Rory Gilmore’s Dad Is Really Weird on TikTok

He's as good a therapist as he was a fictional father

David Sutcliffe/TikTok
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David Sutcliffe, the actor who played Rory Gilmore’s loser dad Christopher Hayden in the beloved CW series Gilmore Girls, did not storm the Capitol on January 6.

There were rumors he did, after he shared a video taken during the riot on Instagram, but he cleared them up by quote-tweeting a video of a man smoking a joint inside of the Capitol that day, adding, “There are rumors circulating that I ‘stormed the capital.’ Not true — though I would have been proud to share a smoke with this great Patriot!” In a follow-up tweet, he suggested that he was kidding. (Ha-ha.)

That David Sutcliffe seems to be MAGA-adjacent does not come as much of a surprise to Gilmore Girls fans. A deadbeat, absentee father and frequent monkey wrench in the Luke-Lorelai love story, Christopher Hayden is one of the series’ most hated characters, perhaps second only to Luke’s secret daughter April (also a monkey wrench in the Luke-Lorelai love story, but more importantly just so annoying, oh my god). That he is an apparent Trump supporter — who once shared the thought that after Trump dies, he will become “a symbol of rebellion, and [replace] Che Guevara on T-shirts” — gets the reaction less of “oh no!” and more of “ugh, of course.”

What did come as somewhat of a surprise to at least this Gilmore Girls fan, however, is that on top of being MAGA-adjacent (and a fav-er of tweets that say things like, “Women’s politics is best for the home. Men’s politics is best for the world”), David Sutcliffe practices something akin to therapy (as a therapist) on TikTok.

Sutcliffe retired from acting in May 2019 in favor of a life dedicated to “Core Energetics,” which is, as he explained in his Facebook announcement at the time, “a powerful somatic psychotherapy that uncovers the unconscious emotional blocks that keep us from being fully alive and engaged with life.” He leads workshops and retreats, hosts a podcast called The Psychosphere (tagline: “Psychology. Consciousness. Culture.”), and posts short bursts of therapy (almost always introduced with the greeting “PEOPLE —”) to his followers on TikTok (53.7K) and Instagram (13.1K).

His advice ranges from the sort of garden-variety guidance you find in therapy-themed Instagram cards (in arguments with your partner, use “I” statements rather than “you” statements) to MAGA talking points coded in therapy speak (racism is an illusion propagated only by those who are racist themselves).

“Is it okay for men to show their feelings in front of their woman?” Sutcliffe asks in one TikTok. The answer, you might be relieved to hear, is yes — with a caveat. “Don’t complain, bitch, or make yourself a victim. She doesn’t want that. She wants your presence … So how do you be present with your emotions, with your woman? Like this.” Sutcliffe looks stone-faced into your screen. “I’m sad,” he says. “I’m angry … I’m hurt … I’m scared. That’s it, simple, own it. No demand, no story, no shame.”

And yes, while it is every straight woman’s dream to have a man stand expressionless before her and say, in a flat yet booming voice, “I’M SCARED,” with no explanation given as to why, one has to admit it is somewhat odd to hear the advice coming from Rory’s dad. In fact, the top comments on just about every one of his TikToks come from people who are apparently and understandably surprised to see bad dad Christopher being therapist-y on TikTok. “Rory’s dad, hi 👋🏾 you’re a guru now?” asks one. (“Always been a guru. 😉🤙🏼,” Sutcliffe replied.)

It seems worth mentioning, too, while we’re on the subject of men and women, that one of the first guests on Sutcliffe’s podcast was Andrew Tate, a MAGA influencer and boxer who was kicked off the the British version of Big Brother after video reportedly surfaced of him hitting a woman with a belt, and whose home in Romania was later raided (after his Psychosphere appearance) as part of a human-trafficking investigation, spurred by reports that women were being held captive there. (Tate denies both.) By way of introduction, Sutcliffe says the boxer is a businessman “best known for driving around in fast cars, Lamborghinis, and dating gorgeous women.”

In his TikTok bio and on his website Sutcliffe calls himself a therapist, and sometimes refers to himself as a psychotherapist, but offers no credentials beyond having attended a four-year certification program in “Radical Aliveness” at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. There, according to his website, he “studied mediation, yoga, breathwork, hypnosis, dreams, and shamanism.” He also notes he “read everything [he] could on psychology, consciousness, and human optimization.”

His website does not list prices for his coaching work (though it does stipulate that “the minimum commitment is 12 sessions over 3-4 months”) nor does it list the cost of attending one of his workshops, which take place in Austin, Texas, where he lives. (Gawker reached out for more information about pricing but has not yet heard back.) He does, however, offer an informational video about what takes place in the workshops:

Cool ...

He is also very into the hallucinogen ayahuasca (duh).

So anyway, that’s what’s new with Rory’s dad.