Matthew McConaughey won’t shut up about the problem of ‘single parent families’


Matthew McConaughey

Here are some photos of Matthew McConaughey at the TIFF premiere of White Boy Rick, the true story of Richard Wershe, a young kid in Detroit in 1984 who ends up being some kind of teenage drug kingpin. Matthew plays White Boy Rick’s father, Richard Senior. Richard is a single father raising his kids in Detroit in the ‘80s, during the crack epidemic. All of this subject matter is fertile ground for political conversations during the promotional tour. An actor involved with the film could easily go off on tangents about the War on Drugs and the legacy of over-policing and incarceration for drug offenders. An actor could use the promotion to talk about the school-to-prison pipeline, and how communities of color have been ravaged by drugs, policing and mandatory-minimums. Matthew has done none of that. He thinks the story is a cautionary tale about… single-parenting.

Previously, he said some problematic sh-t about single parenting which made it seem like he believes that kids who grow up in single parent homes are always at a disadvantage. Well, he has more sh-t to say, and honestly, it’s like he’s trying to side-step the idea that he’s a Evangelical Republican or something.

How he said, post-2016 election, that people need to “be constructive” when dealing with Trump. “What I said, or thought I said is that people were in denial and we have to accept the fact that he’s president. Yes, I do [have my own views on Trump]. But to comment on him in this context, I’d have to be on camera and unedited…. It’s just that I don’t want to become clickbait. What you say is just turned into a headline that people click on.”

His thoughts on #MeToo: “It’s an issue I have discussed with many women. We’re making progress, but are not there yet. Being paid equally is extremely important. It’s the same with race. Someday we’ll get to the point where women and minorities have equal opportunities. But we’re not there.”

Whether White Boy Rick is a story that’s fundamentally about the failure of the War on Drugs: “Well, there are many ways of looking at it. This was the ‘80s when neighborhoods in Detroit were falling apart. You could also see it in Cleveland when we were shooting the film. It’s the same cycle coming back again—the problem of single-parent families.”

[From The Daily Beast]

Is he dumb? I’m really asking. I never really considered the idea that maybe he’s just a dumb bunny. For one, I don’t think he has any notable thoughts on Trump beyond “hey, give him a chance, bruh.” Secondly, his answer on #MeToo was utterly boilerplate, like he was reading off from a script his lawyer prepared. And as for him going back to the single-parent issue… I truly don’t understand his dumb mind. The War on Drugs, over-incarceration, the legacy of families and communities being ripped apart by incarceration over – at times non-violent – drug crimes… and all he keeps coming back to is the “issue” of single-parent families. Fun fact: Pablo Escobar grew up in a two-parent household!! El Chapo also grew up in a two-parent home, but his father was physically abusive towards all of the kids. But it’s okay because TWO PARENT HOUSEHOLD. What’s going on with Matthew? Why does he sound like an Evangelical preacher warning of the sins of independent single moms?

43rd Toronto International Film Festival

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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87 Responses to “Matthew McConaughey won’t shut up about the problem of ‘single parent families’”

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  1. Missy says:

    I don’t think anyone should expect any insightful remarks from him, he’s never struck me as a very intelligent person. And his answers here really back that up

  2. ByTheSea says:

    Oh my gahhhhh! Be quiet already!

    • AnnaKist says:

      ^^^ Yes! He’s another one, along with so many, who bring nothing of value to theable. After my husband died, I became a “single parent”, and brought my three children up single-handedly, with no help from even my family. Sure, we had many and varied challenges, just like most parents, and more particularly single parents, but they were not insurmountable. They are now adults, holding down good jobs or running a business, care about each other and others, are a lot of fun and just all-round good, decent people. Obviously, some children of single parents don’t fare so well, but then, children of two-parent families sometimes have the same difficulties. This twit needs to just pull his head in. His comments are unhelpful, so it’s best he keeps his gob shut. Besides, if ever he and his missus split up, he might have to eat his words.

      • Gaby says:

        I tried to giving him the benefit of the doubt before when I thought he didn’t express himself well, as in a two-parent household can *sometimes* benefit not just the child but the parents as well in the sense of sharing the load, the responsibility, the finances, having someone to count on and to support you in difficult times. I have so much respect for single parents because I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for them. But not that it is how every family SHOULD be, and for him to even imply that someone becoming a bad person has any relation to them coming from a single-parent home is ridiculous, dumb and disgusting.

