Dear Jennifer Lawrence,
At first, your quirky mannerisms, relatable awkwardness and general lack of everything we had come to expect from Hollywood actors seemed endearing. We laughed along as you made a fool of yourself in front of other celebrities, because you seemed normal, like our neighbor or our best friend. We listened to your anecdotes with interest and intrigue; but not anymore.
Ever since your career took off, you have fumbled your way through press tours, interviews, and TV appearances. At first, you seemed innocent (mildly annoying, with your never ending need to remind everyone that you’re a “regular person” and you “love food”, but harmless). But over the last year, and even longer, you have morphed into a being who is insensitive and detrimental to people’s cultures, sexual orientations and mental health issues.
I’ve never thought you were endearing, I’ve never looked up to you. Even when you seemed innocent in the way you handled yourself, I found you annoying, annoyingly “relatable”, cultivated by the media or by Hollywood or by yourself, to be relatable to everyone and liked by everyone, to be seen as a “normal” person.
I never liked that, but with the press tour that surrounded your new movie Passengers, I was given an entirely new reason to dislike you. You were culturally insensitive, disrespectful and you didn’t learn from that experience, you instead mocked it. You told a story about using sacred rocks in Hawaii to scratch your ass because your privileged-self didn’t like being in a wetsuit for the whole day. Not only did you do this and make the locals who believe in those sacred rocks fear that they were cursed, you also mocked that. You went on television and told that story, and laughed.
But you’re so normal and human, right? So when people told you that was culturally insensitive, you listened and apologized and truly meant it, right?
Wrong. You instead said, “I understand the way it was perceived was not funny and I apologize if I offended anyone”. You did offend people, you shouldn’t be saying I’m sorry IF I offended you because that takes the blame off of you, where it should be wholly felt. Instead, you turned it around to try and make people feel stupid for being offended, like “it was just a joke” wipes clean the slate.
So, Jennifer Lawrence, this is a letter to you, from me to tell you to stop.