11 Celebrities Who Give Off Major Karen Vibes
The label "Karen" gets thrown around quite frequently these days, doesn't it? But let's refresh what the slang term actually means.
According to Dictionary.com, Karen is a "pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people's behaviors." And if you take a quick look around social media, or even just your own town, it's likely you'll see that Karens are coming out of the woodwork more and more.
Every time you turn around, there's a new viral video showing a Karen calling the cops on Black kids at a BBQ or on a Black man bird-watching in Central Park. Or losing their cool after being asked to wear a mask in a store in the middle of a global pandemic. Or leading the charge in the current anti-vaxx movement that's keeping us stuck in said pandemic. You get the point.
But what about famous Karens? No, we're not talking about icons like Karen Huger, Karen Carpenter or Karen Walker from Will and Grace. (Okay, maybe a smidge on that last one, but hey, she's fictional and at least she's hilarious?)
Instead, we've put together a list of 11 of the most obnoxious celebrity Karens in recent Hollywood history. Read on for a full round-up, but beware: they're bound to speak to the manager about being included on this list. Or at the very least their publicist...
Let’s start with the OG Karen of the 2000s, shall we? Err.... Kate, that is. Because when you think of the quintessential Karen hairstyle, you probably think of Kate Gosselin’s iconic, terrible look, which consisted of an extreme A-line — long in the front and short in the back. Add to that the Kate Plus 8 star’s long-documented history of rude, entitled and generally awful behavior, and you can practically envision her on the warpath over the slightest inconvenience.
Oh, J.K. Rowling. We’ll always be grateful for the wonderful Wizarding World you gifted generations of children with the stroke of your pen. We’re less grateful for your more recent diatribes against the legitimacy of trans women and the subsequent outing of yourself as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (or TERF for short). And while we’re at it, let’s talk about the level of pandering that was magically trying to add LGBTQ+ characters to the world of Harry Potter after the fact.
Two words can be used to sum up the focal point of Jenny McCarthy’s blatant Karen-ness: "Autism cure." The notorious anti-vaxxer and co-host of The View is responsible for pushing massively damaging amounts of misinformation on her personal social media accounts regarding vaccine safety, spreading unsupported claims regarding the cause of autism in children; endorsing dangerous treatments and advice from discredited doctors; and more. In 2008, she even went as far as to claim she managed to cure her son’s autism using just diet and vitamins.
The Singer Stinger’s always been the resident Karen of The Real Housewives of New York City, whether she’s ordering staff (which she refers to as "the help") to help her unpack on a cast vacation, throwing her privilege around, offending her cast mates left and right, or letting loose her alter ego as The Apologizer. However, Ramona Singer’s taken her bad behavior to the next level on Season 13 of RHONY. From the moment Eboni K. Williams joined the show, the poor newbie has managed to trigger Ramotional’s very worst impulses — from posting photos with her Black cast mates for Instagram clout to shutting Eboni down any time she tries to bring issues of racial justice to the table. And don’t even get us started on that cringe-worthy Black Shabbat episode...
Leigh-Allyn Baker made a name for herself in the early 2010s playing Amy Duncan, the matriarch on Disney Channel sitcom Good Luck Charlie. But fast forward a decade and the one-time Charmed actress is less famous these days for her acting chops and more infamous for going viral as a full-blown anti-vaxxer. The former TV star made waves when she was caught on video addressing the Williamson County Board of Education in her new home of Franklin, Tenn. to protest the school district’s mask mandate. Referring to herself as a “California refugee” (*gag*), Baker claimed she was justified in protesting children wearing masks in schools to limit the spread of COVID-19 because of “the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers and also the Bible,” going on to say, “These guarantee my freedom and yours and our children’s to breathe oxygen.”
Faye Dunaway may be a screen legend, but underneath the Oscar- and Emmy Award-winning performances, the 80-year-old has a pretty terrible reputation. She’s been accused in the past of physically assaulting and slapping various cast and crew members — dating all the way back to her role as Joan Crawford in 1981’s Mommie Dearest. There was also the time she was fired from the 2019 Broadway-bound production of Tea at Five for creating an unsafe work environment for the other actors. Oh, and then there's the lawsuit stemming from the same show, when she fired her gay assistant after he complained about her derisively calling him a “little homosexual boy” and humiliating him regularly on the job. Add in her infamous feud with Hilary Duff of all people, and you just know we have an unbearable Karen on our hands.
Where to even start with Kirstie Alley? And no, we’re not even talking about her problematic role as one of the most outspoken members of Scientology in all of Hollywood. While that in and of itself is way too much to unpack, let’s revisit 2020, when the former Veronica’s Closet star threw an absolute fit over the Academy Awards’ announcement that they would be adding diversity standards in a long-overdue effort to make the Best Picture race more inclusive and fair. Alley was less than pleased, calling the inclusivity measure a “disgrace to artists everywhere.” In a series of since-deleted tweets, she also ranted, “You people have lost your minds. Control artist, control individual thought… OSCAR ORWELL.”
Lindsay Lohan’s racked up a rather sordid history of bad behavior during her years in Hollywood, but her previous label as an on-set liability and her wild party girl antics pale in comparison to this prime example of LiLo engaging in serious Karen behavior. Back in 2018, the Freaky Friday star inexplicably went live on Instagram, harassing a mother and two sons whom the actress supposedly identified as Syrian refugees under the (severely misguided) guise of trying to help the boys. Not only did Lohan badger and downright shame the mother, telling her she was “ruining Arabic culture,” she went even further by accusing the woman of trafficking the kids — and then tried to take one of the boys away from his mother in order to “save” him. Needless to say, Lindsay’s white savior complex got her punched by the mother. But maybe that’s what you get for trying to forcibly kidnap a child on IG Live?
Who says only women can be Karens? Now don't get us wrong, most of the time Shep Rose comes across like a congenial guy. A little elitist, sure, but on Southern Charm, he's generally the happy-go-lucky playboy who doesn't take things too seriously. However, Sheppy found himself in hot water back in August 2019 during a trip to New York City when he was caught live on Instagram mocking a homeless woman for collecting cans. The controversy was addressed during the most recent season of the Bravo hit, and Shep has since apologized, but his gross, insensitive behavior has left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans. (But seriously though, what's with celebrities broadcasting rude behavior on Instagram? Someone take their phones away!)
To some people, Lena Dunham probably comes across as simply irritating rather than as a full-blown Karen. But while the girl behind Hannah Horvath and co. may be an uber-talented voice of her generation, she’s also had a few ill-advised Karen moments over the course of her polarizing career. In addition to being a shining example of the worst kind of white feminism in some people’s eyes, there was also that time when she needlessly called out Odell Beckham Jr. for supposedly judging and ignoring her at the Met Gala. She later addressed her self-victimization with a characteristically long-winded apology on Instagram, but the damage had already been done. And if that’s not bad enough, never forget that she subjected us to six seasons of Marnie Michaels on Girls, which is simply unforgivable.
During her four-season stint on The View, Meghan McCain was prone to somewhat regular moments where her inner Karen-ness was piqued. While these displays typically involved her sparring on screen with her counterparts Joy Behar or Whoopi Goldberg (the latter’s viral “Girl, please stop talking!” moment from December 2019 in regards to McCain has since been memed into oblivion), the conservative political star didn’t reserve her ire for just her fellow co-hosts. Just look at former Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, whom she got into it with over the January 2020 assassination of Qasem Soleimani, or the time McCain stormed off stage following an argument with GOP commentator Anna Navarro. McCain certainly likes to be heard... but seldom seems interested in listening.