        I apologize for trying to defend him before. I guess I was being optimistic. He is an idiot!

      • OldBeeyutch says:

        @annaKist. Well said- even child protective services will tell you it takes one healthy parent for a child’s well-being. It took 8 yrs for me to extricate my Children from their wealthy dad’s doomsday cult! Three yrs later our kids are relieved, thriving & having an actual childhood. McConaughey & ignorant ppl of his ilk fail to see the courage and support of that “single parent” situation!

  3. Darla says:

    I never liked him so his words are meaningless to me. And yes, I think he’s just an idiot.

  4. Endoplasmic_ridiculum says:

    I remember a time when he just seemed to be cast in any film that enabled him to get his shirt off. Fools gold, How to lose a man, etc etc Then he stole his strategy from Tropic Thunder with the Dallas Buyers’ Club diet and now he gets to proselytise.

  5. Huh says:

    Why do we think actors/actresses should be smart? Cos they can read and remember lines? Call me when one does something notable.

    • Nona says:

      This! Actors and athletes have money because of their jobs. That doesn’t grant them intelligence or make them better aware of important issues. You know what I want to know about Matthew? What are you wearing, darling? That’s all he’s qualified to answer.
      And did he mention Cleveland? There are only a few famous people whom I admire and listen to, and one is LeBron James, who, incidentally, was raised by a single mom. That man is doing more for his community than a million Matthews, put together. Get King James on the phone, straighten this boy’s ass out.

    • EllieMichelle says:

      There are definitely some intelligent actors who use their platform for good. This ain’t it, Matthew.

  6. Millenial says:

    Donald Trump grew up in a two parent household. We see how that worked out.

  7. Tanesha86 says:

    He’s definitely an idiot, always had been but it seems like he’s trying to come off as more of an intellectual since he started taking on more serious roles and got some award noms under his belt. I’m not buying it

  8. Pomengranate says:

    I was raised by a single father and I think I’m alright lol. Single parent families aren’t inherently bad, just like two parent families aren’t inherently good, sooo…maybe STFU.

  9. minx says:

    Trump came from a two parent household.

  10. My3cents says:

    Why is his wife wearing some fug discounted bridal gown?

  11. CharliePenn says:

    Oh my god. He’s my mom. And that’s not a good thing!
    My mom also recently decided that all of society’s ills are a result of single parenting. She’s so painfully judgmental it’s hard for me to even speak to her some days. She’s not well!
    Do Matthew and my dear old insane mother not realize that people have been raised by single parents throughout all of history? That no life is perfect and no childhood is ideal? That many many MANY children raised in single parents households have happier, healthier childhoods than their peers with two parents, for all kinds of reasons? That every family’s circumstances are unique and most parents really give everything they have to make their child’s life the best, regardless of whether there is a partner available or even alive in the child’s life?!

    I’m so irritated by this, can you tell? Lolol. My mom is really unwell, mentally, so I don’t get into it with her but it’s hard to always bite my tongue when she’s so judgemental. So here I’m letting it out!

    • AnnaKist says:

      Everything you said, CharliePenn. Unfortunately, he can’t see past his own nose, and his thinking doesn’t go much further. Intelligent thinking does not come easily to the unintelligent. I doubt he’s read a challenging book since school, but is now trying to pass himself off as quasi-intellectual. What a sap. He should just stick to admiring his chiselled chin and dimples, and leave the high-order thinking to others.

    • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

      I have a very judgmental grandmother much the same way as your mother. So you can let it out here; we’re a safe space!

    • Ladykeller says:

      I feel you @charliepenn my in laws can’t help but make nasty judgemental comments about anyone and anything and I have a hard time biting my tongue. My husband tells me to ignore it to keep the peace and I know there is nothing I can say that will change their minds but I just want to scream.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      “…also recently decided that all of society’s ills are a result of single parenting.”

