The social media scorn has been so strong, other celebrities are stepping forward to defend her.
Today it was Anne Hathaway’s turn.
“It’s become pretty clear that the Jennifer Lawrence ‘scolding’ was taken out of context and that she was dryly joking with a journalist who was indeed using his phone to take photos of her,” she wrote on her Facebook page today (Jan. 15).
“Let’s not continue the sad but common practice of building people — especially women — up just to viciously tear them down when we perceive them to have misstepped,” she added.
Hathaway would know. She went through her own intense period of social media derision because critics thought she was “just too perfect.” She was even tagged with the nickname Anne “Hatahate.”
Her personality was so sunny critics claimed she was faking it. Coupled with a tendency to take herself very seriously, she was accused of being too “smug and self-important,” according to The Washington Post.
Forget the fact that she’s immensely talented and has won numerous awards including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 2012 musical “Les Misérables.”
She was also pilloried for her performance as co-host of the 2013 Oscars with James Franco. Many critics called it “the worst show ever.”
Lawrence seems to be suffering from the same predicament.
Her stellar acting has earned her an Academy Award and four nominations. She’s also won three Golden Globes. This year, she won Best Actress, comedy, for her role in “Joy.” And, she’s been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.
She exudes sensuality and sexiness, yet her self-deprecating humor and locker room jocularity makes her seem humble, totally grounded and immensely likable.
But all that changed in an instant. Suddenly, she’s a person everyone loves to hate.
Lawrence was answering questions at a backstage news conference when the incident unfolded. Her demeanor didn’t help.
She looked like an imperious Princess Diana in a red sleeveless dress and a diamond-studded necklace. Her hair, combed over and pulled back tightly, added to her sternness.
She seemed impatient and self-entitled behind the microphone on the high stage.
The reporter, struggling with halting English, tried to ask her what she thought about her upcoming Oscar chances. Instead of answering, she started wagging her finger in disapproval.
“You can’t live your whole life behind a phone, bro,” she said. “You can’t do that; you have to live in the now,” she added making a face as the room broke out in titters.
The reporter asked the question again. She cut him off mid-sentence. “We’re at the Golden Globes,” she chided. “If you’d put your phone down, you might have known that,” she said with a reproving nod.
The reporter switched topics and asked her how she felt about working with actor Édgar Ramírez, who played her character’s ex-husband.
Lawrence answered the question thoughtfully, calling Ramirez “phenomenal.” But the damage was done.
Her scolding overshadowed everything else. She was criticized for failing to take into account the reporter might have needed the phone to assist him with his English.
A video of the incident hit YouTube and the social media backlash began. It’s still roiling a week later.
“She was rude. He was trying to read the question to say it correctly,” wrote one commenter.
“Total dick move,” wrote another.
“She needs to get over herself,” added a third.
But not all the comments have been negative. Some claim the reporter was trying to take photos and video with his phone and was being annoying.
Whatever the case, Hathaway suggested that enough was enough.
“Jennifer is a beautiful, talented, wildly successful, popular, FOUR TIME OSCAR NOMINATED young woman. Please let us not punish her for these things.” Hathaway wrote trying to quell the invective.
Lawrence hasn’t helped herself by not commenting or clarifying the situation.
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