14 Times Celebs Were Called Out Or Criticized Over The Products They Promoted Or Sold

    In 2018, Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand Goop settled a $145,000 lawsuit over its infamous jade Yoni eggs after the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office alleged their claims about the egg's benefits were "not supported by competent and reliable science."

    In the influencer age, brand deals and sponsored posts are many celebs' bread and butter. However, fans aren't always happy with the products their faves decide to promote.

    Here are 14 times celebs were called out or criticized over the products they promoted or sold:

    1. In 2018, Kim Kardashian promoted "appetite suppressant lollipops" on Instagram. Her original caption described them as "literally unreal."

    Commenters criticized the ad as "irresponsible" and "disgusting," and they called her out for promoting unhealthy habits:

    comments left on the photo criticizing someone for promoting a negative body image by starving themselves with a diet lollipop

    In a since-deleted tweet, Jameela Jamil also called her out, writing, "No. Fuck off. No. [You’re a] terrible and toxic influence on young girls. I admire their mother’s branding capabilities, she is an exploitative but innovative genius, however this family makes me feel actual despair over what women are reduced to."

    Jameela in a structured dress posing with hand on hip at an event

    She continued, "MAYBE don’t take appetite suppressors and eat enough to fuel your BRAIN and work hard and be successful. And to play with your kids. And to have fun with your friends. And to have something to say about your life at the end, other than 'I had a flat stomach.'"

    Kim ended up changing her Instagram caption to a simple "🍭."

    2. In a since-deleted 2019 Instagram post, Khloé Kardashian promoted meal replacement shakes. In the caption, she said, "Loving how my tummy looks right now you guys! I brought @flattummyco’s meal replacement shakes into my routine about 2 weeks ago, and the progress is undeniable."

    Khloé in a sheer dress with a thigh-high slit at an awards event

    Jameela Jamil commented, "It's incredibly awful that this industry bullied you until you became this fixated on your appearance. That's the media's fault. But now please don't put that back into the world, and hurt other girls, the way you have been hurt. You're a smart woman. Be smarter than this."

    Jameela in a vibrant floral dress sits on a talk show set

    3. Then, in 2020, Khloé Kardashian tweeted, "Ok... I’ve posted with @flattummyco’s Shakes in the past and YES, I also use a personal trainer and nutritionist, but THESE SHAKES WORK to help get your tummy back to flat. Trust me you guys."

    #ad Ok... I’ve posted with @flattummyco’s Shakes in the past and YES, I also use a personal trainer and nutritionist, but THESE SHAKES WORK to help get your tummy back to flat. Trust me you guys… Go get 25% off the same Shakes I drink 💕 https://t.co/VP4LdcEK7l pic.twitter.com/KuAlwxbp0N

    — Khloé (@khloekardashian) January 8, 2020
    Twitter: @khloekardashian

    In the replies, fans and others criticized her for promoting a potentially harmful weight loss product:

    Twitter: @ichibansdragon

    Twitter: @KenidraRWoods_

    According to the Flat Tummy Co.'s website, dietary supplements actually don't require FDA approval. However, their statement says, "We take great responsibility for evaluating the safety and labeling of our products, to ensure all necessary requirements are met. All ingredients are recognized as safe and are manufactured in an FDA registered facility, under the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). In addition to monitoring safety with our products, we also monitor for adverse effects and ensure our products are marketed appropriately and as intended. FDA-regulated facilities are audited by the FDA on an ongoing basis and all of our manufacturers also take the extra step via third party certification."

    4. In 2021, Kylie Jenner released her first line of swimwear from Kylie Swim. However, as customers received their products, negative reviews poured in, criticizing the garments as cheaply made and "see-through."

    Kylie at event in bright coat over graphic tee and pants, standing before a floral backdrop

    Others alleged they'd been designed with only a specific body type in mind.

    Screenshot of a comment criticizing Kylie Jenner's clothing design for not fitting average body types

    5. In 2017, Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand Goop released $66 jade "Yoni eggs." The product page instructs customers to "insert the egg into your vagina [and] feel the connection with your body [by] squeezing and releasing the egg." A since-deleted Goop article claimed the eggs were "ideal for detox" and create "kidney strength."

