A single mom and her son found themselves the target of critics after a video of them together went viral on social media, drawing negative comments from viewers. After their behavior sparked controversy, they spoke out.
Amber Wright, a 38-year-old single mom, found herself in the middle of controversy when images of her hugging her son drew the attention of online critics. The Utah mom had posted a video of the eyebrow-raising embrace after a celebratory hug with her son, Brixton, was captured on camera following a football game. She never expected the footage to go viral, but that’s exactly what happened, and she’s since decided to speak out.
The clip in question, which has been viewed millions of times, captured Amber wrapping her legs around 16-year-old Brixton’s waist as she hugged the teen just moments after his football team had won a home game. “One of my best friends recorded the moment where Brix picked me up and I thought it was so cute,” Amber told TODAY. “I was so proud,” she continued. “I was a proud mom hugging her kid.” However, that’s not what some viewers saw, and accusations were launched at Amber.
Critics were quick to sound off on what they believed was problematic behavior. “I wonder how many of his friends are allowed to stay over. My son wouldn’t be allowed for sleepovers at their house,” one such person wrote in the comments while another chimed in to add, “I don’t think anyone has an issue with your son picking you up, just the (fact) that it appears your [sic] straddling your son. You’re also dressed pretty sexy for a high school football game.”
Others expressed disbelief that the video was of a boy and his mother, having thought Amber was a girlfriend. The criticisms and backlash were upsetting for both the mom and her son, who both defended their actions. “I never expected it to turn into something where people are like, ‘You’re sexually abusing him! You’re grooming him! I’m calling child protective services,” Amber admitted. “I come from a very affectionate family. I hug my dad every time I see him,” she continued.
“What you saw on the football field is just how we are. Brix will pick me up and squeeze me and then put me back down,” Amber Wright explained. However, there was more to the story. In fact, there was something going on that viewers couldn’t readily see — and it was absolutely heartbreaking.
According to Amber, Brixton might have held her a “little longer” during this particular embrace because it was the first time he was wearing the jersey with the number 44 on the football field, and that number had a special meaning. It represented his late dad’s death date of April 4 or 4/4. “He was feeling emotional, and I think as his mom, I’m his safe space,” Amber said.
Brixton was quick to come to his mother’s defense. “How abt you leave my mom alone,” the teen wrote on Instagram. “She’s never abused me done anything sexual with me or my friends or groomed me. She’s my mom she is my hero the vid of us hugging was a HUG. Go bother someone else and maybe hug your own kids. You all need Jesus damn.”
Of course, not everyone saw a problem. Instead, Amber said she received many “kind” private messages that were “supportive.” In addition, people also stuck up for the single mom publicly on Instagram. “I’m a single mom of a boy. After going through breast cancer, I believe my son would do this to me too at a football game bc we are very close. My son and I are like best friends. Happy to see a strong mom and son connection!” one supportive commenter wrote.
Others expressed similar sentiments saying they saw “a beautiful mom who loves her son.” Indeed, this does appear to be an attractive woman who was overjoyed by her son’s victory and could hardly contain herself when she gave him the celebratory embrace, and I can’t help but wonder if anyone would have seen anything inappropriate if Amber Wright’s appearance had been less appealing. Instead, she is a gorgeous, physically fit woman, who was seemingly showing off her good looks.
Perhaps that’s why people really saw a problem. A glance at Amber’s Instagram account does show very sexualized photos of the single mom mixed with images of family as well. As one commenter suggested, it might behoove Amber to be “less sexual” and “tone it down,” especially at her son’s events since it would seem like she’s attempting to draw attention to herself rather than leaving the attention on her son.
Would that have made a difference in the response Amber Wright received to the video with her son? We can only speculate, and the mom made it clear that she didn’t believe her behaviors were a problem. Instead, she pointed to jealousy as an issue, and she might be right. After all, not a lot of moms can be hoisted up by their teen sons, nor do they have bodies like Amber’s, which she obviously works hard to maintain. What we do know is this — public videos will draw public scrutiny, so keep that in mind when you post.
Sadly, we live in a society that seems to encourage “sexy.” However, if you are sexy, your behavior, clothing, and actions are often scrutinized and frequently perceived as sexual even if they are anything but. In other words, maybe Amber and Brixton’s actions aren’t the problem. Maybe the real problem is that so many people have their minds in the gutter with no desire to step out of it. Perhaps Brixton said it best, even if he was being a bit sarcastic. It seems some people need Jesus.