*Despite her history-making win at this year’s Tony Awards, Audra McDonald is not immune to criticism.
The actress, who won her record-breaking sixth Tony award for her performance in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” has come under fire for her acceptance speech by Time magazine editor-at-large Belinda Luscombe.
During her emotional speech, McDonald thanked her parents for everything they’ve done for her to get her to where she is now. The part where Luscombe found fault was when McDonald credited her parents for not medicating her for
“I’m going to start with the most important people in my life cause I don’t want to forget them,” a tearful McDonald said. “I want to thank my mom and my dad up in heaven for disobeying the doctor’s orders and not medicating their hyperactive girl and finding out what she was into instead and pushing her into the theater.”
In an open letter to McDonald, Luscombe touched on the benefits of medicating her hyperactive child while criticizing the actress.
But here’s the thing. One of my kids doesn’t learn very well without the meds. We’ve tried the theater, sports, music, wearing him out, getting him more sleep, meditation, diet, being super-disciplinarian, being not too disciplinarian, art, bribery and shouting. We even tried chewing gum for a while. Oh man, that stuff is hard to remove. We tried a lot of techniques, some of them more seriously than others, because we are human and have jobs and other children. But the thing that worked best, that enabled him to learn to read and stopped him from getting into trouble at school, was medicine, “ wrote Luscombe.
“I’m sure that you were not personally judging me and other concerned parents when you thanked your parents for not putting you on Ritalin. I’m sure you weren’t trying to prescribe from the podium. And obviously, you have thrived, against some serious odds. But damn it, you’re not making it any easier to live with our hard decisions. There’s anxiety and then there’s Audra-induced anxiety, which is more dramatic and accomplished than the regular sort. I’m equally sure your parents also drove you to rehearsal a lot, or ran lines with you, or calmed you down if you had stage fright or told you not to chew your nails. You couldn’t have mentioned that instead?
“The chances of anybody winning six Tonys are extremely slender (again, bravo),” she continued. “If by giving my child medication, I have reduced his chances of getting that gong even further, so be it. He may not be Audra-level awesome, but he’s going to get though school. I’m O.K. with that.
To see the opening to Audra McDonald’s 2014 Tony Award acceptance speech, check out the video below: