Last week, news broke that 14-year-old Modern Family star Ariel Winter had been removed from her mother, Chrystal Workman, by a judge after reports of physical and emotional abuse. The allegations read like something out of a Lifetime Original Movie titled Stage Mom From Hell: slapping, shouting, insults about her daughter’s weight and appearance, deprivation of food, and repeated attempts to sexualize her. Why don’t we take a second to run down some things that have taken place since that happened:
- Workman went to the police and claimed that she caught Ariel and her 18-year-old boyfriend engaging in some sort of sexual act, and that Ariel only wanted to get away from her because she was trying to split them up. This despite the fact that Winter and her boyfriend broke up months before and the police report was only filed after Winter sought temporary custody with her older sister.
- Witnesses from both a film Winter worked on and the set of Modern Family came forward to talk about what a terror Workman was, saying that she watched over her daughter like a hawk, berated her about her appearance, and kept her on such a strict diet that crew members actually started sneaking her grilled cheeses when her mom wasn’t looking. It apparently got so bad that producers at Modern Family wanted Workman banned from the set.
- The transcript from the court hearing was released, in which the claims of on-set abuse were presented to the judge, to which Workman responded, “She is an actress so I’m sure she can cry at the drop of a hat.”
Now, look, I know that almost all of those links are to TMZ stories based on tips from anonymous sources. And I also know that family-related legal matters like this often get ugly, with both sides tossing hurtful and inflammatory allegations at each other by the handful, as anyone who has seen a particularly nasty custody situation up close can testify. (For what it’s worth, Workman is vehemently denying all the claims of abuse, both from Winter and her older sister.)
But here’s the thing: Even if we take away the claims of physical abuse and fact that she may have used a potentially false police report as a form of retaliation — which really can’t be proved at this point by anyone but her, her daughter, and her daughter’s creepy older ex-boyfriend — she still seems like an awful person. There are multiple reports about her being nasty about her 14-year-old daughter’s diet and weight, and she actually said “She is an actress so I’m sure she can cry at the drop of a hat” to the judge to try to discredit her. Even if that’s all she did, she’s still an overbearing and manipulative stage mom, and those kinds of people should all be strapped to a rocket and sent to the moon.
The whole thing just makes me sad. Anyway, here is a video of a chimpanzee feeding a baby tiger. Have a great day.