Detroit News columnist Kevin OShea takes Lifetime TV to task over its new father-bashing reality show Deadbeat Dads in this new column. Lifetime TV has received thousands of letters and phone calls from Fathers & Families supporters today–to join our campaign, click here.
We’re familiar with the term “deadbeat dads.” I’ve long felt it’s unfair to paint any fathers who might be behind on child support (or contesting a child support order) as “deadbeats,” regardless of their circumstances. Yes, there are dads who refuse to meet their obligations to help support their children, but there are also many fathers who can’t make ends meet through no fault of their own.
Now comes the Lifetime cable channel with a new reality show called (what creativity!) “Deadbeat Dads.” The idea is to track down and ambush men who are behind on their child support payments and then get them to pay by any means necessary. At least one fathers advocacy group has organized a protest, encouraging viewers and others to call, fax and/or e-mail Lifetime Television executives in protest. The plan has a chance of succeeding: a similar effort last year convinced Fox Television, the originator of the show (then called “Bad Dads”) to drop it from its schedule…
Are dads who fail to pay child support fair game, or does “Deadbeat Dads” go too far? And does the timing of the show (in the middle of a painful recession in which many more fathers are losing their jobs) add insult to injury?
Comment on OShea’s article here.