Kirstie Alley is perhaps best known for her role as Rebecca Howe on NBC’s Cheers. She replaced Shelley Long’s character, Diane Chambers, on the show’s sixth season. It may be the bar where everybody knows your name, but trust us; not everyone is glad she came. Alley has also starred in family-favorite movies like the Look Who’s Talking franchise with fellow Scientologist John Travolta and with everyone’s favorite twins in the ’90s — Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen — in It Takes Two.
But as time passes, she’s becoming more infamous for her outspoken nature and controversial beliefs. It’s clear she’s able to laugh at herself from her roles on shows like Fat Actress, where she played herself. But some of the controversies that Alley has gotten involved in are nothing to laugh about. Settle in, because we’re taking a look at the shady side of Kirstie Alley. It’s going to be a wild ride to her social media accounts and beyond.
Kirstie Alley compared reporting sexual assault to a 'witch hunt'
The “Me Too” movement was founded in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke as a way to help sexual assault survivors begin talking about their experiences and healing. In 2017, the hashtag #MeToo went viral and helped expose the issue of sexual assault deeply embedded in the entertainment industry. As Hollywood began giving consequences to many of those accused of sexual assault, Kirstie Alley took issue, especially with “rumors” and anonymous accusers.
“I’m an advocate of courts of law 4 criminal matters. Also innocent until proven guilty is a fairly sane concept that I’m pretty sure each of us would like to be afforded,” she tweeted in November 2017. “Rumors cause witchhunts. Seems ok to be part of the mob until U become the next witch.”
Later in November 2017 — on the same day Matt Lauer was fired by NBC for sexual misconduct (via People), Alley tweeted, “What the hell is happening? We now live in a country where people lose their jobs when accused of something without proof or trial or in some cases w anonymous accusers?” She argued that the accused should be able to confront his or her accuser, though anonymity is presumably granted for safety reasons. She continued, “Can’t confront your accuser? This is bulls**t. And IT HURTS THE REAL VICTIMS of abuse. AND innocent people.” It’s worth noting that employers are liable to take action based on many state laws (per The Muse). Alley tweeted that she was not speaking about Lauer’s situation.
Kirstie Alley criticized CNN's COVID-19 coverage
Kirstie Alley has become known for her conservative beliefs and has appeared on the conservative news network Fox News. In October 2020, she criticized Fox News’ rival CNN for its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I now Know why my personal friends who walk around in SHEER TERROR of contracting Covid are simply CNN viewers! I decided to watch CNN myself to get a their viewpoint and oh my God DID I EVER!!!!” Alley tweeted in October 2020. “IF YOU TOO WANT TO LIVE IN TERROR WATCH CNN!! FEAR OF DYING IS THEIR MANTRA! OMG!”
CNN’s official Twitter account responded to her impassioned tweet whilst throwing a little bit of shade her way. “Kirstie, you are welcome to change the channel – just like countless viewers did every time Veronica’s Closet came on TV,” a response from CNN‘s official PR Twitter account read, referring to a sitcom Alley led from 1997 to 2000. “But don’t downplay the loss of nearly 230K American lives. And please, wear a mask.”
Responding to criticism on Twitter, Alley later said she did wear masks in public. “I’ve worn a mask every place I’ve gone for seven months. I’ve never said I don’t wear a mask I’ve never said I don’t condone wearing masks I’ve never said masks are stupid I social distance distance, wear masks & wash my hands,” a tweet read. “So all U who TWIST my words, take a hike.” We’re glad, Kirstie.
Scientology has affected Kirstie Alley's friendships
Kirstie Alley was on Season 12 of Dancing With the Stars and came back for “All-Stars” Season 15. During both seasons, her partner was Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The two had a unique chemistry that contributed to their success. They placed second and seventh on the seasons, respectively, and also developed a friendship.
That all changed by 2014. Per ABC News, Chmerkovskiy explained on Watch What Happens Live! that the two had gotten along until Alley had a sudden change of heart. “She stopped getting along with me … I thought we had a great relationship.” He implied that it had something to do with a new friend he had made. “I got a message that now that I’m associating with other people, that [she said] she can’t be associated with, I am no longer to be spoken with.”
Alley is an outspoken Scientologist. Chmerkovskiy seems to be referring to the organization’s disconnection policy that encourages members to distance themselves from “suppressive” people, or people who “upset, continuously undermine, spread bad news about and denigrate betterment activities and groups,” per Scientology’s official website. In 2014, Chmerkovskiy was spending time with Jennifer Lopez, who is friends with Leah Remini. Remini is an ex-Scientologist who has made it her mission to help other ex-Scientologists tell their stories. Alley seemed to reply to Chmerkovskiy’s comments in a tweet. “Dear Sir..after you have a** raped me there is really no reason to include ‘I wish you the best’.. It’s rhetorical.”
