16 TLC Reality Stars: Who Was Fired And Who Quit?


The TLC Network launched in 1972, 46 years ago, under the pretense that it would serve as America’s number one source for educational and informative programming. This makes sense; it’s owned by the Discovery Channel after all. However since the 1990s, the network has shifted its focus somewhat, towards reality and lifestyle shows.

While its current programming is perfect for adults on their days off and teens who are out sick, it has also generated a fair amount of controversy. For every Cake Boss or blushing bride, there’s an American Hot Rod bringing new meaning to the phrase “toxic masculinity” or a Gypsy Sister determined to ruin her family’s big day.

Reality TV is a prime breeding ground for big personalities that cause friction with their fellow cast members. Other stars have transcended the usual level of reality show bickering and have genuinely tarnished the shows that made them famous. While there are many shows on TLC, with the focus generally to keep the shows wholesome and family-oriented, the acts of some of these stars do not fit into those guidelines.

Let’s take a look 8 TLC Stars Who Were Fired (and 8 Who Quit).


If the wild lifestyle of celebrity tattooing wasn’t enough for the showrunners at TLC’s LA Ink, it also capitalized on a deep desire for co-worker drama, fall outs, and heated arguments. Reality TV wouldn’t be the same if everyone got along.

Widely regarded as an attempt to raise the level of in-house bickering, the show brought on Aubry Fisher, who had already become infamous in the reality TV circuit, due to her spot on Rock of Love with Bret Michaels.

Fisher joined the cast on season three, and many speculate that she was only included to force antagonism between the artists.

After intense fights with pretty much everyone at High Voltage, shop-owner Kat Von D gave Fisher the boot — she couldn’t even last until the end of the season.


There’s nothing more uplifting than a beautiful wedding and, of course, TLC has capitalized on one of the most extravagant aspects of the traditional romantic union: the dress.

Featuring a number of future brides each episode, Say Yes to the Dress takes each customer through a series of selections and fittings with a bridal expert, all the while loving family members and friends squabble over the best pick. It’s mostly heart-warming television, but some quarrels can get nasty.

Keasha Rigsby remained as one of the show’s mainstay experts from its first season, though she hasn’t appeared on the show since 2011. This is because Rigsby has moved on to bigger and better things, opening her own bridal salon and starring in her own show, Keasha’s Perfect Dress for Canadian Slice.


The Duggar family, stars of 19 Kids and Counting and its spin-off Counting On, have been frequently criticized for their conservative views on issues such as divorce and gay marriage due to their Baptist upbringing, though most have retained their time slot on TLC despite this.

Derick Dillard unfortunately crossed TLC’s line when he posted transphobic remarks on his Instagram page last year.

Targeting transgender teen Jazz Jennings, he retweeted a promotion for her TLC show and added “What an oxymoron… a “reality” show which follows a non-reality.” He went on: “Transgender’ is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it’s ordained by God.” His role in Counting On was immediately cut. Dillard has been without a steady job since, though he recently went through a brief stint as a chaperone for students.


Jon & Kate Plus 8 followed a similar premise to 19 Kids and Counting, though the high birth rate of Jon & Kate Gosselin was due to different reasons. After they had twins, Jon was concerned with having a third child — his worries turned out to be legitimate, as Kate later gave birth to sextuplets!

Since the children were 17 months old, the couple have been appearing on reality television. Starting on Discovery Health with Surviving Sextuplets and Twins and then Sextuplets and Twins: One Year Later, they then moved to TLC.

Jon starred on the show until 2009, when the couple separated. Although TLC’s initial plans were to lessen Jon’s involvement but still feature him in a few episodes, in October 2009, Jon filed legal action against TLC, regarding camera crews entering his home as criminal trespassing.


It’s not just British sitcoms that are remade for US audiences, the UK’s reality shows get a makeover too. What Not to Wear began life on the BBC, hosted by Trinny and Susannah, but it proved so popular that it soon made its way over to the TLC network. The show features a cast of expert fashion designers, makeup artists, and high stylists, who change the look and wardrobe of a nominated participant whose tastes leave a little something to be desired.

