Frances McDormand

Why Do People Hate Frances McDormand?

Frances McDormand is an acclaimed American actress known for her portrayals of strong, eccentric women in independent films. She has won numerous awards, including two Academy Awards for Best Actress.

However, despite her talent and critical acclaim, McDormand has also garnered a fair share of hatred and backlash over the years. Here’s an in-depth look at some of the reasons why people hate Frances McDormand.

Blunt Personality Rub People the Wrong Way

One of the main reasons why McDormand has haters is her blunt, no-nonsense personality. She is famously candid in interviews, rarely mincing words or sugarcoating her opinions.

For instance, when asked about plastic surgery in Hollywood, she stated: “I’m glad I look like myself. I’m glad I never fixed my teeth. I’m glad I still look like who I was.”

While many find her directness refreshing, it also rubs some people the wrong way, who feel she comes across as arrogant or dismissive. She has even been accused of being rude or hostile to interviewers when she feels like she’s being trivialized.

Shuns Typical Hollywood Glamour

Another source of animosity towards McDormand is her rejection of typical Hollywood glamour and standards of femininity. She famously doesn’t wear makeup, favors casual, androgynous clothing, and has even joked “my ass is sagging.” For some, this makes her unrelatable or not “feminine” enough.

Compared to more typically glamorous actresses, her style and appearance are sometimes criticized as being too plain, sloppy, or unkempt. But for McDormand, eschewing beauty and fashion norms is both a feminist statement and a way to be taken more seriously as an actress. Still, her unvarnished look elicits backlash from those who feel she should make more effort.

Feminist Activism Strikes Some as Hypocritical

As a vocal proponent of feminism and women’s rights, McDormand also faces criticism that her activism rings hollow or hypocritical at times.

For example, she received backlash in 2018 for demanding inclusion riders in contracts to promote diversity on sets, despite working on sets with notable gender pay gaps.

She has also been accused of “cherry-picking” feminist causes that further her career while failing to speak out on issues like Asia Argento’s sexual assault allegations. For these reasons, some find her brand of celebrity feminism to be selective, self-promoting, and lacking real accountability.

Awards Speech Backlash

McDormand sparked significant controversy during her 2018 Oscars acceptance speech for Best Actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

At the end of her speech, she asked all the female nominees in the room to stand and be recognized. While many saw it as a powerful statement about women in Hollywood, others found it egotistical or virtue-signaling.

She also received criticism for popularizing the term “inclusion rider,” leading some to believe she was taking credit for a concept that others had long championed. The mixed response suggests that while her intent was to empower women, the execution struck some viewers as hypocritical or self-congratulatory.

Accusations of Being a Pretentious Actress

Throughout her career, detractors have also characterized McDormand as pretentious – someone who takes herself too seriously as an “important” actor.

While her fans see her as a skilled character actress, critics see a lack of versatility, with McDormand playing slight variations of the same disaffected, wise-cracking character.

Some feel she gravitates too often toward quirky indie films versus more accessible, mainstream fare. Moreover, a recurring critique is that her muted acting style seems mannered or self-absorbed rather than truly grounding characters. As such, some see an air of pretense or inauthenticity in her craft.

Oscar Speech Over “In Memoriam” Segment

At the 2022 Academy Awards, McDormand received backlash for her acceptance speech that many felt disrespected the “In Memoriam” segment honoring deceased industry members.

After a commercial break, McDormand began her speech over the somber In Memoriam slideshow, distracting from the tribute and diverting attention back to her win.

While likely unintentional, many saw it as a selfish, spotlight-stealing move that interrupted the ceremony’s solemn remembrance. It highlighted how McDormand can come across as self-important.

Is Loathed by Some for Being Too Private

As an intensely private celebrity, McDormand also draws ire from those who want insight into her personal life. Unlike many actors, she keeps details about her family, marriage, and adopted son far from the public eye.

While she likely sees it as preserving normalcy, some interpret her secrecy as being aloof and feel her refusal to be an open book with fans is standoffish. McDormand’s work-focused public image, with very little known about her home life, breeds resentment from those seeking relatability.

Frequent Award Wins Cause Backlash

With two Oscar wins and a plethora of other awards, McDormand’s accumulation of trophies has also sparked a degree of backlash – especially among those who feel other performers were more deserving.

