Just a few days after being the center of a social media storm, new parents Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder have issued a joint statement responding to the backlash they received when their birth control anecdote spread like wildfire.
In an interview for Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy podcast, Somerhalder candidly shared what he thought was a tongue-in-cheek story about how he flushed his wife's birth control pills down the toilet the night they decided that they already want to start a family.
"We decided that we wanted to have children together, and it was just time. But unbeknownst to poor Nikki, she didn't realize that I was going to go in her purse and take out her birth control," the actor shared. "By the way, it was the beginning of the pack, so I had to pop all those suckers out. There was like 25 of them. It is a lot of work, especially after a little bit of sangria."
Uh, this is not a laughing matter, Ian.
Unsurprisingly, the anecdote garnered a lot of negative attention, with a lot of people voicing out their concerns regarding the issue of reproductive coercion.
Reed responded to all the comments by tweeting a public apology on their behalf, explaining that it was all taken out of context.
“To anyone who has been affected by reproductive coercion, we are deeply sorry," the statement began. "That is an extremely serious issue, and women’s rights is something that is incredibly important to both of us. It is something we’ve been very vocal about, and something that is very close to our hearts.”
The actors explained that they never anticipated that their "lighthearted interview" would be received this way, but they are somehow glad that this incident became the catalyst for an important issue to be discussed publicly.
“However, if this somehow sheds light on a topic that definitely needs mainstream attention, then we are grateful for the unintended consequence," they wrote.
Poking fun at something as serious an issue as reproductive coercion is completely unacceptable, so we're glad that the couple recognized the repercussions of their story and used it as a learning opportunity.