Why Aren’t We Allowed To Criticize Jennifer Lawrence?

Jennifer Lawrence attending X Men premiere party May 2014Yesterday, I wrote a post criticizing Jennifer Lawrence for making an insensitive comment about rape while at a party in Cannes. Today, that post has over 215 comments, the majority of them angry at me for even pointing it out. We need to talk about that.

The original post was written by Jada Yuan, a writer for Vulture, who overheard Jennifer saying “I broke out my rape scream for you!” to Alfonso Cuaron, after squealing excitedly when she ran into him at the Armani and Vanity Fair party. When I first became aware of the quote, I rolled my eyes like I would for any celebrity who made a comment like this. Being as open and unguarded and genuine as Jennifer is makes her a very accessible,  likable celebrity on the one hand, but on the other hand, it sets her up to be extremely susceptible to little faux pas like this.

Because that’s exactly what this is! A faux pas. I’m probably more interested in it than most, because I’m more fascinated by the public’s infatuation with J-Law than I am drawn into it, but even I was not calling for her head. I don’t want her to get fired, to lose endorsements, or even to apologize if she doesn’t want to. I want what I always want when I write up something dumb that a famous person said — to increase awareness.

When Julianne Hough went in blackface for Halloween, that didn’t mean she was a racist, it just meant that she was ignorant. When Britney Spears said that gay people were ‘somewhat girls‘, that didn’t make her a homophobe, but it did point out that she’s incredibly insulated and has a lack of awareness of how to talk about people different than herself. And similarly, the fact that Jennifer made an offhand comment about a ‘rape scream’ doesn’t make her a rape-apologist, it just makes her one of those lucky people who’s never had to sit down and consider what a rape scream really is.

That it’s something that comes out of someone at one of the most terrifying moments of their life, when they’re being violated and fighting for their life. Not a way to get the attention of a famous director at a party. If you don’t have that information, it’s an easy mistake to make. People inadvertently say offensive things all the time, which creates an opportunity for the people around them to correct them, educate them, and foster awareness.

But for whatever reason, that opportunity doesn’t seem to exist when it’s Jennifer Lawrence that we’re talking about. For whatever reason, her fans have formed such a fanatical allegiance to her that they’d rather believe the Vulture writer was paid to invent the quote by the publicist of a rival star (this is a real thing that was suggested) than that Jennifer had a slip of the tongue and said something she A. shouldn’t have and B. didn’t expect to become public.

But whether she wanted it to get out or not, it did, and I believe that what she said is inappropriate and insensitive. So why can’t I write a piece pointing out the potential offense latent in an offhand remark without being attacked myself? I can do it in much stronger, harsher terms for other stars like Katy PerryAlec Baldwin, Paula Deen, or Sean Penn and never hear a peep, but I point out one quote that was recorded in another article by another writer, and all of a sudden I unleash a shit storm.

In the twenty-four hours since I put up that post I’ve been called a liar, a buffoon, hypocritical, petty, a woman-hater, cruel, classless, and ignorant, and told that I can’t criticize Jennifer unless I myself am perfect. (Eep. I hope no one ever explains the definition of a blogger to these people.) The adjectives themselves don’t really bother me — as clearly I’ve heard far worse in my time on the internet — but the idea behind them does.

How did a group of people become so blinded by their affection for J-Law that they’re willing to spend an entire day haranguing the author of a blog post for daring to suggest that their idol could have made a mistake. Just because they themselves weren’t offended, they were willing to dedicate hundreds and thousands of words to telling me why I didn’t deserve to even have my job for suggesting it.

They’re fully within their rights to make comments like that, and I’m not even really bothered as much as I am baffled. So if you have answers, please enlighten me — why am I not allowed to have an opinion on Jennifer Lawrence?

(Photo: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN.com)

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    • Pepe255

      I agree with the author of this text 100%. I didn’t buy JLaw’s “the-quirky-girl-next-door” game from the beginning. Sure, she’s talented, but so are soooo many other young actrresses. It now seems that all her quirkiness and “accidental” falls on red carpets are a bit more rehearsed than not. Sorry JLaw, not buying one bit of it.

