Jodie Foster divides fans with comments about ‘really annoying’ Generation Z

Actor said that Gen Z would come into work late if they were ‘not feeling it today’ and were unbothered when corrected on their grammar

Isobel Lewis
Monday 08 January 2024 14:41 GMT
Oscars 2018: Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence joke with Meryl Streep
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Jodie Foster has divided opinion with recent comments about the work ethic of Generation Z.

A former child star herself, Foster began working as a child model when she was just three years old, and was nominated for her first Oscar for Taxi Driver aged 14.

In an interview with The Guardian, Foster, 61, explained that she’d reached out to connect with younger actors such as non-binary performer Bella Ramsey in recent years “because it was hard growing up”.

“They need to learn how to relax, how to not think about it so much, how to come up with something that’s theirs,” Foster said. “I can help them find that, which is so much more fun than being, with all the pressure behind it, the protagonist of the story.”

However, Foster then went on to say that she’d found Gen Z – the generation born roughly between 1997 and 2012 – to be “really annoying, especially in the workplace”.

“They’re like, ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10.30am.’ Or in emails, I’ll tell them, ‘This is all grammatically incorrect, did you not check your spelling?’ And they’re like, ‘Why would I do that, isn’t that kind of limiting?’”

The clip was widely circulated on social media, where users shared their opposing thoughts on the latter remark by Foster. Many of the younger users on Twitter/X argued that Gen Z’s attitudes towards work, in not allowing it to dominate their lives, were a good thing.

Actor’s comments proved divisive among fans
Actor’s comments proved divisive among fans (AFP via Getty Images)

“Isn’t it possible that Jodie Foster’s frustration with Gen Z’s work style is a result of a generation gap, and perhaps there’s value in their unconventional approach to work??” one social media user theorised.

“Sorry that Gen Z doesn’t want to be a victim of toxic work cultures,” another wrote, while one Twitter user echoed: “Boomers like to be stuck in the past.”

“Millennials will never understand,” one comment read.

One tweet read: “We don’t dream of labour, Jodie!!!! We’ve realised that hard work (don’t confuse w/ being a good worker) doesn’t mean s*** in the grand scheme of late stage capitalism!!! Take that mental health day!!!”

However, some were in agreement with Foster’s comments. Her comments on language speak to a recent study by Barclays LifeSkills, which revealed that 71 per cent of UK workers believe the younger generation is changing the formality of language in the workplace.

“It all comes down to work ethic and a lot of teenagers (not all) just don’t have it,” one Twitter/X user wrote. “It’s a victim mentality, shortcut taking, ‘I need it now’, glass half empty, ‘the world will bend to me’ mindset. The sooner those people stop denying it, the sooner they can make the choice to catch up to the rest of the world, because we’re not slowing down.”

“Totally agree with Jodie Foster in this one,” another commenter wrote.

“I’m Gen Z and I have totally met these kinds of co-workers lol some better than others,” one tweet read.

One social media user reasoend: “She is an icon and she does deserve respect. However, younger generations’ ways have differed from older ways since forever.”

Another agreed: “Gen Z’s lack of work ethic or grindset is both def annoying but also commendable in many instances.”

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