Roll up your sleeves and get in there': Russell Brand's hands-off parenting style sparks backlash online

Elizabeth Di Filippo
Russell Brand. Image via Getty Images.
Russell Brand. Image via Getty Images.

Russell Brand may fancy himself a progressive comedian, but when it comes to parenting his views are seriously out of date.

The 43-year-old Brit revealed during an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine that he has yet to spend an entire day in charge of his two children.

The father of two-year-old Mabel and six-month old Peggy opened up about how his wife, Laura Gallacher, is largely in charge of childrearing.

“No, she wouldn’t go away for 24 hours, Laura. She respects and cares for their safety too much… Um, I’ve done like a night,” he said. “But they’re asleep by then.”

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Brand’s primary focus seems not at all plugged-in to his children’s day-to-day routine.

Brand and wife Laura Gallacher in 2017. Image via Getty Images.
Brand and wife Laura Gallacher in 2017. Image via Getty Images.

“Yes, I’m very focused on the mystical connotations of Mabel’s beauty and grace,” he shared. “Not so good on the nappies and making sure they eat food.”

Despite not being in-tune with his children’s schedules, Brand insists he’s not at all taking a backseat to his wife.

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“I would hate for you to leave with the impression that I sort of sat watching television, peering over the armchair at what’s going on. I’m not,” Brand told the magazine. “Yesterday, like, I drove Mabel to the playschool and I drop her at the playschool. But I’m sensitive and awake and aware, so I have to dial a lot of shit down to go through normal life.”

The “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” star’s comments have rubbed his audience the wrong way, setting off a firestorm of backlash from fans online.

Many are calling Brand “sexist” for passing-off the nitty gritty of parenting to his wife, while claiming he’s “not willing to fight any of the battles.”

In an interview with TODAY, Patrick Coleman, an editor at Fatherly, said Brand’s style of parenting is reminiscent of antiquated gender roles.

“[It’s] very traditional, very 1950s-style,” Coleman said. “There are still couples who do that. It makes me a little sad because he’s missing out on some wonderful times for bonding.”

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One fan seems unsure whether or not Brand’s feelings are all that uncommon.

“Is Russell Brand the sexist monster everyone is making him out to be? Or just another imperfect, damaged human who doesn’t know the ‘right’ thing to say,” she tweeted. “I know plenty of dads like him, and far worse, but no one interviews them.”

Brand’s hands-off approach has even prompted advice from Josh Bellis, the president of the National At-Home Dad Network.

“Roll up your sleeves and get in there. None of us know what we’re doing but we, like our children, learn and grow along the way,” Bellis said. “Get out of your comfort zone. The payback is huge and the process is humbling.”

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