      A lot of the scapegoating of single parents (and let’s be real, usually this means single moms) is fueled by some of the most misogynistic, homophobic religious and political groups in the country. Many people attached to these groups- including MRAs- are part of two-parent homes. I think things like that should be considered before people automatically label a two-parent home as ‘healthier’ or blame single mothers for society’s ills.

    • bears says:

      Feeling you 100%, Charlie. I can’t spend too much time with my mom because I’d end up biting the end of my tongue off. I think there are unresolved mental health problems along with having grown up in a certain area, in a certain time, thinking that certain things are “just how it’s always been.” It’s infuriating and I wouldn’t hold my tongue for anyone else but trying to gently discuss things with her turns into her raising her voice and gritting her teeth and making me want to drop a house on her. Like the suggestion of maybe not referring to gay people as “the queers” is somehow very threatening to her.

  12. Jordana says:

    His answers are incredibly stupid. If the movie had been rewritten, and there was a 2-parent family in the movie, would the outcome have been all that different? The 2-parent family intact was going to shield everyone in the family from the “crack epidemic ” . Really? Kids avoid drugs, kids overcome economic diversity in a city struck with deep economic and violence problems … because 2-parent family?

    I think we know Matthew is not smart. If in doubt, just wait til he opens his mouth.

  13. Mia4s says:

    “Is he dumb?”

    Well, yes. His whole Oscar run/ renaissance a few years ago was engineered by his agent and his people. So smart enough to choose a good team but beyond that? Haha.

    I’m kind of hoping his good friend, single-mother-of-two Sandra Bullock gives him a call…or punches him in the face….either really, I’m not picky.

  14. Elisabeth says:

    am I overthinking but why does he answer the #MeToo movement question with an equal pay answer? I agree the two are related but he doesn’t answer the fact that regardless of pay, people deserve not to be harrassed at work.

  15. Northernlala says:

    Some single parents are doing the best they can and dealing with a reality they may not have had a choice in.
    If he found himself raising his children alone, I’m sure he’d mature in his opinions . (Or find himself another wife because men can’t seem to handle it alone 😏)

  16. RspbryChelly says:

    People on the other post jumped all on my comment “but he said usuallyyyyy” no, THIS is how he really feels, ALWAYS. I’ll take a home of a functional single parent than a dysfunctional home that includes both ANY DAY

  17. Mia4s says:

    “it sounds more like he latched onto something he heard/read while prepping for this film without processing it in a particularly critical or nuanced way”

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! I could do a five part special on actors who latch on to something they read and then try to use to sound smart and give sage advice. No critical thinking skills. Beyond annoying!

  18. Rescue Cat says:

    ‘The problem of single parent families’

    Why is it a problem?

  19. Indiana Joanna says:

    Is this his way of bragging about his marriage and family? Because he came from a two parent family where his parents married and divorced each other at least twice. How stable is that?

    Sorry, I never found him interesting. And that Lincoln car commercial he makes is so awful and creepily smug.

  20. Sparkly says:

    Maybe he and his wife are having troubles and he’s hyper-focused on the whole ‘single-parent homes are bad, mmkay’ thing.

  21. OliviaC says:

    I am a single parent, a single foster parent, and the 2 kids in my care are now in a loving, fight and drug free home, which can’t be said of the 2 parent home they came from.
    Blanket statements about how people should behave, raise their kids and think are dumb for anyone to make, even more so for people who are being interviewed for a magazine. Wish I could have 5 minutes with him and lay out the scenario in my single parent home against the 2 parent home my kids came from… wonder then what he would have to say.

    • antipodean says:

      Your comment really touched me, OliviaC. I so admire people like yourself who have huge hearts and give loving homes to children who need them. A two parent home is absolutely no guarantee of a stable, trauma free upbringing! I was brought up in a war zone with two parents who should have NEVER married, and NEVER had children! I am 60plus now, and those scars still remain, and affect me. I cannot bear the sound of raised voices to this day! Matty McC can take his know it all sibilant hiss, and p*ss right off in his entitled, expensive, shiny, Chevy.
      I just wanted to give you a pat on the back OliviaC, you are doing the work of the angels, and in this increasingly unkind and uncivil environment (TrumpWorld), your contribution to the future is invaluable, and I am sure your lucky kidlets would agree. You go girl!

