API protests NBC's planned airing of "The Baby Borrowers"
June 21, 2008 - API has informed NBC of our strong objection to the airing of "The Baby Borrowers," a so-called reality program placing infants and toddlers in the care of unfamiliar teens with limited to no childcare experience. API calls for the cancellation of the show scheduled to air Wednesday, June 25, based on its treatment of infants and toddlers and its violations of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959).
The API Research Group responds:
The Baby Borrowers, a reality show described as a "social experiment" that originally aired in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, is expected to air on NBC this season. API strongly objects to this programming based on the treatment of infants and toddlers during the filming of the series. In the series, 6- to 11-month-old infants and 1- to 2-year-old toddlers are separated from their parents for three days and placed in the care of unfamiliar teenagers with no care giving experience. Our objections are based on international principles and national regulations concerning accepted and protected treatment of children, research evidence, and concerns regarding whether families are fully informed about the risks associated with allowing their infants and toddlers to participate in the reality show.
Read more in API's official objection to Baby Borrowers.
The API Research Group had included a letter written by New Zealand child advocacy groups protesting the original airing of The Baby Borrowers in late 2007:
...we believe that the misleading nature of the show is likely to create false viewer impressions of the impact of separation on infants, the meaning of informed parental consent, and misinformation about what constitutes infant and child maltreatment in terms of subjection to separation as infant stress in the care of strangers is condoned in this show. The latter issue indicates that the TVNZ broadcaster is negligent with respect to standard 9 of the Broadcasting Code Children's Interests, Guideline 9i "Broacdcasters should recognise the rights of children and young people not to be exploited, humiliated or unnecessarily identified".
What can you do?
API members are invited to voice their opinion about "The Baby Borrowers" to NBC, especially as many individual responses can carry even more weight than an organizational response. Feel free to use information from the API Research Group letter of complaint to compose your letter.
Send your letter to:
Mr. Jeffrey Zucker
President and CEO, NBC
NBC Viewer Relations
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
We encourage Members or Support Group Leaders to distribute this press release to local media outlets or to use the information in this press release to write letters to the editor. Please replace the contact information in the press release with your own contact information, as local media outlets are more likely to feature the story if they have a local contact.
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