cut of "Justice League" (aka the Snyder Cut) will be released on HBO Max in 2021.

Director Joss Whedon famously took over "Justice League" after Snyder had to step away from the project due to the death of his daughter. Under Whedon's leadership, the script was rewritten and reshoots were done.

The end product was panned by critics, and fans of Snyder rallied behind the release of his version of the movie.

In May, he confirmed that an extended cut was indeed real and happening.  

The first teaser trailer for "Zack Snyder's Justice League" was released in August at DC FanDome, a virtual convention specifically for DC Comics projects. 

At the event, Snyder said that his version of the 2017 movie will be "in four parts, one hour each, so four hours of 'Justice League' is coming your way."

Fans can expect to see more of Cyborg, The Flash, and Iris West — plus the comic-book villain Darkseid, who wasn't included in the original "Justice League" movie. 

Keke Palmer's speech at a Black Lives Matter protest, in which she asked the National Guard to join the march, was praised by fans.

In a viral video taken in June by Gadi Schwartz from NBC News, the Nickelodeon alum passionately pleaded for them to march alongside the people who were protesting the killing of George Floyd.  

"You have to understand what's going on," she told the soldiers. "We have a president who's trying to incite a race war."

Palmer urged them to "march with us," but the soldiers said that they couldn't leave their designated posts. To show their support though, they took a knee. 

"Glee" star Lea Michele was accused of hypocrisy after tweeting a message in support of the BLM movement.

On May 29, Michele tweeted support of the BLM movement.

In response, actress Samantha Marie Ware, who played Jane Hayward on season six of "Glee," said that Michele made her "first television gig a living hell." Ware also said that she was the recipient of "traumatic microaggressions" from the "Glee" star. 


Following Ware's accusations, other actors stepped forward to share their unpleasant experiences.

"Daybreak" actress Jeanté Godlock said that Michele used to refer to background actors as "cockroaches."


Michele posted an apology and said she has "never judged others by their background or color of their skin."

"While I don't remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that's not really the point. What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people," she said.

"Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused," she added.

"Star Wars" actor John Boyega received support from fans and celebrities after giving a passionate speech at a BLM protest in June.

While talking at the protest, Boyega said: "I'm speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don't know if I'm going to have a career after this, but f— that."

Videos captured and shared by other protestors went viral and caught the attention of Hollywood directors who promised to continue supporting Boyega's career. 

"You KNOW that as long as I'm allowed to keep working, I'll always be begging to work with you," J.J. Abrams, who directed "Star Wars" films led by Boyega, wrote. "Deep respect and love, my friend."

"Get Out" director Jordan Peele, "Baby Driver" director Edgar Wright, "Black Mirror" creator Charlie Brooker, and writer/producer Emily V. Gordon also voiced their support.  

Vanessa Morgan spoke out about being "used as the token biracial bisexual" character on 'Riverdale' and vowed to be more selective about future roles.

In late May, the actress (who stars as Toni Topaz) said she was "tired of how black people are portrayed in Media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous, or angry scary people."

"Tired of us also being used as sidekick non-dimensional characters to our white leads. Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show," she added.

Morgan also said she's "the only black series regular but also paid the least" and that she was "used as the token biracial bisexual." 

Later, the actress said she'll be more selective about the roles she takes and will "fight" for her Black fans. 

"We aren't your token Black non-dimensional characters," Morgan said. "This is being Black in Hollywood. I will fight for YOU."

In response, "Riverdale" showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said they'll "do better to honor her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of color."

J.K. Rowling's comments about the transgender community drew waves of backlash.

The "Harry Potter" author had been accused of controversial beliefs regarding trans people for over a year, but in 2020, the situation escalated when she published a lengthy essay defending her "gender critical" stance.

Rowling continued to voice her controversial views on sex and gender identity when she tweeted a link to an article about creating a more equal world for people who menstruate.

Rowling appeared to take issue with the phrase "people who menstruate" and implied that women are the only people who menstruate. People called out Rowling's post for being transphobic, since trans men, gender non-conforming people, and non-binary people can also menstruate.

The writer also published another essay in which she outlined five reasons why she was "worried about the new trans activism" and why she chose to publicly comment. 

Stars like Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Van Ness, and Sarah Paulson condemned Rowling for her exclusionary and dangerous comments. 

Broadway star Nick Cordero died in July after a three-month battle with COVID-19.

Cordero had been hospitalized since late March and experienced several health challenges, including having his right leg amputated and going into a medically-induced coma. 

On July 5, his wife, Amanda Kloots, revealed his death in an Instagram post.

