Hated Stars Who Are Actually Really Nice People

Thanks to the rise of online tabloids and social media, a celebrity's every move is scrutinized more than ever before, and when controversy equals clicks, it doesn't take much for a star to find themselves with an army of haters. It's sometimes easy to forget that celebs are only human, and nobody's perfect. When you look at the bigger picture, some of Hollywood's most hated stars are actually decent people trying to do some good in the world while navigating the pitfalls of success.

Amy Schumer

By late 2015, Amy Schumer had an "overexposure" problem. Thanks to her hit movie Trainwreck and her viral sensation sketch comedy show Inside Amy Schumer, the stand-up comedian was everywhere. We saw her gracing magazine covers, trending online, and walking the red carpets, where she famously once pretended to fall in front of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. (C'mon, that was pretty funny.)

However, Schumer ran into some problems when she parodied Beyoncé's "Formation" video in late 2016. The comedian was accused of "cultural appropriation" and making light of police brutality, according to Vanity Fair. It didn't help that Schumer's initial response to the controversy was to post a nude photo to Instagram, reveling in the backlash. She later apologized on Mediumsaying that her intentions weren't to parody the video, but to join it in celebrating women. (In Schumer's defense, her parody video was first posted on Tidal, which is owned by Beyoncé's husband, Jay Z, so it's not a stretch to assume that Schumer may have had Queen Bey's approval.)

At the end of the day, Schumer is a comedian, and sometimes jokes don't land. It's clear from the majority of her material and public stances that she's dedicated to empowering women, ending gun violence, and denouncing racism. Those topics can be extremely polarizing stances in America, but that hasn't stopped Schumer from tackling them head-on.

Ben Affleck

Just as Ben Affleck earned himself a reputation as a serious filmmaker and seemed to put the tabloid life in his rearview, thanks to a seemingly perfect marriage to Jennifer Garner, he made the surprising decision to star as Batman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. In fairness, who doesn't want to be Batman? Not to mention, Affleck was likely eager to deliver an epic superhero movie after his star turn in Daredevil wasn't the best.

Unfortunately for Affleck, Batman V Superman didn't go over well with critics, and the film's quality has been a hot topic among comic book fans. It also didn't help that not long before the questionable blockbuster hit theaters in 2016, his marriage to Garner imploded when he was caught allegedly hooking up with their kids' nanny. Awkward.

While Affleck isn't solely to blame for how Batman V Superman turned out, the nanny thing does look sketchy. However, Garner told Vanity Fair that the scandal happened months after they separated, and she's consistently praised Affleck as a dedicated co-parent. He even put himself in rehab to be a better father and teach his kids that it's okay to ask for help.

Affleck has also been a reliable team player while filming Justice League, even though there's a big question mark about when he'll hang up his cape. What's more, he's a crusader in real life who isn't afraid to stand up against intolerance and has been a passionate advocate for humanitarian aid in the East Congo.

Gwyneth Paltrow

When Gwyneth Paltrow launched her infamous lifestyle website goop, it boosted her bad reputation for being "privileged" and "out of touch," according to the Independent, and it cemented Paltrow's presence on assorted "Most Hated" lists. If the public wasn't already aware of how her godfather, Steven Spielberg, arranged her first big break in Hook (1991), or the urban legend that she backstabbed Winona Ryder to star in Shakespeare in Love (which earned her the best actress Oscar in 1999), followers have probably seen the headlines about goop selling some highly questionable items at super crazy prices. Plus there's Paltrow's unusual health advice, which includes steaming certain body parts that probably shouldn't be steamed. We won't go further down that hole.

But at the end of the day, Paltrow seems genuinely interested in helping women achieve healthy, happy lives. She even came to the defense of Kim Kardashian, who isn't exactly part of the Hollywood elite, when the reality star was being unfairly shamed for her pregnancy weight gain. Paltrow is also active in helping to feed the homeless in Los Angeles, and for someone who's supposedly out of touch, she isn't afraid to stop and help when she sees a person in need.

Plus she's best friends with Beyoncé. What more do you need?

Adam Sandler

Let's put it this way: Adam Sandler's movies probably aren't going to win an Oscar. At the time of this writing, they're exclusively being released on Netflix instead of theaters, where things weren't going so well for the Happy Gilmore star, according to The Verge. But while the quality of Sandler's films have become a punchline, The Verge also noted that The Ridiculous 6 (2015) and The Do-Over (2016) are the most-watched Netflix originals, despite extremely low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. (The Ridiculous 6 sits at 0 percent.) Essentially, Sandler has a loyal fanbase who just want to laugh. What's to hate about that?

If you stop looking down your nose at Sandler's films, you'll learn he's actually a down-to-earth guy who doesn't abuse his fame. He's also extremely charitable, and once donated $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown. He even took time to wear a T-shirt drawn by an autistic boy in Philadelphia to help spread awareness. On top of that, he seems to be one of the few celebs who is a genuinely good person, according to Gawker.

"People whose talent I respected all turned out to be a**holes while Adam Sandler—Adam Sandler!!!—was the nicest gem of a person," a theater worker told Gawker. "There was a little girl tantruming because we didn't sell cheese popcorn and he got down on the floor, played with her, made her laugh, charmed her overwhelmed grandmother and diffused the whole situation."

