Jerry O’Connell would never hire a male nanny: ‘I just wouldn’t allow that’

A Mild spoiler for Mistresses, which you can guess from the promos, follows
Jerry O’Connell is guest starring on Mistresses this season, and he’s just perfect for that show. I only watched the first episode last season, I gave up after Alyssa Milano left and the plot got even more ridiculous, but I definitely see how he fits there. O’Connell plays a manny who falls in love with his boss, psychotherapist Karen, played by Yunjin Kim. US Magazine asked O’Connell if he would ever hired a male nanny for his two daughters with wife Rebecca Romijn, twins Dolly and Charlie, 7 and a half, and he said no. He related it back to his character though.

“I’m not sure if given the chance to hire myself as a manny in my family, I don’t think I would allow that to happen,” the Crossing Jordan alum said. “I’m sorry if that’s closed-minded of me. I just wouldn’t allow that — I wouldn’t be comfortable with that. I would explain to my wife and to my children that I was not comfortable with a manny around.”

O’Connell points out that it was an odd feeling to be the only cast member who had experience caring for children.

“It is pretty shocking to me that I’m the only one who has kids on this cast, so literally everyone thought I was like Dr. [Benjamin] Spock,” the Stand by Me actor said. “Everyone thought I was a baby expert.”

“It’s funny — when you’re a parent, and you have kids, when you see a crying baby, you just go to it,” he continued. “You just do. I’m shocked I’m that person as well because before I had kids, I didn’t really care for them. [But] especially these little babies in showbiz, they are cute little babies. You can’t help! Feeding the baby again, it really made me want to have another one.”

[From US Magazine]

I can relate so much to wanting to soothe crying babies and hurt kids and just having to hold back at times. As far as not hiring a male nanny, it does sound somewhat closed-minded as he mentioned but he explained his reasoning and he’s playing a male nanny who seduces his boss. (Or who gets seduced by her, I’m not sure of the specifics.) So maybe his role heavily influenced what he’s saying here. I think men can be just as competent caregivers as women and I like to think that I wouldn’t factor gender into it, but a nanny is also someone who lives with your family and that can be a highly personal decision.

Some people have floated Jerry O’Connell’s name as a possible replacement for Michael Strahan on Live with Kelly, as he was rumored to be in the running four years ago when Strahan was originally hired. A couple of weeks ago he said he was on “Team Kelly” and that he would be thrilled to be asked to co-host, but admitted that he hasn’t been in contact with producers.

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67 Responses to “Jerry O’Connell would never hire a male nanny: ‘I just wouldn’t allow that’”

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  1. Nev says:

    I love his personality. He seems great.

  2. Locke Lamora says:

    Karen’s love life is the weirdest love life out of any shows I’ve seen ever.

    I like him less for saying this. It’s a ridiculous thing to think.

    As for the new Live co-host, Fred Savage was great.

  3. Neelyo says:

    Well that’s stupid.

  4. Who ARE these people? says:

    He doesn’t explain why it’s a problem. Why is it a problem? The most obvious explanation in his specific family is that they have 2 girls, so why not just say so? Otherwise, it sounds like he’s more comfortable with the traditional gender roles for child care. Which he probably is.

    Are male nannies being paid more than female nannies, by the way? Just curious.

    • vauvert says:

      Nanny salaries have nothing to do with gender (used to place FT nannies with families in Toronto, and only had one male nanny apply out of hundreds I interviewed and placed. I could not help him get a job, no one was interested either for live in or out.)

      It is a problem because the client / parent does not want a male, even a vetted one, alone with minors in their home in an unsupervised situation. Unlike a male teacher in a school (and there have been cases of teacher abuse by both genders there too) when you work in someone’s home and have hours of access to a baby / toddler / even a 8 year old, in a position of absolute trust, the ability to abuse a child is easily available. I totally understand why a parent would ask me not to present male candidates for the job. Is it fair? No, not to a qualified candidate, but there are other positions in child care that do not involve being alone with the kids – from day care to camps to play centres. Just for the record, even my gay couple clients absolutely did not want a manny.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        So interesting, thanks. We were never even in a position to think about having a nanny, which spared us having to sort out all these issues. Wouldn’t have minded a housekeeper though… ; )

    • Meh says:

      So many men are pervs, you can’t trust them. Witness how a vast majority of spiritual teachers and leaders in all faiths prey on their “flock” both women and men.

