Gabrielle Union recently spoke up about red carpet ceremonies, and how working mothers should be able to bring their children with them. Union, who currently stars on the action series L.A.’s Finest and is a judge on America’s Got Talent, believes that she should be able to bring her daughter Kaavia Wade on the red carpet.
“Kaav has done three carpets, maybe four. We dress her last-minute because she’s a drooler and she pukes,” Union told Harper’s Bazaar. “It takes a village to put a baby on the red carpet.” The actress credits her L.A.’s Finest co-star Jessica Alba with normalizing the presence of having her daughter during the workday. “When Jessica was negotiating she had just given birth and was just very clear about what she needed and that she understood her value, and it paved the way for all of us to have access to our kids.”
Union Said That She Wants to Bring Her Child on the Red Carpet During Premieres
“When I came back from maternity leave, Jess made sure my trailer had everything that hers had so Kaav could come right to set,” Union continued. “No one’s had to make that crazy, crazy sacrifice of going back to work and just, like, leaving your kid. Jess was like, f**k that. I’m going to create the Hollywood that I’ve dreamed of and that I need.”
Union also talked about the roles for mothers in Hollywood, and how she wants to see more representation on the big screen. “Watching television now, I can absolutely tell when a man wrote the role of a woman being a mother,” she explained. “It’s either she’s Madonna Mary perfect, or has some super-human strength, or she is just one long-ass f**king sacrifice. But there is no nuance. All moms are not created equal, and all moms do not enjoy every aspect of parenting. Resources, privilege, race, region, and support all play a role in how we experience parenting. Playing a black mom, if I’m not going to bring that full experience to the table, I’m not interested.”
Union Also Feels That Mothers Should Get Better Written Roles on Television
Speaking with Parade, author Lauren Smith Brody talked about Union’s statement and how they are crucial to changing Hollywood’s stigma against babies on the red carpet. “Gabrielle gives credit to her husband Dwyane Wade too, not just for being an awesome, involved dad but for taking paternity leave during his last season,” Brody divulged. “When dads take leave, the ripple effects are incredible: Mom’s income increases, the partnership is stronger and more equal for the long term.”
“When dads take family leave, they’re saying: My work at home is just as valuable than my paid work. It helps correct the gender pay gap,” Brody continued. “So, if you have a partner, truly partner with them at home, right from the beginning as best as your workplaces allow you. They’re creating a work world that works not just for them but for their colleague and setting an example for the larger film industry.”