10 Most Controversial People Of 2015

2015 was a special year for one group of people who have hidden in the shadows of society for a long time afraid to speak their mind, but can now do so with an open voice. 2015 may go down as the year that assholes finally came out of the closet and were loud and proud.  Hell, they even got their own presidential candidate (not naming any names!)

From the dark depths of unequivocal depravity to the banality of 15 minutes of fame seekers who started Internet arguments that received way too much attention, here are the most controversial people we covered at Break in 2015… (Or at least that we cared to remember).

1. Martin Shkreli: The Pharma Bro 

In a year that saw that former fat guy from Subway get convicted of child porn, somehow Shkreli still tops our list; that is how big a lowlife this guy is.

  • You may remember Martin Shkreli AKA “Pharma Bro” – the giant douche nozzle hedge fund trader who this past September purchased the lifesaving drug Daraprim which is used to help cancer and AIDS patients.
  • Shkreli then promptly raised the price of the drug from $13.50 a pill to $750, an insane %5000 increase that brought down on him the wrath of the internet, presidential candidates and I believe even ISIS thought this guy was a bit extreme.
  • He didn’t stop there and in the beginning of December again caused controversy when he used his blood money to purchase the only existing copy of the Wu Tang Clan’s new, unheard “work of art” album for $2 million dollars and refused to release it to the public.
  • Thankfully this nice young man was arrested only a few weeks after that for another of his genius business arrangements. The FBI arrested him in mid-December on charges of securities fraud in a Bernie Madoff style Ponzi scheme he was running for another firm. We were treated to some sweet pics of his arrest:

2. Dr. Walter Palmer: The Cecil The Lion Killer 

  • Dr. Walter Palmer of Minnesota loves two things; a good clean tooth and a good clean kill. When the successful dentist isn’t capping teeth, he is putting a cap in the ass of big game animals in Africa. This hobby got him in some hot water after a hunting expedition to Zimbabwe in July resulted in the death of a beloved lion named “Cecil” who lived in one of that country’s national parks. Whoops!
  • Palmer paid about $54,000 dollars to shoot the lion with a bow and arrow. Conservation groups in Zimbabwe say that Cecil lived in the Hwange National Park where it is illegal to hunt the animals. Palmer lured the lion a half mile out of the park at night using bait and then shot him, but Cecil didn’t die at first and was not found until the next day. Then Palmer and his hunting party finished him off, before beheading and skinning Cecil. They also removed his GPS collar, something that would have also been against the law inside the park.The Internet went crazy over this guy with animal lovers protesting his dental office until he had to close shop, and his Yelp page getting a few nasty comments; and by a few I mean hundreds.
  • Even people who thought it would be funny to dress up as Walter Palmer for Halloween were treated like first class assholes.
  • Actress Ashley Benson felt the heat when she posted a pic of her Halloween costume saying; “Help! Can’t decide on my Halloween costume this year! What do you guys think of this Cecil the lion costume? @yandy #thanksyandy #halloweencostume.”

3. Ahmed Mohamed: The Clock “Bomb” Kid 

  • When teachers at an Irving Texas High school discovered a student’s homemade clock at school instead of applauding his budding interest in building technology, they called authorities. While a police spokesperson agrees that they “had no reason to think it was dangerous,” they still arrested Ahmed Mohamed for making a “bomb hoax.” FYI, Irving police were quick to deny that his skin color or Muslim religion had anything to do with the arrest.
  • Mohamed was taken to the principal’s office where he was threatened with expulsion. When the local police arrived he was interrogated by five police officers for several hours who kept insisting he tried to make a bomb.
  • The Internet and the nation quickly rushed to the defense of both sides with some saying the student was the victim of racial profiling, while others said the teachers did the right thing in the interest of better safe than sorry.
  • Some, including  famed biologist Richard Dawkins even suggested that his “clock invention” was a fraud and he merely took apart an old clock and put it back together.
  • Yada, yada, Obama invited him to the White House, he dropped out and is now suing his former school for $15 million in damages.  

4. Rachel Dolezal: The White Lady Pretending To Be African American, Working As Civil Rights Leader

  • One of the weirdest stories of someone causing controversy in 2015 was that of the then president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP who it was revealed had lied for years about her true identity as a white woman.
  • Dolezal presented her adopted brothers, who were African American as her biological sons. She also claimed another African American man was her father, while disassociating from her real family.
  • Her mother and father, both white, came forward to reveal that she was born a white woman in Montana of German and Czech ancestry. They decided to reveal her story after she claimed in the press to be a victim of hate crimes.
  • Later Dolezal in an interview said that; "I acknowledge that I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black."
  • While your Fox News watching uncle might have read this story and screamed, “Ya, see!? I told ya!”- Everyone else was pretty much like “Told us what? We all agree this lady is crazy.”

5. Josh Duggar: The Wholesome Reality TV Star That Did A Lot Of Horrible Things

  • The Duggar family, who follow a belief system dictating that women be used like a PEZ dispenser of babies, lost their TLC reality show 19 Kids And Counting.
  • The hit reality show was canceled by the network after it was revealed parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar covered up Josh’s molesting of his sisters when he was a teenager. While they have since attempted several apologies, the bizarre revelations about Josh Duggar, have kept coming.
  • Josh himself acknowledged his hypocrisy in a recent statement after it was revealed that he had an Ashley Madison account and was addicted to porn.
  • In August a porn star named “Danica Dillon,” real name Ashley Lewis says that she was paid $1,500 for twice having what she describes as “terrifying sex” with Josh Duggar. At the time, the married Duggar who also worked as a “traditional marriage” lobbyist and his wife Anna were expecting their fourth child. Whoops.

