News Articles

CULTURE DIGEST: ABC’s ‘Housewives’ losing sponsors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The American Family Association has rallied enough people to complain about ABC’s newest hit show “Desperate Housewives” that three main advertisers have agreed not to air additional spots.

Desperate Housewives features four middle-aged women who are unhappy with their roles as wives and mothers and seek to find excitement — some through extramarital romantic escapades. The show, which airs in primetime on Sundays, debuted with strong ratings in late September. Nearly 21 million viewers tuned in Oct. 17.

But AFA followers began inundating e-mail servers and phone lines at five companies who sponsored the show — Tyson, Lowe’s, Kellogg’s and frozen meal makers ConAgra Foods and Pinnacle Foods Group — urging them to pull their ads because the show negatively depicts family values, CNNmoney reported.

Within hours, Lowe’s and Tyson notified AFA to say they were discontinuing advertising on the show.

“The show is not consistent with our core values, which focus on operating with integrity and trust in all we do,” Tyson spokesman Gary Michaelson said, according to CNN.

Lowe’s gave a similar statement.

“Our advertising guidelines are such that Lowe’s chooses not to advertise in controversial programming, including programming with gratuitous sex and violence,” said Chris Ahearn, director of public relations at Lowe’s, according to CNN.

Kellogg’s also confirmed the company would not purchase more commercial time on the show.

Randy Sharp, special projects editor for AFA, told CNN his organization targets advertisers that will be more likely to listen to family advocates.

“We usually look at the list of advertisers and we go [after] those that are considered family-friendly companies,” he said. “These folks know that moms buy their frozen products.”

WYNONNA JUDD FACES BOYCOTT — Singer Wynonna Judd has come under fire for her scheduled performance aboard a cruise ship devoted to lesbian vacationers, according to MSNBC.com. The country star, who has a broad base of conservative fans, plans to sing on a Caribbean cruise Jan. 29-Feb. 2 sponsored by a company called Olivia, which is “dedicated to providing high quality, safe vacations for lesbian travelers.”

But the Traditional Values Coalition has called Judd’s engagement “disgraceful,” saying it “conflicts with her professed Christian faith” and suggests that Judd has been “misled by the mainstream media on the origins of same-sex attractions and the self-destructive results of such attractions.”

TVC is asking its members to contact Judd and ask her to cancel the singing engagement and “urge her to study what the Bible says in both the Old and New Testaments about homosexuality and encourage her to contact Exodus International to learn how faith in Christ has set men and women free from bondage to this life-controlling condition.”

REBECCA ST. JAMES ADDRESSES FEMINISM — Grammy award winning Christian music artist Rebecca St. James, a leader in the True Love Waits movement, has written a book meant to help young women cope with issues such as body image and the feminist mindset.

“SHE” — set for a Nov. 1 release — is an acronym for being “Safe, Healthy, Empowered” as a total woman emotionally, physically and spiritually. The book stems from St. James’ own struggles as a Christian seeking to live with integrity in the spotlight of the music industry.

“I went through a very alone period in which I bought into the feminist mentality of ‘[I] can’t rely on anyone, I’ve got to stand and be an independent woman and face the world alone,'” she said in an Oct. 13 news release. “I was at a point of almost complete burnout and on the verge of an inner shutdown from pressure and unrealistic expectations.”

St. James, 27, notes that an estimated 10 million young women suffer from eating disorders, compounded by the “tyranny of beauty” that exists in the world today.

“I’ve always struggled with my self-image. Being onstage where image counts only made matters worse,” she said. “Compared to the glamorous women I saw in the media, I felt I fell short. Had it not been for the accountability I’ve had in my life, I could’ve been very susceptible to falling victim to eating disorders.”

St. James learned to value more than her appearance after she experienced a bout with Bell’s Palsy, a virus that attacks facial nerves.

“I awoke one morning to find myself unable to control one side of my lips, unable to raise my right eyebrow and unable to drink from a cup without drooling,” she said. “My looks, which I’d taken for granted and are important to the work I do, were suddenly in jeopardy. Though I regained control of my facial muscles with time, I’ll never again see the way I look on the outside the same way.

“Any assets we possess can be gone in an instant,” St. James added. “Lasting beauty, which comes from the inside, can never be taken away.”

    About the Author

  • Erin Curry