  22. Tiffany says:

    He needs a hit and white supremacist go to the movies too.

  23. LaraK says:

    We need more education on the difference between correlation and causation. Yes statistically two parent households do better, BUT that’s because they are less likely to be poor, less likely to lose a job or housing due to illness, more likely to have healthcare and a safe school, etc.

    The way he looks at it is completely blind. It’s like trump supporters who justify their racism by quoting incarceration rates for minorities. But they don’t want to look at what causes those statistics. Because they have no interest in fixing the problem.

    Provide parental leave, universal healthcare and child care, living wage, and better schools, and watch all those stats change.

    • Arpeggi says:

      Exactly! Being a single-parent is hard and for most of them, it wasn’t a choice. Its financially difficult, your stress level is increased due to having to shoulder everything instead of sharing this burden with someone, it’s isolating because all you do is either work or do chores and you have to worry about what would happened to your kids if something happened to you… not having a backup is tough!

      But the answer to aleviate some of these struggles isn’t to scream “2 parent families!!!”, the answer is a better social safety net to help the single parents and nuclear families that are in need. Universal healthcare, better public transports (so you don’t have the extra financial costs of a car), access to real food, decent public schools even in poor neighborhoods (especially in those! Not earning much taxes because ppl are poor shouldn’t mean crappy schools, wealth has to be redistributed!), more flexible hours and better wages are the way to go.

      I’m from a single-parent house, my dad died when my brother and I were 7 and 10, my mum raised us making less than 25K/yr. But our grandparents were nearby and we had a good network, healthcare in my country is “free” (my dad’s hospital bills would have gotten is bankrupt otherwise) and even college tuitions are low. So yeah, it wasn’t easy, but 25 years later, my brother’s an MD and I have a Masters degree and managed to finish paying my student loans last month and mum was able to retire from a job she was starting to hate (she’s not living on much, but we can help). All this because social safety nets work.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      “We need more education on the difference between correlation and causation.” We really do-in just about every area.
      The other thing people don’t seem to think about when blaming bad behavior on single parents is whether or not the thing that caused the parent to become single harmed the child, rather than the singleness itself. The other thing that doesn’t get factored in is that sometimes when people do bad things, they may not want to take full responsibility for their behavior, so blaming their choices on things like ‘Mom never married Dad’ or ‘Mom left Dad’, etc. looks like the easier, more comfortable, and more sympathetic choice.

    • Killjoy says:

      Triple-punch of the like button.

  24. Lydia says:

    Divorce in 3, 2, 1…

    Okay, maybe it won’t happen this year, but it will happen. And it will wipe the smug expression from his face. So disappointed.

  25. Goldengirlslover34 says:

    I’ve always thought his bulb was more dim than bright. I didn’t know if it was just because of the interview questions being asked but now I realize he’s just not that bright. He doesn’t appear well learned on any of the topics he speaks on

  26. Other Renee says:

    I was raised by a single Mom, saw my Dad (who lived on the opposite coast) a handful of times between age 3-18. We did just fine, thank you. I remember my Mom being really irritated when someone at the private school she managed to get us into on scholarship commented how “well adjusted” my brother and I seemed to be considering we were the children of divorce. Turns out one of the kids in my small class who was raised by two parents is a convicted felon while another spent her childhood being molested by a family member. And that’s just the stuff I know about.

    So Matthew, go back to playing bongo drums and STFU.

  27. Murphy says:

    Maybe he’s telling Camilla not to leave him b/c it’ll destroy their kids.

  28. Veronica S. says:

    Maybe not dumb but definitely uneducated. That’s the danger of celebrating people whose primary role in society is to entertain rather than inform.

  29. Electric Tuba says:

    Wow. Maybe his foot just tastes so good that he’s just got to keep it in his mouth.

    My parents are still married. My crazy mom did all the work and dad was absent while sitting right in front of us and they managed to raise a handful of perfrctly terrible people. *shrugs* Just out there l i v i n as Lil T rex here likes to say hahaha

  30. Janet says:

    Yes, actually, he is dumb. We have ample evidence that he is not gifted with a sharp mind. He isn’t devoid of intellect, but he has always been a bit of a peace, love, dope kind of dude. Also, he was raised in Texas by super-southern parents, so that explains why he has his evangelicals on. He is, by all accounts, a very sincere and kind man, but he is not a philosopher.

