The Met Gala has had some of the most defining moments of pop culture history in the 2000s: Solange and Jay-Z’s elevator fight, Kim Kardashian’s “couch dress” while pregnant with North, and Madonna’s “political statement” (a butt-less dress) in 2016 all happened after they graced the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
You’ll note that a lot of the drama tends to go down after the event itself and once the afterparty kicks off — or doesn’t, as was the case for Eddie Redmayne and Tom Sturridge when they were turned away from Rihanna’s 1 Oak bash in 2017. In some cases, the scandal is just in the arrival, like Elon Musk and Grimes’ triumphant red carpet reveal of their relationship in 2018. At the Met Gala, hosted each year by Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, the guest list alone has caused decades worth of drama in who does and doesn’t make the cut, with Kim Kardashian admitting in a 2019 Vogue video that she knew “no one really wanted me there at the time” when she was first invited in 2013.
That’s the other thing: it’s not just getting in that can be brutal, but having a good time. Gwyneth Paltrow, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, and Lena Dunham have all spoken out about not enjoying themselves whatsoever at this star-studded event.
“I’m never going again,” Paltrow said in 2013 (though she did go again, in 2017 and 2019). “It was un-fun. It was boiling.”
“It is such a jerk parade,” Fey told David Letterman in 2015. “Every jerk from every walk of life is there, wearing, like, some stupid thing. . . I dragged my husband along with me, which I’m still in trouble for. Clearly, I’ll never go again.”
With all that in mind, perhaps we should judge these attendees less harshly, either for their attire or the unusual behavior they might exhibit. After all, it sounds like they’re under a lot of stress…
Read on for the scandalous moments from Met Galas past that made headlines for years to come.