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Dear Jennifer, There is no excuse for bad behavior

Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. The X-Men star was promoting her new movie mother! on Late Night with Seth Meyers. In the process of discussing the movie, she discusses how she got into a ‘bar fight’ with a fan that asked for a selfie and somehow thought it was funny.

Watch the clip below (start at the 2:30 mark).

Let’s break down what is so wrong about this:

  1. Jennifer, if this is your version of events, it’s safe to ask that just because the guy said “f**k you”, what right did that give you to assault him? Let’s pay attention to what she said: ” Something in me snapped and it couldn’t have been the alcohol.” Then she grabbed him and doused him and his belonging by pouring beer all over them.
  1. Jennifer, you DO realize that you just admitted to assaulting someone on television right? I mean come on now, if this guy decided to take legal action, you gave him all the ammo he needs.
  2. I am trying to really understand what’s so ‘cute’ about telling this story and it comes off as ‘ok’? Also, Seth you lose cool points by saying ‘serves him right’.  Let’s be real people…if it had been a man doing this to a woman, there would be no end to some of the coverage this would have gotten. Quite frankly, if a male celebrity had done this to a woman, I hope that he would have been held to a high legal standard.

Don’t get me wrong, the fan was rude in cursing at her for saying no, but they were just words. All she had to do was walk away. To go after a stranger in a foreign country not knowing what he may have been carrying a weapon or if he had other friends is asking for trouble. It’s fortunate that nothing worse happened. Many of us have met a celebrity and asked for a photo and they said no, we have respected that. At the same time as well, many of us have learned to gauge the mood and situation before asking for the picture. Sometimes, it’s just as well to sit back and get a picture from a distance and keep it moving. Being rude and disrespectful is the quickest way to make things go sour, but no one should have to worry about being assaulted; in some cases though, you reap what you sow.

On the flip side of things, some of this still goes back to the celebs (and their handlers) themselves and how they are in public. You can only expect some modicum of privacy when you are out in public spaces. In a day and age when cameras are everywhere, fans love to have indisputable, visual proof that they met someone famous and this is even more than wanting or getting autographs. In the time it took for her to relate her ‘bar fight’ story to Seth, it would have taken much less time for Jennifer to take the picture. Even if the answer was no, the moment the fan got belligerent, one of her friends or handlers should have stepped in and diffused the situation. Sure, we were not there and we are only getting her side of the story, but she chose to tell it and the picture that it paints is that she doesn’t have friends who would look out for her, nor does she have discretion in when and where stories like these should be told.

If nothing else, a story like this is something that you tell to your friends in private. People who are your fans don’t need to hear stories like these which taints your image. Jennifer, maybe you forgot, you DO have an image to uphold. Sure, we understand that we are all human, we make mistakes and bad decisions, but bragging about getting INTO a fight holds a different look than it does if you were preventing one. Even the age old cliche’ of ‘think of the children’ plays here. When you hold some kind of celebrity status, people look at you to inspire and when you tarnish that image, it’s really hard to get fans back on your side. People will always remember that one bad incident over 10 good ones.

Biggest point of all is when one celeb does it, how does it look for everyone else? Many fans have accounts of celebrities that they have met who they got negative reactions to when asking for a picture or autographs. When that story gets passed along, similar to the ‘telephone game’, by the time it reaches the end of the line it’s been blown out of proportion. If as a celebrity, you want to keep some modicum of goodwill with fans, treat them with respect even if they don’t. Nothing is gained by doing something so boneheaded such as starting a fight because of words. Even if you feel like you are about to do something that you are about to regret, let your friends step in to diffuse the situation and that’s even if you have friends that have the character to do so because Jennifer…your story ain’t cute.

About Armand (1270 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill

3 Comments on Dear Jennifer, There is no excuse for bad behavior

  1. Sounds consistent with her behavior. Remember when she chewed out that one reporter for looking at his phone? “We’re at the Golden Globes, if you’d put down your phone you’d know that.”

    It was a foreign reporter who wasn’t well versed in English, and he was looking at his phone to read off his question for her.


  2. While I’ll admit that the story Jennifer told didn’t paint her in the best light it did paint her in a very human light. That light that highlights flaws, of which we all have. The story I heard her tell was one of going out after a long day of work to have a few beers with friends. Something many of us do on a regular basis. After having a few too many, something else many of us do, she wasn’t in the mood to play her role as celebrity to some strangers role as fan. The fan took offense to this and let her know this in no uncertain terms and like any other inebriated human being is capable of doing, she overreacted. Seemed like this reaction happened in a flash, typical of drunk people, her friends were slow to react, again typical of drunk people, but when Jennifer continued to escalate the situation by following the man a friend jumped in and ended it. Sounds like a regular Saturday night in many bars across the world.
    While I do not applaud her actions in the bar that night, I have no problem with her relaying her truth to her fans and the public at large which is. She is human. She has a job. That job is acting. Enjoy the characters she creates in the stories she laborers to bring to life, but don’t expect that just because you enjoy her work that she has to live in a fantasy life built by fans. Those days died back in the 80’s, I’d hoped, after Rock Hudson and other contemporaries finally felt safe enough to allow their fans and the greater public into the truth of their human experience.
    In closing I say that disappointment can only follow expectation. I ask, should we expect anything more from our artists today than an unflinching look at our human existence? Even if we glimpse it through their actual lives? I think not.


    • While I understand your pov and see the value in it…there is one word that keeps coming to my mind: Discretion. Taking everything you said in consideration about the fact that she was blowing off steam, with her being a public figure, what value is added by relaying a story like that on public TV?


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