    • Peaches says:

      I know a sex crimes prosecutor who has worked on sex crimes against children under 10 for over 10 years and she said she would NEVER hire a male nanny. That should tell u something :/

    • Mixtape says:

      @Peaches, similarly, a million years ago, John Walsh was asked tips on how to protect your child against potential abusers and he said “Never hire a male babysitter.” He pointed out that there are plenty of good guys out there, but that if you look at gender breakdown of sex offenders, they are overwhelmingly male. So from a purely statistical basis, you are greatly reducing the odds by hiring female caregivers.

      • Illyra says:

        Seems like common sense, to be honest.

      • NewKay says:

        I think given Jerry’s background child actor and the issue we know Hollywood has with paedophile- who knows what he has seen or come across . It’s understandable he’s sceptical about hiring a man wanting to be around children.

  5. boredblond says:

    I know it sounds sexist, but if he had sons he might think differently

  6. Priscilla says:

    As someone who was, well, taken advantage of by my male nanny as a child… I have to say I agree with him. But for different reasons. Of course not all men in this position would do that to a little girl, and of course a woman could be just as abusive, but statistically there is a significant difference. I’m sorry…

    • Naya says:

      I completely agree and I am sorry for what you went through. I think its irresponsible not to do everything you can to decrease risk against your child.

    • mee says:

      agree. I’m sorry you had to experience that. my aunts husband did the same to me and i do believe statistically there is a greater danger w/ male nannies

  7. Donna Martin says:

    So true, before I had a kid I would be that person rolling their eyes when heard a baby crying. I would think omg shut your kid up! Now I just want to go sooth the world! But yeah I hold myself back obvi but it is SO hard. He feels insecure not being the only man in the family and that’s prob why he wouldn’t hire another man. Nothing wrong with that, plenty of women feel that way too.

  8. Naya says:

    I realise that this will come off as sexist but I agree with him. I dont believe in traditional gender roles, I am happy to have a male housekeeper in the absence of children. I just dont trust easily. And even though not every man is an abuser, the fact is that by far the vast majority of abuse is perpetrated by men. A woman may abuse too but theres a lower likelihood. I never want to be that mother who put her kids at risk to prove a gender based political point. If avoiding male nannies decreases risk, then why would you hire one.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      What if you had boys?

      • OrigialTessa says:

        Men are still more likely to sexually abuse boys than women are.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Sigh, I can’t disagree. It’s just hard to see women continually aligned with child care. Wages are low, turnover is high.

      • Meh says:

        Nope. My ex boyfriend was molested by the male babysitter.

    • Snowflake says:

      So jealous! I would love to have a housekeeper!

    • Birdix says:

      Because people are individuals and not just a product of their gender. Female nannies have done terrible things too (as have mothers and fathers). I had a make nanny for my daughters for a while who was wonderful. Would have him back in a heartbeat (and I wasn’t sleeping with him).

    • Jayna says:

      I agree. You are bringing a stranger into your home. One in six girls are molested, and all the stories on here by posters who were molested when young terrifies me. You have to be vigilent about your children. You are your child’s protector. It is hard enough hiring a stranger to come into your home as a nanny. His little baby girls, then toddlers, then little girls will be in various stages of undress when helping them, bathing,, bottoms cleaned, etc, by a nanny. I wouldn’t be comfortable with a male doing that either, a male who is a stranger and hired help. If it was somebody I knew and trusted, that’s a different story.

    • Erinn says:

      I’d be willing to suspect that the abuse is reported far less often when women are the abusers though. So you’re not hearing the true balanced statistics with that one. Women are less suspicious to have around kids – because gender roles – but they can just as easily abuse, or open the kid to someone else who would abuse them.

      Honestly – I wouldn’t trust a stranger of any gender to do those things. Because it’s still a stranger taking care of really vulnerable kids. Chances are, however, that abuse is more likely to happen by someone known to the kids, so there’s that.

      • Bey says:

        “I’d be willing to suspect that the abuse is reported far less often when women are the abusers though”
        thats often said by MRAs and far from the truth. it sounds nice because you cant disprove something that isnt reported but its nonsense.

