Is George Clooney Selfish for Shunning Fatherhood?Ron Mattocks
According to People Magazine, HollywoodNews.com, and about a gazillion other celebrity news outlets, Academy Award-Winning actor, George Clooney, once again reaffirmed his answer to a question, I’m sure he’s been asked an infinite number of times: Do you want to be a father?
“I’ve always known fatherhood wasn’t for me,” Clooney stated in a recent interview.
Of course, one reason for all this paternal scrutiny, stems from the 50-year-old Clooney’s latest film, The Descendants, in which he plays a father trying to build a relationship with his children after his wife is in an accident. Critics and audiences seem to agree that Clooney is convincing in his role as dad, which is, in fact, why he’s been nominated in for a litany of awards to include a Golden Globe.
But there’s a vast chasm between being a father on the big screen and being one in real life, and Clooney knows this.
“Raising kids is a huge commitment and has to be your top priority. For me, that priority is my work,” he went on to say in that same interview.
As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t the first time in past several years that Clooney has let his thoughts on the matter be known, and many times, I’ve heard people comment that these sort of attitude from one of the universe’s most eligible bachelors is selfish. Really? I disagree.
That a man says he doesn’t want children because understands the commitment involved and would rather dedicate himself to his work, is anything but selfish in my book. Quite the opposite actually. What is selfish is claiming that you love kids, having a ton of them, and then ignoring them because of work. How often have we all seen that happen with not just celebrities, but with people we know?
Granted, I’ll come clean about having a slight man-crush on Clooney. I mean, all that charm, style, and coolness are hard to ignore, and given some of the characters Clooney’s played, identifying yourself with them is a fun little mind-trip. So, following in that line of logic, to image Clooney in a role I live every day—being a dad—it does pique my curiosity as to how someone that smooth would handle the real life responsibilities I and every other loving father faces.
However, if Clooney says being a dad isn’t for him, good for him, especially given his reasoning. Children aren’t a career move. They’re not for boosting a career, or enhancing your public image. And celebrities shouldn’t expect me to feel sorry for them after TMZ reports their neglected kid died of a drug overdose or suicide. Sad? Sure. But who really was the selfish party?
PS. By the way, Mr. Clooney, my man-crush on you is over, and it’s not because of the whole fatherhood thing. Once Jon Hamm hit the scene, I hawked my Ocean’s Trilogy Box Set for the first two seasons of Mad Men.
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Ron Mattocks is a father of five (3 sons, 2 stepdaughters) and author of the book, Sugar Milk: What One Dad Drinks When He Can’t Afford Vodka. He blogs at Clark Kent’s Lunchbox, and lives in Houston with his wife, Ashley, who eternally mocks his fervor for Coldplay.
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