Why Do People Hate Olivia Colman?

Olivia Colman is an Academy Award-winning English actress who has starred in numerous popular TV shows and films. Despite her immense talent and critical acclaim, Colman has faced some backlash and hatred online from certain groups.

In this article, we’ll explore the possible reasons why some people dislike Olivia Colman and critique her work.

Her Acting Style and Persona

She’s Seen as Overrated

One of the main gripes some people have with Olivia Colman is the belief that she’s overhyped and overrated as an actress. Her Best Actress Oscar win for The Favourite in 2019, in particular, sparked a lot of debate online.

Many felt Glenn Close was more deserving for her performance in The Wife. Colman’s acting style is very naturalistic and subdued, which can come across as unimpressive or dull to some viewers who prefer showier performances. Some argue she lacks range and versatility.

Her Characters Can Be Annoying or Hard to Empathize With

Olivia Colman often plays fairly unlikable or villainous characters, such as her roles in Fleabag or The Favourite. Her characters can come across as selfish, passive-aggressive, or downright cruel at times.

While these portrayals are praised critically for their complexity, some audiences find her characters grating, annoying, and hard to empathize with. Her acting choices to depict flaws and ugliness in characters may rub some viewers the wrong way.

Her Persona Lacks Glamor or Mystique

In interviews and public appearances, Olivia Colman comes across as down-to-earth, humble, and likable. However, some argue this everyday-woman persona lacks the allure, mystique, and glamor movie stars are known for.

Her self-deprecating humor and reluctance to play the Hollywood game can make her seem too ordinary or unexceptional in a field where larger-than-life charisma is often expected. This has likely contributed to a lack of widespread popularity.

Her Politics and Social Justice Activism

She’s Outspokenly Feminist

Olivia Colman identifies as a feminist and has used her platform to promote feminist causes and speak out against sexism and gender inequality. For instance, she worked with Time’s Up to advocate for an equal society and end harassment.

Her proud feminism and progressive political views make her a target for criticism from anti-feminist groups who perceive her as too radical, preachy, or “woke.” They accuse her and other outspoken actresses of pushing a left-wing social agenda.

Support of Liberal Causes

In addition to feminism, Olivia Colman is vocal in her support for other liberal and progressive causes – she’s pro-immigration, pro-LGBTQ+ rights, anti-Brexit, and anti-Trump.

She’s very critical of conservative policies. Again, her uncompromising political stances rub some audiences the wrong way and make her a target for hatred, especially from online right-wing communities.

Criticism of Lack of Diversity in Industry

Colman has criticized the film industry’s lack of diversity and called for more roles for women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and other underrepresented groups. She turned down a role in a film because the male lead was paid more.

While this stance is admired by some, it also invites backlash from those who disagree with her views or see it as a political overreach. Some feel actors shouldn’t be activists and perceive her as moralizing or virtue-signaling.

Her Awards Recognition Backlash

Resentment of Her Quick Rise to Fame

Prior to her breakout role in Broadchurch in 2013, Olivia Colman was not a household name. Her meteoric rise to fame and critical acclaim has happened fairly recently in her career.

This swift success breeds resentment from some who feel she hasn’t “paid her dues” or say she’s overexposed. Her talents are dismissed as overrated. There’s a sense that other veteran actresses are more deserving of accolades.

Academy Award Win Backlash

As mentioned, Olivia Colman’s 2019 Best Actress Oscar win upset many who felt Glenn Close was snubbed. Claims that she “stole” the award from Close or other nominees caused animosity from fans.

In general, Oscars backlash is common – when anyone wins, there are always those who insist another nominee was more deserving. Colman’s win made her a prime target for this.

Criticism of Too Many Awards Nominations

Due to her many acclaimed performances, Olivia Colman receives awards recognition frequently, with nominations at the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, BAFTAs and more.

Some feel she gets nominated too much or wins awards too often. This overexposure leads to accusations she’s “overhyped” or gets special treatment, bypassing more talented performers.

Her Lack of Widespread Popularity

Low Mainstream Visibility Outside UK/Europe

Despite her critical acclaim and awards, Olivia Colman has a relatively low public profile globally, especially in the US. She stars mainly in indie films and British TV shows not widely viewed abroad.

Mainstream American audiences, in particular, are less familiar with her work outside of The Crown. Her lack of visibility in Hollywood blockbusters results in less mainstream popularity.

Plays Challenging Roles in Dark Films/TV

Colman tends to play complex, flawed characters in thought-provoking dramas dealing with dark themes. For instance, her acclaimed roles are in shows like Fleabag and The Night Manager, and films like Tyrannosaur and The Favourite.

These gritty, depressing stories turn off casual viewers looking for more uplifting, feel-good entertainment. Her avoidance of commercial projects limits her mass popularity.

Not Considered Glamorous or Sex Symbol

Unlike many famous actresses, Olivia Colman does not portray a stereotypically beautiful, glamorous sex symbol-type on screen. Her appeal relies more on her talent and intelligence rather than conventional attractiveness.

This makes her less popular with audiences who expect their favorite stars to be gorgeous and aspirational. Her characters are quite ordinary or even unattractive at times.


In summary, while Olivia Colman is greatly respected within the film and TV industry for her prodigious acting talent, her relatively naturalistic style, progressive political activism, and avoidance of mainstream projects can alienate some viewers.

Criticisms of her being overrated or undeserving of awards do persist in certain circles. However, the vast majority of critics and industry peers acknowledge Colman as one of the preeminent dramatic actresses working today.

Her chameleonic range and commitment to playing complicated characters in thought-provoking stories make her performances unforgettable. The hatred she receives seems largely unjustified and often stems from unreasonable expectations of actors and their roles in society.

Despite some detractors, Olivia Colman’s position among the top echelon of lauded 21st century actors appears rock-solid. She continues gaining praise for her moving work that demands audiences’ attention, if not always their affection.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why People Dislike Olivia Colman

Why do some people think Olivia Colman is overrated?

Some people believe Olivia Colman is overrated because her natural, subtle acting style is seen as less impressive than showier performances. Her swift rise to fame with awards recognition breeds resentment from those who feel she hasn’t earned it or is undeserving.

What controversial political views does Olivia Colman support?

Olivia Colman is openly feminist, pro-LGBTQ+ rights, pro-immigration, anti-Brexit and anti-Trump. She advocates for diversity in the film industry. Her outspoken liberal views make her a target for conservative critics.

How did Olivia Colman win her Oscar?

Olivia Colman won Best Actress at the 2019 Academy Awards for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the film The Favourite. Her win was considered an upset by some who felt Glenn Close should have won for The Wife.

Why isn’t Olivia Colman a bigger mainstream star?

Despite her success, Olivia Colman has a relatively low public profile, especially in the US, since she stars mainly in indie films and British TV more than Hollywood blockbusters. Her avoidance of glamorous roles also limits her fame.

What unusual characters has Olivia Colman played?

Olivia Colman often plays complex, flawed characters in dark dramas. Examples include her roles in Fleabag, The Night Manager, Tyrannosaur, and The Favourite where her characters were not conventional protagonists.

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