British journalist and television personality Piers Morgan lit up social media Sunday when he tweeted a photo of James Bond star Daniel Craig wearing his infant daughter in a baby carrier.
Many of Morgan's 6.5 million followers were less than impressed with the dad-shaming stunt. The response was swift and severe: The Brit was widely criticized for his skewed image of manhood, in which he claimed that Craig's choice of parenting gear was a sign of emasculation rather than practicality.
Some users responded by calling Morgan names — like "insecure manbaby" and "sexist jackwagon." Others attempted a more rational approach by explaining the benefits of baby carriers, which allow parents to keep children close, yet have their hands unoccupied while strolling on the street.
Still others wrote that a father taking care of his child, even wearing a papoose, is attractive. A handful of men responded with photos of themselves wearing them.
Morgan could not be reached for comment; neither could Craig, who recently welcomed his daughter with actress Rachel Weisz to the world.
It's not newsworthy to see that many men are engaged partners in parenting. They change diapers and handle late-night whimpers. They strap babies to their chests and go about the day's business, too. They're part of a generation whose mothers and fathers embrace their nurturing side and share the workload at home.
Morgan, a father himself, did not stand down or waffle; he maintained that papooses are "ridiculous instruments of emasculation."
Instead, he defended his honour on the social media platform, latching onto the steady stream of papoose-related content and goading President Donald Trump to share his thoughts on the baby carrier:
"Everyone else seems to be getting very worked up about them. I don't really have you down as a papoose kinda guy, but then you're full of surprises."
Trump did not take the bait.
Calling the tweet-lashing a "ferocious Papoose-gate debate," Morgan's foregone conclusion was that there must be a change in James Bond casting. Clearly, he said, the world needs a "007 who looks sharp in a tux & wouldn't be seen dead in a papoose."