  31. elimaeby says:

    Why do his wife’s eyebrows look spackled on? And what the hell is he on about? I grew up in a two-parent house with an abusive mom. I would have done better with just a dad. Sit down, Matthew.

  32. silo says:

    I truly believe that whether or not there is an outside support system that truly matters. You can have two parent households all day, but if there are no extended family members who help or just be there, that’s when problems can happen. Parents need extended healthy family members. JMO

  33. SparkleFan says:

    I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he may have mispoke on the initial post but unfortunately he did not. I wonder if there’s going to be an apology statement from him later in the week that goes along the line of, “I’m sorry, I’m a dumbass.”

  34. SM says:

    I never thought I would say that but I wish he was more like his character on True Detective. He had some sobering thoughts on Evangelical christians.

  35. Shh says:

    A lot of single parent families tend to be under economic stress which can lead to other issues. That, however, doesn’t mean one should stay in a toxic situation or that many single parents don’t cope well on their own.

  36. Mandy says:

    He and his wife run a foundation that provides after school support for underfunded Title 1 high schools. There are 10,000 kids in their programs and the foundation pays the salaries of the teachers who work with the kids who, effectively, mainly come from single parent families where the mom has to work 2 jobs and doesn’t have the time or enough energy left to deal with teenagers with problems. The foundation has a 95% graduation rate in schools with a dropout rate of more than 50%. And they pay college tuition for the kids who get accepted to colleges. Let me know what you keyboard warriors are doing to help.

  37. Cara says:

    Obviously kids growing up in a happy two parent home is best case scenario for any kid. However, many times that just isn’t possible. I’m raising me pretty much on my own as I had to leave my abusive husband and now he has taken on more of a “fun uncle” role. It’s not best case scenario, but life happens and you do what you have to. His life has worked out in that area, but not everyone’s does. I’m raising my daughter to believe she can do anything, no matter what. His comments are so small minded.

  38. BANANIE says:

    The sad thing is, sometimes even intelligent people — not talking about Matthew here — have these kind of hostile, short-sighted ideas. I hate to say this because it’s so embarrassing, but my own husband feels this way. And tells me this during debates. He’s one of the smartest, kindest people that I know and he honestly believe this. I can’t wrap my head around it.

    I was raised with my two sisters by a single mother. We are all healthy and happy, and my mom busted her ass making us that way. How my husband could know this and still hold such idiotic views… I can’t, I can’t.

    Even more offensive, he views my family as an “exception” to the rule. It’s so hard reconciling this with everything else about him. Sigh.

  39. Anon says:

    I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here only because I spent 4 months working with him in Mauritius last year for his upcoming movie “Serenity” and he was the ultimate, kind gentleman. He pitched up for all of his rehearsals, stunt rehearsals, make up and wardrobe tests, he was on time and knew ALL his lines every day. He greeted everyone and thanked everyone EVERY single day at wrap. His wife and kids were there with him. All he asked was that Production organise him a bungalow that overlooked the ocean. No bodyguards, no VIP / diva treatment. Unlike a certain monstrous d/bag from a famous car movie franchise that I’m working with now who’s work ethic has left the entire cast and crew absolutely STUNNED by his behaviour, and has us running 5 weeks behind schedule because he only pitches up for 20 minutes a day.

  40. Imissobama says:

    Maybe Camilla is thinking about leaving him and he’s trying to push the “single parent” is bad narrative to get her to stay.
    *side note, I was raised by a single parent in a poor household, now I make 6 figures, have a prestigious job, husband, and two kids. I feel like his comments are a personal insult to my mom.

