Hate is as old as love…and just as powerful. People also frequently misuse the words for dramatic effect; most of us don’t "love" pizza the way we love our partners, parents or children, and only a few (thank god) "hate" kale with the same fervor as they hate genocide. But extremes make great press and hating celebrities has been a favorite American pastime since silent movies were all the rage, and red carpet ceremonies were non-existent.
It's somewhat surprising that it took so long for the word "haters" to emerge. The word is thought to have been coined by 3LW, a girl group who used the line "haters gonna hate" back in 2001 in their hit song Playas Gon' Play. The phrase was immediately embraced by pop culture and is still commonly used to dismiss sources of negativity. The term is usually associated with comments posted in public forums either for cyber bullying or to diss individuals or groups with opposing views.
Thankfully, hating celebrities is generally innocuous. Reasons for hating stars ranges from plain old-fashioned jealousy to disagreeing with their child rearing practices, romantic partner picks, lifestyle and career choices or political views. It's all in good fun…unless you're a targeted star who's sensitive to odious comments from strangers.
E-Poll.com has conducted annual surveys on celebrity popularity for several years but seem to include only movie stars. Many other sites also solicit fan feedback on all types of stars including musicians and enigmatic stars like Kim Kardashian. This list is based on opinions from all over the web.
11 Sean Penn
With Penn, the pendulum is in constant motion. He was the beloved rebel in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, one of his first hits. From there he went on to play heavy-duty roles in I Am Sam, Dead Man Walking and Milk, all of which had socio-political undertones. But it's not Penn's roles that make him hated; it's his generally nasty attitude and frequent temper tantrums that fuel the fire. He has a propensity for blondes (Robin Wright and current squeeze Charlize Theron) who must know the secret for bringing out his kinder, gentler side.
10 10. Miley Cyrus
Cyrus had a big strike against her from the get-go by being the daughter of mullet-coiffed, one-hit-wonder Billy Ray Cyrus. She became an icon as Hannah Montana on the Disney channel and then had the audacity to grow up. Granted, she went a bit over the top with her transition but those who wanted her to indefinitely remain a chaste teenybopper turned on her in a minute. After a few months of wild antics, she started dating Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. The venom has momentarily subsided except for those sad mothers who wanted their daughters to stop maturing at age 12 and blame Cyrus for ruining their dreams.
9 Zac Efron
You'd think a kid who starred in several versions of High School Musical would be America's sweetheart as an adult but Efron has got plenty of critics. Some claim he has no talent, others say he's too full of himself, and others pick on the guy for his looks. It's probably more likely he's hated for being really good looking and getting a lot of attention, deserved or not. Maybe he just needs a juicy leading role in a non-musical to prove his mettle…or not.
8 Justin Bieber
Bieber has the distinction of being one of the biggest music stars "discovered" on YouTube. Teenage girls went wild (doesn't take much) over his baby face and sweet lyrics; teenage boys made fun of his shallow songs and high voice. Bieber went from being a teen heartthrob to a misbehaving adolescent seemingly overnight, wreaking havoc at parties and engaging in minor acts of vandalism. As he edged closer to 21, Bieber appeared to be cleaning up his act. Only time will tell if this is just another phase he's going to keep acting out.
7 Joaquin Phoenix
Many people tend to hate what they don't understand; think alternate beliefs and inborn sexuality. For years, Phoenix was simply known as a talented actor who shone in a wide range of roles. Then he jumped the track, appearing on talk shows with alternate personalities and proclaiming he'd given up acting for music (a lie). Nobody to this day knows what image (if any) Phoenix was trying to project and a lot of fans seemed to take his adventure personally. Most recently, Phoenix has displayed a modicum of normality, so maybe some fans will return to the fold.
6 Taylor Swift
Right or wrong, country singers don't traditionally get the praise and attention of pop, hip-hop and rock stars. Swift debuted as a poorly dressed country bumpkin with a bad hairdo. Her trademarks soon became protecting her precious virginity and trashing every guy she dated in her self-penned love songs. She had supporters in the country world but she was determined to transition her work to pop charts. Ignoring her detractors, Swift pushed forward and succeeded. Nothing gets up the ire of haters like success in the face of criticism…except maybe a few Grammy awards.
5 Amanda Bynes
At first glance, Bynes usually appears to be drunk or addled by drugs. But as news sources dug deeper, it seemed like she might be suffering from mental maladies. Regardless of what is causing her erratic behavior, Bynes repeatedly refused help or treatment from friends and family. In recent weeks, she's drifted in and out of clarity, often being caught on video tape at low-end diners in Los Angeles. Once one of the most promising young ingénues on the rise, her success today is measured by how many coherent sentences she can string together.
4 Lindsay Lohan
Another young star with promise and (questionable) acting talent, Lohan can't seem to drive a car without crashing or stay out of rehab for more than a few weeks. Several judges went easy on her, giving her community service rather than jail time. But Lohan managed to screw that up too, trying to use her time performing in a London stage production as credit towards her service to the community. Rumor has it her antics may land her in the pokey but odds are she'll change lawyers and be given yet another chance.
3 Gwyneth Paltrow
Nothing is more irritating than a celebrity who professes to know the secrets to happy living – unless it's one who decides to share her wisdom with the masses. Paltrow always had a problem with coming off as elitist but when she launched a website to "educate" the common folk, even her dedicated fans backed off in droves. Worst of all, the products and services she pandered were too expensive for most people to try. When her "perfect" marriage dissolved, many people cheered her failure. Paltrow took the split in stride, which was even more irritating.
2 Kim Kardashian
No celebrity hate list would be complete without including the most hated Kardashian. And there's a veritable list of reasons to choose from to dislike Kim. There's the sex tape, the insincerity of several of her so-called marriages. Or if those things don't bother you, how about her vapid demeanor, apparent lack of any talent whatsoever, or choice to bring a toddler to an elegant fashion show. The greatest part is that she does not seem to care at all about what people think, which must be tough when you receive hate from people all over the world. At the end of the day, hated or not this girl is laughing all the way to the bank.
1 Anne Hathaway
No one is quite sure why Anne Hathaway makes so many hated celebrity lists. She seems quite gracious in interviews, her acting skills are good, if not magnificent, and she doesn't appear to have a beef with anyone in particular, famous or otherwise. Granted, she probably should have been fined or somehow punished for that deplorable attempt at hosting the Oscars with James Franco but she didn't write the material and she can't be blamed for Franco's off-putting delivery. Perhaps some haters just naturally seethe over nice, pretty girls that get to play princesses.