    Gwyneth Paltrow in a shimmering pastel dress with one-shoulder strap at a gala event

    In the interview, beauty guru Shiva Rose said, "Once sexually active, women of any age respond to the egg — who doesn’t want their muscles more toned, their libido and lubrication increased, and their hormones balanced?"

    In an open letter to Gwyneth Paltrow, OB/GYN Jen Gunter said, "I read the post on GOOP and all I can tell you is it is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming. It’s even worse than claiming bras cause cancer. But hey, you aren’t one to let facts get in the way of profiting from snake oil."

    Gwyneth Paltrow in a sweater and skirt at the Goop event with floral background

    Goop later faced legal action over its allegations that the Yoni egg could help regulate one's menstrual cycle, aid with bladder control, provide hormone balance, or keep one's uterus from sagging. In 2018, the company settled a lawsuit from the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office, which alleged the claims were "not supported by competent and reliable science," for $145,000.

    Gwyneth on a talk show smiling, wearing a sleeveless top with a necktie detail

    In a statement, Goop told Business Insider, "While goop believes there is an honest disagreement about these claims, the company wanted to settle this matter quickly and amicably. This settlement does not indicate any liability on goop’s part."

    6. In 2018, Gabbie Hanna promoted a deal with Kenza Cosmetics, where fans could get a set of "high-quality" makeup brushes, that purportedly cost $80, for free and only pay shipping. However, the brushes reportedly never arrived for many fans, and several of the few whose did arrive said they were disappointed in the quality.

    Smiling Gabbie in floral strapless dress posing with hand on hip

    Responding to backlash in a YouTube video, Gabbie said, "Are they these amazing, high-quality, can't-even-believe-it, great brushes? No. I also never said they were. I'm not sure what quality people were expecting when they paid $10 for 10 brushes."

    Gabbie on stage with award, wearing off-the-shoulder top and leather pants, speaking into a microphone

    7. Tana Mongeau also received criticism for promoting the "free" makeup brushes from Kenza Cosmetics.

    Tana in a plunging neckline satin dress with bangles, posing at the People's Choice Awards

    Fans continued to joke about it months later.

    Tana Mongeau I’m a broke bitch will you Venmo me 10 bucks to make up for the Kenza Cosmetics scam lmao

    — oat milk stan account (@MissLibbyLouise) November 27, 2019
    Twitter: @MissLibbyLouise

    One time I ordered a makeup brush set from a website Tana Mongeau was collabing with and I never got my brushes. It’s been over 2 years lmfao

    — 𝕔𝕒𝕤𝕤 (@challett99) March 4, 2021
    Twitter: @challett99

    8. In 2017, YouTuber Zoe Sugg was called out over her £50 Zoella advent calendar. Many fans felt it was a "rip off" at that price because it contained twelve little trinkets like stickers, a cookie cutter, and a pen.

    Zoella poses in a black sleeveless dress with embellished detailing at an event

    Responding to the backlash in a YouTube video, Zoe said, “I don’t want people to think that I’m, like, sat at home, like, counting £50 every time someone buys this calendar thinking that was a conscious decision that I made to rip people off...The last thing I want to do is anger, upset or disappoint anyone, because that was not my intention in the slightest."

    Zoe talking to the camera

    She continued, "The price of any product is up to a retailer. I know that there are some of you who might not have known that – even my mum didn’t realize that."

    Additionally, Boots, the exclusive retailer of the advent calendar, discounted it to £25.

    9. In a since-deleted Instagram post from 2018, Angela White, aka Blac Chyna, announced she was heading to Lagos, Nigeria to promote a $250 "illuminating cream" that "lightens without bleaching skin out."

    Blac Chyna in a sheer, embellished long-sleeve gown at an event, posing with hand on hip

    Many skin lightening creams contain ingredients that are potentially harmful to your skin.

    However, Dencia, the founder of Whitenicious, the company Blac Chyna was promoting, told Ebony, "This product doesn’t have hydroquinone, it doesn’t have steroids, and it doesn’t have mercury." She also said that the product is meant to help with hyperpigmentation.

    Across social media, she was called out for promoting a product that contributed to colorism.

