Few things in entertainment are more entertaining than a heated interview, especially when one side has had enough and decides to walk. Today we present 18 infamous interviews in which one party cut the exchange short by walking out, storming out, or – in one case – attacking the other party.
Celebrity Interview Walk Offs
TV or radio interviews are rarely more riveting than when things go bad, which in some cases end with one party abruptly walking out. Actors, politicians, and sports figures are all represented among the most memorable celebrity interview walk-outs. Although it would be impossible to compile a comprehensive list of every celebrity walkout, we’ve put together our picks for some of the most notable walkouts, along with a few honorable mentions.
Criteria: An interview which was cut short either by the interviewer or the interviewee due to hostilities arising between one or both parties. We’ve ranked it by the approximate level of anger by one or both parties.
#18. Rachel Dolezal vs Jeff Humphrey (2015)
Rachel Dolezal, leader of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, rose to national infamy after her interview with KXLY’s Jeff Humphrey, who questioned her about her ethnicity.
“Are you African-American?” Humphrey asked.
A blank Dolezal paused and then responded, “I don’t understand the question.”
Humphrey pressed, “Are your parents… are they white?”
Dolezal then walked off camera, and onto the public stage as national media picked up the story. As it turned out, Dolezal was in fact born white, but identified as black.
#17. Montel Williams vs NewsChannel 5 (2013)
Former TV host Montel Williams has been an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana, but didn’t walk to discuss the topic during an appearance at Norwich University, the oldest private military university in the country.
“It has zero to do with this and it has zero to do with this school so I’d rather not address that during this interview,” Williams said. He eventually stood and proclaimd, “We end the interview,” pointing at the camera and demanding the crew to “cut the camera now.”
#16. Rahm Emanuel vs NBC Chicago (2011)
When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was asked if his children attended public school, he answered the question – and then halted the interview.
“Oh Mary Ann let me break the news to you. My children are not in a public position, the Mayor is.” He then stood and walked away. After being asked to respond to additional questions, Emanuel replied, “I’m done. Especially after that.”
Emanuel’s walk off occurs at the 46-second mark of the video below.
#15. Robert Pattinson vs Ryan Seacrest (2009)
Robert Pattinson’s brief interview with Ryan Seacrest came to a quick end when the star was asked about his rumored relationship with Twilight costar Kristen Stewart.
Seacrest began the interview with a couple of questions about the New Moon installment of the series which Pattinson was promoting. Ryan then asked the burning question, “What do you say to your fans who are desperate to know about you and your co-star Kristen? What can you tell them?”
Pattinson laughed and looked at his publicist who was standing a few feet away. The woman then motioned to the actor and said, “Let’s go.”
A flabbergasted Seacrest turned to the publicist and asked, “You can’t ask that question to the guy? It’s his co-star. It’s a fair question.”
“I’m sorry, I was just cut off for the first time ever,” Seacrest conceded as Pattinson walked out.
#14. Bee Gees vs Clive Anderson (1997)
After being agitated by interviewer Clive Anderson, the members of the Bee Gees abruptly ended their television interview by walking off stage.
After mentioning a song that Anderson said he had forgotten, an already-annoyed Barry Gibb said, “I thought you might… In fact I might just leave.” He then stood up and walked off. A surprised Anderson noted, “I’ve never had anyone walk out before.” Gibb’s brothers followed his lead and also walked off the set.
The walk-off begins around the 9-minute mark.
#13. Joe Rizzo vs Lou Gordon (1972)
Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo had enough and walked out of a television interview when he felt the questions being hurled from Lou Gordon were inappropriate.
Gordon apparently crossed the line when he said, “The article also said that you had received financial support from city nightclub owners who were heavily involved in drug traffic and prostitution.”
“Let me say this to you,” Rizzo said as he stood and removed his microphone, “I want to be professional and I came for an interview but I don’t think that this has been an interview. I think you’ve been completely unfair in your line of questioning and I’m not going to subject myself anymore.”
Skip to the 4:43 mark of the video below for the walk-out.
#12. Christine O’Donnell vs Piers Morgan (2011)
When Piers Morgan prodded Senate GOP candidate Christine O’Donnell for her stance on gay marriage, the candidate quipped, “You’re borderline being a little bit rude.”
“I’m just curious what your view is. You keep saying it’s in the book so I’m bemused as to why you wouldn’t just say it in an interview if it’s in the book,” Morgan replied.
“Because I don’t think it’s relevant.”
After the two went back and forth, Morgan finally asked, “Why are you being so weird about this?”
O’Donnell fired back, “I’m not being weird. You’re being a little rude.”
O’Donnell then looked off screen and said, “OK I’m being pulled away. We turned down another interview for this.”
“It would appear that the interview has just been ended,” Morgan said with a laugh.
