Have We Given Sandra Bullock a Free Pass?


Since she won the Academy Award in last February for her role in The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock hasn’t spent a single day out of the spotlight. Of course, the focus hasn’t been her award-winning movie; rather it has been the implosion of her personal life, the sordid details of her marriage and the shocking news that she adopted a baby, Louis Bardo Bullock, in the midst of it, without anyone knowing.

And yet, through it all, Bullock has maintained—and perhaps intensified—her status as American’s sweetheart, whereas Jesse James, her soon-to-be ex-husband, has become a serious villain faster than you can say ‘Tiger Woods’. Is it fair? Is Sandra Bullock really the saint we make her out to be? Have we put all the blame on Jesse James and given Sandra a free pass?By all accounts, Jesse James was the one doing the cheating, and so our sympathies naturally tend toward Sandra. But the revelations about Jesse James aren’t just limited to extramarital affairs; they include allegations of antisemitism and prejudice, and despite James’ assertion that he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body, they have been corroborated by his stepmom and others. There is also a photo of him in what appears to be a Nazi salute; he says he was joking.

My point is, could all of this escaped Bullock for five years? It seems really unlikely. How could she be married to a man who holds these views, for five years, and not be aware of them? At what point does being married to a man like this have implications on your own character? Is Sandra Bullock really the person we think she is? Or is it more complicated?

What do you think?