6. Darla Neugebauer: The Diner Owner Who Yelled At  A Screaming Toddler

  • OK so this lady is by no means on the level of some of the folks on here. Like I said, these people created controversy -and boy did she ever.
  • In what I picture as one of those humorous wildly different reenactments you see in sitcoms when one side explains what happened and then the other, Neugebauer claims that the parents of a two year old ordered three huge pancakes for the kid and then refused to give them to her.
  • This caused this child to cry for at least an HOUR, annoying other patrons and staff. Finally Neugebauer had enough, saying: “I chose to yell at a kid. It made her shut up, which made me happy, it made my staff happy, it made the other 75 people dining here happy, and they left.”
  • The mother of the screaming kid took to the Facebook account of Marcy’s Diner in Portland Maine to say;

  • Then, Marcy’s Diner fired back with this:

  • The Internet took sides and one of the greatest controversies of 2015 unfolded.
  • This is why I love mom and pop operations. They are not afraid of being fired by their corporate overlords and they do not have to take your crap. The customer is not always right; the customer is just a person and people are assholes. That’s not to say that this lady is correct; we have no idea what actually happened in that restaurant.

7. This Waitress: Who Was Angry Over Getting “LOL”  For A Tip

  • Here is another restaurant staff member that ignited a lot of controversy in 2015.
  • While minimum wage in the state is $8.38, restaurant servers in New Jersey make $2.50 an hour and work for tips. One Rutgers University student trying to pay her way through school by waiting tables at D’Jais Bar and Grill in Belmar got that $2.50… and an “LOL” in place of a monetary tip for a bill totaling $112.03. 
  • The words “1 hour for food” were written on the receipt, and the waitress is took to social media and the news to express her total outrage.
  • For waitress Jess Jones this was no laughing matter.  The 20-year-old says she waited on a table of eight during a busy time at the restaurant and while they DID have to wait an hour, she did the best she can. In a Facebook post being shared by sympathizers Jones made her case writing:  
  • "Last night, I was stunned by this receipt that was left for me by a party of eight people. I would have preferred a '$0' tip than a 'LOL' tip, but as a waitress, bad tips and harsh notes are all part of the job. Even though they did wait an hour to eat, they remained satisfied with filled drinks and proper notice that the kitchen was a bit busier than normal. I've worked in the service industry for five years and I take pride in providing great service to my customers."
  • It turns out that people on both sides have a LOT of pent up rage when it comes to the issue of tipping restaurant staff and this story quickly went viral.

8. Petra Laszlo: The Camerawoman Who Tripped Refugees

  • The delightful Hungarian camerawoman named Petra Laszlo, who while covering the Syrian refugee crisis was filmed tripping and kicking refugees.
  • Maybe she was trying to make this story more interesting? Got to bump up those ratings, yeah?  I guess hundreds of human beings clutching their children and running for their lives wasn’t compelling enough news.
  • No matter your political feelings on the refugee crisis, the woman is clearly seen kicking a child in a video clip that had the Internet literally calling for her head.
  • She was immediately fired from her job at news outlet N1TV, and is facing a criminal trial. She then filed a lawsuit against one of those refugees carrying a child that she tripped- and also Facebook.
  • She claims that while the social media network deleted Facebook groups that supported her, they allowed groups that threatened her personal safety to continue. This resulted in many threats of violence including a $20,000 “bounty on her head.”

9. Kim Davis: The Gay Marriage Lady 

  • What I love about Kim Davis is that she will forever be remembered as “the gay marriage lady.” Whoops!
  • You recall Davis as the Kentucky County Clerk who refused to marry two men despite it being her job (and most importantly the couple's right) to do so. She subsequently denied licenses to all gay couples in the county.
  • After being jailed for a few weeks for refusing to literally do what she was elected for, Kim Davis was released into the loving arms of Gov. Mike Huckabee.
  • Which song did she decide to use in order to celebrate at her rally? Survivor's Eye of the Tiger. And Survivor band members were thinking of suing Davis for using their song without permission.
  • Regardless the ordeal, she survived and so did gay marriage. USA! USA! USA!

10. The Person At Airbus Who Designed this Airline Seating System

  • Hey you know what would make air travel more fun? Combine the hellish experience of flying jam packed with strangers for hours with the experience of a summer camp bunk bed complete with smelly feet and a fat kid crop dusting from above.
  • While at first I thought this was a hoax, it appears that airplane manufacturing company Airbus has filed an actual patent for the design that seems more appropriate as a trap for one of those Saw movies.
  • The recently filed patent is being referred to as the “mezzanine design” featuring two levels of passengers in a standard cabin. The second level of seats would replace the overhead bins to store your carryon luggage. Which is really smart; you want to cram people on top of each other and then piss them off because they have nowhere to put their bags.

So let us look forward to a 2016 filled with even more controversial people, terrible assholes and total depravity. I’m sure the Internet won’t disappoint us. Cheers, Happy New Year!

Who did you find controversial in 2015 that I missed? (Besides those politicians you hate.)

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney