Emma Roberts Says There's A Growing "Hate Culture Towards Celebrities And Movies"

In a candid discussion on the "Just for Variety" podcast, actress Emma Roberts expressed her frustration with the relentless mockery some films receive before they're even released: "We’ve just cultivated now this hate culture towards celebrities and towards movies and television online."

By Carmen Schober2 min read
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Getty/Pascal Le Segretain

Emma Roberts has attributed the failure of her movie Madame Web to "internet culture," a phenomenon she believes played a significant role in the film's poor reception. Released in February, Madame Web, where Roberts played Spider-Man’s mother Mary Parker, faced harsh reviews and disappointing box office returns.

She expressed her frustration with the relentless mockery the film received online before its release. "If it wasn’t for internet culture and everything being made into a joke, I think that the reception would’ve been different. And that’s what bums me out about a lot of stuff, even stuff that I’ve done, is people just make such a joke out of everything now," Roberts shared.

Despite the criticism, Roberts emphasized her personal affection for the project, praising her co-stars Dakota Johnson and Adam Scott, as well as the director, S.J. Clarkson. "I thought everyone in it was great. The director, S.J. Clarkson, I think did an amazing job. She’s the reason I wanted to do that movie," Roberts said.

Throughout the interview, the 33-year-old actress also addressed the broader issue of “hate culture” online, where negativity is the norm.

"You get these comments that can be rude. So I try not to look at it, because it’s just people want to hate," she explained. "But it just does bum me out. We’ve just cultivated now this hate culture towards celebrities and towards movies and television online. Where it used to be like five people reviewed a movie, and now it’s like you have people that won’t even say what their real name is saying how much they hate something."

While some expressed agreement that online criticisms are often mean-spirited, others argued that Hollywood is responsible for the culture since they have continuously pushed underwhelming talent and entertainment, which was likely the case in the disastrous Madame Webb.

Currently, Roberts is promoting her new comedy Space Cadet, which is now streaming on Prime Video. During this promotional tour, Roberts also tackled another contentious issue: nepotism in Hollywood. As the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and niece of Julia Roberts, she has often faced criticism for her family connections.

In a revealing episode of the Table for Two podcast, Roberts dismissed the notion that she aimed to follow her family's path to massive stardom: “I saw very up close what that really looks like. It’s obviously fun and it’s great, but there is a part of it that’s really scary. So I’ve wanted to kind of carve my own path."

Roberts stressed that fame was never her primary goal, as she feared the loss of privacy and the struggle for quality roles that often accompany extreme fame.

She acknowledged the dual nature of nepotism, noting that while it can provide advantages, it also brings heightened scrutiny.

"Everybody loves the kind of overnight-success story. And so if you’re kind of not the girl from the middle of nowhere that broke into Hollywood, there’s kind of an eye roll of like, ‘Well, your dad was this,’” Roberts commented. She pointed out the gender disparity in nepotism criticisms, citing examples like George Clooney and Nicholas Cage, who rarely face the same level of scrutiny as their female counterparts.

Roberts concluded by emphasizing the unseen struggles behind her career, stating, "People who criticize nepo babies only see your wins, because they only see when you’re on the poster of a movie—they don’t see all the rejection along the way."

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