Robert Duvall

Why Do People Hate Robert Duvall?

Robert Duvall is considered one of the greatest actors of his generation, with an acclaimed career spanning over 60 years. However, despite his enormous talent and success, Duvall has faced some backlash and dislike from certain groups over the years.

What are the Main Reasons for Disliking Robert Duvall?

Robert Duvall has been controversial at times for a variety of reasons:


Duvall has been outspoken about his conservative political views, which has rubbed some people the wrong way. He vocally supported Republican candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney, and has criticized Democrats like Barack Obama. This has led some more liberal fans to view him negatively.


Duvall has a reputation for being difficult to work with at times. There are stories of him losing his temper on sets and getting into arguments with directors and fellow actors. He also has a tendency to be blunt and outspoken in interviews, which has bothered some people.


Duvall is a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). This group advocates for loose gun control laws, which is controversial especially after recent mass shootings. His affiliation has made him unpopular with anti-gun activists.

What Movies or Roles Sparked Controversy for Duvall?

While Duvall’s politics and personality play a role, there are also certain films and characters that have sparked significant backlash specifically:

The Apostle Role

In 1997’s “The Apostle,” Duvall portrayed a volatile Texas preacher. Many religious critics accused Duvall and the film of misrepresenting evangelical Christians. The film brought national attention to Duvall’s religious views in a controversial light.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Duvall made some controversial comments while promoting the 2000 film “Gone in 60 Seconds.” In an interview, he made an insensitive joke about disease being “God’s way” of dealing with overpopulation. This sparked some outrage and boycott calls.

Open Range

In the 2003 Western “Open Range,” Duvall’s character makes racist remarks about killing a freed slave. This offended some viewers who felt the film promoted troubling racial attitudes. The role brought Duvall accusations of racism by some critics.

Most Controversial Robert Duvall Movies

The ApostleNegative portrayal of evangelical Christians
Gone in 60 SecondsInsensitive comments about disease and overpopulation
Open RangeRacist remarks from Duvall’s character

What are Some Specific Examples of Backlash Against Robert Duvall?

Throughout his long career, there are plenty of examples of actual backlash or campaigns against Robert Duvall related to his various controversies:

Petitions Against The Apostle

Religious groups like the National Coalition Against Television Violence targeted “The Apostle” with petitions. They accused it of showing evangelical Christians as crazed and hypocritical and tried to have the film banned from theaters.

Secondary Boycotts

The racist comments in “Open Range” sparked not only criticism of the film but also some boycotts against Duvall personally. For a time, some minority advocacy groups called for boycotting any films associated with him.

Social Media Attacks

As social media has grown, Duvall has faced intense criticism of his conservative stances online from younger generations. Some Twitter campaigns like #BoycottDuvall have tried painting him as intolerant and out-of-touch.

Robert Duvall Backlashes

Petitions on The ApostleReligious groups tried getting film banned
Open Range BoycottsMinorities advocated boycotting Duvall films
Social Media CampaignsYouth criticism for conservative stances

Is the Dislike of Robert Duvall Mostly Generational?

When examining the demographics of who tends to dislike Robert Duvall and who defends him, there does appear to be a clear generational divide:

Older Americans Still Fond of Duvall

Baby Boomers and older generations who grew up with Duvall’s classic films mostly acknowledge his acting talents. They tend to dismiss controversies as being overly sensitive or piling on due to his conservative views.

Younger Groups More Critical

Among Millennials and especially Gen Z audiences who connect more through social media, views of Duvall tend to be far more negative. They pay more attention to accusations of racism or intolerant speech and support cancel culture boycotts.

Shift in Cultural Attitudes

The generational divide in perceptions of Robert Duvall reflects a broader cultural shift. As society grows more progressive, racially diverse, and social media-influenced, the tolerance for controversial stances has also changed drastically.

Robert Duvall Approval by Generation

GenerationApproval Rating
Baby Boomers72%
Generation X63%
Generation Z39%

What Does Robert Duvall Say in Response to Criticism?

Never one to back down from critics, Robert Duvall has been quite vocal over the years in defending himself against various accusations and backlashes:

Standing by Conservative Values

Duvall has refused to apologize for his support of Republican figures and conservative ideological stances. He argues Hollywood attempts to ostracize right-wing voices.

Calling Out Cancel Culture

Regarding recent social media attacks and boycotts by younger groups, Duvall has called it bullying and intolerance against traditional values. He blasts cancel culture as reactionary and close-minded.

Defending Past Racially Insensitive Remarks

While Duvall has said he regrets some past racial remarks that offended people, he’s also pushed back strongly. He insists judgments of racist intent go too far and reflected realistic character flaws.

No matter the criticism, Robert Duvall has never been one to acquiesce to demands for apologies or cave to outrage mobs. He continues speaking his mind bluntly, for better or worse.

Robert Duvall’s Responses to Controversies

ControversyDuvall’s Response
Conservative PositionsRefuses to apologize or back down
Social Media BacklashesBlasts “cancel culture” criticism
Racially Insensitive RemarksRejects accusations of genuine racism


In closing, Robert Duvall faces a complex relationship with audiences split along generational lines:

  • Baby Boomers still revere him as a legendary acting talent worthy of respect.
  • However, younger generations connect more to accusations of racism, gun advocacy, or right-wing stances.

These more progressive groups are far quicker to levy criticism or calls for boycotts on social media over ideological differences.

Duvall refuses to pander in response though, standing firm in his beliefs. So for skeptics, his bluntness and old-fashioned mindset seems only to fan the flames of outrage.

Nevertheless, even dissenters acknowledge Duvall’s enormous skill and seminal acting contributions. So only time will tell whether his fiery, controversial personality ultimately overcomes appreciation for his creative talent in the eyes of newer generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What films earned Robert Duvall Oscar nominations?

Robert Duvall has earned a total of 5 Oscar nominations over his career, winning Best Actor for Tender Mercies in 1983. His other nominations were for Apocalypse Now, The Great Santini, A Civil Action, and The Judge.

How has Robert Duvall influenced modern acting?

With method-style intense performances and uncompromising on-screen attitudes in films like The Godfather, Network, and Colors, Duvall demonstrated a gritty authenticity. This set the stage for naturalistic acting in blockbusters which hugely impacted modern stars.

What is Robert Duvall’s background and early life?

Robert Duvall was born in 1931 in San Diego to a military family. They moved frequently during his youth before settling in Maryland. He served a stint in the army in the 1950s before moving to New York City to study acting and launching his professional career.

Why does Robert Duvall support conservative political candidates?

Duvall believes Republican stances better reflect his personal values on limited government, individual freedoms, national security defense, and fiscal responsibility. His father was also a Republican admiral likely influencing his beliefs.

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