Anne Hathaway

In an industry full of divas, domestic abusers, and other unsavory sorts, it's odd that Anne Hathaway gets so much hate for essentially being good at her job. As Vulture put it, "Hathaway's greatest sin is being perceived as 'actress-y,' meaning that she's the sort of ambitious theater kid who likely practiced her Oscar speech in the mirror at age 8 and then went on to make good on that dream."

Hers was an unusual backlash that sites such as Vulture and Jezebel have come to regret in recent years, because it turns out Hathaway is a thoughtful and insightful actress whose only crime was being too "eager" and earnest, which are not negative qualities. Hathaway was on the front lines of Occupy Wall Street to protest conditions affecting middle class families, and she's no stranger to charitable causes. She even handled her 2011 Oscars hosting disaster with grace, never throwing her co-host James Franco under the bus even though he didn't hesitate to take a jab at her just a few days after the show.

As shock jock Howard Stern said in an interview with Franco years later (via Us Weekly), "She comes off like the goody two-shoes actress and it's just fun to sort of hate her." We can't help but wonder if Stern would feel the same way about an actor who kept his nose clean and worked hard at his career. Food for thought.

Simon Cowell

During the heyday of American Idol, there was one judge to fear more than any other: Simon Cowell. With his acerbic tongue and brutal honesty, Cowell quickly earned a reputation for his scathing takedowns of aspiring singers. In his defense, he gave would-be pop stars a taste of how hard it is to make it in the music industry. It was a cold hard truth, and Cowell wasn't afraid to deliver it. Although, even he'll agree he might have been a bit too harsh. He told People that parenthood has softened him up and a lot of his infamous demeanor is (mostly) the result of careful editing.

"There's no question when you actually have a kid, it does make you feel different because you understand how you would feel if it was your son up there." he said. "I think X Factor and Idol were edited so that I was always seen as this bad-tempered, miserable whatever—which of course I am at times, but I'm not like that the whole day!"

Cowell also won't hesitate to help when tragedy strikes. After the Grenfell Tower fire in London left 80 dead and hundreds without homes, he donated £100,000 and organized a charity single featuring more than 50 artists. "In all the years of doing this I have never felt so emotional," he told The Guardian. "It was unbelievably powerful and sincere."

Kristen Stewart

In 2013, The Cut listed Kristen Stewart as the second most hated person in Hollywood (Gwyneth Paltrow was no. 1). According to Elle, the hate essentially boiled down to Stewart being "one of those girls who is trying to look like they're not trying." There was also the time when she cheated on Robert Pattinson with her Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) director Rupert Sanders.

While the Sanders affair was messy and ruined his marriage, it's not like Stewart is solely to blame. As for Pattinson, their relationship was a whirlwind of scrutiny hoisted on two kids who became famous overnight, and he certainly has no hard feelings. "It's just young people...it's normal!" he told Esquire, with a laugh. "And honestly, who gives a sh*t?"

Stewart's career has since gained some time and space from the overpowering Twilight (2008-12) franchise, and it's became evident that she's a talented actress who is genuinely awkward when it comes to interviews. Except for the time she appeared on her best friend's YouTube show and was full of energy. That was like a whole new K-Stew. Stewart is also passionate about several causes, including homelessness, helping victims of sexual abuse, and human rights. On top of that, the intensely private actress came out as bisexual while hosting SNL, and she told The London Sunday Times it was for selfless reasons. "It was an opportunity to surrender a bit of what was mine, to make even one other person feel good about themselves."

Nicki Minaj

For years, Nicki Minaj had a reputation for being the one hip-hop star you don't want to mess with. According to People, she has famously feuded with Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Remy Ma, and even Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham. Although, in Minaj's defense, she was almost always calling out her fellow celebs for some arguably sketchy behavior. During a 2016 taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show (via Entertainment Weekly), Minaj told a fan that she regrets all of her feuds because she's a "sweet person" who doesn't want to be mean to people.

In 2017, Minaj revealed her generous side when she randomly decided to help cash-strapped college students if they tweeted her proof that they were earning straight A's. The Huffington Post reported that Minaj became so touched by the reactions that she started making plans to form an official charity for students struggling to pay for a higher education. Minaj also revealed that she had been privately funding an Indian village for years, according to Pop Crush. Thanks to the hip-hop star the village gained access to clean water and educational resources. So there you have it: Minaj truly is a softy. And hey, we're not going to judge if she still feels the need to put a few celebrities in their place. Someone's got to do it.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is essentially hated for being successful. When Kim Kardashian famously "exposed" Swift by releasing a private recording of her allegedly approving the controversial lyrics for Kanye West's "Famous"—the lyrics she'd publicly slammed as highly offensive—the internet exploded, seemingly rejoicing over seeing Swift brought down a peg and supposedly caught in a lie. However, as Rolling Stone reported, the infamous recording never shows West running the specific line, "I made that b*tch famous" past Swift. At best, all Kardashian did was expose Swift for trying to have fun with West over their "feud," until he took it too far. As Yeezy does.

Granted, Swift might be guilty of some media manipulation, but to echo The Ringer, what celebrity isn't it? At the end of the day, she's a talented singer-songwriter who gives insane amounts of time and money to charity. She frequently visit kids in the hospital and drop sizable donations to charity. After winning her 2017 lawsuit against a radio DJ that allegedly groped her, Swift immediately made good on her promise to help victims of sexual assault.

If her biggest sins are being a little too calculated about her Instagram game and calling out her exes in songs, that seems like a small price to pay for how much she invests in those less fortunate. Sure, Swift is all about the fame, but at least she's using it for good, and that's a fact you can't shake off.