Actress Naomi Watts faced an angry social media mob after she shared a funny photo featuring her two children on Mother’s Day.

What was the photo all about?

United Kingdom-born Watts shared the photo, which showed her two children with duct tape across their mouths on Sunday.

She captioned the snap of the kids, which she shares with former partner and fellow actor Liev Schreiber, “Mother’s Day gift to myself … #seenandnotheard. Happy Mother’s Day.”

How did people react?

The majority of people thought that the photo was cute, but there was a contingent of users who said that the photo reeked of bad taste, and, in some cases, privilege.

Here are some of the more entertaining responses:

  • “Are you kidding??? I can’t consider this post hilarious so I’ll just unfollow! terrible. not the slightest bit funny.”
  • “The photo itself is not ‘abusive’ – it’s obviously staged, and meant to be funny. But it does scream white upper class privilege. She can afford to attempt humor publicly in this way, in a way that someone with lesser societal status could not. Having worked in the child welfare realm, it’s a fact that a poor woman of color posting this might end up with her kids removed, at least temporarily, while it was investigated. How the world responds to what you do depends on who you are, and this just illustrates that some enjoy that privilege without having to think about it.”
  • “T]errible. not the slightest bit funny.”
  • “There are nonverbal children in this world, have you ever considered that some moms would do anything to hear their child’s voice?”
  • “Um, Child Abuse? Unfollowed.”
  • “When I worked at DCF in Florida, i had to remove a child for the same thing you are joking about… it tore the family apart. When the husband came home to find his children gone and his wife being processed for jail for child abuse… that’s was the charge. They got divorced. And here you are saying this is a joke!!! its a sad joke & a illegal joke…THIS TIME YOU WENT TO FAR…SHAME ON YOU!!!”

Did she respond to the ‘controversy?’

In the Instagram comments section, Watts issued an apology for the photo, according to

The outlet reported that Watts said she “didn’t mean to offend.”

She also added, “My humour is sometimes irreverent. Photo was staged obviously.”

Watts later shared a second photo of her children — sans duct tape — writing, “Happy Mother’s Day… I’m so grateful to have these two wonderfully spirited people in my life. They are brilliant and unique, they keep me laughing and growing every day. Blessed beyond words to be on this journey together.”

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