"Has-Been" Isn't A Fair Term At All
I've joined the masses many times in laughing and throwing verbal slimeballs at celebrities who are no longer red hot, careerwise.
"Has-been!" we contemptuously yell in unison, shouting down someone who's already so low in the mud they can barely hear us.
But it's not always fair.
"Has-been" should only be applied with glee if the person actually deserved their decline or somehow brought it on due to rotten behavior and choices.
But having been through my own ups and downs through the years, I know very vividly how being not-hot is often not your fault at all.
People just simultaneously decide you're tired or maybe someone else comes along and distracts their attention for a minute, and they all put you on the shit list at the very same time.
The career chill proves infectious, and soon enough five people aren't contacting you that used to, and then 10, and then 100, and so on, until you can't get arrested even if you do something illegal.
And then, of course, you get another break just by sticking it out, and then you do well with it and start a whole new chapter.
So for those kinds of celebrities--the ones who are out of favor through no fault of their own--let's just refer to them as "fame challenged."
It sounds kinder, and I'm starting to believe there is a hell for those who are mean to helplessly aging show biz types.
Be kind to the fame challenged. They gave you joy once and they just might do so again, with your help.