Should children be allowed to watch porn? They will anyway, so parents must watch it with them, says actress Ali Wentworth, the wife of ABC news anchor George Stephanopoulos, sending social media into a frenzy.
Wentworth's comments were slipped into a much larger conversation on Debra Messing's ‘The Dissenters' podcast last week, but they found themselves highlighted on a number of platforms on Monday evening, especially by conservative pundits.
"In porn, women have been conditioned to look and act a certain way," Wentworth said. "They're performing, and it's dangerous to have boys see this as something women want. You can't stop them, so I'd watch it with them. I would look at the porn with them that one time."
The author and ‘Jerry Maguire' actress went on to explain that she sees it as no different to scrolling through social media with her two teenage daughters. "I say, ‘Do you see this girl? There's a hole she's trying to fill,'" she said.
Her comments sent social media into a frenzy, with many questioning whether the act of watching pornography with your children would constitute child abuse.
"Our culture is rotted. Almost entirely. It will take generations to fix what we've done. But we better get started," commentator Jason Howerton tweeted in reaction.
"George Stephanopoulos' Wife: I'd Watch Porn With My Teenage Daughters - good for her. Though she could face child abuse charges if the daughters mention it to the wrong person,"wrote clinical psychologist David J Ley, who has written extensively on subjects such as sex addiction in the past.
Others have taken an even harsher stance, including conservative actress Mindy Robinson, who blasted Wentworth as a "degenerate" and suggested she needs to be looked into by "child services."
Wentworth and Stephanopoulos married in 2001 and have two daughters, 15-year-old Harper and 17-year-old Elliott.
She's mostly faced backlash for her comments, but Wentworth's porn theory raised no red flags with podcast host Debra Messing, who promoted the show and acknowledged that "porn" was a topic of discussion. She even called Wentworth "profound" when promoting the episode.
The conversation was also given a positive write-up in US Magazine, which focused on Wentworth's ‘scrolling through social media' analogy.