Television

Fox under pressure to drop adoption show

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MUMBAI: The Rupert Murdoch owned US broadcaster Fox is under pressure to abandon a scheduled adoption game showWho's Your Daddy?

Thousands of people have protested at the programme in which children try to identify their father for a £50,000 prize.

A report in The Guardian states that the mother of a five-year-old adopted daughter has led the grassroots campaign that prompted 5,000 people to complain to the network that the programme is insensitive and offensive.

As had been reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com the show will air on 3 January 2005 on Fox.

Deborah Capone, who led the campaign, has asked for a meeting with Fox and for the show to be axed. She is urging Fox affiliate networks not to take the programme.

Before the controversy erupted Fox's head of reality, Mike Darnell had praised the programme in the publication Variety. "It's the most emotional show we've ever put on the air. I guarantee you, if you have any heart, you'll be bawling at the end of the show, When a contestant ends up eliminating her real father she feels terrible".

In a strongly worded letter to Fox president Peter Chernin, Families With Children From China president David Youtz said, "This is a new low for the Fox network. It is hard to imagine a more callous kind of exploitation than the treatment of this most private moment as a crude entertainment. The circuslike atmosphere of televised reunions can only be painful for the many adopted persons searching or considering searching for birth parents."

Fox executives in Los Angeles this week issued a statement saying, "It is not the producers' or network's intention to offend anyone, but clearly the title of this special is attention-grabbing -- possibly contributing to controversy. It is not indicative, however, of the special's actual content. The willing and informed participants are some of the tens of millions of adopted Americans unable to reunite with their biological parent. They seized the opportunity to participate, and the result is compelling.

"It is also important to note that this special, in no way, detracts from the relationship between adoptive parents and their children. In fact, most participants clearly state that they consider their adoptive parents to be their 'real parents,' but they are curious about their family of origin."

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