U.S. News & World Report: ‘Bad Dads’ Reality TV Show Stirs Controversy

Los Angeles, CA–Background: Fox recently announced its intention to launch a new reality show called Bad Dads. According to Reuters, in Bad Dads Jim Durham, director of the National Child Support Center, “functions as a sort of ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ for tracking deadbeats…[Durham’s role is as] an avenger of penniless single mothers [who] hunts down deadbeat dads and forces them to pay child support…It’s ambush reality TV.”

We oppose Bad Dads because it unfairly depicts divorced fathers as uncaring and selfish, when research clearly shows that most divorced dads pay their child support and remain a part of their children’s lives, often under difficult circumstances. It also publicly humiliates children of broken families by depicting their fathers as not loving or caring for them.

I partnered with Fathers & Families and the American Coalition for Fathers & Children in a campaign to ask Fox to cancel Bad Dads, and Fox has received over 5,000 letters, faxes and calls from our supporters. To learn more about our campaign or to join us, visit our campaign page here.

Adam Voiland of U.S. News & World Report covers our campaign in his new piece ‘Bad Dads’ Reality TV Show Stirs Controversy (5/2/08) and does a creditable job.

On a side note, the article is another example of one of my favorite maxims–“No good deed goes unpunished.” I’ve received hundreds of emails about our campaign, and I don’t think I’ve received more than 2 or 3 that were negative or critical. When I got a critical email from a reader named Bruce, I thought I would share it with my readers so the opposition perspective can be seen. And guess what happens?

Based only on that one letter, my buddy Adam writes “There are people protesting the protest, too.” Sigh…

For aficionados of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, I guess I did a Brutus when I should have done a Marc Antony…

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