Patrick Stewart

Why Do People Hate Patrick Stewart?

Patrick Stewart is an acclaimed English actor known for his roles in stage productions and films like Star Trek: The Next Generation, the X-Men franchise, and more.

However, despite his successful acting career spanning over 50 years, Stewart has garnered a fair share of haters and critics over the years. There are several reasons why some people dislike or even hate the distinguished actor.

Reasons Why People Hate Patrick Stewart

One of the most common criticisms of Patrick Stewart’s acting is that he comes across as wooden, emotionless, and monotone. Some believe his delivery is dull and lacks range.

His background in Shakespearean theater is partly responsible for his formal style of speaking. While this makes him excellent at portraying authority figures, intellectuals, and leaders, it can also make his acting seem overly serious and joyless at times.

Some of his most famous roles, like Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek and Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men, call for a stern, brooding presence, which plays to Stewart’s strengths. However, this limits his opportunities to showcase more vulnerability, humor, and lightheartedness.

He is Perceived as Arrogant and Pretentious

Another reason people dislike Patrick Stewart is his perceived arrogance and pretentiousness. Some believe he takes himself too seriously and comes across as haughty or snobbish in interviews.

His upper-class English accent and background in Shakespeare can make him appear elitist and conceited to some. There is also a sense that he looks down on certain roles, genres, or media (like science fiction and superhero films) as beneath him.

Quotes like “I would like to see us get this place right first before we have the arrogance to put significantly flawed civilizations out onto other planets, even though they may be utterly uninhabited,” fuel notions that he is superior and judgmental.

His Political Activism Rub People the Wrong Way

Stewart is outspoken about his left-leaning political views and activism, which can polarize audiences. He is an advocate for socialist, progressive, and democratic causes that some perceive as controversial or elitist.

For example, he supports high taxes on the wealthy, action on climate change, opposition to Brexit, and radical police reform. While many fans admire his social conscience, his politics can anger and alienate conservative viewers.

His public feud with fellow actor James Woods over Stewart’s views highlights how his activism can rub people the wrong way and turn them off his work.

He is Seen as Overexposed and Overrated

Patrick Stewart has been an ever-present figure in popular culture for decades, especially due to the popularity of Star Trek and X-Men. Some believe the actor is overexposed and given too many prestigious roles and honors.

There is a sense among critics that Stewart’s talents and range are limited. While they respect his accomplishments, they feel he gets too much credit and acclaim relative to other actors with his level of fame.

The British knighthood awarded to him in 2010 exacerbated this feeling among those who believe he is overrated. Detractors feel more deserving actors should receive such honors and prestige parts.

Table: Summary of Reasons for Dislike of Patrick Stewart

Wooden/Monotone Acting StyleSeen as dull, joyless, overly serious
Arrogance/PretentiousnessComes across as haughty, snobbish, elitist
Political ActivismLeft-leaning views polarize some audiences
Overexposure/Being OverratedToo much fame/prestige for his talent level

Do All Audiences Dislike Patrick Stewart?

While Patrick Stewart certainly has his critics and detractors, he still maintains a sizeable fanbase who enjoy his work across generations.

Older Audiences Connect with His Background

Older audiences familiar with Stewart’s background in Shakespearean theater appreciate his classical acting style and gravitas on screen. His reputation as a serious actor and activist appeals to them.

Fans who grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 1980s and 90s have a nostalgic love for Stewart’s performance as Captain Picard. His work brought legitimacy to a genre often viewed skeptically.

Younger Viewers Know Him from Blockbusters

Younger people are more likely to recognize Stewart from his roles as Professor X in mainstream superhero films like X-Men, rather than his background in theater.

Millennial and Gen Z viewers embrace him as a pop culture icon, meme-able figure, and elder statesman within the world of Comic-Con fandom. They see his activism as a positive.

He Has a Diverse Range of Fans

While some may pigeon-hole Stewart as a snobbish Shakespearean actor, he has fans across educational, socioeconomic, racial, and gender lines. Trekkies, in particular, hail from diverse walks of life.

His sense of humor and affability in interviews and comic roles endear him to many viewers. Cameos in popular comedies and animation show his willingness to parody his serious image.

In summary, Patrick Stewart has fans who appreciate both his prestigious dramatic work and his portrayal of beloved pop culture characters. However, he remains a polarizing figure among some audiences.

