Why you hate celebrities like James Corden, Anne Hathaway, Nicki Minaj


Kate Eakins hates James Corden. Like, really hates him.

“Every time I see James Corden, I wish him fear and agony and I have no idea why,” says Eakins, a 30-year-old analyst of Evansville, Indiana. “He’s not done anything to me personally, but I still wish him ill.”

People may think their unabashed, unadulterated loathing for certain celebrities like Corden comes out of nowhere – but experts say it’s a phenomenon baked into our fan culture.

“In fantasy, what we love and what we hate can get very, very close, because it’s just about strong, intense feelings that don’t really have much of a frame around them,” says Sharon Marcus, Columbia University professor and author of “The Drama of Celebrity.”

Plus, there’s always a reason. “It may be a reason they don’t want to admit to themselves, but there is a reason for it,” says Jeffrey Brown, professor and chair of the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University. “Celebrities signify things. They stand for certain values, certain assumptions that we make about them as people, and when we don’t like what those celebrities signify, that’s when we inherently blame the celebrity themselves and say, ‘oh I hate that person because they don’t align with my values.'”

That’s why Ify Anita strongly dislikes Nicki Minaj. “She has constantly used her platform to spread negativity,” Anita, 26, says, citing some of Minaj’s publicized feuds with other stars.

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Why we hate celebrities

But where exactly does this burning hatred come from? Hint: Think about who you spend time with in your own life. Who do you like? Who don’t you like?

“A lot of the strong dislike can be traced back – at least partially – to our tendency to prefer those who share similar characteristics to us over those who are different,” says Kaston Anderson-Carpenter, assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University. “Those characteristics can be external (e.g., having fame or notoriety, being wealthy) or internal (e.g., personality differences).”


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