‘M*A*S*H’ Star Alan Alda Sounded Off on Why He’s ‘Always Hated Criticism’

by Brandi Stillings

Following his days as Hawkeye on “M*A*S*H,” veteran actor Alan Alda seems to be successful in all he does. In 2005, the bestselling author managed to pull off a nomination for an Oscar, a Tony, and an Emmy within the same year. Even though he’s well-accomplished now, Alda’s faced his fair share of criticism.

Criticism happens in any artistic endeavor. When one showcases their work for the world to see, people will share their viewpoints in return. Alda followed his intuition and put himself out there. And, even though he “hates” it, he’s had to deal with criticism at times.

In a 2017 interview with Harvard Business Review, Alan Alda was asked how he responds to criticism.

“I’ve always hated criticism,” said the “M*A*S*H” star. “For a long time, I would not read any reviews, because they stick in your head. The bad ones you never forget, and the good ones often praise you for the wrong things.”

Then, Alda continued to talk on how he’s grown and his feelings towards hearing another person’s opinion.

“But I think I’m getting better at it now,” he said. “I mean, when we do a workshop, I say, ‘Tell us what didn’t work for you or what you think we could do better.’ I don’t crave criticism, but I do want an honest response. I’m also a little more aware that criticism, hard as it’s been in my work on the stage and as a writer, is one person’s opinion, and I don’t have to accept it.”

On the other hand, Alda told the publication that there could also be helpful advice hidden within the critic.

“I can look for what might be useful in it, but I don’t want to get trapped into trying to appeal to somebody’s point of view.”

‘M*A*S*H’ Actor Alan Alda Receives Various Awards & Honors

Overall, the award-winning director’s reasonable way of dealing with criticism has paid off. He’s received six Emmy awards and has been nominated 34 times.

Alda has taken on a slew of careers since he starred on “M*A*S*H.” He went from being a writer and director to an author and professor. Alda’s already accomplished more than a lifetime’s worth of work.

In 2004, Alda appeared in Martin Scorsese’s movie “The Aviator,” which led to an Academy Award nomination as well.

On the other hand, he co-founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. As stated on the Alan Alda website, he’s a visiting professor who helps develop programs to promote more effective communication for scientists.

Alda seems to have a knack for accomplishing great things. We’ll have to wait and see what he does next.