#11. Kanye West vs Canadian Radio (2005)
During an interview promoting the album Late Registration, Kanye scolded the radio station for cutting the phrase “white girl” out of his song “Gold Digger.”
While trying to express his opinion about the censorship, Kanye became infuriated with the DJ’s continued interruptions. West slammed his hands on the desk and exclaimed, “Yo stop it man! I’m talking man! You keep on cutting me off man, are you serious?”
After a brief pause, West left.
Kanye’s outburst occurs at the 2:40 mark.
#10. Shannon Tweed vs Gene Simmons (2011)
Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed appeared on The Joy Behar Show in 2011 to promote the new season of Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
During the interview, Behar showed a clip of an interview she did with Alice Cooper in which they joked about Simmons’ claim that he had sex with over 5000 women. Behar then turned to Gene and joked, “How’s your back Gene?”
Simmons responded, “My back is good. My schmeckel, not so much.”
Tweed, not amused by the joke, snapped, “That’s very nice of you to joke about it.” She slapped Simmons on the back and said, “That’s so rude for you to joke about it. I know you think it’s funny.”
“It’s a joke!” Simmons replied as she walked off the set.
Simmons glared at Behar and said, “Thanks for the question,” to which Behar responded, “You’re blaming it on me?”
After being asked to return to the set, Tweed could be heard in the background stating, “I’m tired of this.”
Gene felt that the interview was purposely guided into murky waters. “Good setup Joyce.”
Behar responded that she thought much of the couple’s problems were “shtick” and “I thought that this is a game.”
A sullen Simmons responded, “No, this is actually happening to us.”
The hostilities begin around the 3:45 mark in the video below.
#9. Whoopi Goldberg & Joy Behar vs Bill O’Reilly (2010)
In a rare case of the interviewer storming off the set, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked off stage during Bill O’Reilly’s appearance on The View in 2010.
O’Reilly debated the wisdom of a mosque which was planned to open near Ground Zero. After pointing his finger at Whoopi Goldberg and proclaiming, “Muslims killed us on 9/11,” Whoopi exclaimed, “Oh my God, that is such bulls—!” Behar eventually said, “I don’t want to sit here now,” and walked off the set with Goldberg.
#8. Robert Downey, Jr. vs Krishnan Guru-Murthy (2015)
In an interview to promote his movie Avengers: Age of Ultron, Robert Downey, Jr. walked out after being asked about his past by Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
“The reason I’m asking about the past is that you’ve talked in other interviews again about your relationship with your father and the role of all of that in, you know the dark period you went through, taking drugs and drinking and all that,” the interviewer began. “And I just wondered whether you think you’re free of all of that, or whether that’s still something…”
“I’m sorry, I really don’t… What are we doing?” Downey interrupted.
“Well I’m just asking questions, that’s all.”
Downey Jr. smiled, waved, and said “Bye” as he stood up and walked out.
Skip to the 6-minute mark below for Downey Jr.’s walk out.
#7. Mike Tyson vs Nathan Downer (2014)
After asking Mike Tyson about his criminal past, CP24 news anchor Nathan Downer had to cut the interview short when the former heavyweight champ called him a “piece of sh–” four times and said “f— you” twice.
Tyson was promoting his one-man show The Undisputed Truth and appeared on Canada’s CP24 with host Nathan Downer. When Downer said critics referred to Tyson as a “convicted rapist,” the former champ became increasingly confrontational and unwilling to answer questions.
“It’s so interesting that you come across like a nice guy, but you’re really a piece of sh–,” Tyson said.
“We’re doing live TV,” Downer pointed out.
“I don’t care,” Iron Mike scoffed, “What are you going to do about it?”
Downer attempted to get back on track by asking about the show, but Tyson was clearly uninterested in answering additional questions. “Is it nerve-wracking for you to do something like this, or is it more nervous for you to box?” Downer asked.
“It’s more nerve-wracking for me talking to a rat piece of sh– like you,” Tyson snapped.
“Oh come on, Mike,” the announced replied.
After calling him a “piece of sh–” two more times, Downer ended the interview and thanked Tyson for coming in, to which the champ replied, “F— you.”
Nathan later apologized via Twitter.
#6. Jesse Ventura vs Opie & Anthony (2009)
After an increasingly heated exchange regarding military service and war mongering between Jesse Ventura and Opie & Anthony, Ventura had enough and cut the interview short.
The former Minnesota Governor and host Jim Norton called each other a–holes, and Ventura glared at the host who taunted him, “You wanna beat me up? Go ahead. I’m not gonna fight a guy like you.”
Ventura saluted and said, “Thank you for your service to our country,” as he walked out.
The interview ends around the 3:05 mark below.
#5. Naomi Campbell vs ABC News (2010)
When asked if she had received “blood diamonds” in 1997 from Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, supermodel Naomi Campbell quipped, “I’m not here for that.” She stood up and walked out of the interview. On her way out, she also knocked a camera to the floor.
