In June a blurb on a celebrity news site caught my eye. I don’t remember the particular headline, but the story related that actor Doug Hutchison of The Green Mile fame had wed a young woman of 16, an aspiring singer named Courtney Stoddard. Despite the fact that the two received parental permission for the union to take place, the news could not let go of the fact that two people, one a minor, married despite a 35-year age gap (Hutchison is 51).
Until now I have not uttered a word of commentary about the union. I didn’t want to be judgmental or harsh because of the age gap. I, too, am married to a man 35 years older than myself – 35 years, 8 months and 14 days older to be exact. I didn’t want to blast anyone for taking advantage of the laws that exist within the state of Nevada. I still do not want to do these things. What I want to do is hold, as best as I can, Doug Hutchison and Courtney Stoddard responsible for the disservice they have done to others in uncommon relationships.
Doug Hutchison and Courtney Stoddard operated within the law to marry. They may or may not be happy with one another. Their marriage may have been planned from the beginning as a one way ticket to reality TV superstardom – a ticket that didn’t require the creation of a sex tape Ã la the current queen of reality, Kim Kardashian. What this golden ticket to fame and fortune has required, however, is what is disturbing.
Despite the fact that Doug and Courtney speak the word “Love” in every interview they have granted, the greater takeaway for viewers is “Crazy.” The bizarre verbiage and hyper-sexual attitude that pervades every video clip featuring the couple, from Good Morning America to Australia’s The Morning Show, is undoubtedly the type of behavior producers hope to capture on the couple’s potential reality TV show.
If the potential TV show does find its way to the airwaves and viewers are treated to hour upon hour of Courtney continually adjusting her bra, pushing up her already large breasts, pursing her lips and tweeting 140 characters of sexual innuendo on a daily basis, “Love” will be the last thought on viewer’s minds. The entire situation makes me feel disgusted and somewhat violated. I expect more from my fellow married woman with a “old soul.”
My husband and I have spent six years building a strong marriage, winning over critics and silently dispelling common ideas about May-December romances. I operated under the idea that we would, perhaps, begin to open people’s minds entirely to the idea that love truly does not have limits when two consenting adults are involved. However, all the hard work done by an average couple such as my husband and I can be entirely undone in a five minute morning show.
The media knows that Doug Hutchinson and Courtney Stoddard are either full-on phonies or real-phonies in a Holly Golightly and Breakfast at Tiffany’s imagined world. To continually use them as the poster child for age-gap relationships does the world a disservice – a disservice that Hutchinson and Stoddard will ride all the way to the bank while those of us living in the real word are reexamined with an undeserved and unearned inquiring eye.