I just turned on the TV to watch the Oscars and caught the tail end of Barbara Walters' interview with Hugh Jackman. After asking Jackman about his sexual orientation, I was jolted to hear Walters ask him about his family life growing up. About his strict father, five children, and a mother who "moved away to England" and "had a child with another man." Walters then says to Jackman that it must have been terrible for him and asks him if he felt "abandoned" by his mother.
Deadbeat dads and disappearing moms, it never ends. Can we get past this sensational journalism?
Jackman responded that he "never felt unloved" by his mother and that he has an open relationship with her, where they can talk about that period in their lives. Now, I'm sure this period was hard for them, and I don't know the first thing of what caused the breakup of their family. But I do know that framing the question the way Walters did is shameful and unneccessary, and adds to society's misperceptions about noncustodial parents. Will comment more on this later.