Olivia Wilde Gave a Diplomatic Response When Asked About Harry Styles’ More ‘Cruel’ Fans: ‘Toxic Negativity Is the Antithesis of Harry’

Celebrity relationships are often a cause for rumors and gossip, particularly when one or both of them has a loyal fan base. That’s the case with Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde. Despite being together since early 2021, the pair don’t make a habit of commenting on their relationship or posting about it ad nauseam. And though the toxic corners of the internet have certainly targeted the couple — Wilde in particular — they shun the naysayers in favor of the sweeter fans they claim are in the majority. 

Wilde and Styles first appeared together in January 2021

olivia wilde harry styles
Harry Styles (R) and Olivia Wilde are seen in Soho on March 15, 2022 in London, England. | Neil Mockford/GC Images

Wilde and Styles first met on the set of Don’t Worry Darling. She directed the psychological thriller in which Styles co-starred alongside Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan. (Wilde also has a small supporting role in the film.) After splitting from her fiance, Jason Sudeikis, in early 2020, Wilde and Styles were spotted out in January 2021 when they attended the wedding of Styles’ agent together, per Harper’s Bazaar

The public reaction was swift, and sometimes extremely negative toward Wilde. She faced criticism from some of Styles’ fans. Wilde was mocked for her age (she is 38 to Styles’ 28 years), her dancing, her general appearance, and the director-actor dynamic in which the couple met. Even now, the vitriol continues on innocuous Twitter posts about the actor and director.

Styles wastes no tact on his opinion of the darker corners of the internet. He said Twitter is “a s***storm of people trying to be awful to people” in an interview with Rolling Stone. However, he refrained from criticizing his fans directly. In fact, neither he nor Wilde has a bone to pick with most of the singer’s supporters. 

Despite the haters, Wilde believes most of Styles’ fans are ‘true champions of kindness’ 

The couple has weathered its share of relationship-shaming. But just because a contingent is loud doesn’t mean they represent the majority. It might help that Wilde has been in a spotlight of her own making for decades. She is used to press attention and whatever toxic sludge the internet might churn out about her. Though online comments might sting, Wilde chooses to focus on the fans she calls an abundance of “deeply loving people.” 

“What I don’t understand about the cruelty you’re referencing is that that kind of toxic negativity is the antithesis of Harry, and everything he puts out there,” Wilde told Rolling Stone. “I don’t personally believe the hateful energy defines his fan base at all. The majority of them are true champions of kindness.”

For his part, Styles rejects the noxious comments, even though he acknowledges they’re a very real part of his fanbase. “It’s obviously a difficult feeling to feel like being close to me means you’re at the ransom of a corner of Twitter or something,” he told the publication. “I just wanted to sing. I didn’t want to get into it if I was going to hurt people like that.”

Styles considers his relationship private regardless of his fame

Styles might be trailed by paparazzi everywhere he goes. But the “Watermelon Sugar” singer still holds his personal relationships close to the vest. His official Instagram doesn’t have any photos of Wilde, or other previous paramours for that matter. The account is used to promote his latest Love on Tour stadium stops. He also shares his Pleasing line of clothing and accessories, and other business-related ventures. 

According to Styles, just because he’s photographed holding hands with Wilde doesn’t mean he’s inviting the public to comment on his relationship or have it controlled by tabloid headlines. “I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone,” he said. “If someone takes a picture of you with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re choosing to have a public relationship or something.”

Wilde also refrains from posting personal photos of her and Styles. The only photos of him on her Instagram feed are meant to promote Don’t Worry Darling, releasing September 23. Wilde and Styles have made it clear: They don’t owe anyone a public play-by-play of their relationship. 

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