It has been hosted by Stacy London for all of its ten seasons, but other cast members have rotated, such as Wayne Scot Lukas.

During its first season, he joined Stacy London. However, in order to match out the more supporting and compassionate tone of the British series, which was still proving more popular, they swapped out Lukas’ snarky comments for Clinton Kelly’s pleasing tone.


My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, another remake of a British classic, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, has become one of TLC’s most popular yet controversial shows. Criticised for its racist use of the word “gypsy”, the show depicts the alternative lifestyles of America’s traveller communities.

Like any show on TLC, a spin-off was inevitable, so Gypsy Sisters ditched the weddings for a deeper look at the lives of the Stanley family. The show ran from 2013-2015, but was canceled after it failed to attract the high ratings of its predecessor.

The show mainly revolves around a group of sisters, but Laura Johnston joined the Stanley clan when she married their brother, Gus. Starcasm reported that a Facebook post stated that after appearing in the first season, both she and Gus decided to distance themselves from the clan and TLC and left the show.


After seven years you would think that the formula of What’s Not to Wear would have been pretty much perfected, but after kicking Wayne Scot Lukas from the show, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly were making for a winning double act who rivaled the charm of their UK counterparts, Trinny and Susannah, and there was no getting rid of makeup queen Carmindy.

Many agreed that the show’s missing link was in its hair styling. Despite the expertise of his fellow cast, Nick Arrojo’s styles never seemed to wow.

In an effort to revitalize the show after a long tenure on TLC, celebrity stylist Ted Gibson was brought in as his replacement. A touch more glamorous than Arrojo, Gibson owns three of his own salons and has previously worked with Angelina Jolie and Anne Hathaway, making him more than qualified for the job.


Sheena Small was the first cousin to the key cast members of Gypsy Sisters, formerly married to their younger brother Henry. Together they have four children, and became main cast members in season two, contributing to many of the second season’s cat fights and drama. Unfortunately, their stint on the spin-off show was short-lived, and they were mysteriously absent during season three. Starcasm reported, through Facebook entries, that she wasn’t returning.

Following a payment dispute with TLC, she revealed that she would not be returning, as traveling from Tennessee to West Virginia was not worth getting paid less than her co-stars.

Despite this, her Facebook page is still gold and maintains the level of drama that audiences came to expect from the show. Everything from challenges to fights to denying accusations, you can still get your Sheena fix if the absence from the show let you down.


At TLC there programs made for both men and women. For every series of makeovers, fashion tips, and bridal showers that the network doesn’t realize men secretly love too, there’s a counter show for burly men who just love to ride.

American Hot Rod fills that bracket perfectly. It followed engineer and shop owner Boyd Coddington, before his passing in 2008, and his team of experts as they built and maintained custom vehicles, with a few scuffles and fights along the way.

Mike Curtis was one of the show’s favorite shop supervisors, who once recounted a childhood accident in which he was thrown from a car as it flipped over. He was fired by Boyd when he was found to have been working for the shop’s competitors, Chip Foose. He now owns his own company, Mike Curtis designs, in California.


We could probably compile a list that wholly consists of drama, fall outs, and rage quits from the Stanley family, stars of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding and its spin-off Gypsy Sisters, but we’ll end our fascination with the show with Nuckie Williams, the matriarch of the gypsy clan from West Virginia.

Putting Jon and Kate to shame, Nettie has nine children of her own, and too many grandchildren to count. She renewed her vows to her third husband after ten years of marriage, proving that romance is still alive and well in America. Starcasm reported, through Facebook posts, that she would be leaving.

Her step-son Rocky passed away, leading her to leave Gypsy Sisters, which was promptly canceled anyway, along with her television career.

She now continues to raise her family away from the prying eyes of the American public.


Since it became acceptable for normal people to get inked, rather than just biker gangs, punks, and criminals, the fashion trend shows no sign of disappearing. Just like the tattoo itself, the trend seem permanent on TV.

