A Challenge: Why is the Celebrity you HATE so popular?

Bob Smith is a no-talent hack who shouldn’t even have a career and yet is hugely famous and adored by millions.

Giving credit where credit is due, there’s got to be some reason why success came to Bob- why it is him and not somebody else. However, we hate Bob SO MUCH that it may be really difficult to figure it out.

In this Thread let’s try to come up with reasons why the celebrities we hate are so popular. Now it’s really easy to just go cynical and say, *“The public are mindless drones who will gobble up anything that Hollywood puts in front of them!” * or “Hollywood is afraid of true artists because they are difficult to manipulate!” or “He comes from a Showbiz family, his career was handed to him!” There may be an element of truth in these kinds of rants, but let’s challenge ourselves to come up with something a little more thoughtful.

The Rules are Simple
Tell us the famous celebrity who you hate. (Try to come up with someone you REALLY can’t stomach.) Then try to come up with some good reasons to explain their popularity. I know it’s hard, that’s what makes it interesting. (Actually, I’m hoping you folks are better at this than me. It was really difficult for me to give any credit at all to the guy I picked!)

Kevin Costner

I hate Hate HATE Kevin Costner. But I think it is to his credit how he was able, early on, to appeal to both men and women. Romantic themed Sports movies or Sports themed Romantic movies really did this for him. He was able to do films that women liked without coming off soft to men. He maintained an image of a guy’s kinda guy- someone who blue-collar men felt comfortable saying they liked. His classic kind of good looks were always very appealing to older women (a demographic often ignored by Hollywood), I can attest to this as I worked at a video store about 12 years ago (when K.C. was at the height of his fame) and all the 50’s-ish women who came into the store always had a Kevin Costner itch to scratch.

There you have it. That’s the best I can come up with. Now who have you got??? Feel free to comment on each others choices too!

I hate Renee Zellweger. Can’t stand her. She’s a talentless, too-skinny wench who takes parts away from hard-working Brit actresses (Bridget Jones - grrrrr!). After going up to a size 12 to play the aforementioned role, she complained that she felt “gross and obese” - hello, all you teenage girls who are starting to hate your developing bodies because they don’t conform to unrealisitc Hollywood standard of beauty? You’re right, you are fat and disgusting, Renee says so! Better get yourselves an eating disorder quick! She proved in “Chicago” that only can’t she sing, she has a body like knots on string and is about as sexy as a plank of wood, yet she still lands all these plum leading roles! I could forgive her all of that, but she can’t actually act. And what was that accent all about in BJD??? NO-ONE talks like that!!!

So what is her appeal? I guess because she’s not beautiful she’s non-threatening - sort of the girl next door type. And she’s the Meg Ryan of the 21st century - can’t handle anything with substance, but man, can she do kooky! You know, she plays the sort of part that if you met in real life you’d want to slap, but people seem to find it endlessly appealing in it’s cinematic form.

Still want to smash in that stupid, moon-like face of hers with a brick though…

The perfect actor for this thread:

Keanu Reeves.

Everybody agrees he has no talent, and no brains. But he has that boyish appeal that chicks dig, and he stars in action movies and comedies that require no thinking. These are the types of films that guys can take their dates to see and know she won’t object.

Woody Allen. The man has no talent and is morally bankrupt. Even before the whole Mia/Soon-Yi thing, I could not stand him.

But his pretenious movies do appeal to people who like to think: I’m so above the masses. I appreciate Woody Allen movies.

P diddy.
He rode BigE’s tails (and his death) and he sampled a lot of good songs.
I guess he worked pretty hard too. But hey, I work hard.

Tom Cruise
Very average actor with dead eyes. All pretty boy front, but with corrupting stench of an aching, corroded soul. One day he’s going to peel off his face, revealing a shadowy, empty skull that stretches back into infinity and a masterplan from the lizard creatures of Zogg to enslave earth. (Or is that just Scientology? I forget.)

People like him because he is superficially attractive and he gets cast in expensive block-busting movies that don’t require much in the way of depth. He delivers his lines without upsetting the director.

But then, people are idiots, we know that.

Sarah McLachlan.

Oh, anyone can pick on Keanu and Tom. My least favourite celebrity is the singer/songwriter maximus herself. I have explained at great length in the past why Sarah McLachlan is a talentless hack and won’t go into that here.