"God has another angel in heaven now," Kloots began. "My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth."

She added: "I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone's friend, loved to listen, help, and especially talk."

"Glee" star Naya Rivera died at 33 years old after drowning in Lake Piru, California.

Her body was found in mid-July, five days after she went missing.

Prior to her disappearance, Rivera rented a pontoon boat for her and her son Josey. He was found alone on the boat hours later.

Rivera was perhaps best known for her role as a cheerleader named Santana Lopez on "Glee." Her costars and other stars took to social media to share their reactions after her death.

Meanwhile, her fans reposted some Rivera's greatest "Glee" performances in her honor. 

On "Red Table Talk," Jada Pinkett Smith confirmed she had an "entanglement" with August Alsina during a break in her marriage to Will Smith.

The episode was released in July and accumulated more than 15 million views within the first 24 hours, setting a record for the most views in 24 hours for a Facebook Watch original.

During the episode, Pinkett Smith sat down with Smith to speak candidly after Alsina told "The Breakfast Club" cohost Angela Yee that he had a relationship with Pinkett Smith.

The "Girls Trip" star said that "it was a relationship, absolutely" and their "entanglement" began approximately four years prior when she and Smith were "going through a difficult time."

Pinkett Smith also said she and the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star were "separated amicably" and clarified that Alsina was "not a homewrecker."

Upon the release of the "RTT" episode the term"entanglement" became a trending topic on Twitter and memes centered on Smith's disposition during the conversation went viral. 

Martha Stewart's sultry pool selfie went viral.

In the selfie, Stewart blew a kiss to the camera as she wore frosted, shimmery makeup. Her Instagram post was supposed to be about her pool, but all fans could talk about was her stunning appearance.

Even comedian Chelsea Handler tried to emulate her look. 

Stewart later told People that her selfie was an accident and she learned the definition of "thirst trap" after sharing the photo.

"I was trying to take a picture of the beautiful turquoise planter at the end of the pool, but the camera was on me, so I just snapped it," she told the publication. "It looked so good, so I posted it." 

One Direction's 10th-anniversary celebration on July 23 didn't include any form of a reunion, despite dropping hints and teasing fans for months.

Rather than some kind of virtual or socially distanced in-person reunion, which many members had previously alluded to, the band released 4K ultra HD versions of some of their music videos and launched an interactive website for fans.

The singers also posted tributes on their social media accounts.

Taylor Swift dropped not one, but two surprise albums that were written and recorded during the pandemic.

The first album, titled "Folklore," was released on July 24. It was filled with plenty of Easter eggs, lauded as the best album of her career yet, and included songs cowritten by boyfriend Joe Alwyn under the alias William Bowery. 

"Folklore" also earned Swift five 2021 Grammy nominations, and Insider's Callie Ahlgrim believes it's likely to win the award for album of the year.

Then, on December 11, Swift delighted fans when she dropped another album called "Evermore," which she described as the "sister record" to "Folklore."

The singer said that she and her team of collaborators "just couldn't stop writing songs," which led to another album soon after the release of "Folklore." 

"I loved the escapism I found in these imaginary/not imaginary tales," she said. "I loved the ways you welcomed the dreamscapes and tragedies and epic tales of love lost and found into your lives. So I just kept writing them."

TV personality and game show host Regis Philbin died in July at 88 years old.

Philbin died of natural causes, according to People, who first reported the news.

"His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about," the Philbin family said in a statement shared with People.

"We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss," they added. 

"Succession" fan-favorite Nicholas Braun released the COVID-19 song of the summer, titled "Antibodies (Do You Have the)," in July.

Braun told Rolling Stone that the pop-punk track, with lyrics that capture what it's like to date during a pandemic, was inspired by a "quarantine date" he went on. 

After reaching out to Instagram followers asking for their musical interpretation of the initial lyrics, he received plenty of responses. Then an A&R from Atlantic Records reached out to the Emmy-nominated actor and they worked together to release the song. 

He even released a merch collection with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Partners in Health and The COPE Program. 

Beyoncé dropped the powerful visual album for "Black Is King" on Disney Plus in July.

"Black Is King" served as the visual companion to "The Lion King: The Gift," the 2019 album that she curated for the "Lion King" remake. 

The visual album was written, directed, and starred Beyoncé. It was also filmed throughout the world over the course of more than a year. 

"Black Is King" was also filled with intentional outfit choices, references to the original "Lion King," and nods to pan-African cultures. 

The movie also earned a Grammy nomination for best music film.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP" cemented its place as a major pop culture moment.

The two rappers released their sexually freeing, sex-positive collaboration in early August. 

