News Articles

Parents TV group urges protest of new Fox show

LOS ANGELES (BP)–The Parents Television Council is calling for a protest aimed at the Fox network over a show to debut in mid-January, “Temptation Island.”

PTC founder L. Brent Bozell III, in a Jan. 4 statement, described the premise of the show — “to break up relationships for fun” — and said it is “another example of how America today views the pain of others as cheap entertainment.”

A separate advisory issued by the Los Angeles-based PTC states:

“Continuing to gleefully push television standards lower, the Fox network has been running promo spots for the upcoming ‘Temptation Island.’ For those of you not in the know, Island is a ‘reality-based’ program in which the objective is for seducers to break up seriously committed relationships.

“One provocative Fox promo hails Temptation Island as ‘the most daring reality show ever … [the couples] thought it was a game … they didn’t know how far it would go.’ One female seducer warns, ‘This could rip two people apart,’ while an attached male confesses, ‘I really didn’t expect this level of temptation.'”

The Parents Television Council advisory quotes a Wall Street Journal article as reporting that Fox has asked advertisers who had bought time in Temptation Island if they want to stay with the program. Jon Nesvig, president of sales for Fox, told the Journal he doubted advertisers would leave the show. “There doesn’t appear to be anything in the show itself that will be particularly objectionable to advertisers,” he told the Journal.

Bozell noted, however, “Prospective sponsors of this show and shareholders of the corporations that would advertise on Temptation Island should be outraged at the mere thought of funding this trash.”

The Parents Television Council has called for protests to be directed to the Fox network via Gail Berman, Fox Entertainment, 10201 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035. The telephone number is (310) 369-1000; e-mail, [email protected].

PTC’s website, which includes names of advertisers on various programs, is www.parentstv.org.

“It is apparent to me that Fox was not being honest,” Bozell said, “when it claimed to have learned its lesson from last year’s ‘Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire’ disaster. It has now sunk even lower with its newest reality-based show, ‘Temptation Island.’ … Fifteen years ago, we found entertainment in shows such as ‘The Dating Game,’ which celebrated the creation of new relationships. What kind of a society are we that we now revel in their destruction?”

As to potential viewers, Bozell said they should be embarrassed “to even admit that they are interested in Temptation Island, finding it as entertaining as a four-car pile-up on a freeway.”

The Parents Television Council was established in 1995 as a Hollywood project of the Washington-based Media Research Center. The PTC describes itself as a nonpartisan group offering private sector solutions to restore television to its roots as an independent and socially responsible entertainment medium. The late Steve Allen was among its key supporters; current advisory board members include entertainers Pat Boone, Tim Conway, Jane Seymour, Rose Marie, Mort Sahl and Susan Howard; film critic Michael Medved; U.S. Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Rep. Steve Largent of Oklahoma.

The council reports having more than 625,000 members in support of positive, family oriented television by the entertainment industry.