Imagine being a working parent on an important call. Just as it's your turn to speak and make a point, your young kids burst into your office and make a scene. Now, imagine that you're a renowned political science academic and that your phone call is a live webcam interview with BBC News.
That's precisely the awkward situation Robert E. Kelly found himself in last Friday. While sharing his expertise about North and South Korea, Kelly's toddler daughter strutted into his office right up to the computer, the baby rolling in just seconds later, with Mom sliding in like a superhero to save the day.
The hilarious video instantly went viral. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out here:
Not everyone was amused, however. Click through the slideshow to see why some people were a little thrown off by the Kelly's actions.
As it always does, the internet had a multitude of thoughts on this instance, starting with the fact that Kelly didn't do much to get the kids out of the room. Some viewers saw Kelly's gentle push of his toddler daughter toward her mother as emblematic of the patriarchy, just waiting for someone to come in and take care of his kids.
"If a woman had done that, we wouldn't be sharing the video while wiping tears of laughter from our eyes," writes one dissenter. "We'd be knee-deep in a tedious discussion about whether she's a terrible mother and whether her career of Korea Takes was leading her to ignore the small, simple pleasures of watching a child dance like a loon."
"Also - ALSO - Mr Pundit shoves the kid back with the easy reassurance of someone who knows that another person is going to swoop in and deal with the kids. This, you feel, is the kind of guy who refers to looking after his own children as 'babysitting'.
While that assessment is a fair one, it could also be seen as overly simplistic. Was Kelly waiting for his wife Jung-a Kim to take care of the kids, or was he frozen in place not knowing how to react during his live BBC News video interview about the impending impeachment of South Korea's president?
@rgay I can't decide how I feel about him shoving the toddler without even turning around!— Maggie Smash (@maggiesmashes) March 10, 2017
Next, viewers were concerned with the way the kids were handled. Kelly's gentle push of his toddler toward her mother Kim, Kim's yank of the toddler's arm when it was clear she wasn't going anywhere, the toddler's still-audible tantrum when Kim finally got the two kids out of the office behind closed doors.
But again, did the circumstances call for more forceful parenting than a typical situation? Judging a parent on 40 or 50 seconds of their life isn't exactly fair. What toddler hasn't thrown a tantrum when Mom tells them "no"?
@rgay I think people want her to be the nanny. Her seeming terrified would be less awful then. As the mom she seems emotionally abused.— Jennifer Orr (@jenorr) March 10, 2017
And finally, some viewers thought Kim seemed emotionally abused judging by her frantic actions in the office. (Well, some assumed she was a nanny, because her "kids don't look like her" but that's another story.) Writer Roxanne Gay retweeted the original video to her followers and one responded by saying "I think people want her to be the nanny. Her seeming terrified would be less awful then. As the mom she seems emotionally abused."
In her usual concise way, Gay quipped back, "No she doesn't seem emotionally abused. Her husband is on live television and it was a big deal for him as an academic."
What do you think? Is the funny BBC interview a telling account of one father's patriarchy or is it just that: a funny video? Share your thoughts in the comments below.