Idol and Survival dominated the screen. However, somewhere along the road, reality TV morphed into Teen Mom and Jersey Shores. Hollywood loves reality TV because it’s cheap to produce with high profits. It is business as usual but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. What do shows like Teen Mom teach our children? When people like Bristol Palin become glamorized for being a pregnant teenager with contracts for Dancing with the Stars, what do our children learn?
In the latest reality TV debacle, Amber Portwood gives her baby’s daddy a beat-down. MTV camera crew videotaped Amber repeatedly hitting her boyfriend in the head. Despite MTV’s disclaimer that the baby was not in the home at the time and no one was in imminent danger, Showbiz Tonight’s showed another episode from a previous season when Amber loses her cool with her baby in the same room. Foul language flies out of her mouth like a sailorman, but the show continues to run with margins in the black annually.
The argument behind broadcasting shows like Teen Mom is that it will show the truth behind how difficult it is to be pregnant teenager. A child raising a child will always fail because the blind can’t lead. Being a teen mom is not glamorized on this show, but is it condoned? What message do we send when we show teen moms hitting their boyfriends? Why did the camera crew not step in? The bottom line is that reality TV is a profit machine, and to some people, that is the most important thing.
The young couple is now under investigation for domestic violence and Child Protective Services is reviewing their case to determine the safety of Leah, their daughter. Amber’s physical and emotional abuse is horrific to watch. Bonnie Fuller, president and editor-in-chief of HollwoodLife.com, wrote that MTV should show the teen mom’s anger because it shows the “very honest, very unflinching” reality of their situation. Fuller believes the show will teach a lesson of what not to do. I’m not completely convinced. Do you think MTV should have aired the domestic dispute?