The accompanying music video, which has been viewed more than 300 million times, featured Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, plus cameos from stars like Kylie Jenner and Normani. 

South Korean boy band BTS had another chart-topping year.

The band earned their first-ever No. 1 track on the Billboard Hot 100 with their song "Dynamite." It also marked the first time since 1963 (with Kyu Sakamoto's  "Sukiyaki") that an Asian act debuted on the chart in the No. 1 spot. 

In 2020, BTS also made their debut on two American awards shows: the MTV Video Music Awards in August (where they won four awards) and the Billboard Music Awards in October (where they picked up another trophy).

They also took over NBC's "Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" for an entire week and were the most tweeted about musicians in the US during the first six months of quarantine, according to a trend report released by Twitter.

In addition, they released a new album titled "Map of the Soul: 7 – The Journey" and Time magazine named BTS the 2020 Entertainer of the Year. 

Phil Collins got a resurgence in popularity after two YouTubers' reaction to hearing "In the Air Tonight" for the first time went viral.

The popular track was from Collins' 1981 debut studio album titled "Face Value."

In July, 22-year-old twins Tim and Fred Williams posted a video documenting them listening to the track for the first time. Their priceless response to the song's pivotal drum moment went viral and the video was viewed more than 8 million times. 

That led to the song having a spike in digital sales, with Rolling Stone reporting an increase in sales of more than 1,100% compared to days prior. 

In August, fans finally got a good look at Robert Pattinson as Batman/Bruce Wayne for Matt Reeves' upcoming movie "The Batman."

Reeves previously showed glimpses of Pattinson as the caped crusader, but at DC FanDome, he unveiled a teaser trailer for the movie comprised of footage filmed prior to production shutting down in early 2020.

The teaser showed Pattinson with the full Caped Crusader costume, but also included scenes that showed him as Bruce.

Fans also got first looks at Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/the Penguin, and Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon.

The movie is currently set for release in 2022. 

Chadwick Boseman's death at the age of 43 shocked and saddened fans.

Boseman's death was announced via a statement posted on his Twitter account in late August. 

The actor, known for his role as T'Challa/Black Panther in the MCU, had been privately battling colon cancer since his diagnosis in 2016. He continued to star in several movies, even as his cancer progressed to stage four. 

Following the news of Boseman's death, many of his Marvel costars and fans shared moving messages online. 

The tweet announcing his death was also the No. 1 most liked, retweeted, and quote-tweeted post on Twitter in 2020.

A "Black Panther" sequel is in the works and the role of T'Challa will not be recast, Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige confirmed in December 2020. Instead, the movie will "continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film."

Brandy and Monica's three-hour Verzuz Battle was viewed by more than 6 million people.

Following years of feuding, the "Boy Is Mine" collaborators reunited to sing their biggest hits on Instagram Live.

The livestream garnered more than 1.2 million concurrent viewers and 4.2 million viewers. Among the viewers were stars like Snoop Dogg and Keke Palmer. 

Brandy and Monica also addressed their feud and revealed that the battle was the first time they spoke to each other in eight years.

Robert Pattinson's high-pitched southern accent in "The Devil All the Time" sparked memes.

The British actor surprised fans — and director Antonio Campos — with his over-the-top accent for his role as a corrupt preacher in the Netflix movie.

The impression led to countless tweets and memes online, and Pattinson said he made himself laugh while crafting his exaggerated accent. 

"Certified young person" Paul Rudd starred in a PSA encouraging fans to wear a mask amid the pandemic.

In the PSA, which was posted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rudd threw around slang used by young people and encouraged viewers to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Although many people found the PSA to be funny, others argued that it was problematic because the words and phrases used by the actor were actually from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), which pointed to a larger issue of people appropriating Black culture and labeling it "internet culture."  

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt virtually reunited for a reading of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" for charity in September.

Fans once again rejoiced as the former couple reunited.

At the virtual table read, they were joined by stars like Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Henry Golding, Morgan Freeman, John Legend, and Shia LaBeouf (who was a scene-stealer as Jeff Spicoli, originally played by Penn).

Pitt read for the part of Brad Hamilton and Aniston portrayed Linda Barrett.

Naturally, there was some giggling and blushing among the stars when it came time for the exes to read the movie's famous scene when Brad fantasizes about Linda, starts masturbating, and gets caught by her. 

People on Twitter couldn't get enough of the moment and called it "the best thing you will see on the internet today."

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September at age 87.

She died at her home in Washington, DC, due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, doing so for 27 years.

She was a trailblazer who fought for equality and women's rights throughout her life. Ginsburg was also vocal about the importance of a work-life balance, long before the topic became more widely discussed. 

