By Morgan Schwartz
Father knows best. Or at least that’s what celebrities sometimes tell themselves when hiring one or more of their parents to help out with their careers. But does being a good mom or dad necessarily translate into being a stellar manager?
Beyonce is just the most recent star to experience some of the trauma that comes along with hiring a parent to help shape a career. Bey, who made it big with Destiny’s Child before branching off and becoming a superstar solo artist, enlisted the help of both her mom and her dad from the start. Mom Tina took on the role of “stylist,” while dad Matthew stepped in as her manager. While things were seemingly going well, it was announced in March that Beyonce and her dad had “parted ways amicably” (she continues to work with her mother). Now, speculation has surfaced that the separation may not have been as friendly as previously reported.
Although we can’t really speak to the situation – neither Beyonce’s camp nor Live Nation are commenting – it has given us inspiration to look back at other celebrity/parent working relationships to help us decide whether or not hiring a family member is a good or bad idea in showbiz.
Let’s start with Lindsay Lohan. It’s no secret that drama follows this girl wherever she goes, so it should come as no surprise that her working relationship with her mom Dina is known to be somewhat of a disaster. Dina has worked as Lindsay’s manager despite constant criticism about the way she interacts with her eldest daughter. The Long Island native was known to constantly party with Lindsay, speak publicly about LiLo without her permission, and act as an enabler for the bad behavior we know Lindsay loves to get up to. Lindsay’s dad is also notorious for riding on his daughter’s coattails and making statement after statement about her wrecked reputation. Although never officially employed by Lindsay, Michael Lohan has managed to impact her career (probably for the worse).
Read on for our verdict on Lindsay’s working relationship with her parents as well as our thoughts on the Kardashians, the Simpsons and Britney Spears.
VERDICT: MATCH MADE IN MANAGER HELL. Lindsay’s mom and dad are more concerned about staying in the spotlight than they are about their daughter’s well-being, making the parent-manager relationship a big no-no. When (if ever) they can start to see that Lindsay’s health and happiness should come before fame and fortune, maybe they can consider stepping into those important business roles again. Until then, they should focus on being good parents.
The Kardashians have built an empire on family (and product placement), so it makes sense that the leader of the pack would be none other than matriarch Kris Jenner. Playfully referred to as “MOMager” on the family’s reality shows on E!, Kris is in charge of her six (that’s right SIX!) kids’ careers. Any fan of the Kardashian “klan” knows that the family has their fair share of drama, especially when it comes to business. In one episode of Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Kim is even seen lying to her mom about attending an event because of the possible bad press that would result.
VERDICT: MATCH MADE IN MANAGER HEAVEN. Kris Jenner, although somewhat pushy and demanding of her kids, is business savvy and good at her job. Most importantly, she seems to put family first, which is the key to making a parent-manager relationship work. While there’s no saying what would happen to the family’s relationships if the fame was to disappear tomorrow, for now, Kris has a good handle on the balance between being a “MOMager” and a plain old mom.
Who can forget the Simpson sisters. Probably one of the most interesting parent-manager relationships in the industry, Papa Joe Simpson is a minister-turned-manager who controls not only his daughters’ professional lives, but their personal ones as well. After all, who can forget the rumors that Tony Romo ended his relationship with Jessica due to Joe’s prying ways.
VERDICT: MATCH MADE IN MANAGER HELL. If Joe can focus on the business and let Jessica and Ashlee live their lives in peace, there’s a chance that daddy’s little girls can successfully stay as daddy’s clients.
This post wouldn’t be complete without our beloved Britney Spears. Britney has had her fair share of ups and downs both in her personal life and her career, and who besides her dear old mom and dad (and the paparazzi) have been through it all with her? Brit’s mom started as her manager before the pop princess fired her when she was going through one of her many meltdowns . She even forbade Lynn Spears from seeing her own grandkids. Britney’s father has also been an important part of Britney’s career, particularly in recent years when he was appointed by the court to act has her conservator (a very legal kind of manager, if we do say so ourselves).
VERDICT: MATCH MADE IN MANAGER HEAVEN. Brit Brit needs the support of her loved ones. Although her mom is no longer in the manager role, their differences have been reconciled and she’s getting more than enough love from her agent-boyfriend Jason Trawick. Also, the court-appointed conservatorship was one of the best things to happen to Brit. Her dad’s supervision helped get her back on the right track and gave us our Femme Fatale back!
It seems to us that the success of parent-celeb working relationships is determined on a case-by-case basis. Tell us if you think it can work out in the comments below or on Twitter!