TLC was quick to capitalize on this trend, launching Miami Ink in 2005, which was soon followed by a Los Angeles based spin-off, LA Ink. Hosted by Kat Von D, it follows High Voltage Tattoos and their clients, which occasionally included celebrity guests.

Kat Von D hired her close friend Pixie Acia as the shop manager for the first half of the first season, but she was soon fired to be replaced by Naheed Simjee. Despite their close friendship, the store owner admitted that she was expecting to end up in a fight with Acia from day one.


Redecoration shows are one of the most wholesome formats reality TV has to offer. A participant is nominated by their friends or family to give their dingy furniture a little spice, leading that participant to walk in on new, fabulous living arrangement, free of charge. While You Were Out added another spin to the premise: the person whose house is being redecorated doesn’t know about the arrangement until they walk through the door.

This show fueled number of controversies, including host Teresa Strasser’s final episode, in which the participant ranted about a hole in his patio while his wife cried.

Strasser has since become moderately successful after leaving the show. She has hosted podcasts, written a book on parenthood, and worked as a freelance journalist for The Los Angeles Times. She also won the Emmy Award for Best Host in 2015 for The List.


As tattoos become more and more popular, tattoo artists themselves also become celebrities in their own right. Perhaps one of the most renowned is Kat Von D, who, thanks to Miami Ink and LA Ink, has become a superstar in the tattoo business.

She began her television career as a tattoo artist for Miami Ink, but had a particularly rough falling out with fellow artist Ami James which resulted in her firing.

She then set up shop on in Los Angeles, and starred as High Voltage Tattoo’s shop owner for the entirety of LA Ink’s tenure on TLC.

Since the show’s cancellation, Von D has launched her own makeup line, opened an art gallery and published several books chronicling her best work. She has also broken the World Record for the number of tats tattooed in 24 hours (400) and lent her voice to guest appearances in a number of albums.


Fans of American Hot Rod unsatisfied with the lack of motorbike action needn’t fear, as its two-wheeled counterpart American Chopper pushed the pedal to the metal and ran for seven years with as much heated shouting and manly metalwork as one’s heart desires.

As with any show that aired on TLC, it produced a number of controversies, not only from the shop’s owner, Paul Teutul, but especially his son Paul Teutul Jr. In 2007, Paul and his brother Daniel were named in a lawsuit regarding the stripping of assets from the Orange County Ironworks LLC.

Later, Paul fell out with his father after a long history of enraged arguments both on and off the show, and his position on TLC was terminated. Though he attempted to retain a connection to the show in later years, he ultimately decided that it was best if he left for good.


19 Kids and Counting began in 2008 and followed the Duggar family for seven years until the show’s cancellation in 2015. For accuracy, the show was previously known as 17 Kids and Counting, and then 18 Kids and Counting.

The Duggar family are devout Baptists who avoid birth control. Eventually, the show encompassed the two Duggar parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, and their 9 girls and 10 boys. The show explored their religious beliefs and how that affected the children’s upbringing.

In 2015, it was discovered that their eldest son Josh Duggar, had inappropriate contact with vulnerable people, including his siblings.

The show was swiftly pulled from the airwaves, however, its spin-off show Counting On, which features the older Duggar children and their own family, remained on the air.


Though the show has become renowned for its wild arguments, and is slightly tarnished by the falling out of Paul Teutul Sr. and Jr., not every departure from a reality show has to be painted with pain and strife.

Vincent DiMartino was a loyal engineer for Orange County Choppers for five years as one of their finest custom builders. After his employment, DiMartino decided to pack up shop and head on to new pastures, and founded his own company V-Force Customs in 2007.

Though DiMartino’s Chopper tenure was not without its shouting matches, DiMartino insists there’s no bad blood between them, an excerpt from his website FAQ states “I really didn’t have any chance for advancement, and I had always wanted to have my own shop.” He’s still there to this day, and will reappear on American Chopper: Senior vs Junior, bearing the V-Force logo.

The big question is who the fuck are all these people and why do we give a shit?


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