    Blac Chyna partnering up with Africa's bleaching king and queen to create a new face bleaching cream is beyond problematic.

    It's really rubbing me the wrong way, ain't no way in hell she would do that in LA. Exploiting Nigeria's colourism problem is disgusting

    — Tops (@SincerelyTops) November 20, 2018
    Twitter: @SincerelyTops

    Do you know how vile you have to be as a black woman, to travel to a country with such strong ties to colourism to promote skin bleaching

    — Tops (@SincerelyTops) November 20, 2018
    Twitter: @SincerelyTops

    In response to criticism, Blac Chyna's reps told TMZ that she used the brand's "dark spot corrector" to treat her "hyperpigmentation" and that she wanted to take the brand deal to help other women of color with similar "skin issues."

    10. Ja Rule faced multiple lawsuits over his involvement with Fyre Festival, the infamous, over-hyped 2017 musical festival that promised attendees a luxury experience, but ended up a major (and much-memed) disaster. He jointly organized the event with Billy McFarland.

    Ja Rule in a designer hoodie and sunglasses stands against a branded backdrop

    In 2019, Ja Rule was cleared of legal wrongdoing in a $100 million class action lawsuit.

    In 2018, Billy was sentenced to six years in prison for wire fraud.

    11. Bella Hadid was among the celebrities who faced backlash for promoting Fyre Festival and starring in its promotional campaign.

    Bella applauding, wearing a large hat and a sparkling top with a visible pendant

    In a since-deleted tweet, she apologized, writing, "Hey guys I just wanted to address Fyre Festival...Even though this was not my project what so ever, nor was I informed about the production or process of the festival in any shape or form, I do know that it has always been of great intent and they truly wanted all of us to have the time of our lives. I initially trusted this would be an amazing & memorable experience for all of us, which is why I agreed to do one promotion...not knowing about the disaster that was to come..."

    Bella Hadid in a long-sleeve, cut-out gown on the red carpet

    She continued, "I feel so sorry and badly because this is something I couldn't stand by, although of course if I would have known about the outcome, you would have all known too. I hope everyone is safe and back with their families and loved ones...xo."

    12. Hailey Bieber also faced backlash for appearing in the Fyre Festival promotional campaign. However, she ended up donating all of the money she made to charity.

    closeup of her at an event

    In 2019, she told The Late Late Show With James Corden, "I’m not going to share [the amount], but it made for a very generous donation to charity."

    13. In 2019, a BBC investigation found that reality stars/influencers Lauren Goodger, Zara Holland, and Mike Hassini tried out to promote Cyanora, a made-up diet drink that contained deadly hydrogen cyanide, on the series Blindboy Undestroys the World.

    Secretly filmed footage revealed that, when the trio was told they wouldn't be able to try the drink because it wouldn't be available for a few months, only Zara's agent said she couldn't promote it without trying it first.

    Zara told Newsbeat, "My agent did state that I would not promote a product without trying it first, and we needed to be provided with more details. I would never deliberately mislead my followers or promote a product that was dangerous."

    Lauren's then-agent said, "Our client would not endorse the promotion of products that contained harmful or suspect ingredients, or without knowing the contents."

    14. And finally, similarly, in a 2019 prank video, YouTuber Josh Pieters and magician Archie Manners got reality stars Hayley Hughes, Alfie Best, Bobby Norris, and Yazmin Oukhellou to promote fabricated stories (including the invention of time travel and a made-up charity) on fake TV shows simply by paying them to be there.

    I tricked a bunch of reality stars into talking nonsense on a fake TV Show. Full video out tomorrow, but here they are giving a shout out to a made-up charity. pic.twitter.com/WQgiLfvjAM

    — Josh Pieters (@joshua_pieters) October 25, 2019
    Twitter: @joshua_pieters

    Josh told Insider, "The idea was: will reality stars promote anything, will they say just about anything once they've been paid or once they're on TV. We definitely wanted to keep it light-hearted, and we didn't want to embarrass them too much...The world now is a funny place full of people saying all sorts of things, so maybe it's a lesson of don't just believe the first thing you see or read. Just a bit of research is all it would have taken."