When I read about the controversy surrounding two parenting (sic) shows in the UK, my first instinct was to check Auee’s blog to see if she had posted her thoughts about it. See, she’s my source for anything and everything UK. I don’t think Bringing Up Baby and The Baby Borrowers are aired in the Philippines and I was curious about the ages of the children that appear on the shows. I know that the title of both shows say “Baby” but the term may be relative. Speedy’s a big baby, so… Anyway, Auee hasn’t posted anything in a month and a half so I just read up.
A group of child care experts will be convened by the children’s charity to advise production companies on how to ensure the safety and well-being of young people and babies appearing on such shows.
The move follows the Channel 4 series, Bringing Up Baby, in which parents were advised to ignore their baby’s cries, and a BBC Three show, The Baby Borrowers, in which young children were left with inexperienced teenagers. [Telegraph]
Not everyone damns the shows. There are those who feel that the shows’ critics are making a mountain out of a molehill.
Child protection crusaders have long expanded the definition of child abuse to include anything from smacking a child to shouting at it. Now it appears that even leaving a baby crying in a cot is to be redefined as child cruelty, especially on TV, as is leaving babies with non-related teens – or as we used to call them, baby-sitters. Somehow, generations of us survived such horrific experiences, even without an army of TV producers watching over us. [Times Online]
I don’t think parenting is the issue here. Easy to claim best intentions but isn’t it all about money? Helping parents is merely incidental to the producers who expect to rake in the profits from advertising. Safeguarding the babies who appear on the show is merely incidental to the thrust of every NGO to receive more funding.
Okay, I’m cynical. How can I not be? Is this any different from our own local shows that call out to parents and kids on the pretense of honing the kids’ talents? Doesn’t every network and producer claim they are after discovering talents? Good intention, right? Discover a talent, tie the kid to a contract, give him a chance to earn a little money… Good intentions on the part of the parents too. They are so poor they cannot hope to provide a bright future for their kids so why not give them a crack at stardom and some serious money perhaps? Of course, neither the networks nor the producers nor the parents will mention the word exploitation.