Portland News

Anne Hathaway opens up about the backlash following her first Oscar win

Les Misérables actress Anne Hathaway discusses the heat following her wins in 2012
Les Misérables actress Anne Hathaway discusses the heat following her wins in 2012

Image source: Sky News

Experience breeds knowledge, and Anne Hathaway recalled her Oscar win nearly a decade ago as a stepping stone on her journey.

While winning the Oscar was a giant leap in her career, it also heralded a troubling time.

Opening up

Anne Hathaway won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2012 for her performance in the movie Les Miserables.

She discussed what happened after the win during the ELLE event in Hollywood on Monday.

Hathaway spoke about the hate she faced online and in the media before her victory.

The award then escalated into a more substantial backlash.

“Ten years ago, I was given an opportunity to look at the language of hatred from a new perspective,” said the actress.

“For context–this was a language I had employed with myself since I was seven.”

“And when your self-inflicted pain is suddenly somehow amplified back at you at, say, the full volume of the internet… it’s a thing.”

Anne Hathaway said the experience made her realize she did not want to be involved in “this line of energy.”

“I would no longer create art from this place,” she added.

“I would no longer hold space for it, live in fear of it, nor speak its language for any reason. To anyone. Including myself.”

Read also: Antisemitism earns Kanye West restrictions on Instagram and Twitter

After the win

2012 was one of the most successful years in the actress’ career, winning numerous awards.

She won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and was considered a heavy favorite for an Oscar.

However, success would come with heavy criticism.

“There is a difference between existence and behavior,” Hathaway explained.

“You can judge behavior. You can forgive behavior or not. But you do not have the right to judge–and especially not hate–someone for existing.”

“And if you do, you’re not where it’s at.”

Read also: Diving into the films that made the zombie genres a big hit


Anne Hathaway concluded with a reflection on hatred.

She pointed out how hate can be unlearned and changed, although it is a learned behavior.

“The good news about hate being learned is that whoever learned it can learn,” Hathaway explained.

“There is a brain there. I hope they give themselves a chance to relearn love.”

At ELLE’s 29th annual Women in Hollywood event, the actress also paid tribute to her fellow honorees, including:

  • Arana DeBose
  • Issa Rae
  • Michelle Yeoh
  • Olivia Wilde
  • Sigourney Weaver
  • Sydney Sweeney
  • Zoe Kravitz

“Be happy for women. Period,” said Hathaway.

“Especially be happy for high-achieving women. Like, it’s not that hard.”


Anne Hathaway reflects on the ‘hate’ she endured after winning her Oscar

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.