Hollywood is stepping up its game by showing how important fatherhood really is.

It's pretty easy to come up with a list of well-known celebrity moms.

Let's start with Jessica Alba, who's just as well-known for being a mother and baby-product entrepreneur as she is a working actress.


Photo from iStock.

Then there's Gwyneth Paltrow, another parent who has made as many headlines for a controversial opinion about working moms as she did for her last role in a film.

Photo from iStock.

Fair or unfair, and whether they want it to or not, motherhood often comes to define celebrity women in one way or another.

But where are all the celebrity dads? Why does it seem like we're not all that interested in what they have to say?

In the dramatic film of parenting, it seems moms are the ones playing the starring roles. Jessica Seinfeld knows this and she wants to flip the script.

Instead of focusing primarily on the experience of moms, she's turned her attention to dads by creating the Fatherhood Leadership Council dedicated to supporting fathers in need and their families. In partnership with the GOOD+ Foundation, Jessica and her team raised close to $200,000 during their second annual Fatherhood Luncheon in April, hosted by her husband, iconic comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

Jessica is passionate about fatherhood. Photo from the GOOD+ Foundation, used with permission.

One big topic at the luncheon? The visibility, or lack thereof, of celebrity dads. Here's what four luncheon attendees had to say:

1. Jerry Seinfeld.

Jerry believes being a celebrity mom is not for the faint of heart. Photo from the GOOD+ Foundation, used with permission.

Jerry Seinfeld doesn't mince words when it comes to the experience of celebrity moms. In his mind, it's a much harder gig and that's why more people find it interesting.

"Watching a celebrity mom is basically like watching a car on fire going down a freeway at 90 miles per hour," Jerry told Upworthy. "The pressure they experience to be 'on' at all times is incredible, and people can't take their eyes off of them."

But what about Jerry? He's a celebrity dad. What kind of pressure does he deal with? He says it's different because he's not in the spotlight anymore.

"My show is always on and I don't need to put myself out there to make money or be seen as some in Hollywood are," he said. "Because of that, I'm not worried about public perception or any of that stuff. I can just focus on being a parent."

2. Bob Saget.

Saget (left) has his own opinions on celebrity parenting. Photo from the GOOD+ Foundation, used with permission.

Saget views it a little differently. To him, it's not that society cares more about celebrity moms; he believes we don't hear much from celebrity dads because some of them just aren't secure in their abilities to raise kids.

"We all know that dads matter," Saget told Upworthy. "I've seen that many celebrity dads aren't as verbal or confident about raising children as women are."

Saget has made plenty of mistakes along the way, but at least he knows what really matters is that his daughters grew into amazing, successful women. And for that, Saget feels he did something right. "I got divorced 20 years ago, but I know I'm a good dad based on how well my daughters turned out," he said.

3. Samantha Ettus.

Photo from Bader Howar, used with permission.

Now it's time to get the mom perspective.

Ettus is a best-selling author and corporate speaker. She acknowledges that celebrity moms get a lot of shine, but she notices the tide is turning.

"Being a good dad has never been hotter than it is now," Ettus said. "For example, social media exploded when Ashton Kutcher ranted about a lack of changing tables in men's restrooms. People want to hear more from dads in general."

4. Jessica Seinfeld.

Jessica addressed the crowd at the fatherhood luncheon. Photo from the GOOD+ Foundation, used with permission.

Last, but certainly not least, is Jessica Seinfeld. She believes celebrity moms are fascinating because they show how similar they are to every other mom on the planet.

"When a woman sees a Hollywood mom who gained 50 pounds during pregnancy or looks tired, she feels validated because she experienced that too," Jessica said. "It helps to bring us all together."

But for this particular luncheon in Los Angeles, fatherhood was the name of the game for Jessica. She understands that dads play a crucial role in strengthening families and she wants to do everything possible to empower them — especially dads in low-income communities.

In addition to her GOOD+ Foundation donating 20 million essential parenting/baby items, such as cribs, car seats, and diapers, to families in need across America, she created career training and parenting classes to help dads feel more powerful and involved.

"When a father dedicates himself to adding stability and love to a family, it makes the world a better place," Jessica said. "It doesn't matter if you're a celebrity or not, that's the truth."

Sometimes it takes a celebrity to show us that parenting really is the universal equalizer.


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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

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The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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