The unprovoked Twitter war
Kirstie Alley started a Twitter war with The View co-host Joy Behar in 2010, and the shadiest thing about it is that there’s no good reason. Behar hosted The Joy Behar Show at the time, and Alley didn’t like her views on Tiger Woods’ cheating scandal, New York Post reported. “And WHY has Joy Behar turned into such a self righteous c*** head? OOOOooo that’s right . . . FOREVER!” Alley tweeted. She followed up with, “CHEATING is between a husband and wife. Not TMZ and Joy Bewhore . . . God, I want to bash her in the vagina with her microphone.”
So, we don’t want to get on Alley’s bad side, but why stick up for Tiger Woods? According to Star‘s report in 2013, it’s possible she was jealous of Behar’s gig on The View. A source said, “Kirstie loves TV and wants badly to land a permanent gig –- she tried to get a talk show deal on her own but didn’t get any bites. She thinks The View would be a great fit for her brand of brash outspokenness,” the source continued. “She’s so hungry for the job that she’s been sending Barbara Walters audition tapes and buttering her up in gushy emails.” There’s no connection between the tweets and this report, but it’s our only guess.
As for Behar, her response to the tweets was on brand. “Kirstie Alley calls me Joy Bewhore. Compliments! Compliments!”
Kirstie Alley falls in love easily on set
Kirstie Alley and fellow Scientologist John Travolta starred in the Look Who’s Talking franchise between 1989 and 1993. The movies were successful because of Alley and Travolta’s natural chemistry on screen. If Alley had her way, the relationship would’ve continued off-screen, even though Travolta was married to the late Kelly Preston by the time the third movie, Look Who’s Talking Now, was released in 1993. Alley was also married to Parker Stevenson while filming the franchise. Alley told Barbara Walters, “John is the greatest love of my life.”
“When I fell in love with John when we were doing Look Who’s Talking, believe me, it took everything that I had … to not run off and marry [him] and be with [him] for the rest of my life,” she said. She told Howard Stern (via Daily Mail) that she continued flirting with Travolta even after he married Preston and Preston had to confront her about it. “It took me years to not look at John as a romantic interest,” Alley said. The women were very good friends for many years, but “In the beginning she would bust me, like, ‘Are you flirting with my husband?’ And the answer was yes.” Alley also admitted to Walters that she had similar feelings for the late Patrick Swayze, but both of the stars were married when they met on the set of North and South. The only harm Alley has done is within her own marriages, but her behavior is the definition of shady.
Kirstie Alley is mad about The Oscars' diversity initiative
In September 2020, The Oscars announced updated diversity and inclusion standards films must abide by in order to be considered in the category for “Best Picture.” Per The Academy, at least one of the lead roles or a significant supporting role must be played by an actor from an ethnically diverse community. 30 percent of the ensemble cast must represent marginalized groups. The standards also require the narratives to focus on diverse subject matter. There are similar requirements for the crew.
Kirstie Alley got very upset after the announcement claiming that the mandates compromised art. Per Page Six, in a now-deleted tweet, Alley wrote: “This is a disgrace to artists everywhere…can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his f**king paintings. You people have lost your minds. Control artists, control individual thought .. OSCAR ORWELL.”
She then tried to backtrack and further clarify her unpopular opinion. “I deleted my first tweet about the new rules for best movie OSCARS because I feel it was a poor analogy & misrepresented my viewpoint,” she wrote. “I am 100% behind diversity inclusion & tolerance. I’m opposed to MANDATED ARBITRARY percentages relating to hiring human beings in any business.” Alley has never been nominated for an Oscar.
Kirstie Alley called Leah Remini a 'bigot'
Kirstie Alley and Leah Remini’s feud is one of the most public in Hollywood, and Scientology is at the center of it all. Alley told Howard Stern in 2014 that her problem with Remini doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that she left the organization and has everything to do with Remini’s criticisms of it. “When you are generalizing, and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group — there are tens of millions of scientologists in the world — when you decide to blanket statement, ‘Scientology is evil,’ you are my enemy,” she said (via Huffpost). That’s harsh, but Alley went further. “She’s a bigot.” Alley also admitted to blocking Remini on Twitter.
In 2015 Remini had very diplomatic things to say about Alley to Howard Stern. “I know why she thinks she’s angry … she doesn’t really know anything that I’m saying, and she will not read the book … because [Scientologists] see me as an enemy,” she said. She admitted that she wouldn’t talk to Alley or any other celebrity Scientologists if she saw them. “I’m shunned … I wouldn’t talk put them in that position.” So, Alley is the one having the one-sided fight again.
Kirstie Alley snuck a lemur through airport security
Kirstie Alley is an animal advocate and has kept lemurs as pets. According to People, in 2016, she had 14. “I started out [having] lemurs because they are a great animal, and I was very interested in conservation in Madagascar [where they are from] and saving rainforests and forests,” she said. As for who cares for them, “I actually have a full-time animal caretaker. It’s just on my payroll!”
Lemurs are cute animals, but California has very strict rules about protecting wildlife. Per Shouse California Law Group, it’s illegal to own pets like gerbils, ferrets, and hedgehogs in the state. It’s illegal to keep lemurs as pets in the state per the California Restricted Species Laws and Regulations manual, but maybe there is a way to file for an exception — because Alley hasn’t gotten into legal trouble for owning lemurs.
We’re almost certain it’s illegal to fly with them, but Alley told Rachel Ray she tricked authorities at the airport to let her fly with a baby lemur. “I fibbed and I said she was a cat. So I had the little carrier and she was in there and I thought they’d just let me walk through,” she said (via Yahoo). “But they changed the rules, so they said, ‘You have to take your cat out, ma’am. So I was like, ‘Oh my God.'” She walked really fast through security so they wouldn’t question her. It’s all very strange, and airport security should really pay more attention.
Not everyone was glad when she came to Cheers
Kirstie Alley became one of America’s most well-known sitcom stars when she replaced Shelley Long’s character, Diane Chambers, on Cheers. We were introduced to Alley’s Rebecca Howe in the sixth season of Cheers, and according to a National Enquirer report, Alley became a diva. “Kirstie was furious when she starred on Cheers and producers decided to bring Shelley back as a guest star,” a source said.
Long was reportedly also rude to Alley, which the actress didn’t forget. When Alley was later starring and executive producing on the TV Land sitcom Kirstie, she refused to consider producers’ suggestion that Long guest star on that show. If the feud did go both ways, that’s understandable.
But Alley learned which Cheers lady America preferred in October 2020 when she announced on Twitter she was voting for Donald Trump. According to an Entertainment Weekly report, Shelley Long started trending after the announcement. Stars like Judd Apatow summed up the feelings of many when he tweeted, “Shelley Long was funnier than you.” Shade is being thrown in all directions here!
Kirstie Alley appeared to support QAnon
The QAnon conspiracy theory is “a far right-wing, loosely organized network and community of believers who embrace a range of unsubstantiated beliefs,” according to The Wall Street Journal. One of those unsubstantiated theories includes alleging that left-leaning public figures like Chrissy Teigen, Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, and Tom Hanks are part of a secret ring of pedophiles, Newsweek reported.
Kirstie Alley is not quiet about her conservative beliefs. But, supporting QAnon theories would take shady to another level. Yet, she appeared to do just that when she tweeted thoughts on the QAnon slogan. “WHERE WE GO ONE WE GO ALL. I like it.” She then claimed ignorance of QAnon, tweeting, “it sounded like something the Marines would say.” Apparently, all you have to do to gain Alley’s support is not criticize her. “Well no one in Q has been mean or hateful to me.. it’s the Q haters who are acting hideous,” part of the tweet read. So much yikes!
Kirstie Alley blamed psychiatric drugs for mass shootings
Kirstie Alley’s Scientologist beliefs dictate that she condemns psychiatry because “the Church objects to the mistreatment of the insane, which is psychiatry’s historical hallmark,” per the official Scientology website. That means Scientologists object to “routine psychiatric practice to label and stigmatize youth with wholesale diagnoses of mental disorders.”
So, when bad things happen, Scientologists often blame psychiatry. This is exactly what Kirstie Alley did in 2017 after the Las Vegas shooting when she tweeted, “We have to solve the mystery of why there are no ‘shooters’ or almost 0 before the 1980s. I know one common denominator other than guns.” She continued, “One additional common denominator of ‘shooters’ is USA’s mass usage of psychiatric drugs. A % do have side effects of violence & suicide.” She refused to back down when criticized, tweeting, “Not my opinion. Statistic based.”
We need to be very clear. As Self explains, “Mental illness is often blamed for violence, but it’s rarely the true cause.” Medication helps to treat mental illness and makes it possible for many people to live happy, productive lives.
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