Tom Hanks is one of the most beloved and respected actors in Hollywood. With an illustrious career spanning over four decades, Hanks has starred in some of the most iconic and acclaimed films of all time. From Big to Forrest Gump to the Toy Story franchise, Hanks has captivated audiences with his charming and charismatic performances.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing sentiment of animosity and criticism directed at Tom Hanks. While he remains a box office draw, Hanks has found himself the subject of increased scrutiny and even outright hate from some surprising sources. This begs the question – why do some people hate Tom Hanks?
Reasons for Tom Hanks Backlash
One of the main reasons cited for rising anti-Hanks sentiment is disagreement with his politics. Hanks has been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, vocally supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. He has condemned the Trump administration’s policies on immigration and social issues.
As a proud Democrat in an increasingly polarized political climate, Hanks has become a target of right-wing critics who take issue with Hollywood celebrities pushing their agendas. His political activism has angered conservatives who feel he is out of touch with regular Americans. This has fueled much of the recent backlash.
Another source of criticism is the perception of Hanks as an elitist member of the Hollywood establishment. With mansions in California and expensive vacations in Greece, he is seen by some as indulgent and pretentious.
There is a sense that Hanks looks down on middle America from his ivory tower. His cultural influence grants him a platform that some believe he does not deserve. Detractors see Hanks as emblematic of liberal celebrity excess.
Problematic Past Roles
While Hanks’ filmography is full of beloved films, it is not without controversy. He has been criticized for some problematic portrayals that have not aged well by today’s standards.
In Big, his character has an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Forrest Gump has been accused of promoting dangerous right-wing politics. Even Disney properties like Toy Story 2 have come under fire for questionable racial stereotypes.
While these were acceptable at the time, modern audiences have reassessed them with a more critical eye. There are now reasonable debates over whether Hanks should have avoided these roles.
After decades of ubiquity, some feel that Hanks’ omnipresence in pop culture has reached excessive levels. He is inescapable between his films, talk show appearances, and even commercials.
For people already predisposed to disliking Hanks, this pervasiveness only adds to their irritation. They are simply tired of his constant presence in the public sphere when there are other celebrities worthy of attention.
Counterpoints Defending Tom Hanks
However, despite these criticisms, there are also compelling counterpoints in defense of Tom Hanks:
He is Not Defined by Politics
While Hanks is openly Democratic, his films are generally apolitical. Movies like Apollo 13 and Sully emphasize American perseverance without partisan messaging.
Hanks keeps his art and his personal politics separate. If audiences only know his acting, his views should not be a barrier to appreciation.
He is Talented and Hardworking
Regardless of privilege, Hanks’ talents are undeniable. He has twice won consecutive Best Actor Oscars, for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump – a historic achievement demonstrating his brilliant range.
Moreover, he has earned his place through tremendous discipline. Early struggles led him to find success through dedication to his craft. He is not merely a lucky beneficiary of fame.
He Champions Noble Causes
Unlike many celebrities who use their platform carelessly, Hanks is thoughtful in the causes he champions. He has advocated for environmental protection, veterans affairs, and civil rights.
Rather than feed cynicism, Hanks uses his voice to support positive change. His charity and activism should be admired, not criticized.
He is Respectful of All Americans
There is little evidence to support the idea that Hanks looks down on any class of people. In interviews, he consistently comes across as polite, humble and appreciative of his fans.
He does not flaunt his wealth offensively. There are no public outbursts or arrogant behavior. As one of the last wholesome movie stars, Hanks appears kind to all.
Why Some Will Always Dislike Hanks
Regardless of his merits as an actor and activist, there are certain groups positioned against Tom Hanks that likely will never support him:
Staunch Political Opponents
Those with diametrically opposed political views to Hanks will always condemn his liberal activism. His Democratic advocacy will be irredeemable to conservatives no matter his other qualities.
There are also those who mistrust anyone with institutional influence, seeing any elite celebrity as irredeemably corrupt. Hanks will be unable to change these minds.
A new generation less enamored with classic Hollywood has also emerged. Younger audiences feel no nostalgia for Hanks’ films and thus appraise him more harshly.
Finally, in the age of social media there are simply toxic personalities who attack anyone high-profile. Even the most innocuous celebrity can become a target of irrational hate mobs.
While Tom Hanks remains a singularly beloved actor, he is not immune from the cultural forces driving much of the current backlash against him. For a dismaying swath of the population, Hanks represents much of what they reject in today’s polarized climate.
However, the virulent animosity remains confined to a somewhat fringe group. The silent majority still adores the lovable actor they grew up watching on screen. Most can separate his political and personal life from his creative work.
Tom Hanks is an exemplary figure in Hollywood, conducting himself with more integrity than most in his position. The hate seems largely unjustified, driven by partisanship and cynicism more than any real objectionable behavior. Nevertheless, in an imperfect world Hanks will likely continue facing unfair detractors.
Yet this is a testament to his profound cultural impact more than any personal shortcoming. The greats always attract irrational hatred alongside lavish praise. For better or worse, Tom Hanks remains one of the greats.
- Tom Hanks has faced growing backlash due to his politics, perceived elitism, past roles, and overexposure.
- Supporters argue his politics don’t define him, he’s talented and charitable, and respectful of all Americans.
- Staunch opponents, anti-establishment groups, younger generations, and online trolls will likely always dislike Hanks.
- Most of the animosity is exaggerated or unfair – Hanks remains widely beloved due to his incredible career.
Does Tom Hanks have any controversial roles?
While he’s known for his wholesome roles, Tom Hanks has also taken on more complex characters, such as in “Road to Perdition.
Has Tom Hanks ever addressed his critics?
Yes, he has acknowledged that not everyone will like him and that it’s okay to have differing opinions.
Are there any upcoming projects for Tom Hanks?
Yes, Tom Hanks continues to be active in the film industry, with several projects in various stages of production.
What’s Tom Hanks’ approach to acting?
Hanks is known for his dedication to understanding his characters deeply and approaching each role with sincerity.
How has Tom Hanks contributed beyond acting?
Apart from acting, Tom Hanks is a director, producer, and writer, contributing significantly to the entertainment industry.