You may know Danny DeVito best as taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the television series Taxi. And which earned him a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award. However, he also appeared in numerous films. And more recently, has made a name for himself as Frank Reynolds in the sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Despite his frequent appearances in film and television, Danny DeVito is one of those celebrities who doesn’t get much coverage in tabloids. But this doesn’t mean his career has been completely without controversy! Join Facts Verse as we explore every moment Danny DeVito got caught in the middle of controversy.
A Turbulent Marriage
In 1971, Danny DeVito was a cast member for The Shrinking Bride, an off-broadway play. Rhea Perlman attended one of the shows with a friend, and happened to meet DeVito during the occasion. Apparently sparks flew, because they moved in together only two weeks later. In less than a year, they married. Throughout their love career, they’ve had three children together, but it wasn’t meant to be. The couple called it quits and officially separated in 2017.
The unusual part of this story is that they refuse to officially divorce. And even though they’ve long decided to live separate lives.
DeVito says that they’ve remained very close throughout and after their separation. Perlman says it’s simply because they married for over 40 years. They grew so close throughout their marriage that they still have a lot in common – not to mention three children together.
Fans of both Perlman and DeVito have been vocal in expressing their confusion about the unusual marriage. Apparently, their situation is easy because they still agree on important issues. It’s so easy, that neither have any intention of getting divorced!
Taken Down by Twitter
Recently, DeVito found himself in hot water for a simple Tweet. You may know of the food brand Nabisco, the company behind Oreos, Chips Ahoy and many other beloved snacks. Nabisco works went on strike in the US, and in the process, called for a boycott on the popular Nabisco products that people love so much. They specifically had issues with changes to their work schedules and healthcare plans, with Nabisco proposing 12-hour shifts and even outsourcing jobs to Mexico.
DeVito clearly supported this cause, as he tweeted out “NO CONTRACTS, NO SNACKS”, defending the rights of the Nabsico employees. With over 4 million followers on Twitter, DeVito’s words carried some weight.
Many others supported DeVito and tweeted their support for Nabisco workers. People seemed to agree that if Nabisco could enjoy billions of dollars in profits. And they could afford to support their workers with fair wages and better working conditions.
However, shortly following his tweet, DeVito lost the prized blue check mark on his Twitter account. This symbol verifies his identity, and many social media users view it as the ultimate sign of internet notoriety.
A Twitter spokesperson quickly made a statement, informing the public that the removal of the blue check mark was only due to incomplete profile information. In fact, it didn’t have anything to do with DeVito’s tweet in support of Nabisco workers. However, given that DeVito has been on Twitter since 2009, the timing of this incident is a little convenient.
DeVito’s blue check mark returned to his account in a few days. Fortunately, the issue of his check mark removal may have brought even more attention to Nabisco employees, and inspired many to take action.
Danny DeVito didn’t hold back when it came to the Oscars’ diversity controversy. He has always been vocal about the Academy’s discrimination. And which he says represents America’s politics in general, not just the movie industry.
He expressed his disappointment by saying that the entire country is racist. The actor told the Associated Press at the Sundance Film Festival that actors discriminated against for their race despite giving great performances in film.
Danny DeVito is one of the many titans of the movie industry who have spoken out about the lack of African American nominees. Again, he says the issue is that the country as a whole is racist – not just those in Hollywood.
DeVito quickly joined by Don Cheadle and Sam Niell, who also supported DeVito’s views on discrimination in Hollywood.
This was in 2016, and many celebrities, including the likes of Will Smith, vowed to boycott the ceremonies until things improved. Sadly, now five years later, it’s unclear if we’ve made any progress. The question is whether these actors have burned any bridges by boycotting Hollywood’s most significant awards ceremonies. Danny DeVito, at least, seems to remain busy.
DeVito stands at just 4 feet 10 inches tall, which, as you can imagine, makes it difficult to land roles in an industry that favors tall, muscular men. DeVito’s stature is due to a condition called Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia, which impacts bone growth and restricts his height. It’s estimated that 1 in 10,000 people are affected by this condition, and DeVito somehow turned it into a career advantage.
Although his height made him insecure as a child, he had a supportive group of friends and family that had his back. Eventually, he decided the best way to overcome his insecurity was to develop a bold personality and become an actor.
Of course, given his height, he considerably limited in the roles he can play. Furthermore, DeVito says he doesn’t play a good victim, which means he always ends up playing a mean little guy. Luckily, there seems to be a lot of demand for that kind of character!
The role of Phil in Hercules actually written with DeVito in mind. As the character is a stocky satyr who perfectly embodies DeVito’s “mean little guy”.
DeVito’s stature also made him the perfect candidate for his role as The Penguin in Batman Returns. A character who is said to have deformed and raised by penguins.
So while his lack of height may limit DeVito’s roles, it also makes him the stand-out candidate for roles that require a shorter actor. Many would agree that somebody like DeVito would have a hard time making a name for themselves in Hollywood. But he used his height and personality to become one of the most coveted actors in the industry.
To date, he appeared in over 140 films and television shows, won 14 awards with countless other nominations, and has enjoyed a career that’s lasted for decades. It turns out being type-cast for height isn’t so bad.
DeVito’s Prom Date
The next one is not as controversial as cute, but this viral story is worth sharing.
A Pennsylvania high school student by the name of Allison took a cardboard cutout of DeVito to her prom. The story made national news, getting coverage on Time magazine, Associated Press and more. It wasn’t long before the news reached DeVito himself.
However, it was DeVito’s co-star on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rob McElhenney, who hatched an idea for the perfect response. McElhenney made an Instagram post to share it.
While Allison took a cardboard cutout of Danny DeVito to prom, Danny DeVito took a cardboard cutout of Allison to Paddy’s. Paddy’s, of course, is the famous pub that hosts many episodes of It’s Always Sunny. The picture of DeVito has shared widely online, with one image getting upvoted over 130,000 times on Reddit.
After their response went viral, Allison responded to McElhenney’s tweet with excitement, caught totally of guard by the actor’s reaction. She later explained her decision in-detail on her YouTube channel. In lieu of having an actual person to take to prom, she decided to purchase the DeVito cardboard cutout on Amazon and take it instead.
Alison knows DeVito’s career well, remembering his roles in Matilda, Hercules and of course, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She is a true fan in every sense of the word, and so it was only natural to take him to the prom with her – even if he made of cardboard. Her dad must be a fan too, because he was in on the joke and participated in the YouTube video. He joked that although DeVito was quite a bit older than Allison, he knows he’s a nice man and will treat her respectfully.
Allison earned tons of support from internet users, called adorable and an instant legend. One of her classmates said she was overwhelmed by photographers on her way to prom, who were all snapping pictures of her Hollywood date. She says it made it feel like she was actually on a real date with DeVito – which was a dream come true.
This story inspired countless responses, as many people have shared photos of themselves with Danny DeVito cutouts. One person shared their photo of cardboard Danny DeVito looking after their dog, while another posted how their DeVito cutout accompanies them to work every day, and loves doing so.
That wraps up our list of times when Danny DeVito got caught in controversy. What do you think? Is Danny DeVito too controversial for Hollywood, or has he earned his right to be controversial with his impressive career? Let us know in the comments. And before you go, make sure to hit the like button and subscribe to Facts Verse for more videos! Click the bell icon to stay updated on our latest content.