Movies

Way Too Harsh: Salon Says it "Hates" Katherine Heigl

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

"Why We Hate Katherine Heigl," is the title of an article published on Salon.com today. Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams says the "Grey's Anatomy" actress is an "uppity little priss," and that Heigl's attempts to create a more positive public image for herself aren't working. From the tone of the comments accompanying the article, I'm not the only one who feels Williams' judgment of Heigl is overly harsh.

Uppity priss or smart, outspoken woman? Williams especially hates Heigl's propensity for speaking out when she's not happy with the quality of her own work. Heigl's done this a couple of times. First, she called "Knocked Up," the Judd Apatow movie in which she starred, "a little sexist," saying, "It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight... I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie."

Next, in 2008, she took her name out of the running for an Emmy when she was nominated for "Grey's Anatomy." She said, "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination."

It's true that dissing your own movie isn't the best career strategy, nor is it very tactful to throw your own writers under the bus when they pen crappy material for your character. But does expressing your opinion warrant an article with the word "hate" in the title?

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Wiliams has a point when she says, "If [Heigl's] going to crank out tepid rom-coms and applaud [her] own strength of character, we must call shenanigans." Yes, Heigl isn't exactly choosing the most meaningful movies: you'd think someone who was unhappy with her material on "Grey's Anatomy" would pick roles in films more serious than her upcoming "Life as We Know It." But, again - hate? Shouldn't we be reserving that word for people like Mel Gibson? And why the word "we", when the only one who holds this opinion of Heigl seems to be Williams herself?

Interestingly, this article is less about Katherine Heigl and more about Mary Elizabeth Williams. Perhaps she wants a bit of notoriety and figures that expressing a potentially inflammatory opinion about a relatively popular actress will get her writing some attention. (In that case, I'm playing right into her hands by writing this article.) Perhaps the title "Why We Hate Katherine Heigl" had a better ring to it than "Why This Particular Writer Finds Katherine Heigl Slightly Annoying Sometimes."

In any case, to quote "hobgoblin," a commenter on the story: "We don't hate her. I kind of like her. So please speak for yourself."