Why do people seem to hate ‘Mad Men”s January Jones?

Actress slammed by Damon Lindelof, Zach Galifiniakis and others

I don’t know much about January Jones, but this much is pretty darn clear: people really seem to hate the woman.

I don’t just mean the gossip websites and critics, but even people in Hollywood.

I’m not a Mad Men viewer, so please excuse me if I’m not completely familiar with her work. I have seen a few movies she’s been in, but I’ll be damned if I can remember her in any of them. I looked at her IMDB page, which honestly doesn’t have too much on it anyway, and all I keep saying when I read the titles is, “Oh, that was her?”

But what surprises me so much is how openly she’s being attacked. The recent slam on the blonde beauty comes from Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof. For one reason or another he spewed a bit of Jones hate on Sunday via Twitter:

“Emma Frost’s THREE mutant powers: Telepathy, Transformation to Solid Diamond and last but not least, Sucking at Acting.”

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A pretty harsh slight. He later tweeted on Wednesday that “I am only slightly less disgusted with the amount of play my X-Men comment got than I am with myself for making it in the first place,” but the damage was already done.

The Twitter slam comes on the heels of funnyman Zach Galifiniakis offering up a scathing commentary on the 33-year-old actress which was more of a personal criticism than a professional one.

In an interview on Shortlist.com, he relayed a rather cold encounter he had with Jones:

“It was crazy. I was at a party — I’d never met her — and she was like, Come sit down.’ So I sit at her table and talk for 10 minutes, and she goes, I think it’s time for you to leave now.’ So I say, January, you are an actress in a show and everybody’s going to forget about you in a few years, so f*cking be nice,’ and I got up and left.”

He then went on to say he’d “hate” to share a love scene with her, but honestly I think he was talking more about love scenes in general than her specifically.

January Jones: What'd she ever do to you?
January Jones: What’d she ever do to you?

This makes two separate incidents of well-known Hollywood types coming out rather forcibly to badmouth January Jones.

Why? Since when has being a “bad actress” a crime in Hollywood? Tinseltown is replete with people who can’t act, yet I don’t see Lindeloff or Galifiniakis taking pop-shots at them. And why Jones? What the heck did she do exactly that makes it okay to slam her? Or perhaps did Galifiniakis just open the door, and now others seem to feel it’s hip to pile it on?

Gawker.com has also lashed out at Jones in the past. The website slammed her acting on Mad Men as well as her 2009 stint on Saturday Night Live (okay, she was really bad in that “Rear Window” sketch, but I still laughed).

Perhaps much of the hatred comes from the fact that her Mad Men character, Betty Draper, is considered something of a bitch. New York magazine described the fictional 1960s woman this way in Oct. 2010:

“While the ladies around her bloom, Betty hardens. Her character (in both senses) gets ever icier, vainer, more alien — nearly camp at times, like some hissable Barbie with the most cake. Early on, you could make a decent case for a Betty’s-eye view of the universe, but that was back when she was the fragile puppet of her husband and her shrink, still grieving the loss of her mother. Maybe Betty wasn’t exactly likable, but she’d been kept in the dark for so long, it made sense she had little insight.

But in the last few seasons, Betty’s… [mor[morphed]m a mere neurotic into a full-on textbook narcissist, and not incidentally, the worst mother on television since Livia Soprano kicked off in 2001.”

There’s a tricky thing with television roles — people tend to associate actors and actresses with those parts more so then they do with movie roles. So perhaps this can explain the vitriol that is spat at Jones.

Or maybe it’s because she’s apparently been vocal about slamming ex-boyfriend Ashton Kutcher. People love him, so it’s perhaps a bad idea to so publicly hate on the dude. She’s quoted in an interview with GQ in Nov. 2009 stating:

January Jones in 'Mad Men'
January Jones in ‘Mad Men’

“[He][He] not supportive of my acting. He was like, ‘I don’t think you’re going to be good at this.’ So—f–k you! He only has nice things to say now—if anything, I should thank him. Because the minute you tell me I can’t do something, that’s when I’m most motivated.”

With this statement she may have even invited criticism of her acting but suggesting her ex didn’t even think she had the chops.

Of course, it may be that she’s just not likable. I’ll admit she doesn’t necessarily come off all that well in many of her interviews, where she seems to spend a fair amount of time griping about her Mad Men pay and being pretty. There is perhaps a Kathrine Heigl tone there, another actress who has been openly mocked by the media.

Ultimately I can’t say I have any feelings about the South Dakota-born actress one way or another. I certainly don’t hate her as so many seem to, but I’ve never met her, so why would I. What about you? Are you a January Jones lover or hater?

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan has written, directed and produced more than a dozen short films under the banner of Maynard Films, and has worked as a writer for more than a decade for websites, magazines and newspapers.

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