“But worst of all, the producers of this show, which is supposed to center the welfare of children, think nothing about turning kids into collateral damage.”–syndicated advice columnist Amy Alkon Author and former Fox News columnist Wendy McElroy and syndicated advice columnist Amy Alkon are backing our Campaign Against Lifetime TV’s New Reality Show Deadbeat Dads. In The Truth About “Deadbeat Dads”, Alkon writes:
[T]here are parents out there, especially in the current economy, who’ve lost their job, are unable to find another, and are simply unable to pay or unable to pay the pre-recession amount they were assigned. There are also parents out there who have found new jobs, but jobs that pay much less — but are still expected to pay huge sums in child support, based on their previous income; sometimes because they didn’t know to go get their child support order changed in court.
These parents typically end up going further and further into debt, and sometimes being thrown in jail — and in too many cases, not because they’re bad people, but simply because they’ve fallen on hard times. These parents are sometimes women, but are usually men… a show Lifetime is planning to air, called “Deadbeat Dads,” continuing the myth that any guy who isn’t paying his child support is a horrible person who can pay, but just doesn’t. The show is a reality dealie, where a bounty hunter will go after these guys, but I guess, unless the title is a mistake, deadbeat moms just aren’t part of the deal. I’m guessing they’ll pick the really big scumbags for the greatest dramatic effect, not the guys who’ve lost their jobs. But worst of all, the producers of this show, which is supposed to center the welfare of children, think nothing about turning kids into collateral damage. As Kevin O’Shea writes for the Detroit News:
The fact that the show is now on Lifetime, a network well known for its programming targeted at women, has raised some hackles. So has the potential effect of the show on the children involved. One critic says “The worst part about ‘Deadbeat Dads’ is the way it publicly humiliates children of divorce by depicting their fathers as not loving or caring for them. These children did not volunteer to be humiliated on national television.”
The show was originally slated to appear on Fox, but men’s groups, led by Fathers & Families, launched protests, and Fox dropped it. To voice your complaint to Lifetime in hopes they’ll drop it as well, and for more information, click here.