Objectifying John Mulaney: How Some Fans Could Put the Comedian at Risk

Some fans are dehumanizing John Mulaney following the comedian’s eventful year. He announced a divorce from his wife, Anna Marie Tendler, and recently revealed a baby-on-the-way with actress, Olivia Munn. This was all soon after completing a stay in rehab.

While that’s enough to reasonably start a conversation among his fanbase, some started to wonder if Mulaney’s personal life should be off limits during his recovery. There’s one aspect of the conversation that appears most concerning for some supporters because it devalues the comedian’s life. The public has also seen somewhat similar stories play out tragically in the press before.

Here’s why and how some fans are objectifying the comedian at the possible risk of his wellbeing.

John Mulaney in boxing gloves
John Mulaney | Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Philly Fights Cancer

The “Munnifesting” trend

Mulaney received widespread encouragement when news broke that he would be going to rehab in Dec. 2020. It was also around that time that Munn fired off the “love and support” tweet that started the Twitter trend of “Munnifesting.”

Mulaney reportedly asked Tendler for a divorce in the early months of 2021. Munn is due “later this year,” according to a recent interview with People. While Mulaney shared a somewhat specific timeline of events with Seth Meyers, he didn’t divulge the baby’s due date. Since it usually takes nine to ten months to cook a baby, fans detected a possible overlap.  

Following news of their split, Tendler’s photographs on Instagram took on new meaning. Fans built some logical theories about her side of the story. Her only public statement was that she was “heartbroken” over Mulaney’s decision – but she wished him success.  

The idea of a Mulaney and Munn coupledom – plus a baby – is one that is taking some devotees time to adjust to. So, they speculate openly online about the relationship and its prospects for lasting. But the discussion around the timeframe of Munn’s impregnation arguably isn’t the troubling part of the conservation.

Their pairing has been used by some fans as an excuse to devalue Mulaney’s attempts at sobriety.

Speculation on the longevity of John Mulaney’s sobriety is dehumanizing


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One early review of Mulaney’s “From Scratch” show mentioned the comedian spoke seriously about how dangerous his addiction became prior to intervention. What the public knows is that Mulaney relapsed, went to rehab, and surrounding that time made some changes that will likely impact him for the rest of his life.

But now, fans on Reddit have started harshly speculating about how long Mulaney’s sobriety will last with the impending arrival of “baby Munnlaney,” as some call it. That line of scrutiny feels dangerously brutal considering what we know about how negative media profoundly impacted Britney Spears.

Furthermore, public speculation about Mulaney’s ability to be a sober parent could have broader consequences on him. He reportedly told audiences in May of 2021, “When I’m alone, I realize I’m with the person who tried to kill me.”

So, he might have hurt Tendler and even some fans in his divorce. But he’s still a human and could be heavily impacted by gossip over his sobriety. This could be why he is mostly absent from social media.

And Tendler seems to be moving on with a successful art career. So, it could be a good time for fans to see Mulaney’s humanity and maybe even give him a shot at forgiveness.