Felicity Huffman spoke about the primal instincts of parents to “protect and support” their children during the Feb. 28, 2009 radio roundtable for “Phoebe in Wonderland.” Her character, Hillary Lichten, refused to acknowledge that her 9-year-old child had Tourette’s Syndrome.
Hillary was unwilling to have Phoebe seen as less than, but the effect of her denial, her rejection of concerns raised by Phoebe’s school principal, and ignoring medication suggested by her therapist, ended up causing Phoebe the most harm.
I thought about this junket yesterday when news broke that Huffman was charged with paying a college prep company $15,000 for her daughter to take the SAT off-site, where a proctor could secretly correct some of her wrong answers. Perhaps the actress shared this character’s maternal desperation to ensure the best for her daughter. Perhaps there was a reluctance to see her daughter attend the type of college more in line with her real SAT scores.
But forcing your child into a university that expects more than their academic record reflects only hurts the child … a concept Huffman appeared to agree with during the roundtable when discussing Hillary’s unwillingness to accept Phoebe’s limitations.