"Schitt's Creek" had an impressive sweep at the 2020 Emmys, winning nine total awards.

The feel-good series, which came to an end with its sixth season in 2020, dominated the comedy category at the 72nd Emmys.

The show won awards for the following: outstanding comedy series, outstanding lead actor in a comedy series (Eugene Levy), outstanding lead actress in a comedy series (Catherine O'Hara), outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series (Dan Levy), outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series (Annie Murphy), outstanding directing for a comedy series, outstanding writing for a comedy series, outstanding casting for a comedy series, and outstanding contemporary costumes.

By nabbing nine awards, "Schitt's Creek" set a record for the most ever wins for a comedy in a single year at the show.

Zendaya made history as the youngest star ever to win in the category of lead actress in a drama series at the Emmys.

The 22-year-old actress had a priceless reaction when she won the award for her role as a teen drug addict named Rue on HBO's gritty drama "Euphoria," throwing her arms in the air and dropping her jaw. 

"I know this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating," she said, "But I just want to say there is hope in the young people out there. I know that our TV show doesn't always feel like a great example of that, but there is hope in our young people and I just want to say to all my peers out there doing the work in the streets, 'I see you, I admire you, I thank you.'"

Zendaya also became the second Black woman to win in that category, following Viola Davis' historical 2015 win for her part as Annalise Keating on "How to Get Away With Murder."

Cast news surrounding the upcoming third "Spider-Man" movie starring Tom Holland thrilled fans throughout the year.

In October, The Hollywood Reporter said that Jamie Foxx would be reprising his role as "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" antagonist Electro/Max Dillon. 

The character seemingly died in the 2014 movie after Spider-Man (played by Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) directed a blast of energy at him, causing him to explode.

And in a now-deleted Instagram post shared shortly after the THR report, Foxx said that he "won't be blue in this one!! But a thousand percent badass!!!"

That same month, The Hollywood Reporter also reported that Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange, who, like Spider-Man, resides in NY, would be appearing in the movie. 

Then in December, the publication reported that Alfred Molina would be returning as villain Doctor Octopus/Dr. Otto Octavius. Molina previously played the role in the second "Spider-Man" sequel that starred Tobey Maguire as the webslinger. 

There has also been speculation that the upcoming movie could unite Holland's Spider-Man with those played by Garfield and Maguire, making the first live-action Spider-Verse.

Rock legend Eddie Van Halen died at the age of 65.

Van Halen died on October 6 following a battle with cancer.

The musician revolutionized guitar-playing with his captivating solos and chronic finger-tapping. He was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Macaulay Culkin wore a "Home Alone"-inspired face mask that made fans nostalgic.

"Just staying Covid-safe wearing by the flayed skin of my younger self. Don't forget to wear your masks, kids," Culkin captioned the image, which showed off a mask printed with his "Home Alone" character's shocked expression. 

Chris Evans' fans were shocked to learn that his torso is covered in tattoos.

Fans became aware of the Marvel star's ink after he posted a video of himself shirtless and backflipping into his pool in early October.

It came as a surprise because the actor's various designs are often covered up for his film and TV roles.

However, fans who have closely followed his career know that a few of his tattoos have been visible in some of his earlier movies.

You can read more about his known tattoos here.

"Borat 2" was one of the most talked-about movies of the year.

Sacha Baron Cohen, who reprised his role as the titular character, told the New York Times that he was so dedicated to the film that he spent five days in character while living with conspiracy theorists. 

The movie was also stuffed with wild moments, a notable cameo from Rudy Giuliani, and a breakout performance from Maria Bakalova, who played Borat's daughter named Tutar.

Although Adele didn't make a musical comeback, she delighted fans by hosting "Saturday Night Live" in October.

During her monologue, she joked about her weight loss, sang portions of her greatest hits, and told fans that her next album isn't finished yet (which is partly why she wasn't the musical guest). 

Ariana Grande dropped her most introspective and freeing album yet, titled "Positions."

Grande had been dropping hints for a while about new music.

Then, on October 14, she got everyone's attention by tweeting: "i can't wait to give u my album this month." The tweet was liked by 1.2 million people. Sixteen days later, her sixth studio album was released. 

Largely inspired by her relationship with boyfriend Dalton Gomez and leaning into R&B beats, Grande's 14-track album gave fans a personal look into the powerhouse singer's inner thoughts.  

In November, celebrities rejoiced when Joe Biden was projected as the winner of the US presidential election.

Insider and Decision Desk HQ called the 2020 election for Biden on the morning of November 6, before many other outlets. 

