Why Do People Hate Amanda Abbington: The Untold Stories Fueling Amanda Abbington’s Critics

Amanda Abbington is an English actress best known for playing Miss Mardle in Mr Selfridge and Mary Watson in the BBC series Sherlock. Despite her accomplishments as an actress, Abbington has faced significant hatred and backlash online from certain groups of people. This article will explore the reasons why Abbington has critics and haters.

Role in Sherlock Was Controversial

One of the main reasons Amanda Abbington has been criticized is for her role as Mary Watson, the wife of John Watson, in Sherlock. When she was first cast in the role for Season 3, some fans objected to her character’s presence.

Fan Backlash to a Love Interest

Many fans felt that introducing a permanent love interest for Watson was unnecessary and took focus away from Sherlock and Watson’s friendship, which was the heart of the show.

Dislike of Her Character

Some viewers simply did not like Mary as a character. They felt she was poorly written or found her relationship with Watson unrealistic or uninteresting.

An Obstacle to “Johnlock”

There is a vocal subset of Sherlock fans who ship Sherlock and Watson as a couple (known as “Johnlock”). Mary’s introduction as Watson’s wife was seen as an obstacle to “Johnlock” becoming canon.

Lack of Chemistry with Watson

Others criticized the lack of on-screen chemistry between Abbington and Martin Freeman, who plays Watson. They did not find the Mary/Watson relationship believable.

Faced Misogyny and Harassment Online

Sadly, like many women in the public eye, Amanda Abbington has also faced significant misogynistic attacks and harassment on social media and online forums.

Criticism of Her Appearance

She has been subjected to cruel comments attacking her looks and weight. Some labeled her “ugly” or “fat” or other derogatory terms.

Threats and Harassment

In addition to appearance-based criticism, Abbington has received threats of violence and disturbing sexual comments from online trolls.

Double Standard as a Female Character

The level of vitriol directed at Abbington’s Mary Watson exceeded that aimed at any male characters. Many noted the double standard inherent in the intense hatred of her character simply for being a love interest.

Controversial Comments About “Sherlock” Costars

In a few interviews and podcasts after her time on Sherlock, Amanda Abbington made somewhat controversial comments about her experience on set and with her costars that rubbed some fans the wrong way.

Implying Benedict Cumberbatch Was Difficult

In one interview, she implied Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Sherlock was difficult to work with and kept his distance from the other cast members. Fans of Cumberbatch did not appreciate her comments.

Criticizing Steven Moffat’s Writing

She also criticized Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat’s writing of female characters, calling his writing of Mary Watson “claustrophobic.” Moffat had previously faced criticism for his portrayal of women.

Comments About Martin Freeman’s Ego

In the Sherlock Uncovered podcast, she referenced Martin Freeman having an “ego” and implied his fame from The Hobbit movie franchise had increased his sense of self-importance on set.

Personal Life Has Been Controversial

Beyond just her on-screen acting roles, Amanda Abbington’s personal relationships and choices have also faced some backlash and criticism online.

Divorcing Freeman After 16 Years

Her 2016 divorce from longtime partner Martin Freeman after 16 years together was splashed across tabloids. Some fans blamed her or took Freeman’s side.

Dating “Sherlock” Writer

She also received criticism when she began dating Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss shortly after her divorce. Some saw it as unprofessional or even immoral.

Co-Parenting Criticism

Abbington and Freeman have two children together. Some criticized her parenting during and after the divorce or felt she unfairly bashed Freeman as a co-parent.

She Has Been Target of Tabloid Gossip and Rumors

As a celebrity, Amanda Abbington has been subjected to endless tabloid gossip, rumors, and fake news about her life and relationships. While untrue, these articles fuel negativity.

Affair Rumors During Marriage

Tabloids long suggested Abbington had affairs during her marriage to Freeman, playing into existing criticisms of her being a “bad wife”.

Rumors About Her Weight

Tabloids and gossip sites also frequently commented on her weight, speculating on whether she gained or lost weight for roles.

Drug and Alcohol Rumors

At times, tabloids speculated she had issues with drugs or alcohol abuse, despite a lack of evidence. This tied into criticisms of her parenting.

Supported Controversial Political Views

Amanda Abbington has used her platform to promote some political views that do not sit well with portions of the public, garnering her additional critics.

Pro-Palestine Views

She has voiced strong support for Palestine and criticized the actions of the Israeli government, which is controversial with Jewish groups and Israel supporters.

Defending J.K. Rowling

She defended Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling during controversies related to Rowling’s comments about transgender people. This offended transgender activists.

Other Liberal Politics

Overall, Abbington holds fairly progressive political views that rub conservative fans the wrong way, whether on issues like race, gender, or sexuality.


In summary, Amanda Abbington faces significant hatred and criticism stemming primarily from her role on Sherlock, magnified by tabloid gossip, some controversial comments, and support for divisive political issues.

While any harassment or threats are unacceptable, thoughtful criticism of an actor’s professional work or public statements is often part of being in the limelight. Moving forward, Abbington’s acting talents continue to impress, and perhaps with time and distance from Sherlock, she may overcome past controversies.

Five Frequently Asked Questions About Amanda Abbington’s Hate

Here are answers to five common questions about why Amanda Abbington is so controversial and disliked in certain circles:

Why do Sherlock fans hate Amanda Abbington’s Mary Watson?

Many hardcore Sherlock fans hated her character Mary Watson as an interloper interfering with the Sherlock/Watson dynamic and getting in the way of hoped-for Johnlock. They felt she made the show worse.

What controversial comments did Amanda make about Benedict Cumberbatch?

In interviews, she made vague comments implying Benedict was standoffish on set, which fans took as criticism as they adore his character Sherlock. She also called the show’s writing of Mary Watson “claustrophobic.”

How did Amanda’s divorce from Martin Freeman add to the backlash?

The tabloid coverage of their split after 16 years heaped scrutiny on her. Some fans blamed her for the divorce. Dating Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss so soon after also raised eyebrows.

What political views have Amanda expressed that were controversial?

She has voiced support for Palestine and J.K. Rowling that offended some. Her progressive views on issues like gender and race bother more conservative fans.

Why don’t some tabloids and gossip sites like Amanda?

Tabloids repeatedly published rumors about affairs, weight gain/loss, drug use, parenting failures, and other unproven gossip to paint her in a negative light.

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