Hollywood celebrities are celebrities because of more than their music, movies, and legions of adoring Twitter followers. First and foremost, they’re famous because people all over the world pay attention to them when they’re not making movies, music, and Tweeting anything that comes to mind as long as it’s 140 characters or less. But high-level fame comes with a not-so-surprising backlash. The more people pay attention, the more people find out things they don’t like. For some celebrities, that adds up to a lot of things.
Why do people love to hate on celebrities? Suffice it to say that, while female celebrities are typically more unjustly attacked by the media, male celebrities usually come under fire when they make bad movies, write terrible songs, or act like spoiled brats.
Hating these celebrities probably won’t stop them from doing what they do or from banking the millions they do. But loving to hate them, even if we can’t admit it, is often unavoidable.
12. Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix made a pretty good life for himself in Hollywood with movies like Walk the Line. But then something happened that surprised fans and general audiences, leaving them scratching their heads and questioning if Phoenix was really worth the time of day.
In summary, Phoenix grew his hair and beard, wore dark sunglasses at public appearances, and suggested that he would be focusing more on his music career. Not guitar or drums per se, but hip-hop and rapping. Nothing wrong with that, but the whole physical and professional transformation set people in Hollywood aback.
Under his new persona, he released a documentary called I’m Still Here about his forays into music. As it turned out, the whole thing was some sort of ruse. Phoenix was actually playing a character in a performance art piece the entire time. People didn’t like the new Phoenix, and nobody liked being set up as a fool, and it took new movies like Her and The Master to earn him back some respect.
11. Ben Affleck
As an actor, one bad movie choice can make or break your career. Unfortunately for Affleck, he has about four bad choices. Affleck rose to fame with great performances in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused and as the co-writer/actor in the massive hit Good Will Hunting.
But as Kaleem Aftab points out in an article for The Independent, Affleck really became well known for his relationship with Jennifer Lopez, which may have also been the source of his downfall. Movies like Kevin Smith’s Jersey Girl didn’t do him any favors, especially since the movie completely tanked at the box office.
When the casting of Affleck as the new Batman was announced, the public backlash was widespread and immediate. But the negativity surrounding Affleck may be lifting with the well-received Gone Girl and many are open to having their minds changed about Affleck in the upcoming Batflick.
10. Keanu Reeves
Poor, poor Keanu Reeves. At least that’s what most of the internet thought when a photograph of him eating lunch on a New York park bench leaked all over the web. The photograph became a meme and spread like wildfire. But is Keanu Reeves really “Sad Keanu”?
Considering he hadn’t had a box-office hit since 2005, Reeves probably wasn’t too happy with his place in Hollywood, and becoming a laughing stock couldn’t have helped. Reeves admitted in an 2014 interview for ABC News that, although he was paid a whopping $35 million for the first Matrix movie, he “rarely gets approached by the big Hollywood studios anymore.”
However, he seems to have turned it all around with his latest movie, John Wick. The movie earned critical acclaim and at last count it had earned a tidy $73.5 million at the box office worldwide; well over the movie’s $20 million budget.
9. Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill almost inexplicably went from indie comedy star in Superbad to twice Academy Award-nominated actor for his work in Moneyball and Wolf of Wall Street. He has done very, very well for himself in Hollywood over the years, and probably won’t be stopping anytime soon.
But his reputation has been turning sour recently. Not only is he considered an “angry nerd” by producer/director Judd Apatow, but friend and co-star Seth Rogen told press he wouldn’t know “how to approach him”. Dustin Rowles of Pajiba took a good look at an interview Hill did with Rolling Stone and found Hill was stand-offish, very serious, and not willing to answer most questions.
Hill is also under heavy fire especially from the gay community for the homophobic slur he yelled at a paparazzo late last year.
8. Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen is ostensibly a successful Hollywood actor, but whether or not he’s actually a good actor is often debated. Some critics claim that Rogen simply plays the same character over and over again. Some also claim that his humor amounts to nothing less than toilet and penis jokes.
However, Rogen isn’t going anywhere soon. He continues to team up with in-demand actors like Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, and best buddy James Franco to write, produce, direct, and star in his own movies. Why is he so hated, at least in the twitterverse? Maybe it’s that characteristic laugh some people can’t hear without wanting to immediately leave the room. Or, maybe, it’s the legion of “Beliebers” who have teamed up against Rogen after he called Bieber a “huge piece of sh*t” on Twitter.
7. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler presents a certain breed of comedy people can handle for only so long. That includes executives at Sony Entertainment Pictures: After the recent hack leaked mounds of personal emails and conversations, it was revealed that movies execs felt “saddled with the mundane, formulaic Adam Sandler films.”
Some employees questioned whether they should be willing to give up the prospect of making new, interesting movies and continue “paying for Adam Sandler[.] Why?”
If a major Hollywood entertainment corporation like Sony isn’t an indication of the hate going on for Sandler, we aren’t quite sure what is. Even without the negative comments from Sony, most real movie fans find it excruciating to see Grown Ups 2 sweep the box office with massive profits.
6. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen is an actor who reminds us of the glamorous and seemingly consequence-free life of a celebrity: parties, drugs, sex… and hot tiger blood. There’s no sitting on the fence with Sheen; the public either loves him to death or hates his publicized antics.
His loyal fans usually love him for his work in one of the highest-rated television shows, Two and a Half Men. But ever since he was fired from Two and a Half Men, and angered producers in the process, he hasn’t been able to keep out of trouble on his new show, Anger Management.
Co-star Selma Blair was recently let go from the show because she complained to executives about Sheen’s unprofessionalism. Sheen gave the executives an ultimatum: her or me. They chose him.
5. Jaden Smith
Jaden Smith is the teenage son of Will Smith. They recently starred together in M. Night Shyamalan’s film After Earth about a father-and-son team who crash on an alien planet where life has literally evolved to kill all other life. The film mostly shows Jaden running away from scary things in dense jungles and leaping over cliffs (and plot holes) to save his father from certain death. The critical-flop aside, Jaden isn’t very well liked or understood in the Hollywood crowd because of a strange interview he gave with his sister for T Magazine. The consensus is simple: he said some pretty weird things. Jaden discussed the metaphysical properties of time and the phenomenology of life itself. What? Yeah, that’s right.
4. Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf is a good boy turned bad. After successful television shows like Even Stevens on the Disney Channel, and movies like Holes and the Transformers series, Shia did quite well for himself in Hollywood.
But he has hit rock bottom in his career more than once. He performed bizarre “meta-modernist” acts in the public, plagiarized cartoonist Daniel Clowes, and put on art shows that left people scratching their heads. All of that is on top of his drug use and public disturbance arrests. The alleged plagiarism itself left LaBeouf fighting for his career and fame, as celebrities everywhere attacked him on Twitter and other websites. It’s almost like Joaquin Phoenix all over again, and most people don’t like it.
3. Chris Brown
People are usually pretty tolerant when it comes to celebrity pitfalls, but when one of those pitfalls includes a violent assault, especially on another high profile celebrity, people can turn on you in an instant.
That’s what happened to Chris Brown when he brutally assaulted his girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. Pictures of her bloodied and bruised face immediately went viral on the internet, as people everywhere turned their backs on Brown. He was charged for the crime and sentenced to five years’ probation and 180 days of community service. Brown hasn’t been very well liked since then.
2. Justin Bieber
Whether it’s Seth Rogen publicly calling Justin Bieber a douche bag, or fans trying to pick a fight with him on his way to his car, people love to hate this pop-star giant.
Granted, he’s probably an easy target, but that doesn’t stop the cast of SNL from making fun of Bieber’s new Calvin Klein ad where, in black and white, Bieber shows off his muscles and stares squinty-eyed into the camera.
This is all after his run-ins with the law for petty crimes like vandalism. He also doesn’t fare too well with other pop stars like Taylor Swift who can be seen snubbing him at public award shows and events.
1. James Franco
Why would Hollywood hate James Franco? First of all, he sort of makes other Hollywood celebrities look bad. Not only can Franco act in successful dramas and comedies like James Dean and Pineapple Express; he’s also a university graduate, painter, literary writer, and teacher, all while still acting in high-profile movies like The Interview.
It may seem like he can do it all, but his renaissance man exploits don’t make him everyone’s darling. For example, he was photographed sleeping in class, leading people to question how, in fact, he manages to get passing grades. He writes shameless “short stories” about other celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, and completely botched the 2011 Oscars when he and Anne Hathaway co-hosted it. He is looked down on even further because of claims from a former NYU professor who said that Franco had him fired for giving him a low grade. All of these add to one thing: a hate, or at the very least a dislike, from peers and fans alike.