Following the news, celebrities voiced their relief on social media, and "Saturday Night Live" parodied Biden and Kamala Harris' victory. Jennifer Lawrence ran through the streets of Boston shouting her joy and even Miley Cyrus' 2009 track "Party in the USA" saw a new wave of popularity as it re-entered the top 200 on iTunes in the US.

In December, Biden officially earned more than 270 Electoral College votes, formally cementing his victory over President Donald Trump.

Johnny Deep was ousted from the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise.

The news came in November, when Depp posted a typed letter on Instagram, revealing that Warner Bros. (the studio behind the movies) asked him to resign. 

Depp's exit from the franchise happened days after he lost a libel case against the publishers of the UK newspaper The Sun, which described him as a "wife-beater" in an article. 

Depp has repeatedly denied allegations made by "Aquaman" actress Amber Heard, whom he wed in 2015. She filed for divorce in 2016 and has since accused the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star of domestic abuse. 

In his letter, Depp said that the court decision "will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal."

As for what will happen to Depp's role in the future movies (there are three more planned as part of the franchise), Warner Bros. confirmed that "Hannibal" star Mads Mikkelsen will replace him as Grindelwald.

Beloved "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek died at 80 following his battle with pancreatic cancer.

The show confirmed the longtime host's death in a tweet posted in early November that said he "passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends." 

Trebek's career in broadcasting was defined by his role as the host of "Jeopardy."

He received Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding game show host in 1989, 1990, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2019, and 2020. In addition, Trebek was honored with the lifetime achievement award at the 2011 Daytime Emmys.

In a major twist, Patrick Dempsey returned to "Grey's Anatomy," five years after his character was killed off.

Dempsey's Derek Shepherd was killed off during season 11.

But on the season 17 premiere that aired in November, Derek appeared alongside Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) in a dream sequence that took place on a beach.  

"There's just so much darkness, and we knew that coming together would be a little ray of light," Pompeo told Deadline of the shocking return of McDreamy. "I think we had the same idea, at the core, to want to help people and bring a smile to people's faces."

Harry Styles made history as the first man to have a solo cover for Vogue.

The "Watermelon Sugar" singer wore a blue gown from Gucci for the December 2020 cover and spoke about his fluid sense of style in his interview. 

Celebrities and fans went on to defend Styles after conservative commentator Candice Owens called the cover an "outright attack" on "manly men."

Weeks later, Styles commented publicly on the backlash from Owens by posting an image from the photoshoot with Variety on Instagram with the caption: "Bring back manly men."

In the photo, the singer bit into a banana while wearing a custom-made blue suit with frills from Palomo Spain.

"Supernatural" came to an emotional end in November after 15 seasons.

The show, which was one of the longest-running scripted series concluded with a heart-wrenching finale. During the episode, brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) investigated a case involving a kidnapping. 

While fighting vampires who were behind the incident, Dean got wounded in the back and immobilized. In his final moment, he told his brother how proud he was of him and encouraged Sam to carry on with his life.

Dean ended up in heaven and Sam honored his sibling with a hunter's funeral. A time-jump scene revealed that Sam had a son named Dean. Then, after an elderly Sam died, he reunited with his brother in heaven. 

"Euphoria" actor Lukas Gage received plenty of support from Hollywood after posting a video of a director "s— talking" his apartment prior to a virtual audition.

In the video, a man was heard talking about Gage's apartment, under the impression that the actor couldn't hear him.

Then, Gage interrupted saying: "I know it's a s—ty apartment. That's why, give me this job so I can get a better one."

Within hours, the video racked up more than 1 million views and people defended the actor. They also expressed confusion over the comments on his apartment. 

Gage didn't identify the person by name, but days later, TV director Tristram Shapeero came forward and apologized for his "unacceptable and insensitive remarks."

"The Umbrella Academy" star Elliot Page came out as transgender in December.

In a letter posted on social media on December 1, Page said that he uses both he/him and they/them pronouns.

"I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life," he said. "I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can't begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self."

Page also credited the trans community for inspiring him and "working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place."

"Schitt's Creek" star Catherine O'Hara went viral on TikTok after recreating her iconic scene from "Home Alone 2."

O'Hara actually channeled her character, Kate, during a John Hughes tribute for Josh Gad's web series "Reunited Apart" back in June.

But her recreation of the "Home Alone 2" moment when Kate realizes she left her son Kevin again went viral around the holidays.

It's likely that the popularity was due to people watching the Christmas movie and realizing that O'Hara is the same actress who's known for her more recent role as Moira Rose on "Schitt's Creek."

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