Anne Hathaway is a woman who knows how fiery — and completely unwarranted — public backlashes can be. Having herself experienced first-hand the rage of Twitter vagabonds and social media legislators, fame has not been an easy cup of tea for Anne to swallow. So, it was no surprise when the Les Misérables star was one of the first people in Hollywood to leap to fellow actress Jennifer Lawrence’s defense after the latter faced public criticism for deriding (a joke, really) a reporter in the press room of the Golden Globes.
The whole thing started when J-Law, who won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for Joy, was asked a question by a journalist whose attention was on his phone instead of the actress. Before he could finish, Lawrence interjected sharply: “You can’t live your whole life behind your phone, bro. You can’t do that. You’ve got to live in the now.”
The reporter, obviously embarrassed — and perhaps a bit anxious to impress — asked the actress how did she see herself for the “Oscar night,” to which Jennifer Lawrence quipped, “We are at the Golden Globes. If you put your phone down, you’d know that.”
Fair enough? Not so, said the internet.
After the video of the incident was posted online, social media went into overdrive, calling J-Law clueless, rude, and mean-spirited for having made the remark. Within a matter of 24 hours, the critical darling of Hollywood, the ever-so effervescent, bubbly Jennifer Lawrence became a “mean,” “ignorant,” “racist bully” on that remarkable bastion of express judgment, Twitter.
While Lawrence herself appeared not to give the scorn she received online much value, a fellow actress — someone who has suffered her fair share of scorn over the years — could not have enough of it. Anne Hathaway, a self-claimed J-Law fan, took to Facebook to express her solidarity with Lawrence, saying the whole remark was absurdly taken out of context.
Here is her post in full.
“Dear the Internet
It’s become pretty clear that the Jennifer Lawrence ‘scolding’ was taken out of context and that she was dryly joking with a journalist who was indeed using his phone to take photos of her.
“Let’s not continue the sad but common practice of building people – especially women- up just to viciously tear them down when we perceive them to have misstepped. Jennifer is a beautiful, talented, wildly successful, popular, FOUR TIME OSCAR NOMINATED young woman. Please let us not punish her for these things.”
According to Vanity Fair, which first posted the video of the exchange online, the journalists present at the press meet of the Golden Globes could see the humor in Jennifer Lawrence’s statements, but the media — and by extension, Twitter — obviously couldn’t. Publications such as the Wrap and Salon reported about the online backlash that J-Law was facing in light of her remarks.
If you think Jennifer Lawrence is 'cool' and a 'hero' for calling out that reporter, you need to do more research.— Jess Muir (@Jessmuir0407) January 12, 2016
Meanwhile, some people on Twitter went on to suggest that Lawrence was deliberately meaning to insult the reporter because of his poor English, a claim refuted by another journalist who was present at the press meet, according to Cosmopolitan.
I was in the press room w/ Jennifer Lawrence. She did NOT bully that reporter. He was not reading questions off of his phone. #GoldenGlobes— Chris Trondsen (@ChrisTrondsen) January 11, 2016
The reporter was asking a question but either filming or taking pictures off of his phone while talking to Jennifer Lawrence. #GoldenGlobes— Chris Trondsen (@ChrisTrondsen) January 11, 2016
In any case, the backlash was enough for Anne Hathaway to come out publicly in support of Lawrence, and ask the Twitter subset — which almost always seems to be on the move — to chill out and get back to its own business. In a Hollywood narrative that constantly wants to make us believe that top actresses are always trying to undercut each other both publicly and behind the scenes, it was a nice gesture on Anne Hathaway’s part.
Maybe some day Jennifer Lawrence will get to do the same.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]