Celebrities are just like us when it comes to being embarrassed by their parents.
Just ask Brad Pitt, whose mother wrote a letter to her hometown newspaper, criticizing President Barack Obama. Miley Cyrus’ dad, Billy Ray, told GQ magazine in 2011 that his family was under attack by Satan. And who can forget Jessica Simpson's father discussing his daughter's Double D breasts? And let's not get started on Lindsay Lohan’s parents!
Should these celebrity parents take a vow of silence to avoid harming their children's careers, or should they be able to speak their mind, knowing it is bound to get a lot of attention?
"For better or worse, celebrities have wacky parents, just like the rest of us mere mortals. One only wishes that many celebrity parents realize that, because of their last name, their words are going to be taken in a whole different light," says Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR. "Celebrity parents can absolutely hurt [or help] their child’s career. We have worked for celebrities who we have had to advise to stay away from certain family members for concern of how media would portray the relationship."
Just as for celebrities, their family members need to learn quickly that once fame arrives, the spotlight shines brighter on what you say and do.
"There is a price for success, and for parents of celebrities it means they have to watch what they say and do or can embarrass their children," Torossian says. "When celebrities become famous, the lives of their immediate families also change: do you think one of Justin Bieber's siblings could hold down a normal teenage job? Could Ryan Reynolds' dad have a regular nine to five, where everyone didn't whisper 'wow that's Ryan Reynolds' dad?' Life changes for celebrity parents and smart parents recognize it and adapt accordingly."
But sometimes parents' remarks can help a celebrity, reminding us that even the very rich and famous are human, too.
"There's nothing that brings people together more -- Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Socialists -- than a shared embarrassment about what their parents say and do," says marketing expert Adam Hanft, CEO of Hanft Projects and a Huffington Post contributor. "Being publicly embarrassed by your parents goes back to kindergarten. So unless a parent's transgressions are connected to the image problems of their children -- as in the case of Mel Gibson and his father, Hutton, I don't think it's at all damaging to the celebrity's image. The public gives a wide berth to misbehaving parents."
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