Family Issues

Will and Jada Smith Investigated by L.A. Children and Family Services Because Agency Apparently Didn't Like a Photo It Saw of Daughter Willow


If this story from Huffington Post on the bleeding crossroads of celebrity gossip and officious busybodism is to be taken at face value, it's a gross example of government waste and overreach that ought to terrify every parent in this age of all the kids sending their selfies to their reddits and sexting bitcoin to their roku, as SNL's Drunk Uncle might say.

American superpowercouple Will and Jada Smith are allegedly being investigated by the Los Angeles Department of Child & Family Services because a picture circulated online of their 13- year-old daughter Willow in bed with a 20-year-old former Hannah Montana actor Moises Arias.

In bed. That's not a euphemism for naked and having sexual intercourse. It's two humans who happen to be occupying physical space in a bed. Arias is shirtless, Smith fully clothed. Their bodies don't even appear to be touching.

From the HuffPo report:

"The investigation was formally opened last week and is being taken very seriously by the department. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have been extremely cooperative with officials. Of course, they aren't happy that their parenting skills are under scrutiny, but they understand," a source told the website [Radar Online], adding that social workers will be speaking to Willow separately, as well as former Disney star Moises Arias, who was pictured with her in the photo.

A government agency will be talking to people. Because two people laid in bed and took a picture. An agency with the power to break up families.

And what possible good outcome is this investigation supposed to have? And who could possibly care? And why should the force and threat of tearing a child from its parents be brought to bear—and that is the agency's ultimate threat?

It might be interesting to contemplate, in this context, this report from a couple of weeks ago from the L.A. Times, mostly focused on a 17-year agency vet fired for accusations of sexual misconduct against foster children under his care:

Two months after the alleged incident, Supervisor Gloria Molina announced publicly that a "crisis" had developed in the child welfare department's holding room inside a high-rise office building near downtown Los Angeles and that it was being used as a "dumping ground" to house difficult-to-place foster children.

Her staff visited and reported finding a chaotic scene, including a 9-month-old infant who had been present at a drug bust, three pregnant teenagers and recently released juvenile offenders — all of whom were getting little sleep while social workers frantically juggled a multitude of after-hours child abuse investigations.

Some of the older children reportedly used drugs openly in the office, Molina said.

[Lincoln] Saul [a retired social worker] said that one of [James] Green's accusers, a 13-year-old girl, was placed in the holding room more than 40 times between March 2012 and January 2013. During those visits, the girl sometimes undressed in front of male staff and walked around the office in her underwear. Staffers eventually covered her with a sheet, Saul said.

This is the agency who seems to think it might be able to take better care of Willow Smith than her parents. Or maybe it just thinks it needs to know more about that scandalous picture. It's hard to imagine what possible purpose is behind this investigation or what good is supposed to come from this use of city money and time. Again, if the story is as reported, it's just plain crazy.