      • Josefina says:

        How exactly is it “nonsense” to think women could abuse men and they’d be too ashamed to report it?

      • Bey says:

        again you are building a strawman, thats not what i said.

      • pinetree13 says:

        “Honestly – I wouldn’t trust a stranger of any gender to do those things.” Well unless your privileged enough to not have to (or want to) work then it’s not really an option. As even at Daycare, you still have workers often alone with your child in the bathroom since they’re too little to clean themselves properly or are in diapers. No one *likes* having to leave their children with ‘strangers’ but it’s not really an option not to for most of us.

  9. OrigialTessa says:

    I try to be open minded about things too, and sometimes I just fail. Male nannies? Uh, I guess, if that’s your bag, but I’ll stick to females for child care myself. I can’t make a proper argument why, it’s just what my gut says.

  10. HollyG says:

    Give the plotline of his show, he may be saying that he doesnt want a manny because he doesn’t want a man caring for his children, with total access to his wife. I can see how that would create an odd, competitive dynamic between two men.

  11. embertine says:

    Ah, we’ve reached the portion of the day where I shake my head and mutter to myself, “Straight people are weird.”

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      No kidding. And I say that as a straight person.

      Looking back I’m kinda happy I didn’t have to / couldn’t afford a nanny. Complications.

  12. Izz says:

    I don’t trust men by default, so no, I wouldn’t trust a male nanny either. Especially around small kids. Sorry for those who are offended by that. In general, if I were a celebrity I wouldn’t hire a young, attractive nanny male or female. She’d have to be at least 50. Look at Ben Affleck.

  13. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I wouldn’t write off a whole gender that way. Silly. But the part I really didn’t like was “I wouldn’t allow that.” My husband doesn’t “allow” me to do anything. We decide to together.

    • OrigialTessa says:

      And I’m sure they do… But if one spouse is making a decision that the other deems reckless and irresponsible, the other has to have the right to veto. I have veto’d a very much coveted and desired motorcycle. I said, “No, you’re not allowed.” Am I a terrible wife? I don’t think so. I have my reasons to say no.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I don’t think you’re a terrible wife by any means, and if that works for you, fine. My husband and I would never say that to one another, though. He’s not my child. I would say that I strongly prefer that you not get a motorcycle, and if you did it would cause me great concern. I would never say “you can’t get one.” It’s his decision, though I would hope that he would take my feelings into consideration.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      That word struck me too … let’s hope he didn’t quite mean it the way it came out. Maybe he meant more, “I couldn’t support that” or “I couldn’t go with that.” Sigh.

    • Bey says:

      you are not writing off a whole gender, men have written themselves off.

    • Tanya says:

      We’re a “Two yeses, one no” family when it comes to joint decisions. Both of us have veto power.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        That’s different, in my opinion, from your husband not “allowing” something. If you have veto power, you’ve discussed it. That’s fine. But his language is too domineering for me, too paternal in nature.

    • SloaneY says:

      Eh. There are things that I won’t allow and things my husband won’t allow. We understand where each other is coming from on these issues and have discussed them at length. sometimes the “won’t allow” things come from childhood experiences. I bet maybe this is where he’s coming from. Someone mentioned how he was a child actor and probably saw a lot of things that a child should never see or experience. I can understand why he has things he won’t allow.

  14. Chelly says:

    I would so not be ok w that as well & if my husband were…then it would just have to be something i simply could not allow. i’d be REALLY uncomfortable w a male nanny ESPECIALLY if i had daughters (although im sure i’d feel the same if it were boys)…..both young & a little older. Is that small-minded of me? Idk. But it would not happen & my husband would KNOW it

  15. Beckysuz says:

    Yeah I’m sorry but I could never be comfortable with a male nanny. I know not all men are predators and women abuse too, but statistically it’s more often men. And lets be honest, pedophiles seek out jobs involving children, so I’d imagine it happens more than we know.
    I know I can’t wrap my kids in bubble wrap and protect them from everything in life. But I’ll do my best to keep them safe by not putting them in an environment where bad things could happen. Which is why my kids only have female babysitters(usually grandma) and I don’t let them have sleepovers.

    • SloaneY says:

      I won’t do sleepovers either. It may be helicoptery, but I experienced things sleeping over at a friend’s house growing up, and I will not allow that to happen to my child.

  16. lisa says:

    i know two people molested by their female babysitters, one male and one female
    the female’s family tried to press charges and no one believed that that could happen

    just an observation, but a lot of the people who can afford nannies with actual training and child care experience, seem to end up with some unambitious girl who doesnt want a desk job with no training and little or no experience. that is anecdotal of course. but I’m not sure why a girl with no qualifications but plenty of time on her hands is a preference. i assume it is to save money. but id take a qualified man over some girl who had a vague idea of being an actress without actually pursuing it any day.

  17. Name says:

    Robot nannies are all the rage in the Hamptons this year, Jerry. Gosh get with the times you silly caveman.

  18. Margo S. says:

    He always looks so happy whenever he’s out with Rebecca. Like he can’t even believe she chose him! It’s so cute.

  19. Bey says:

    he is right, i dont know anyone with kids who would let a man near them. even if nothing happens men are intrinsically less capable of caring about other people in general.

    • Josefina says:

      “even if nothing happens men are intrinsically less capable of caring about other people in general.”

      And women are intrinsically less capable of holding their emotions and make choices with a cold head, that’s why they are not good bosses. I don’t know anyone with a respectable enterprise who’d put a woman in charge.

      … how did that sound?

      • Bey says:

        thats a false equivalence. i see it often when people try to switch out men with women in feminists text and think they totally have found something that disproves the point or means “sexism against men” which is impossible. but its wrong. you also cant replace “white people” with “black people” to make your point.
        you very well know that there is a massive difference.

      • Josefina says:

        You have a pretty weird version of feminism. Supporting gender stereotypes and passing them as scientific, only when said stereotyped apply to men. I never said sexism against men was a thing, and I never even adressed the subject of race.

        I’d recommend you to not link wikias when trying to prove a point. Not reliable sources at all.

    • embertine says:

      Sadly, exactly the attitude that meant when my best friend had a miscarriage her husband couldn’t tell anyone at work because he was worried they would think he must be a paedophile to be so devastated at losing a child.

      • Lex says:

        Wha? That makes absolutely no sense…
        What does paedophilia have to do with a foetus?

    • Classy and Sassy says:

      “even if nothing happens” – you’re implying the probability that something would.

      “men are intrinsically less capable of caring about other people in general.” – Gross generalisation. You should get out a bit out more.

  20. OTHER RENEE says:

    Alyssa Milano was on a show that features a male nanny falling in love with his boss? Didn’t I see that several decades ago in “Who’s the Boss?”

    And NO to male nannies or unqualified nannies period.

    I know a man with 4 young kids who works from home who will only hire male nannies out of respect for his wife.

  21. chaine says:

    I just cannot ever get past that Funny-or-Die parody he did of Tom Cruise’s scientology video. Every time I see his face I hear him mimicking the crazy Tom Cruise laugh.

  22. Andrea says:

    I like this show but the original British version is far better. Everyone should check it out!

  23. Marianne says:

    But why does he have a problem with it?

    Is it because its a traditionally female role? Is it because he thinks adult men wanting to watch babies are pedophiles? Did someone he knows have a bad experience with one?

  24. Classy and Sassy says:

  25. Kate says:

    People are weird. If you’re worried about men in your children’s life, be worried about their grandpa’s, their uncles, their cousins, even their siblings. Be worried about family friends. The man with the police checks, years of experience and recommendations from other families is just about the least likely man in your children’s life to abuse them.

    • jc126 says:

      Women should worry more about their new boyfriend or husband abusing their kids, too.

  26. Hi my name is Daniel and I’m the Founder of Angeles Mannies, a male childcare service in Los Angeles, CA. I started the agency because of the need for male nannies out here. The reasons families come to us are because the father is never around, they are a same sex female couple, they have all boys OR their children need more discipline from their caregivers. We have consistently been placing more and more male nannies with families in LA and the demand is increasing.
    Unfortunately, we still have the gender stereotypes where parents feel that the odds are stacked against males in childcare and therefore decide to err on the side of caution and opt for something that may not be best for the family dynamic and their children.
    I don’t expect people to understand overnight the benefits a male nanny can bring to a family, however day by day, family by family, we will show families what a manny dedicated to childcare can bring to the household.