    • Brad

      When Miley makes a rape joke it’s not ok. But when J-Law makes a rape joke we shouldn’t get mad.

      • JenH1986

        Well I think clearly that at least Alexis and several others are pretty pissed, but this is an excellent point.

      • Paul

        Miley made a rape joke during a concert in front of thousands of people, Jennifer was overheard at a party. I think that is why this is getting so much attention because of how it was reported by the original writer it almost feels as if eavesdropping on Jennifer. They are both public figures one said it in public and the other thought it was private, where do we draw a line so to speak. They are both wrong but its easier to be mad at Miley since she said it during a concert. I agree with JenH as well I bet Jennifer learns from this no need to bash people it can be done without drama.

    • Paul

      I would never want to be a celebrity. Jennifer came into Hollywood as the girl with no filter who said and did funny things. If she now starts to change due to backlash then she will be criticized for going Hollywood but if she stays the same people will say its fake or that they are over it. Celebrities are damned either way. I feel she used the wrong word to describe why she was screaming at the director. Lets see if she continues to make mistakes.

    • C.c

      For being one of the more popular actress around, I really wonder why she only has 7.7m Facebook fans. And does she even has a twitter or Instagram account.?

      It’s a shame she’s not much into social media or I’m sure she would have more Facebook fans and twitter followers.

      • katie

        she only has 7.7 million facebook fans because she doesn’t have a facebook. that is a fan account. i’m sure if she had an actual account it would be a lot more. but considering she doesn’t have one and most of her fans know that, that is actually a large number on a fan account.

    • JenH1986

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2635553/Jennifer-Lawrence-criticised-making-hand-rape-joke-Vanity-Fair-Armani-party-Cannes.html Apparently Alexis WASN’T the only one who was upset. I realize it’s DailyMail but they mention several other outlets.

    • JoKu

      Alexis, keep doing what you’re doing. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but fans who take their solidarity with celebrities to a hostile and inappropriate level are imo completely out of touch with reality, especially when it comes to slip-ups as serious as rape.

      • asdj

        haters who to their antagonism to a hostile and inappropriate level are imo completely out of touch with reality as well

      • asdj

        sorry *who take. never was a good typer.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I absolutely agree with that, but I also wouldn’t put myself in that category. Do you think that’s fair?

      • asdj

        no your blog is not in that category, just seems once two side start arguing it lead to comment section you had on that blog. you were the easy target because you wrote it and the defenders and detractors were in full force rambling on.

      • JoKu

        I’m about your use of the word hater. Please elaborate.

      • asdj

        not you, i agree with you just saying the haters are just as bad as the fans. every argument has to have both sides the defender/fan and the detractor/hater. for example jane above, no need to hope this is the end of jens career is a hater/detractor. and below steph is a fan/defender. back to work for me been fun.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Thanks very much! I really appreciate it.

    • Jane

      Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of Jennifer Lawrence’s career. One more slip up and she’s finished. Keep up the good work Alexis! Don’t let the haters get you down.

      • sam

        you are clearly either jealous or just an asshole. “one more slip up and she’s finished”. jeez, besides from this (which i wouldn’t even consider one) how has she slipped up? please elaborate.

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    • lauren

      i have a feeling you don’t actually know who jennifer lawrence is. what is this bad behavior you speak of? if you think she has bad behavior you must live in a seriously uptight world because i haven’t seen her do anything that was out of bad behavior. also if people aren’t “punishing like every other celebrity” that probably has to do with the fact that she has done nothing wrong. i hope to god you are a troll.

    • cuppy

      I love Jennifer Lawerence, however i share your sentiments, I love her personality however I do feel she exxagerates things to make her sound more relatable, humourous and I am begining to find her fans intolerable. I think she’s overrated as an actress, It’s not her I’m tired of, just her delusiaonl fan base that things she can do no worng

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Sadly, I feel the same way.

    • dLove

      Alexis your the BOMB!!! f the haters…..xoxo D.LOVE

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Thanks D-Love! You’re the best!

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