Michael Madsen Arrested For Physical Altercation While Disciplining His Pot-Smoking Son

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Well now, here’s a Hollywood arrest that parents might actually be able to relate to. Michael Madsen, most notably remembered as “Mr. Blonde” in Reservoir Dogs, ran in to some trouble with the law. The actor was arrested after a physical altercation with his teenage son and is now facing charges for child endangerment.

There’s a twist to this story-line though. Madsen’s son was smoking pot.

Listen, I do not advocate corporal punishment or physical discipline. I don’t believe in raising your hand to your children to prove that your bigger or stronger than they are.

And yet at the same time, I remember when my toddler tried to touch the top of the oven. The first time, I scolded her and told her that it was a “No-No” and that she could get hurt. She obviously didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation. The next time she reached her tiny fingers up to the stove, I spanked her bottom.

I felt guilty afterwards for striking my little girl. But at the same time, I felt justified that she realized the trouble she was in. I felt like I protected her from a much more dangerous situation than a swat on the butt.

With that lesson in mind, I suppose I can understand Madsen’s initial reaction to finding his son smoking marijuana. Perry Wander, Madsen’s attorney,   told TMZ, “[Michael] found his son smoking pot and they got in an argument when he tried to take it away.”

Now, I’m not the mother of a teenager just yet. Thankfully, I have a decade before I have to start worrying about these types of issues. But I can imagine that if I walked in on my little girl with marijuana, I would want to use whatever means necessary to show her that drugs are a serious problem. I can understand where a concerned parent might see a slap upside the head as a small price to pay for knocking some sense into a teenager on a dangerous path.

Obviously, these are only assumptions based on the story reported. I don’t know exactly what happened in the Madsen household. And I don’t know how far the fight went. There’s never an excuse for actually injuring your children. At all. Ever.

That being said, after consulting with my mother, I’m pretty positive she would have considered a swift kick in the butt had she come home to find me toking up with some friends. And even if physical violence isn’t the answer, the circumstances surrounding this arrest seem more like a dad trying to protect his son from drugs. Let’s just hope that things work out for the best for the whole Madsen family.


(Photo: Las Vegas Sun)


  1. The Mommy Psychologist

    March 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I don’t know the entire story, but I do think there are certain instances when corporal punishment is acceptable and chances are this may have been one. You provided a great example with your own daughter. I spanked my son the first time he stepped off the sidewalk into the street. I wanted him to know that if he stepped into the street without me, it would hurt. I wanted him to be afraid of stepping into the street. It worked. Parents were always amazed that I had a toddler who walked nicely next to me on the sidewalk. Walking into the street is a big no as a toddler and smoking pot is a big no as a teenager. I don’t think we should condemn his actions until we know the situation.

    “The child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself.”

  2. K.

    March 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Oh for Christ’s sake, the kid was smoking pot not shooting up heroin. Is there a teenager still out there that HASN’T tried pot at least once? Parents should stop acting so high and mighty and pretending to their children that they have never done anything experimental or illegal. Michael Madsen, an actor who frequently works with Quentin Tarantino of all people, is so unhinged by the sight of his teenage son smoking pot that he gets physically violent? Either there was something more serious involved or the guy has some anger issues.

  3. Rachael

    March 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Disclaimer: I come from British Columbia, where weed is very much a cultural thing and just about everyone smokes it.

    Lindsay, for heaven’s sake, pot is not bad if you don’t use it stupidly, and chances are your kid is not stupid. If you hurt your daughter physically for smoking it, it would be way out of proportion. Cocaine or meth would be another matter, but among youth weed is as ubiquitous as alcohol, and less dangerous. I just cannot fathom a parent being so cruel over such a non-issue.

    And if the altercation was bad enough for him to be arrested, I’m sure Madsen was way, way, WAY over the line.

    This article really doesn’t seem to have a point and – although I know this was not your point – appears to advocate child abuse. Please work on your clarity and logic skills.

  4. AnnH

    March 12, 2012 at 7:55 am

    The story as reported says that there was a fight between the father and the son. I wasn’t there either, but I’ve been in such situations. Sometimes, the argument gets so heated, everybody is yelling, the parent is using every way to be intimidating… that the child will raise his hand first. In such cases, what is a parent to do ? Can any parent here seriously say for a fact that they would breathe deeply and let it go, instead of instinctively react ?
    I don’t want to judge Madsen for trying to get his son out of pot smoking. It has just nothing to do, I think, with the core of the problem ; what I think about pot is irrelevant. The thing is, sometimes, children get out of hand (…and I’m not sure that smoking pot make them more aware of what they do). I know that from experience : I was raised in a verbally violent family where, every once in a while, some of us would get out of line. Most of the time it was my father. Sometimes it was me, the child, because at some point you don’t know how to express things in an argument, you want the parent to leave you alone, to go away, to stop breathing around you, they won’t and you’re desperate to make it stop. In such cases, violence did escalate. Nobody called the police like here, but if they did, people would have blamed my father, but every once in a while, he wasn’t at fault.

  5. Carrie T.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Corporal punishment on a teenager? What a waste of time.

    That being said, if my dad was Michael Madsden, I would STFU and do what he said.

  6. Oban

    March 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Corporal punishment in my part of the world meted to a misbehaving teenager is not frowned at. Smoking cigar is a no no no how much more; a pot. Pls spank the child if he misbehaves but don’t overdue it.

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