She’s popular, though, because she A) is expertly marketed, and B) was expertly marketed as a “singer/songwriter” right at the beginning of that particular wave. That gave her the momentum to put out two albums that were almost exact copies of her previous album and even create an entire music tour made up of “singer/songwriters,” making her in effect Queen Of The Singer/Songwriter. Her music, repetitive though it is, is a perfectly composed combination of standard pop riffs and beats with the mixes, arrangements and vocal stylings of Kate Bushesque alt-pop, giving it both mass appeal and the pseudo-gravitas of more inventive music. The combination of sound and her status as “singer/songwriter” creates a sort of Emperor’s New Music feel - it MUST be incredible music, because well, she’s… artsy! She’s a singer/songwriter, doncha know? Look at that poster, she’s wearing artsy clothes!

The appeal to the 20’s-30’s yuppie demographic is obvious; it’s harmless fluff but pretends to be momentous and artistic. You can be part of the crowd without listening to something that is transparently vanilla, like Hootie or Britney. It’s sort of the same idea as Riverdance, a pile of steamping claptrap that pretends to be some spiritually ethnic celebration. Granted, Sarah McLachlan’s music is better than Riverdance and not quite as obviously kitschy, but it’s the same species of product.

It fills a demand, but most importatly, it helped create the demand, because she was one of the first of this wave.

Jennifer Lopez

Can’t sing, can’t act, comes across as being a conceited bitch by trying to appeal to the mass market by pretending to be one of them (Jenny From The Block anyone?)

The appeal? She apparently has the best seat in the house. Like many of today’s celebrities it all comes down to looks rather than talent.

Madonna - Aweful singer, terrible songwriter, horrible actress, marketing genius.

Madonna - Aweful singer, terrible songwriter, horrible actress, marketing genius.

O.K, c’mon people, you’re not really getting into the spirit of the OP mmm’ kay?. You’re meant to try and SELL us this person that you hate, not spend ages slagging them off (fun though that is), then slipping in one thing that might be good, reluctantly as a sulky teenager, at the end.
Here I go- (concentrated very hard on not giving into bad vibes emanting from my very soul)

Mariah Carey. Mariah has the happy knack of choosing many very trendy collaborators and producers, that let her appear “ghetto” and “cool”, whilst at the same time she also produces enough sweet love ballads to keep her core audience happy. Many people believe she has a good singing voice. She is not too shy when it comes to appearing sexy and provactive in her videos etc, keeping the men happy too.

You see, that wasn’t so hard. (Actually it was. I am now a huge angry knot of unspent rage- may have to go to the pit and start a no-holds-barred thread about celebrities you love to hate.)

And Jennyrosity if Renne Zellweger really said that stuff about feeling gross and obese, then I hate her too now. Congrats! you’ve made a convert out of me.

Jim Carey is immensly popular because the masses have no taste or intelligence to insult, and he either knows this or is just plain lucky.

She told me she loved me like a brother. She was from Arkansas, hence the Joy!

Mike Myers has the most annoying, cloying, coying, smile in media.

She did, in an interview with the Sunday Times just prior to the release of Bridget Jones’ Diary. Even though it was a few years ago, I still remember because it made my blood boil.

Sting accepted the position of opening act of the Olympics, which I am sure many equally gifted artistes turned down; but somebody had to do it, right? Sting stepped up where no one else had the guts. You just have to respect his ability to withstand the harsh glare of the spotlights. Additionally, in his tirelessness in supporting art for art’s sake, Sting has to be acknowledged. He is deeply involved in the current refurbishing work on the David, by Michaelangelo. Experts in the field of sculpture think the statue should be left alone, or possibly give a mild bath to remove a layer of dust, but luckily, Sting and another knowlegeable guy, Mel Gibson, have donated gobs of money so that the Italian government can go forward with plans to give Dave an acid bath, and remove all that old wax and stuff that’s been protecting it since…mmmmm well, maybe since Michaelangel rubbed it on by hand. Luckily, Sting is an expert on art and all matters of taste, and so his money can overrule idiotic scholars and experts. I am so glad that I personally bought some of his music many years ago, and therefore have, in my own small way, been able to support him in his goals.

And the reporter in the Guardian said she couldn’t understand why Sting is hated so much.

