10. Lil' Mo
Lil' Mo is ostensibly a singer, but probably best known for being the star of the reality show R&B Divas. Last year she announced her fifth pregnancy on Instagram, with a picture that also solicited gifts of cash and gift cards via PayPal. And sure, some people do ask for money in lieu of gifts for their baby shower or wedding -- but few people just ask the world at large. The move was not well-received and only fed into some existing perceptions of her character.
(image via Straight From the Sea)
9. Melissa Joan Hart
Everything about Melissa Joan Hart's Kickstarter for Darci's Walk of Shame was bizarre and tone-deaf. From the $2,000,000 price tag to the video that simultaneously traded on her Sabrina fame while portraying her as trying to break away from it to the weirdly defensive tone of the project description. Then there are the backer rewards, which communicate a horrible aloofness. Not-Melissa Joan Hart will follow you on Twitter for a year for a hundred bucks! Melissa Joan Hart herself will follow you on Twitter for $300! Hart was most recently seen on the streets of Little Rock, standing in for Kevin Sorbo in the sequel to the unintentional comedy God's Not Dead.
(image via Kickstarter)
8. Zach Braff
Zach Braff's follow-up to Garden State, Wish I Was Here received over $2 million in Kickstarter funding. It also ruffled a lot of feathers. Some were incensed that the actor would turn to fans for help. For his part, Braff mitigated the controversy by being upfront about his reasons, saying his final cut rights would be ceded if a studio produced it. But the move still had its share of naysayers.
(image via Kickstarter)
7. James Franco
Zach Braff may have claimed a desire for greater creative control as an explanation for turning to Kickstarter, but a quick look through James Franco's filmography makes it pretty clear that he's getting away with whatever the hell he wants to. So why did he turn to Indiegogo for Palo Alto: Stories? Franco explained that filming a trilogy all at once was beyond his means. He also pledged the proceeds from the film to an art non-profit. Still, it didn't quite stick. Maybe the world was experiencing crowdfunding fatigue on the heels of the Zach Braff controversy, but Franco fell over $174,000 short of his half-million goal.
(image via Indiegogo)
6. The Duggars
You'll notice a lot of reality TV stars on this list, which makes sense. Landing a job on a reality show teaches you that "being horrible and not doing anything" is a viable way to make millions of dollars. Eventually, though, you either become too horrible, or you're not horrible enough and people lose interest -- and suddenly you've got million-dollar tastes and no useful skills. The Duggar's went for option one (become too horrible) and then turned to begging for money on YouTube when their fans rightly deserted them. Amidst backlash, they eventually switched from outright begging to selling overpriced t-shirts.
(image via Facebook)
5. Zosia Mamet (The Cabin Sisters)
Kickstarter has incredible equalizing potential for the arts. It's a great way for up-and-comers to get both footing and funding, and a great way for niche creators to connect with their fans. But you have to be careful how you ask. Zosia Mamet is the daughter of David Mamet, successful screenwriter of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and The Untouchables. She's also starring in Girls, after turns in other acclaimed shows like Mad Men. That may be why people didn't respond well to her failed Kickstarter attempt, though other reasons might be that she was asking for $32,000 to make a single music video, the costs for each reward tier were hilariously tone-deaf, and she was incredibly flippant about asking for a ton of money.
(image via Kickstarter)
4. Essena O'Neill
Last year, Australian model Essena O'Neill made headlines when she blew the whistle on her own Instagram account. She altered captions to admit that many of her photos were paid promotions, and spoke candidly about how much effort she put into looking skinny and happy. But then something else happened. In the midst of her sudden honesty, she started promoting her own brand and website, with much less artistry than you'd expect from someone who did this for so long. Shortly after altering her Instagram, she posted a 17-minute tirade (which has now been taken down) in which she said that she could no longer make rent without endorsement money, and asking her newfound fan base to help support her. Seems like she could've crafted a better escape plan...
(image via Square Space)
3. Nadya "Octomom" Suleman
Nadya Suleman made the whole world go "awwwww!" when the news came out that she was pregnant with octuplets. That reaction quickly turned sour when it came out that she had six other children, was on public assistance, and had all of the children via IVF treatments. She turned her fame into a couple of photoshoots, advertisements, and a news special, before resorting to a low-budget horror movie and, inevitably, a baffling foray into solo adult film. When her home was foreclosed on, she turned to GoFundMe for a new one. (This was all before the creepy dating-for-cash site and the welfare fraud.)
(image via Instagram)
2. Tila Tequila
Ask most people about Thien "Tila Tequila" Nguyen and they'll probably tell you that she's a reality star or something from a few years back, right? But she's so much more than that. She's a flat-earth conspiracy theorist, a Hitler sympathizer (the photo in that article was photoshopped, but she herself circulated it) and an unbelievable racist. For all her famous blundering, Tila Tequila nevertheless managed to raise eyebrows yet again when she recently set up a GoFundMe, begging her fans to help her buy a new home after her rent was raised.
(image via Radar Online)
1. Kanye West
Kanye West made headlines recently for claiming that he's broke and asking Mark Zuckerberg -- then everybody else -- to cover what he said was $53 million in debt. It turns out that he's not broke, he just didn't want to fund his new business with his own money. That business is bafflingly obtuse, covering everything from HIV research to "7 Screen Movie Experience" and "Emoji Autocorrect." Honestly, it's probably time to stop joking about Kanye and start seriously talking about his mental health.
(image via Twitter)