Anne Hathaway's Most Controversial Moments

Anne Hathaway is one of the most well-known actors of the 21st century. Her breakout role as Mia Thermopolis in "The Princess Diaries" movies remains one of her most iconic, with the franchise arguably being one of the best teen movies of the 2000s. The actor is also largely known for playing Andy Sachs in "The Devil Wears Prada," a role Hathaway scored with the help of her beloved co-star Meryl Strep. Since then, she's gone on to appear in hits like "The Dark Knight Rises," "Interstellar," and "Les Misérables," the last of which Hathaway starred in with her friend Hugh Jackman.

While she's been undeniably successful in her career, Hathaway's public reputation is a whole other story. In fact, back in the 2010s, the internet's hatred for the actor became something of a phenomenon, with a few controversial moments spawning a campaign of "Hathahate" across the web. Self-proclaimed haters criticized everything from Hathaway's picture-perfect appearance to her allegedly manufactured positive attitude, but the biggest criticism launched at the Oscar-winning star was that she was simply annoying.

In retrospect, it's clear that most of the hate Hathaway received stemmed from misogyny, with The New Yorker speculating that her happy girl persona was a major contributing factor. However, although controversial moments from Hathaway's past may have received an undue amount of criticism, they remain staples of the celebrity's relationship with the public.

Hathaway's infamous Oscars hosting stint with James Franco

While the hate against Anne Hathaway kicked off around the release of "Les Misérables," one of the more contentious moments in her career took place a few years prior. The "One Day" star was tasked with hosting the 83rd Annual Academy Awards alongside James Franco in 2011, a night that would be remembered as one of the worst in the history of the awards show. Not only were they both inexperienced hosts, but Hathaway and Franco's evident inability to connect onstage created an awkwardness that was felt by the celebrity audience and the at-home viewers alike. 

It bordered on painful at times, with Hathaway's obvious enthusiasm clashing with Franco's laid-back demeanor. "It was like the world's most uncomfortable blind date between the cool rocker stoner kid and the adorable theater camp cheerleader," David Wild, one of the show's writers, told The Ringer. Both Franco and Hathaway subsequently acknowledged that their joint hosting venture was a flop. 

Franco, for his part, referenced his co-host's high energy and alluded to weak material from the writers in an interview with David Letterman (per Vulture). Hathaway, meanwhile, pointed to the discrepancy between her and her colleague's energy levels. "I think it looked slightly manic and 'hyper-cheerleadery' onscreen," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "But I have no regrets about doing it."

The actor talks about her performance in Les Mis

The internet's beef with Anne Hathaway really flourished in 2012 and 2013. While she had garnered critical acclaim for her performance as Fantine in the 2012 film adaptation of "Les Misérables," the actor's public perception was more of a mixed bag. "Love Les Mis but very much dislike Anne Hathaway," one social media user wrote on X, a sentiment that was echoed across the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The public's annoyance with Hathaway seemed to initially escalate with comments she made about her experience with the film. When asked by MTV if she was moved by her own performance, the "Serenity" star admitted that she did cry. "But not because of what I was doing [on screen]," the actor explained. "It was because I was back in the process of making it. The rest of the film made me bawl like a baby." The sentiment may be true, but Bustle reports that the interview was negatively received by readers, with many interpreting her comments as an arrogant boast paired with a poor attempt to save face. 

Hathaway also opened up about the intensive methods she adopted to lose weight for the role, which was similarly read as a way to toot her own horn. The performer lost 25 pounds for the film, undergoing a cleanse and restricting her diet to dried oatmeal paste. "No one liked what I was doing," Hathaway told the Los Angeles Times. "By the end, people were hugging me and they would get emotional because I felt so frail" (per Bustle). 

Hathaway was criticized at the 2013 Golden Globes

Awards show season heightened the public's negative feelings towards Anne Hathaway, with the New York native's acceptance speeches becoming some of the most controversial moments of her career. For example, she came under scrutiny at the 2013 Golden Globes awards as she accepted the accolade for Best Supporting Actress for her "Les Mis" role.

Cosmopolitan reported that Hathaway's speech garnered 19,695 tweets per minute, with many viewers accusing the actor of being overly theatrical, disingenuously surprised, and plain awkward. "Blergh," Hathaway started her speech, thanking Tina Fey, one of the award show's hosts, for the word before continuing her address. "Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt."

Scrutiny only intensified later in the night when "Les Mis" was awarded with Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical and the actor was accused of stealing the mic from Tim Fellner during what was supposed to be the producer's major win of the night. Though Fellner seemed to graciously allow Hathaway to say a few words before him, the "Rachel Getting Married" star was still criticized for taking the moment to add a few missed names to her previous speech.

The awkwardness continued with the Oscars

The Golden Globes weren't where the Anne Hathaway criticism ended, though, as the actor seemed to fumble through the entire awards show season. While she was scrutinized during her BAFTA acceptance speech, the next biggest miss came during the Oscars. Hathaway's dress, which had some unfortunately-placed darts on the chest, was the first target of the 2013 night.

She was originally slated to wear a Valentino gown, but changed last-minute to a pale pink Prada dress after realizing her chosen outfit was going to be similar to Amanda Seyfried's, her "Les Mis" co-star. It was this nipple-accentuating dress that Hathaway wore during her Oscar acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress. "It came true," the actor said softly upon winning the accolade, a comment that was criticized for feeling disingenuous, especially after her numerous other wins.

Overall, the public came hard at Hathaway for her breathy acceptance speech, accusing the actor of being overly rehearsed and fake. While these sentiments would turn out to be somewhat true, the backlash was still disproportionately large. According to a source close to the star, Hathaway did actually rehearse her acceptance speech beforehand, hoping to be better received by the audience after receiving so much criticism. "She was very aware that she had been the butt of everyone's jokes," the source told Us Weekly.

Hathaway's disability representation in The Witches

Most of the unfounded hate against Anne Hathaway took place in the early 2010s, but not all of the star's controversies are exclusive to the era of peak Hathahate. In fact, one of the most harmful moments of her career came in 2020 with the release of "The Witches" on HBO Max. The film is an adaption of the homonymous children's novel by Roald Dahl, which follows a boy who stumbles upon a court of child-hating witches.

Hathaway stars in the dark comedy as the evil witch leader known as the Grand High Witch, a character whose design came under fire for its representation of disability. For the adaptation, the witches were depicted as only having three fingers in a manner that is similar to the congenital disorder ectrodactyly. "This isn't about being overly sensitive," Briony May Williams, a former "The Great British Bake-Off" contestant with ectrodactyly said on Instagram. "This is about showcasing limb difference as ugly, scary, gross, and evil."

Upon receiving the criticism, Hathaway took to Instagram to apologize for her role in "The Witches." "As someone who really believes in inclusivity and really, really detests cruelty, I owe you all an apology for the pain caused," the actor wrote on Instagram. "I am sorry. I did not connect limb difference with the GHW when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened." Hathaway promised to do better in the future while also sharing a video from the disability organization Lucky Fin Project.