Stereotyping? | Jodie Foster says Gen Z are 'really annoying' to work with

Jodie Foster says Gen Z are 'really annoying' to work with

Hollywood actor Jodie Foster has said that Gen Z can be “really annoying” to work with, insisting this group have a poor attitude to work.

In an interview with the Guardian, the Oscar-winning actor candidly shared her occasional frustration with working with Generation Z – those born between the late 1990s and early 2000s – describing them as "really annoying" at times, particularly in the workplace.

The actor highlighted instances where younger co-workers exhibited a nonchalant attitude, such as showing up late or dismissing the importance of grammar and spelling in emails.

“They’re like: ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10.30am.’” explained the actor. “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?’”

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Despite her critique, Foster expressed her desire to assist emerging talents in finding their own paths and learning to "relax."

Drawing from her extensive experience in the film industry, spanning over five decades, Foster emphasised the importance of helping young actors navigate the challenges she herself had faced as a young performer.

In the interview, Foster discussed her commitment to supporting fellow actors, including Bella Ramsey, a 20-year-old non-binary actor known for roles in "The Last of Us" and "Game of Thrones."

Gen Z as a homogenous group

Jodie Foster’s comments have received a barrage of negative backlash on social media. One employer and supporter of Gen Z expressed online: “My Gen Z employees are at work on time and deliver on their tasks and objectives. Maybe Jodie's just a bad boss and can't communicate what someone's roles, responsibilities and objectives are for the workday. Bad management always blames everyone but themselves for issues in the workplace.”

Whilst another added: ““Generations” is a false construct. There is endless human variation in every age group. Divisive silliness.”

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In a 2023 report conducted by the Wall Street Journal, it was revealed that many managers feel that younger generations are lazy and don’t have a desire to be productive.

This sentiment has been echoed through the public sphere.

Last year, Whoopi Goldberg came under scrutiny for blaming the financial issues faced by younger generations on their poor work ethic and laziness.

The notion that ‘young people are lazy’ is a rhetoric well and truly in public consciousness. However, in the spirit of opposing bias, HR leaders would be right in recognising the perils of stereotyping and treating one group of individuals as homogenous.

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