It’s hard to believe that Adam Sandler was once one of the most successful comedy actors in Hollywood. But since his glory days, Sandler has tumbled pretty hard. In flop after flop, his career appears beyond repair. What’s really behind Sandler’s stagnant trajectory?
Costly and Crappy
The infamous Sony hacks from 2014 revealed that Sandler was regarded by many studio executives as a waste of money. One Sony employee wrote:”We continue to be saddled with mundane, formulaic Adam Sandler films.” Another exec said that Sandler’s excessive private jet usage on the studio’s dime was”stressing [him] out.” He went on to detail trips of Sandler’s costing in excess of $68,000 a flight. Perhaps, suggested the executive, Netflix—with whom Sandler had recently partnered—could share the costs of the failing star’s offices on the lot, which ran the studio $2 million a year.Then again, maybe not…
Sandler’s first release of his four-picture deal with Netflix, The Ridiculous 6, garnered publicity in all the wrong ways. During filming, a dozen Native American actors walked off-set after hearing what they felt were racist jokes. But when it was finally released, the movie actually set a record as the most-watched film on Netflix within its first 30 days. Then again, the film was harshly criticized for what many saw as its racist concept andunder tones. The Ridiculous 6 managed to score a ridiculous 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Print is Dead…To Him
Sandler himself doesn’t seem interested in challenging his unfavorable media portrayal. After press junkets for Billy Madison, he apparently read some unfavorable descriptions of himself and decided to stop talking to print journalists altogether—an arrangement no one really seems to mind. These days, Sandler’s Twitter feed, perhaps his best means of reaching fans, is hardly engaging.
No Ladies’ Man
Sandler has also earned a bad marks for his portrayals and relationships with women in Hollywood. In June of 2016, actress Rose McGowan tweeted out a casting notice she’d received for one of Sandler’s movies that encouraged women auditioning to wear “form-fitting tanks that show off cleavage—push-up bras encouraged.” Soon after calling out Sandler on Twitter, McGowan said she was fired by her agent, and a social media outcry erupted. Meanwhile, at a premiere for Hotel Transylvania 2, he and co-star Kevin James, both in what appeared to be gym clothes, were photographed next to a very dressed-up Selena Gomez. The images sparked a debate online about double standards for men and women in Hollywood. And seriously, c’mon guys—you don’t own shirts with buttons? Sandler may have played a girl in Jack and Jill, but he doesn’t seem to relate well with them.
Comedy posses are no new phenomena, especially among SNL alumni. But Sandler’s insistence on working time and again with actors like David Spade, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider may be preventing him from reaching younger fans. He did hire Natasha Leggero for his Netflix release The Do-Over, but relegated her to a supporting “crazy wife” role, leaving the more substantial acting to David Spade. In the case of The Do-Over, this resulted in yet another slew of disastrous reviews. But hey, at least it earned higher praise than his previous outing! Where The Ridiculous 6 had a mind-boggling 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Do-Over blows it out of the water with…a five percent.
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