Why Do People Hate Tom Hanks: The Intriguing Evolution of Tom Hanks’ Public Image

Tom Hanks is considered by many to be one of the most beloved and respected actors in Hollywood. With an acting career spanning over four decades, Hanks has starred in some of the most popular and acclaimed films of all time, including Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan, Apollo 13, Toy Story, and many more.

However, despite his reputation as “America’s Dad” and his clean-cut, friendly image, Hanks has managed to garner a small but vocal group of critics, detractors and even “haters” over the years. This article will examine some of the possible reasons why some people dislike Tom Hanks or find him to be overrated.

Why Do Some People Dislike Tom Hanks?

One of the most common criticisms of Tom Hanks is regarding his political affiliations and activism. Hanks has openly supported and donated to Democrat candidates over the years, and has been critical of Republican politicians like Donald Trump.

Some feel that Hanks inserts too much politics into his award ceremony speeches and interviews. They believe he preaches his liberal views too much or comes across as too self-righteous. This has led to a perception among some that he is a typical “Hollywood liberal.”

Overexposure and Oversaturation

Another reason for Tom Hanks fatigue is that he has been a huge movie star for decades. After starring in an unparalleled string of commercial and critical hits in the 1990s, Hanks has remained one of the most famous and visible celebrities in the world.

Some feel he is overexposed. They are tired of seeing him everywhere from movies to talk shows to ads and think he no longer feels like a fresh face or talent. The sheer quantity of his film roles can cause Hanks burnout for some.

“Too Clean” Reputation

Compared to many celebrities, Tom Hanks has a squeaky-clean reputation. While this is admirable, some find his image to be a little too perfect or wholesome, viewing him as boring or overly milquetoast.

Despite his immaculate reputation, Hanks has faced occasional controversies over the years like early statements about AIDS and an old blackface sketch. But he has avoided major scandals involving infidelity, drug use, etc.

Perception He Plays the Same Character

Another complaint about Hanks is the argument he essentially plays variations of himself in many of his roles – a likeable, ethical, average Joe type of character. Some feel he lacks range or that his demeanor and acting style remains largely consistent across films.

They see many of his characters blending together as nice guy protagonists without distinct personalities. As a result, they find him predictable and uninteresting.

Awards Show Dominance

With over 90 acting award wins and 200 nominations, Tom Hanks holds the record for most Academy Award nominations for an actor. He also has eight Emmy awards, seven Golden Globes, and many other honors.

While an impressive achievement, some believe Hanks gets awarded too often or that award shows pander to him regardless of whether a role was truly outstanding. They think other deserving actors get overlooked because voters default to Hanks’ reputation.

Is the Tom Hanks Backlash Valid?

The criticism towards Tom Hanks likely stems from a combination of genuine fatigue with his ubiquity and persona as well as the general tendency towards takedowns of celebrities at the heights of success. However, there are arguments that much of the backlash towards Hanks is exaggerated or even unwarranted:

Still Gives Strong Performances

While Tom Hanks is now in his 60s and has naturally aged out of some roles, he continues to garner critical praise for recent performances like Captain Phillips and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Many argue he still delivers very strong acting when given the right material.

Positive Influence in Hollywood

Unlike many major stars, Tom Hanks has no major scandals and is known for being kind-hearted, loyal to his values, and dedicated to his craft. In an industry filled with big egos, Hanks provides a positive example with his professionalism, ethics, and charitable efforts.

Award Recognition Not Undeserved

While some feel award voters default to Hanks too often, the reality is he has legitimately delivered multiple iconic roles that will be remembered for generations. His awards recognition reflects a remarkable career of starring in critical and commercial hits, not just pandering by voters.

Range of Roles and Characters

While Hanks has played some similar nice guy roles, he has successfully inhabited many diverse characters over the years including a cruel 1930s gangster (Road to Perdition), a cowboy (Toy Story), a WWII army captain (Saving Private Ryan), a ship captain (Captain Phillips), and many more. He has shown impressive range.

Makes Highly Entertaining Movies

Regardless of whether all his roles are entirely unique, Tom Hanks has been the lead actor in an incredible number of popular and beloved films spanning comedy, drama, war, romance, and more. Audiences consistently find his movies to deliver quality entertainment value.


In the end, the outspoken hate and criticism towards Tom Hanks likely stems less from valid objections, and more from a mix of envy, political differences, virtue signaling, and natural backlash to his overwhelming success. What faults he has do not outweigh his incredible acting career and reputation as one of the most talented and impactful actors of his generation.

While a small minority may actively dislike Hanks and his films, the vast majority of audiences and critics continue to enjoy his work and view him as one of Hollywood’s most exceptional stars – both in terms of acting ability and character. Barring an unforeseen scandal, his strong reputation as “America’s Dad” looks likely to endure going forward.

FAQ About Tom Hanks Backlash

Why do some people call Tom Hanks overrated?

Some criticize Hanks as overrated because of perceived flaws like limited acting range, playing similar characters, or getting excessive award recognition due to his popularity rather than some roles truly being outstanding. However, most still consider him very talented.

Does Tom Hanks insert too much politics into his speeches?

Some believe Hanks preaches his liberal views too much during interviews and speeches. But as a passionate activist, he sees it as appropriate to use his platform. Others don’t mind or even appreciate his political stances.

What scandals or controversies has Tom Hanks faced?

Unlike most major stars, Hanks has no major scandals involving infidelity, arrests, etc. Minor controversies include a blackface sketch early in his career and some comments on AIDS that were criticized by activists.

Has Tom Hanks shown range as an actor?

While some see Hanks as playing similar characters, he has successfully inhabited very diverse roles including mentally disabled, gay, historical figures, soldiers, politicians, astronauts, ship captains, cowboys, gangsters, ministers, and more.

Is Tom Hanks still making good movies late in his career?

Though in his 60s, Hanks continues to earn praise for recent roles in films like Captain Phillips, Bridge of Spies, The Post, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Elvis. He remains highly capable of strong acting performances.

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