After winning her second Best Actress Oscar for Three Billboards, some thought frontrunner Saoirse Ronan gave a more compelling performance in Lady Bird and saw McDormand’s win as undeserved. Similarly, whenever she takes home a major award, it inevitably sparks criticism from fans of whichever actress she bested.

As she continues racking up accolades, this breeds an animosity from those who feel she keeps winning awards at the expense of other talented performers.

Positions on Plastic Surgery are Polarizing

McDormand has been very outspoken against plastic surgery, once saying she is “completely befuddled by the people who give themselves over to it.”

While many praise her willingness to age naturally, others argue she judges women who make a personal choice to get cosmetic procedures. Some see her comments as agist towards older actresses who choose surgery so they can keep getting roles.

The views strike some as hypocritically criticizing women’s right to control their bodies. However, McDormand argues she is simply voicing her experience of aging naturally in an industry that often pressures women to look young.

Persistently Private and Guarded with Fans

More than most celebrities, McDormand is notoriously private and rarely interacts with fans, declines selfies or autographs, and provides little access to her personal life.

Many interpret this as her being rude, entitled, or disdainful towards her supporters. However, those close to her argue she is simply an introvert who values normalcy outside her work.

While her evasiveness can be frustrating for fans seeking connection, for McDormand, maintaining boundaries is crucial for her mental health and work-life balance. Yet her unapologetic guardedness still rubs many as cold and dismissive.


In summary, Frances McDormand has long divided public opinion due to her no-nonsense demeanor, unglamorous style, feminist activism, award speech controversies, pretentious acting persona, desire for privacy, and frequent award recognition.

While clearly talented, her outspoken nature and rejection of typical Hollywood ideals breeds a certain animosity among some critics. However, supporters argue she is simply staying true to herself while navigating an industry that often forces women to compromise their values and authenticity.

She believes in using her platform to empower marginalized groups and make larger cultural statements through her acting and award show moments.

Ultimately, Frances McDormand’s hatred mainly stems from a mismatch between her priorities and Hollywood’s expectations for how a star should look, act, and comport themselves.

Her willingness to buck conformity is viewed as refreshing by fans but arrogant and ungrateful by detractors. Yet she persists, thriving on her own terms despite unconcerned with public perception.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why People Hate Frances McDormand

What are some of Frances McDormand’s most controversial moments?

Some of the main controversies include her 2018 Oscars speech popularizing inclusion riders, her speech overlapping the In Memoriam segment in 2022, her comments on plastic surgery and aging, refusing selfies with fans, and her general renunciation of typical Hollywood fame conventions.

Does she have a reputation for being rude to fans?

She notoriously avoids interacting with fans, declining photos or details about her private life, which some interpret as being aloof. However, those close to her say she is simply very introverted and guarded.

How has her style and appearance factored into the dislike toward her?

McDormand rejects makeup, glamorous styling, and plastic surgery, favoring a causal, androgynous look. For some this comes off as unkempt or lacking effort. But she sees it as a statement against unrealistic beauty standards imposed on actresses.

Is some of the animosity just professional jealousy over her success?

Undoubtedly – her two Oscar wins and reputation as a “serious” actor breeds resentment from some who feel other performers are more versatile or deserving of recognition. Envy over her accolades is certainly a factor.

What are the main feminist causes she has advocated?

She is a staunch promoter of equal pay, inclusion riders to boost diversity in Hollywood, highlighting contributions of female directors and crew, standing against sexual harassment, and criticizing ageism & plastic surgery pressures on women.

How has she leveraged award show moments as activism?

Her 2018 Oscars speech popularizing inclusion riders, her request for female nominees to stand in solidarity at that ceremony, and wearing ACLU ribbons to the Oscars to protest Trump’s travel ban are a few examples of using her platform.

Is she disinterested in fame and Hollywood culture overall?

Yes, she is known for prioritizing privacy, rarely acting in mainstream projects, refusing selfies with fans and generally flouting expectations for how stars should conduct themselves and interact with the public.

Does she believe she gets unfairly criticized compared to male actors?

McDormand has hinted she feels the hostility she gets for being blunt or “dirty-looking” would not happen to male actors. She feels men are given more latitude to defy expectations without being maligned.

Why does she feel so strongly against plastic surgery?

She argues actresses should be valued for their talent, not appearance. She believes the emphasis on youth and beauty pressure women unfairly. Avoiding surgery is her way of resisting ageism and industry beauty standards.

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