At first when Jane Pitt’s letter to the Springfield News-Leader was published I was doubtful whether or not the author of the letter was in fact movie star Brad Pitt’s mom. In the letter, Mrs. Pitt endorses Mitt Romney and knocks abortion supporters and marriage equality. What makes this so surprising is that Brad Pitt is one of the leading voices in Hollywood for marriage equality, pouring thousands of dollars into anti-Prop 8 donations.
With this letter, Mrs. Pitt joins Hutton Gibson as Hollywood’s most embarrassing parents (and let’s face it – we’re talking about a town that’s home to Dina Lohan). Gibson is the father of Mel Gibson. He’s known for his conservative Catholic views, which his movie star son seems to espouse as well. But that of course isn’t the whole story: the elder Gibson also believes that reports of the Holocaust, including the death toll, have been greatly exaggerated, and that the current pope is a homosexual and that half of the Vatican is filled with gays. He also suggested that states should secede from the United States.
Of course there is a huge difference between the Pitts and the Gibsons: While Brad Pitt is seemingly out of step with his mother’s ridiculous views, the Gibsons seem more in sync. Do I need to bring up the arrest when Mel Gibson slurred that Jews were the cause of all the world’s wars? Or his infamous homophobia?
I guess some would say that I’m not being fair attacking Mrs. Pitt and Mr. Gibson – after all, they’re not public figures and it’s their right to express any feelings they have. And I’d agree with the latter part of the argument: they are free to be stupid – we all are. But unfortunately, they are public figures, because they made their views public. Both decided to use public forums to express their ideas, so hopefully they’re savvy enough to understand that there will be some kind of backlash.
Brad Pitt’s brother went on television to try and blanket some of the controversy, explaining that parents and kids disagree. A good point – we can look at the example of Sen. John McCain and his “rebellious” daughter Meghan, who bucks the traditional Republican image by being supportive of liberal social causes.
Election year brings out the nasty and this year is ramping up to be one of the ugliest – there seems to be a lot at stake. Mrs. Pitt is just representative of a group of voters that think nothing of debasing herself to be divisive: in the letter, she “shrewdly” refers to the president as Barack Hussein Obama – get it? Because he’s a Muslim! This kind of rhetoric would be offensive if it wasn’t so done. I mean, are we still on the Obama’s a Muslim kick? Next I expect Mrs. Pitt to demand the president’s birth certificate. And for the record: it shouldn’t matter a flying f**k if the president is a Muslim. I’d like to say that Mrs. Pitt’s views are archaic or out of step – even if her views are popular with roughly half the country, they should still be viewed with contempt.
P.S. – this is just a side note, but according to Brad Pitt’s Wikipedia page, his mother was a high school counselor. Now judging from the ugly sentiments of her letter, I wonder about her suitability for the job.