  41. Patty says:

    I came from a single parent household so I’ll cut Matthew some slack. It’s not ideal for either the parent or the kids. The children are missing either a mother or father and the one parent can be stretched pretty thin. No single parenthood or growing up in a single parent household does not doom one to failure but it does make things harder for a lot of people. Personally, it sucked not having my dad around. It sucked that my mom had to work two sometimes three jobs and missed things that were important to me. It sucked that since my mom had no one to help her pick up the load she was more stressed out than she would have been if she had had a partner helping with child rearing and paying bills. There’s nothing wrong with being a single parent, shit happens. But generally speaking growing up in a household with two parents is going to be better than growing up in a household with one; this is for both the parents and the kids. This obviously doesn’t apply to abusive parents who a lot of times do more damage being there than they would have done not being there.

  42. Leapin' Lizards! says:

    Oh Matt. Sounds like someone read The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, based on “the Swedish study”…

  43. Helen says:

    Trying to explain yourself when someone has misunderstood you is very difficult because that person may not want to admit their conclusion was inaccurate. I would stop trying to explain. Yes, a healthy two parent family is preferable to going it alone for the parents and the children. I really don’t think Matthew was suggesting anyone stay in an abusive and/or toxic relationship for the sake of their children. Their childrens’ sake would be better served if their parents were apart in that case. I’m sure Matthew would agree. For one thing when you’re stressed out and about to break you have backup, a partner who can see the signs and step in if you have a healthy partnership with your spouse. I’ve also known people who moved somewhere where one spouse could go from full to part time work which helped lower the stress level in the family as that parent could help out with the childrens’ schedules without the stress of full-time work. They moved from an expensive city to a less expensive city.

  44. Joanna says:

    I grew up in a single-parent home. 3 girls, an older father and a mother who died when I was 8 of cancer. Our father was wonderful. A doctor who worked his tail off and still managed to always be there for us. Except when he had heart attacks in the middle of the night and I’d have to drive him (when I was 15) to the ER not knowing if he’d survive. He had 7 heart attacks before dying when I was 18.

    We grew up never knowing what would happen to us. We had no other family and we worried ourselves sick we’d lose him. And then we did. There was no back-up and at 18, my younger sister was 16, we were on our own. We both – to this day – suffer from anxiety and insomnia. We’d gotten used to all our childhood going into his bedroom in the middle of the night just to check he was still breathing. We still wake up every couple of hours in the night, gripped by fear.

    Two parents may not always be ideal, but when you only have one parent – the insecurity can be overwhelming. It was for us and marked us all for life.

  45. Busy Bee says:

    I grew up in a two person household and had such severe reactions to it that I am single and childless by choice. Two parent house holds can be toxic and devasting to the development of a child if it’s not a good marriage.

  46. InquisitiveNewt says:

    In Renaissance Florence, while men were free to engage with prostitutes – identified by their yellow ribbons and the little jingling bells they wore around their ankles – on a daily basis, on the street and in alleys, their wives were not permitted to express or experience any pleasure – were “made love to” through a strategically placed hole in their wedding-night bedsheets, were banned from public for 40 days after childbirth (hence quarantine, from “quaranta) and when they had their periods for they weren’t permitted to wear underwear, nor possess any legal, financial or social freedoms whatsoever. If they were discovered to have committed adultery (or accused of it) they were tortured by the Dear old Church, home of family values. One method involved a metal pear inserted into the mouth and opened; the second sitting astride a pommel horse with progressively heavy weights around their ankles until they were torn in two.
    Still think traditional marriage, practiced by men against women for centuries, and bringing up children in such two parent families is a good idea? Matt? Anything?
    Thought not.

  47. enike says:

    Everybody here is a single parent?

  48. Sue Denim says:

    Just an inane possibly unfair anecdote, but he was working out beside me at a posh gym in Boston one time. He was crazy hard not to miss because he had a bright green bandanna wrapped about 4 inches wide around his forehead, and he was prancing around like a strutting turkey. Like he was desperate to be noticed but then when I literally just glanced his way and was like oh that’s that guy I think, he glared back like “Bob Dylan rules” here, no eye contact… He seemed like an idiot on so many levels… just totally ugh…

  49. Kk2 says:

    I don’t know if he is really judgmental or just really inarticulate. If he is referring to the war on drugs and the mass incarceration of black men, which created a ton of single patent families and kids who didn’t know their fathers well…yea that was a fucking problem. If he’s just talking about “good old Christian values” then yea, no. But I can’t tell from things quote or yesterday’s what exactly he is trying to say.