ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Ministry of Gossip

Controversial character: Michael Richards

What he did: In November 2006, Richards freaked out on a group of African American hecklers during his set at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. Richards used the N-word seven times and also referred to lynching. The whole thing was caught on a cellphone video and quickly circulated on the Web and TV. What happened next: Jerry Seinfeld, who had already scheduled an appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman," invited Richards to make a satellite appearance to apologize for the incident. Unfortunately for Richards, most of the audience did not know about his outburst and thought the whole thing was a joke. Residual effects: Just when it looked like Richards was gone from Hollywood for good, he resurfaced again in fall 2009 when he poked fun at himself and the incident during the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" season that focused on the long-awaited "Seinfeld" reunion. Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press
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