#4. Jordan Belfort vs Liz Hayes on 60 Minutes (2014)
Jordan Belfort, the real life Wolf of Wall Street, lost his cool during a 60 Minutes interview when asked about his financial dealings by Liz Hayes.
As the interview began to rattle Belfort, he asked Hayes to move to a new line of questions. “I’ve said enough about this, so let’s move on… I’m not going to get attacked here.”
“I’m not attacking you,” Hayes responded.
An annoyed Belfort countered, “You’re a very nice woman but you’re starting to like… getting towards obviously just a hatchet job here.”
“There’s nothing ‘hatchet’ about it,” Hayes said before returning to her line of questioning, “You have an oral contract with your management, the Fordham Company. Is that an attempt to hide your income?”
Belfort laughed and said, “Next question,” before an off-screen voice prompted him to stand up and end the interview.
“You got a lot of nerve boy, I’ll tell ya,” Belfort can be heard saying in the background. “I was told this was a friendly, nice interview and no one has ever treated me as disrespectfully as you have, really.”
#3. Floyd Mayweather vs Larry Merchant (2011)
After his controversial 4th round knockout of Victor Ortiz in 2011, Floyd Mayweather began his post-fight interview with his arm around the shoulders of HBO’s Larry Merchant.
After being annoyed by the line of questioning, however, Mayweather interrupted and said, “You know what I’m gonna do? Cause you’ll never give me a fair shake, you know that? So I’m gonna let you talk to Victor Ortiz, alright? I’m through. They put somebody else up here to give me an interview.”
Merchant, surprised by Mayweather’s reaction, stood inches from the boxer’s face and asked, “What are you talking about?”
Mayweather continued his tirade. “You never gave me a fair shake. HBO needs to fire you. You don’t know sh– about boxing. You ain’t sh–!”
The 80-year old Merchant put his hand on Mayweather’s shoulder and retorted, “I wish I was 50 years younger and I’d kick your ass!”
The confrontation begins at the 2:10 mark below.
#2. Joan Rivers vs Fredricka Whitfield on CNN (2014)
Joan Rivers abruptly ended an interview on CNN after being asked about sporting a fur coat on the cover of her book.
During the interview, CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield mentioned that Joan Rivers donned a fur coat on the cover of her book Diary of a Mad Diva, to which Rivers quipped, “This whole interview is becoming a defensive interview.”
Before slamming her book down and storming off, Rivers said of the interviewer, “All you have done is negative… You are not the one to interview a person who does humor!”
Whitfield said later, “I thought she was joking the whole time.”
A week later, Rivers appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, and got a taste of her own medicine as Letterman jokingly walked out of their interview.
#1. Jim Everett vs Jim Rome (1994)
In what is probably the most hostile reaction on this list, we have more of an attack than a walkout.
In 1989, quarterback Jim Everett had taken so many hits that at one point he appeared to fall down from what was later described as a “phantom sack.” This led sports commentator Jim Rome to begin referring to Everett as “Chris Everett,” a female tennis player. After taunting Everett with the Chris handle from afar, Rome eventually faced the football player in his Talk2 show in 1994.
Immediately after welcoming Everett, Rome began prodding the quarterback. “Check that… Chris Everett, good to have you on the show.”
“You know what, you’ve been calling me that for about the last five years,” Everett complained.
Rome corrected him, “Two years actually, Chris… You may have been Jim back there, but somewhere along the way Jim you ceased being Jim and became Chris.”
Everett leaned forward and pointed his finger. “If you call me Chris Everett to my face one more time…”
“I already did twice,” Rome fired back.
“I think that you probably won’t say it again.”
Rome accepted the dare. “I’ll bet I do… Chris”
The 6-foot-5 quarterback suddenly tipped over the table and went after the much smaller interviewer, who, ironically, seemed to fall down as easily as accused Everett of doing on the field.
Years later, Rome referred to the incident as “unfortunate” and said, “I didn’t know he was that angry.”
- Paris Hilton vs ABC. Hilton stopped, then resumed a 2011 interview when asked if she worried that “her moment had passed.”
- Pete Townshend vs Howard Stern. In 2006, Pete Townshend was moments away from a satellite appearance on The Howard Stern Show, but decided to skip the interview when Howard’s crew discussed Townshend’s legal problems. Roger Daltry continued the interview, but was clearly annoyed by the situation.
- Justin Bieber vs Mojo. During a 2012 radio interview for Mojo in the Morning, Biebs had enough and hung up when the interviewer implied that Harry Styles may be romantically interested in his mother.
- Joel Madden vs FOX FM. Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden cut an interview short after being annoyed by a “twin test” during an interview by two Australian radio hosts.
- Waylon Jennings vs Tom Snyder. While awaiting an interview by Tom Snyder for The Late Late Show, Jennings became angry and left when the show’s first guest, Dr. Laura, went too long and cut into his time.