Jennifer Aniston criticized for Monica Lewinsky comments after privileged upbringing

Jennifer Aniston's remarks about Monica Lewinsky becoming 'famous for basically doing nothing' have sparked strong backlash

Jennifer Aniston comments on Monica Lewinsky spark criticism on privileged background
(Image credit: Getty)

Jennifer Aniston has faced strong backlash for her recent comments about Monika Lewinksy and Paris Hilton's rise to fame, prompting many to accuse the Friends star of benefiting from nepotism in her own career. 

The Emmy-award winner actor sparked controversy on Tuesday during her sit-down interview on Variety's Actors on Actors, in which she discussed the drastic changes in celebrity culture over the past few decades.

Speaking candidly to fellow movie star, Sebastian Stan, Jennifer made some divisive remarks about two high-profile people in Hollywood – Monica Lewinsky and Paris Hilton. The namedropping occurred as the conversation topic steered onto Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee Jones sex tape, which went on to inspire the 2022 Disney Plus show, Pam & Tommy

Jennifer Aniston

(Image credit: Getty)

"It was right at the time when the internet really shaped a new culture about people becoming famous,” the 53-year-old said. “This thing of people becoming famous for basically doing nothing. I mean – Paris Hilton, Monica Lewinsky, all those.” 

Jennifer, who got her big break in 1994 when she was cast as Rachel Green on the hit NBC sitcom, Friends, went on to admit she feels "lucky" to have experienced "a little taste of the industry before it became what it is today." She also voiced criticism for the impact of so many "streaming services" on the role of the traditional actor. 

"You’re famous from TikTok. You’re famous from YouTube. You’re famous from Instagram," she said. “It’s sort of almost like it’s diluting our actor’s job.”

Jennifer's comments have been met by intense backlash online, with many folks criticizing her for unfairly calling out Monica Lewinsky and Paris Hilton. 

The Morning Show star's mention of Monica was especially divisive, considering the circumstances of how the former White House intern became 'famous'. 

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky 

(Image credit: Getty)

The American social activist was thrust into the spotlight at the age of 24 in 1998, after it emerged that President Bill Clinton had engaged in an extramarterial affair with her between 1995 and 1997. 

"Wait, Jennifer Aniston really said MONICA LEWINSKY was famous for doing nothing???? Lewinsky was preyed upon by her boss who was literally the President. She has spoken about how the press coverage harmed her and her family. She did not want to be famous," one person wrote on Twitter. 

Some also urged Jennifer, who was born to working actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow, to reflect on her own privileges before judging others for their pathway to fame and success. While the parents of the Friends star were hardly Hollywood heavyweights, they would have likely had plenty of connections in the entertainment world to help kickstart their daughter's career. 

"Jennifer Aniston needs to calm down with her opinions when her nepotism got her into the industry and now she continues to make $20million per year just off syndication from a show that ended decades ago," one particularly harsh commenter wrote. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.