Macaulay Culkin's father was reportedly trying to manage every aspect of the actor's life.
Trigger warning: This story contains details of abuse that may be disturbing to some readers.
It's a story that's not uncommon in Hollywood. Many former child actors have come forward with stories of abuse at the hands of controlling parents. With the attention that's been given to Britney Spears' conservatorship under her father, more and more fans are now aware of how many child actors have often been taken advantage of for their fame and money at such a young age. Another example seems to be that of Macaulay Culkin, who was an immensely popular child actor in the '90s. Many were surprised when Macaulay gave up acting at the young age of 14. Why would someone with so much talent give up so soon? According to Ranker, his financial portfolio fell into the $50 million range. Why stop acting then? Some reports say that this had to do with his turbulent relationship with his father, Kit Culkin.
The 1990 film Home Alone is still one of the most iconic movies to this day, being the highest grossing family comedy and staying number one in the box office for months well into 1991. The film earned 2 Oscar nominations. pic.twitter.com/MPsBb5lnTl— hannah (@paceyconway) August 12, 2021
Apparently, Kit acted as the young star's manager, and he was allegedly even physically and verbally abusive. He even tried to gain control over his son's career by taking creative control of his Home Alone star's films away from studio executives and producers. Macaulay grew up with several siblings, and the family did not have much money. He told New York magazine in 2001, "My father was always, you know, abusive, but it didn't get really, really, really bad until later on."
In interviews and in his 2004 semi-autobiographical novel Junior, Mack recalled his father’s abuse. The children were gaslit, manipulated, screamed at + sometimes hit when they did not obey to Kit’s sometimes unrealistic demands. His mother often faced the worst of his anger. pic.twitter.com/c9ntoSaZpg— hannah (@paceyconway) August 12, 2021
He also noted the hypocrisy when it came to his father's faith and his father's actions. He noted, "I'd help him set up Mass and stuff like that. It gave me a very tainted view of religion because I saw the man-behind-the-curtain sort of thing. You see your father taking the body of Christ and the blood of Christ down from the tabernacle or whatever, and everybody's believing it's, you know, a big holy thing, and you're like, 'It's just a bottle of wine and some crackers from a box in the back!'"
More recently, he told Marc Maron for an episode of his WTF podcast in 2018 that the pair are no longer on good terms. Speaking of his now-estranged dad, he said, "He was abusive. Physically and mentally." He would go along with his sons to auditions and film sets, but the pair were never close. "I'm going around the country, locked in a room with a man who didn't like me," the now 41-year-old shared.
I was today years old when I found out that Kieran Culkin and Macaulay Culkin are brothers pic.twitter.com/WGgYlHmieS— Script to Scene (@scripttoscene) November 7, 2021
Macaulay's younger brother agrees. Kieran Culkin, who is two years younger, told Vanity Fair, "He's not a good dude, but he wasn't really a big part of my life after the age of 15." He added, "Sometime in the 1990s, he went away and disappeared for two, three weeks. The babysitter remarked to my mum, 'You know what's funny is their father's been gone for three weeks, and not one of them has asked where he is.' Nobody cared, actually. My mum was the parent, so when he wasn't there, it was nicer and better."
Kit Culkin was spotted back in 2016. The estranged father reportedly lives in Oregon. When asked about Macaulay. Kit responded to The Daily Mail, "I don't consider him a son anymore."