Michael Douglas has admittedly had a reputation as a womanizer over the years. This has rubbed some people the wrong way and led them to dislike or disapprove of him.
Major Romances and Allegations
Some of the major romances and allegations that have fueled his reputation as a womanizer include:
- His first marriage to Diandra Luker which ended in 1995 amid rumors of infidelity
- His relationship with actress Catherine Zeta-Jones which began when he was 56 and she was 31
- Sexual harassment allegations in the 1990s from a female employee which resulted in Douglas issuing a pre-emptive apology
Public Perception Issues
Many saw his various romances and infidelities as him exerting his power and status in Hollywood to date much younger women. Others saw the age gaps as him being a “creepy old man.” The harassment allegations also painted him in a very negative light.
Impact on Views of Douglas
These incidents have shaped public perception and caused some viewers to see Michael Douglas as someone who uses his fame improperly. Whether fair or not, it has definitely impacted his reputation and likeability.
Defense of Douglas
However, others argue that these were personal relationships between consenting adults. His first marriage lasted 23 years – longer than many Hollywood marriages. Douglas has also spoken about his regrets over some past behavior.
|Wife, 23 year marriage ended amid affair rumors
|Began dating when he was 56 and she was 31
|Sexual harassment allegations
|From female employee, issued apology
Using His Family’s Fame & Status
Another reason some dislike Michael Douglas is a perception that he has improperly benefited from his family’s fame and Hollywood status.
As the son of famous actor Kirk Douglas, critics argue Michael’s acting career may have advanced due to Hollywood nepotism rather than just merit. He may have gotten opportunities over more deserving actors.
Similarly, some view his womanizing reputation as partly stemming from an unearned sense of privilege – that he feels entitled to date much younger women because of his Douglas family name. They feel he exploits his status.
Defense of Douglas
However, Michael Douglas has won two Academy Awards establishing a distinguished acting career in his own right. He has branched out from his father’s shadow. And regarding his marriages, while age gaps exist, there is no evidence affairs were non-consensual.
Another source of dislike towards Michael Douglas stems from self-inflicted wounds to his own reputation through disclosures in interviews, self-damaging behavior, and other avoidable errors which disappointed some fans.
Blamed Wife for Throat Cancer
In 2013, Douglas blamed his throat cancer on the HPV virus contracted through oral sex with then-wife Catherine Zeta-Jones. Many saw this as crass oversharing and victim blaming.
Substance Abuse Problems
Douglas has openly discussed his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction which led to unfortunate arrests and rehabilitation. This past may have diminished his reputation.
Affairs While Battling Cancer
When diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010, some fans rallied behind him. But when he later hinted at marital problems and separation from his wife while ill, many saw it as evidence of continued womanizing and an ungrateful attitude.
Has Michael Douglas made amends for past behavior and comments?
Michael Douglas has made some attempts to rehabilitate his image and make amends including:
- Apologizing to ex-wife Diandra Luker and Catherine Zeta-Jones for past behavior
- Discussing past regrets, mistakes made, and lessons learned
- Praising Catherine Zeta-Jones for supporting him through cancer
- Focusing recent interviews on family, career, and advocacy rather than sensational personal topics
However, his past still lingers and some doubt the sincerity of his apologies. Only time will tell if his legacy moves beyond past controversies. Douglas is now 78 years old so there is less paparazzi attention on his romantic life. As his acting career winds down, perceptions of him may improve if he continues to make amends.
Does Michael Douglas deserve so much criticism and dislike?
There are good arguments on both sides regarding the criticism and dislike towards Michael Douglas:
- As a major Hollywood celebrity for nearly 50 years, the scrutiny and criticism goes with the territory
- His interviews and past behavior frequently fueled this criticism rather than discouraging it
Separate Art from Artist
- While aspects of his personal life may be unsavory to some, he remains an extremely talented 2-time Academy Award winning actor
- Audiences should judge him more on quality of his films/acting rather than focusing on his past romantic life
Flaws Make Him Human
- Douglas has been candid about past mistakes and regrets
- His flaws make him human rather than some unachievable perfect ideal
- He made amends with those closest hurt by his behavior
There are good cases to be made on both sides. Ultimately it’s an individual decision if his professional work and attempts at personal growth are enough to offset past errors and behavior the public disapproves of. The dislike likely won’t completely fade but probably matters less as he ages out of leading man roles.
In examining why some people dislike acclaimed actor Michael Douglas, several factors stand out:
- A reputation as a womanizer fueled by high-profile romances, infidelity, and harassment allegations
- Perceptions of exploiting his family’s fame and status to advance his opportunities and personal life
- Self-inflicted scandals from damaging interview comments and past substance abuse
While apologies and personal growth matter, these incidents shaped public opinion and some audiences will likely never view Douglas the same way again.
However, Douglas remains a gifted actor with an extensive career of renowned films. Those inclined to separate personal lives from professional work can still appreciate his on-screen talents regardless of opinions on his off-screen behavior.
As Douglas moves firmly into the role of a senior statesman of Hollywood cinema, the controversies gradually matter less compared to celebrating his cinematic legacy. But these incidents explain exactly why a segment of viewers feel strongly negative towards Michael Douglas throughout his complex relationship with fame.
Frequently Asked Questions
What major roles is Michael Douglas known for?
Some of Michael Douglas’s most renowned roles include:
- Gordon Gekko in Wall Street and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
- Detective Nick Curran in Basic Instinct
- President Andrew Shepherd in The American President
- Dr. Bill Capa in A Perfect Murder
- Liberace in Behind the Candelabra
He is known for playing ambiguous, villainous, and morally complex characters in thrillers, dramas, and dark comedies.
How many Oscars has Michael Douglas won?
H4: Michael Douglas has won two Academy Awards for:
- Best Actor for Wall Street (1987)
- Best Picture for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) as producer through his production company
He has been nominated for Oscars four times total over a span of nearly 40 years.
Who was Michael Douglas married to other than Catherine Zeta-Jones?
Michael Douglas was married to Diandra Luker from 1977 to 1995 – a 23 year marriage that produced his eldest son Cameron. This ended in divorce amid rumors of infidelity.
In 2000, Douglas began dating actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. They married later that year when he was 56 and she was 31. They have two children together and remain married, despite past issues, as of 2024.
What type of cancer did Michael Douglas have?
In 2010, Michael Douglas was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. After months of treatment, he announced he had beaten the disease in 2011.
The specific type was oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma located at the base of his tongue. Douglas has stated he believes the cancer was caused by HPV contracted through oral sex.