Why Do People Hate Drew Barrymore?

Drew Barrymore is a divisive Hollywood figure who has her fair share of haters. The actress rose to fame as a child star in the 1980s before going through some turbulent teenage years. As an adult, Barrymore has rehabilitated her image and gone on to have a successful career as an actress, director and producer. However, some people still harbor dislike towards Barrymore for various reasons.

Her Wild Child Years

One of the main reasons why people hate Drew Barrymore is because of her notorious behavior during her teenage years in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Barrymore started drinking alcohol and taking drugs at a very young age. She was in rehab twice by age 14 for cocaine addiction. Her drug and alcohol abuse was constant tabloid fodder during her early teens. Many were appalled by the level of substance abuse happening at such a young age.

Emancipation at 14

In 1989, a 14 year old Barrymore successfully petitioned for emancipation from her parents. This granted her adult legal rights and freedom. Many saw this as an irresponsible decision facilitated by manipulative adults in her life.

Posing for Playboy

At age 19, Barrymore further cemented her wild child reputation by posing nude for Playboy magazine. This was seen by some as Barrymore disgracing her family friendly image from E.T. and solidifying her status as an out of control Hollywood bad girl.

Perceived Lack of Talent

Another reason people dislike Barrymore is because they see her as lacking talent and coasting on her famous last name.

Got Famous Very Young

Since Drew landed her breakout role in E.T. at age 7, some believe she did not have to struggle to break into Hollywood as most actors do. She did not hone her craft the same way other actors who get their big break later in life did.

Mediocre Film Roles

After a series of mediocre teen movies in the 90s, Barrymore transitioned to starring in generic romantic comedies throughout the 2000s and 2010s. She has been criticized for playing the same bubbly lightweight characters and not demonstrating enough versatility or talent.

Questionable Producing Projects

As a producer, Barrymore has backed critical flops like the Netflix zombie comedy Santa Clarita Diet. She lacks the highly acclaimed producing credits that command respect in Hollywood.

Controversies and Scandals

Barrymore’s personal life has served as tabloid fodder over the years, generating distaste among some audiences.

Dating and Marrying Much Older Men

Barrymore has gained notoriety for dating and marrying much older men like Tom Green and Will Kopelman. Some saw these age gap relationships as evidence of Barrymore’s immaturity or unresolved daddy issues.

Messy Divorces

Barrymore’s divorces, especially from Kopelman, have been drama-filled. The custody battle over their two daughters and leaked details about the split portrayed Barrymore negatively to some.

Flashing David Letterman

In 1995, Barrymore made headlines for flashing David Letterman on his late night show for his birthday. While intended as a joke, many felt this stunt was in poor taste and desperate.

Tiresome Personality and Interviews

As she has gotten older, some people find Barrymore’s bubbly personality and interview style to be irritating or disingenuous.

Overly Upbeat Tone

Barrymore projects a very upbeat, optimistic tone in interviews that some perceive as fake or exaggerated. Her rosy commentary can come across as grating and inauthentic.

Oversharing Stories

She frequently tells embarrassing personal stories or odd childhood anecdotes that are off putting to audiences. Some feel her attempts to be charming and self-deprecating backfire.

Scatterbrained Delivery

Barrymore’s tendency to speak in a hurried, disjointed manner during interviews frustrates those looking for her to make coherent points. Her scatterbrained delivery can undermine her likability.

Why Her Haters Might Be Wrong

However, it may be unfair to judge Drew Barrymore so harshly when her reputation reflects insensitive media coverage and misogyny more than her true self.

She Overcame Addiction and Emancipation

Barrymore deserves credit for overcoming an incredibly troubled childhood rife with addiction. She broke from her damaging parents and became emancipated, allowing her to take control of her life. She graduated high school and bettered herself.

She Matured from Wild Child to Businesswoman

The “bad girl” streak in the 90s was likely Barrymore acting out due to her unstable upbringing. But she pulled herself together and built a respectable career as an actress, director and entrepreneur in industries dominated by men.

She Advocates for Women’s Health

As she has gotten older, Barrymore uses her platform to advocate for institutional change regarding women’s health, parenting rights, and sexism in Hollywood. She serves as an admirable role model for women.

She Brings Joy to Many Loyal Fans

Regardless of perceived lack of talent, Barrymore clearly connects with a loyal fanbase that has followed her throughout her career. She brings joy and optimism to their lives through her films and interviews.

Ultimately most of the hatred directed at Barrymore stems from misogynistic biases rather than genuine objection to her character or talent. While no one is perfect, the severity of vitriol she faces often seems disproportionate to her wrongdoings. With more compassion and context, Drew Barrymore deserves recognition for rebuilding her career in an unforgiving industry.


In closing, Drew Barrymore’s haters judge her prematurely based on youthful mistakes and insensitive media narratives. She deserves admiration for overcoming early life turmoil and building an esteemed Hollywood career as an actress, producer and director.

While no one is perfect, the extreme loathing Barrymore faces seems disproportionate and misogynistic upon closer inspection. She has reinvented herself from wild child to role model for women in entertainment. With more compassion and context, Drew Barrymore’s perseverance emerges as her defining attribute.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Drew Barrymore emancipated at age 14?

Barrymore petitioned the courts to be legally emancipated from her parents when she was 14 years old in 1989. She had already been living independently from her parents due to her unstable home life and party lifestyle. Emancipation granted Barrymore control over her finances and career without needing parental oversight.

What drug and alcohol issues did a young Drew Barrymore have?

By age 13 in 1988, an adolescent Barrymore had already been in rehab twice for addiction to cocaine and alcohol. Her drug use and drinking resulted in a series of hospitalizations and suicide attempts. Tabloids constantly reported on her wild partying during the late 80s.

Why do people think Drew Barrymore got famous without earning it?

Critics accuse Barrymore of coasting on her famous last name and getting her big break as a child in E.T. without paying dues. They believe she lacks talent and did not have to struggle to break into Hollywood like other aspiring actors.

What was controversial about Barrymore posing for Playboy?

In 1995, 19 year old Barrymore posed nude for Playboy magazine. This caused controversy because she had built her fame starring as a cute child in family films like E.T. Posing for Playboy was seen as solidifying her wild child status and sullying her squeaky clean image.

What David Letterman stunt made people hate Drew Barrymore?

In 1995, Barrymore made headlines for flashing David Letterman on his late night show during an interview. She lifted her shirt to briefly expose herself to Letterman for his birthday. Many viewers found this stunt to be tacky and desperate for attention.

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