Also, in his mid-90s movie career (1994-1996) his movies appealed to young children and teenage boys. They loved his fart jokes and zany faces. And if children love a movie, it does really well at the box office because they don’t mind seeing it over and over again, not to mention video sales afterwards. Jim Carrey only does really well in movies slathered in fart jokes. No matter how hard he tries to become a serious actor, it won’t happen easily. Children aren’t going to see Man on the Moon or The Truman Show over and over. The only way you can become really big in Hollywood is by box office receipts, not Oscars. Sure, Oscars or Golden Globes can get you a major part for a few movies, but unless it brings in the money Hollywood doesn’t care. Richard Dryfuss is one example, I believe.

I believe Tom Hanks was able to do it because his early comedy films appealed to adults, not children. Now he can do almost any role, whether it’s for children or adults (or both—like Toy Story) and not get pushed away.

Can I give two?
Tom Hanks is an awful actor. He “addresses” the camera. He cannot forget that it is there.

However. Tom Hanks WAS a great comedian. I loved him when I was younger and he did comedy. He branched out into drama and was fairly convincing in Forest Gump. (Still addressed the camera.) I believe that Tom is huge because of his excellent opportunities to choose roles that benefit his career. Look at the roles he has played: Philadelphia, Forest Gump, Apollo 13, Toy Story, Saving Private Ryan, Green Mile, Cast Away (shameless attempt at an oscar), Road to Perdition, Catch me if you can. All of them oscar contenders.

Al Pacino only plays one character.
It’s a character everybody likes. But not me. Well, it was good in Scarface and Heat, but not Scent of a Woman.


I’m sorry that you felt that Renee was making a judgement on “average” people Jennyrosity but I have to agree with her. I have been skinny my whole life. No matter what I ate, I couldn’t gain a pound past 135. Then I started working out and drank weight gain shakes. I gained 30 pounds of muscle in 6 weeks. Believe it. Then I stopped working out, lost about half of the new weight, then I gained about 30 pounds of fat in about 6 months. I felt “fat”. My skin was tight. I had a hard time sleeping. I had difficulty breathing. I was hot. It was gross. I felt that way. Not because I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I felt sweaty and bulky and uncomfortable. That’s gross. 180lbs was not normal for me. I couldn’t wait to get the weight off. When I got back to a reasonable 155 lbs, I felt 100% better. It might not feel gross for you (or whoever) to be a size 12, because that might be normal for you. But size 12 is not normal for Renee. Renee felt uncomfortable because she stressed her system beyond what is normal for her. Let her be. Even though she belongs to the “unrealisitc Hollywood standard” she’s not really promoting it. I’ll put my opinions about “unrealisitc Hollywood standard of beauty” on hold for now. Look for an upcoming GD discussion about it if you want a fight.

And I’m sorry, but I find her incredibly sexy and talented. I like women that have SHAPELY bodies. Hourglass figures are sexy. I don’t care what you say, she ain’t a stick. And I’m obviously not the only one who thinks so. I digress. Off to GD.

Ok, first of all, prisoner, Renee was referring to a British size 12, which is equivelent to a US size 8. Slim, yes? Unless you’re 3 foot tall, perfectly healthy size for most us. For me, saying a size 12 is “gross and obese” is sending out a very unhealthy signal to young women who are at risk of an eating disorder. It may not be natural for Renee to be a size 12, but I’d put money on it that the size she is now isn’t natural for her either. I’ve worked with young women who looked the way she does and without exception, they all suffered from some form of eating disorder. You can tell the difference between someone who’s naturally slim and someone who’s starving themselves. Calista Flockhart is a prime example. In the 1st season of Allie McBeal, she’s tiny, slender and delicate, but still healthy looking and somehow just “right”. By the time the season finished, she looked skeletal and ill.

And as for having a “shapely, hour-glass figure”, I’m sorry, but have you SEEN Chicago ?! Catherine Z-J has an hour-glass figure. Renee looked like a malnourished boy. If that’s your idea of an hourglass I’d hate to be around when you a boil an egg!!

And just in case you think this a case of sour grapes, can I just add that I’m 140lbs, 5"8 and a (British) size 12? And neither gross nor obese!

I defy you all to explain the popularity of Tom Bergeron.

The only thing I can derive is that he seems to be completely inoffensive to middle America. However, outside of that little nugget, he’s probably the suckiest suck that ever sucked. As the host of Hollywood Squares, he kowtows to every little B-list celebrity that’s ever lived. As the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, he seems to be impressed more with his own delivery than with anything else going on, and what’s more, the studio audience indulges him.