Los Angeles, CA–Several thousand protesters have written, faxed or called Fox News executives to protest its launch of a new reality show called Bad Dads. According to Reuters, in Bad Dads child support collector Jim Durham “functions as a sort of ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ for tracking deadbeats…It’s ambush reality TV.”
Fathers & Families, the American Coalition for Fathers & Children, and Los Angeles journalist/radio commentator Glenn Sacks have partnered in a campaign to ask Fox to cancel Bad Dads. Fox’s Los Angeles-based producers have decided to launch this Los Angeles-based show on “deadbeat dads” despite the fact that the California Department of Child Support Services itself recently admitted that the overwhelming majority of “deadbeat dads” are the product of problems and abuses within the child support system. According to the California Judicial Council, 80% of California child support debtors earn poverty level wages.
Dr. Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., Executive Director of Fathers & Families Holstein, says:
“According to US Census data, noncustodial mothers are 20% more likely to default on their child support obligations than noncustodial fathers. There is absolutely no reason to name the show Bad Dads when the average noncustodial father is more likely to pay his child support than the average noncustodial mother.”
“The worst part about Bad Dads is the way it publicly humiliates children of divorce by depicting their fathers as not loving or caring for them. These children did not volunteer to be humiliated on national television.”
ACFC President Dr. Linda Nielsen, a Professor of Women’s Studies & Education at Wake Forest University, says:
“MostÂ kids who are too young to realize that 80% of divorced dads pay their full child support. This show may lead them to haveÂ negative opinions of divorced fathers, and thoseÂ opinionsÂ could damageÂ their relationships with their own dads.”
Another problem with Bad Dads is that studies show that the arrearages for which “deadbeat dads” are pursued are often erroneous. For example, a recent Massachusetts audit found that the arrearages were incorrect in 92% of that state’s cases.
Missouri Child Support Auditor Susan Montee recently said that the way child support arrearages are calculated in Missouri is “extremely sloppy…a total inattention to making sure these numbers are right.”
Moreover, Bad Dads glorifies the role of private child support collection agencies, even though these agencies often exploit and deceive custodial mothers. In fact, women’s advocates, including the National Organization for Women, have repeatedly condemned these agencies for mistreating women. Durham, the central figure in Bad Dads, has often been singled out by women’s groups as a perpetrator of these abusive tactics.
“In general, the Fox network has usually been fair to fathers. This show is an unfortunate exception, and we hope Fox will soon understand this.”
Glenn Sacks, http://www.glennsacks.com/foxbaddads/
[Note: If you or someone you love is faced with a divorce or needs help with child custody, child support, false accusations, Parental Alienation, or other family law or criminal law matters, ask Glenn for help by clicking here.]