Jennifer Aniston said she chose to speak out against Bill O'Reilly's recent comments about her views of single motherhood because "it was just such an unfair statement that he made against me."
"I just felt...it was begging for a response," the actress told George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" today.
The star of the new movie "The Switch" said she was surprised to have caught the attention of "The O'Reilly Factor" host last week, when he called recent comments she made about single motherhood "destructive to our society."
"I never actually thought that my name and that name would ever be in one sentence," she said.
The Fox News host wasn't just saying her movie glorifies single motherhood, she said. O'Reilly said "I was actually glorifying 12-year-olds going out there and getting knocked up and doing it by themselves," she joked. "Because that's what I like to preach!"
"People say things about me all the time and you just go 'whatever,' but this was not just about me, it was saying, insulting women that are out there doing this on their own," she said. "My mother was single...it doesn't always start out that way, but, it happens."
While promoting her upcoming movie "The Switch," about a single woman seeking a sperm donor, Aniston told reporters at a press conference in Los Angeles Sunday that "times have changed" when it comes to thinking about the traditional family.
"Women are realizing more and more that you don't have to settle. They don't have to fiddle with a man to have that child," she said. "They are realizing if it's that time in their life and they want this part they can do it with or without that."
She also challenged the idea that a single woman having a baby without a father is selfish.
"I don't think it's selfish," she said. "It's quite beautiful, because there are children that don't have homes that have a home and can be loved. And that's extremely important."
In O'Reilly's eyes, Aniston's comments make her a threat to the American family.
"She's throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that 'Hey, you don't need a guy. You don't need a dad.' That is destructive to our society," he said last week on "O'Reilly Factor."
Fox News contributor Margaret Hoover and Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson chimed in on the topic, agreeing with O'Reilly that teens and tweens can't understand the difference between a mature woman raising a child on her own (Aniston is 41) and a teen having a baby.
"She is glamorizing single parenthood," Carlson said.
Aniston responded to the controversy on People.com.
"Of course, the ideal scenario for parenting is obviously two parents of a mature age. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs on earth," she told People. "And, of course, many women dream of finding Prince Charming (with fatherly instincts), but for those who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options."
It seems that regardless of what O'Reilly thinks, and despite her single status, Brad Pitt's former flame is determined to have kids of her own one day.
"Yeah, I've said it years before and I still say it today," Aniston said Sunday, when asked if she wants to have a family.
As for artificial insemination, though:
"I don't have plans on that, no."
Aniston said on "GMA" that "The Switch" "just resonated with me immediately ... having girlfriends that have been faced with this question. Do I do it now, do I wait?"
She called the film "a beautiful ode to family and what it might look like today."