Poor Natalie Portman—who has suffered more than her share of fools this past week—courtesy of Dior’s ex-chief designer John Galliano, and now former Arkansas governor and probable 2012 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee.
First there were the alleged anti-Semitic remarks by Galliano of Dior, where the Jerusalem-born Portman is model/spokesperson for the fragrance Miss Dior Cherie. In two separate incidents—one of them caught on videotape—Galliano allegedly spewed statements such as “I Love Hitler” to patrons at Paris’ La Perle restaurant. In her own statement, Portman said she was “deeply shocked and disgusted” by the video.
Huckabee aimed his remarks directly at Portman; OK, they weren’t anti-Semitic, but they in effect critiqued the actress for showing up to the Academy Awards unmarried and pregnant. (The pregnancy comes courtesy of her fiance, the ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, whom she met while preparing for her Oscar-winning role as a tormented ballerina in “Black Swan.”) In an interview on “The Michael Medved Show” on Monday, Huckabee suggested that such a public appearance helps to “glorify and glamorize” the idea of unwed motherhood: “One of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie,” he said. “And I think it gives a distorted image.”
In a statement issued March 4, Huckabee clarified: “In a recent media interview about my new book, ‘A Simple Government,’ I discussed the first chapter, “The Most Important Form of Government Is a Father, Mother, and Children.” I was asked about Oscar-winner Natalie Portman’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Natalie is an extraordinary actor, very deserving of her recent Oscar and I am glad she will marry her baby’s father. However, contrary to what the Hollywood media reported, I did not “slam” or “attack” Natalie Portman, nor did I criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country. My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock.”
So who is Mike Huckabee to comment on single/unwed motherhood or any kind of parenting? Dan Savage, the liberal political pundit and sex advice columnist, had some thoughts about this in his recent blog, “Huckabee Bears False Witness Against Gay Families.”
In his post about Portman, Savage noted, “Did Mike have anything to say when Bristol Palin got pregnant and made the choice to go through with the pregnancy?....I don’t recall Mike saying anything about Bristol glamorizing the idea of having children out of wedlock—nothing from Mike about all those glamorous US Magazine covers featuring Bristol and her baby or her flat-footed stint on Dancing With the Stars. But Portman is to be faulted—a woman with a career, a woman with the means to take care of her child, a woman who, unlike Bristol, is still involved with the father of her child-to-be.”
Dan Quayle and “Murphy Brown,” anyone?
FOR AUDIO, CLICK ON THE COPY ABOVE READING “IN AN INTERVIEW ON ‘THE MICHAEL MEDVED SHOW’ ON MONDAY.”