Patrick Stewart’s Response to Critics and Haters

Stewart has addressed public criticism and hatred toward him at various points throughout his career. His responses provide insight into how he perceives negativity directed at him.

He Acknowledges Some Critiques Are Valid

When responding to critiques of his acting style as stiff and unemotional, Stewart has often acknowledged those views have validity at times.

He recognizes earlier in his career he prioritized technique over tapping into raw emotion, something he worked to change later on. While not agreeing with allnegative takes, he accepts some as legitimate critique.

He Stands by His Principles

Regarding perceptions of him as arrogant or elitist, Stewart has stood firm by his principles rather than acquiesce to public pressure.

In response to backlash over his political activism and disdain for Brexit voters, he asserted the importance of artists having social consciences to spark dialogue. He feels secure in his beliefs.

He Lampoons His Reputation

Rather than lash out over accusations of being pretentious or snobbish, Stewart has lampooned these perceptions through humorous guest appearances.

His cameo on Ricky Gervais’ comedy series Extras jokingly played into his reputation as a stuck-up Shakespearean actor for comedic effect. He shows he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

He Values Connection with Fans

Stewart focuses on positive connections with fans rather than dwell on detractors. He speaks with gratitude about how playing Captain Picard provided meaning for many people.

During the pandemic, he posted lighthearted videos online to boost morale among fans feeling isolated. At times of social discord, he uses his platform to call for empathy and unity.

Why Do People Feel So Strongly About Patrick Stewart?

Patrick Stewart elicits strong reactions from both admirers and critics because he occupies a unique place in popular culture. Aside from his acting talents, a few key factors drive such intense opinions of him.

He Represents ‘High’ Culture

With his Royal Shakespeare Company pedigree and upper-class accent, Stewart symbolizes ‘highbrow’ culture and the ivory tower elite to some. This exacerbates perceptions of him being pretentious.

Meanwhile, fans appreciate him bringing legitimacy and gravity to often maligned genres like science fiction. He represents the blurring of entertainment boundaries and merging of high/low culture.

He’s a Nostalgic Figure

Patrick Stewart’s iconic roles make him a nostalgic figure for many audiences. Criticisms can stem from discomfort with aging stars failing to live up to fond memories.

Meanwhile, fans longing for the entertainment of their youth find Stewart a reassuring reminder of cherished pop culture. Seeing him reprise beloved roles provides comforting familiarity.

He’s Outspoken on Divisive Issues

Stewart frequently voices opinions on controversial political issues like Brexit, climate change, wealth taxes, policing, and more. This inevitably courts backlash.

While some fans admire his social activism, others see him as out-of-touch and elitist. His platform ensures his opinions spark debate no matter one’s politics.


In conclusion, Patrick Stewart has inspired strong reactions across the spectrum from adoration to hatred throughout his over 50 year career. While his acting style and perceived arrogance put some people off, he maintains a dedicated fanbase drawn to his gravitas and principles.

Younger audiences embrace him more for his pop culture status, while older fans appreciate his background in legitimizing often derided genres. His politics and social stances make him a polarizing yet consistent voice on major issues.

Regardless of one’s opinion, Stewart’s unique ability to straddle highbrow and mainstream entertainment makes him a captivating figure within popular culture. The passions he inspires, both positive and negative, demonstrate the cultural impact of his multifaceted public persona.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Why People Hate Patrick Stewart

What are the main reasons people dislike Patrick Stewart?

The main reasons people dislike Patrick Stewart include perceptions that he has a wooden/monotone acting style, arrogance/pretentiousness, polarizing political activism, and being overexposed/overrated.

Does everyone feel negatively towards Patrick Stewart?

No, Patrick Stewart still has a sizable fanbase, especially among older audiences who appreciate his theater background and younger viewers who know him from blockbuster movies.

How has Patrick Stewart responded to criticism and hatred from the public?

Stewart has acknowledged some valid critiques, stood firm on his principles, lampooned his pretentious reputation, and focused on positively connecting with fans rather than dwell on detractors.

Why do people feel so strongly about Patrick Stewart?

Factors like representing highbrow culture, being a nostalgic figure, and voicing opinions on divisive issues make Stewart a uniquely polarizing pop culture icon that inspires strong reactions from admirers and critics alike.

What are Patrick Stewart’s most famous roles?

Stewart’s most famous roles are Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies, and his extensive work with the Royal Shakespeare Company in productions of Shakespeare plays.

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