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14 Famous Women Who Were Treated Horribly By The Media

Princess Diana deserved so much better.

On Feb. 5, FX/Hulu dropped a new episode in The New York Times Presents series, titled "Framing Britney Spears."

ABC / Hulu / FX

The documentary follows the gruesome look into Spears' career and how the media failed her. This inspired us to ask the BuzzFeed Community which celebrities deserved better from the media, and it turns out most of the submissions were about women. Here's what they had to say.

1. Megan Fox

Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images / Deadline / Via deadline.com

"Megan Fox — the vile things the set workers from Transformers wrote about her, and the fact that it was legitimately accepted by the media and the public, were disgusting."

misspikachu

2. Amy Winehouse

Johnny Green / PA Images / Shaun Curry / Getty Images

"All Amy Winehouse ever wanted to do was make beautiful music, and the media made a laughingstock of her. Nothing was off limits — not her marriage, not her struggles with addiction, and not her weight. Her family (her father in particular) exploited her and capitalized on her fame when it was so clear that she was lacking integral support from those closest to her. RIP, angel."

animalangst7

3. Janet Jackson

ABC / Donald Miralle / Getty Images

Suggested by: kfish2325

After Jackson performed at Super Bowl XXXVIII with Justin Timberlake, she was scrutinized and blamed by the media for exposing her breast at the end of their performance (when Timberlake was the one responsible for ripping off her clothes). Following the Super Bowl, the Grammys banned Jackson from performing, and MTV blacklisted her singles and music videos — Timberlake, on the other hand, faced zero consequences. The tabloids went wild, literally every TV show made a joke about it, and Jackson couldn't seem to catch a break. The past few years on Super Bowl Sunday, instead of celebrating a day of football and eating barbecue, fans have renamed it "Janet Jackson Appreciation Day" to celebrate her music and legacy.

4. Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie

Evan Agostini / Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images / Page Six / Via pagesix.com

"Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie — the former was scrutinized for 'losing' the hot husband and being cheated on, and the latter was scrutinized for stealing the hot husband. The fact is that Brad Pitt chose to do what he did, nobody forced him, and he was never criticized for that."

izabelapb

"Aniston was made to seem like she was the 'evil wife' who wouldn’t give Brad a baby, and Angelina was seen as the 'home-wrecker.' Neither could win, and every tabloid dragged Aniston into every story about Brad and Angelina and vice versa. One could not do anything without the media mentioning the other."

belleyre

5. Rihanna

New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

"I feel like Rihanna definitely deserves an apology. I know it seems like everybody loves her now, but pre-Fenty Beauty Rihanna was treated poorly, from the constant slut-shaming to people throwing her abuse in her face to people actively working with her abuser, Chris Brown."

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6. Whitney Houston

ABC

"Whitney Houston was, without a doubt, horribly mistreated by the media — she was constantly criticized when she lost weight, made fun of for her substance abuse, and literally torn down by the media up until her death in 2012. The infamous Diane Sawyer interview from 2002 is pretty hard to watch in 2021 — Sawyer asks her gossip-like questions about deeply personal issues, and you can see Whitney struggling to answer (to avoid another media firestorm). I wish the media used their platforms to give Whitney the help she needed instead of constantly abusing her — Whitney deserved so much better."

kaylayandoli

7. Kristen Stewart

People / Steve Granitz / Getty Images

"She was so young at the time of the affair with Rupert Sanders (director of Snow White and the Huntsman), who was so much older than her. She was vilified in the press while he was barely mentioned."

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8. Princess Diana

Mirrorpix / Vincent Almavy / Mirrorpix / Getty Images

"100% Princess Diana. She was constantly harassed by paparazzi, when she already had too much to deal with. The press had a hand in her death — that's the media harassing someone TO DEATH."

colleend9

"Princess Diana. The media literally led her to her death."

morgangraham1

9. Meghan Markle

Daily Mail / 2018, Daily Mail / 2019

"All of the British media with Meghan Markle — they've absolutely dragged her for the tiniest things. When you compare articles about her to articles about Kate Middleton for doing the exact same thing, you realize how cruel they are. It breaks my heart."

rachelsg1210

10. Monica Lewinsky

CBS

"Monica Lewinsky was ruthlessly slut-shamed by the media when she was a 22-year-old woman who had been manipulated into a sexual relationship by literally the most powerful man in America. In 2021 she would be considered a victim, but that was unfortunately not the case in the 1990s."

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11. Beyoncé

Fox

"Beyoncé — from her alleged issues with other women in the Industry and ending their careers (especially when she was in Destiny's Child) to the skin lightening accusations. The whole 'is she black enough?' argument, her 'fake' pregnancy with Blue Ivy, and her daughter being called ugly and having bad hair — the list goes on. It seems like if Beyoncé breathes, everyone has a problem with her, and it's sad because she's strived to maintain her privacy while still being attacked."

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12. Mariah Carey

New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

"She was slut-shamed by several media outlets when she started wearing somewhat more revealing clothes, even though her clothes weren’t even that revealing. The media always claims she hates female artists, even though she has said overwhelmingly positive things about singers like Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Kelly Clarkson (and when the media tried to pit her against Ariana Grande and Whitney Houston, she befriended them both). Even now, all of these outlets make assumptions of her behavior as a 'diva,' even though she’s no different from any other celebrity."

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13. Serena Williams

@Knightcartoons cartoon is not racist or sexist .... it rightly mocks poor behavior by a tennis legend ... Mark has the full support of everyone @theheraldsun

@damonTheOz / Via Twitter: @damonTheOz

Suggested by: parvanae

Williams has received a lot of unfair treatment since the beginning of her career — she's been labeled as too competitive, not "feminine enough," and too tough on the tennis court. In 2018, she was horribly mistreated by the Herald Sun's cartoonist Mark Knight when he drew a racist and sexist cartoon of Williams at the US Open jumping on her racket, like an impatient child. Despite her incredible success as the greatest athlete of all time with 23 Grand Slam titles, the media unfortunately isn't always on her side.

14. And Anna Nicole Smith

F. Carter Smith / Getty Images

"Anna Nicole Smith had a reputation for being a 'gold digger,' but she deliberately waited to say yes to her husband's proposal until she made it as a model. Say what you want, but he got something out of their relationship and wanted to take care of her. They had a mutual love and respect for each other. We shamed her relationship and weight gain and laughed at her 'antics' for years, but she needed help — she had a ton of health issues, and was clearly in distress."

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Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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