Response to Todd Chrisley, the Atlanta multimillionaire patriarch of USA’s Tuesday reality series “Chrisley Knows Best,” has been varied. Viewers have debated his sexuality — wife and five children notwithstanding — his ego, his blunt manner and his dictatorial but loving parenting style.
This didn’t faze USA Network, which has just picked up the show for a second season.
It also doesn’t bother Chrisley.
“Some people, you’re allowed to have an opinion,” he tells Zap2it. “We’re OK with people having an opinion, however you see us. At the end of the day, you can’t tell us who we are. We know who we are.
“We want to be good, decent, kind people. We’re not going to be out to trash you; we don’t know you. We’re not going to talk ill about someone, because, at the end of the day, that’s not our job in life. That’s not what we’re here for, to judge you or choices that you’ve made, because without making those decisions and those choices, you wouldn’t be where you are today, good or bad. Hopefully, you’ve learned something from it, if it was bad, and you won’t make that same choice again.”
Adds wife Julie, “And we live by the same thing.”
“Exactly,” he says, “our life is our life, and we’re blessed to be able to live it, and someone else’s opinion of us is not our business.”
“I know who my parents are,” says his 16-year-old daughter, Savannah. “They’re very open, so I don’t need anyone telling me what my dad is, because I know who he is. I, myself, know who I am, so none of this is going to change who I am.”
Says 17-year-old son Chase, “You can’t tell us anything we don’t know. They say they know everything about each other; we know everything about them.”
Asked if that’s true, Chrisley laughs and says, “We’ll find out.”
Says Julie, “We shall soon find out.”
One thing Chrisley is totally upfront about is his feelings for his children.
“I love this child,” he says, gesturing toward Chase (with whom he has frequent clashes on the show), “and his siblings more than I’ve ever loved anything in my life, ever. My wife and I, our relationship, we both agreed when we had children … she said, ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever love you like I do my kids.’
“And I said, ‘That is so refreshing, because I don’t know if I’ll ever love you that way either.'”
Some parents may wonder whether exposing their children on reality TV is a good idea, but that doesn’t worry Chrisley.
“At the end of the day,” he says, “for us, it’s not your job, it’s not USA’s job, it’s not anyone’s else’s job on the street to take care of our children and to make sure that they are safe from this show we’re doing. That’s our job.
“Our parenting did not cease at the time we started filming, and it didn’t cease when we stopped filming. So, I will throw another device in the swimming pool?” — in an early episode, Chase’s laptop took a swim when he was looking at a forbidden Website — “Depends on whether or not you do something with it you’re not supposed to do.
“Chase doesn’t like me every day — I know it’s hard for you to believe — but I will tell you that every day of their life, I have loved them, every day. I don’t like them every day.”