Something terrible happened the other day, and I was so in shock that I think I blocked the memory until now. This is what I saw:
And then: "Isn't this show about sex crimes?"
Followed by: "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!"
Look, ok, fine. I get that he did his time. And I get that people deserve second chances. But generally they should really only get a second chance if they acknowledge they need a second chance (i.e.: that they actually did something wrong). But he never has.
And, OK OK OK, FINE. Maybe he didn't do it. But still - he was convicted. Of rape. And this is a show about sex crimes. Somewhere along the line, someone, anyone - male or female - should have said, "You know, maybe we shouldn't...???" Especially Mike Tyson and his manager(s). I get that you need to be able to make money, but this is a terrible, terrible choice.
What's next - Michael Vick hosting the Puppy Bowl?
So, now I see that Dick Wolf is defending the decision (which... I dunno. Read the quote yourself and decide. I realize it's probably out of full context but to me it sounds a teensy bit too much like "Tyson was railroaded") and the ad itself says you 'must see' this 'controversial' episode. No thanks. And please do not tell me that you purposefully invented this offensive controversy for ratings. It's like walking up to every woman everywhere and saying "Fuck you. Now go watch my show."
Or better yet, in the words of Mr. Tyson:
"Thank you very much. I would still love for you to give me a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)."
At least NBC has the good grace to move the airing up so it won't conflict with One Billion Rising - an event dedicated to raising awareness of and ending violence against women. (Thanks. Dicks.)
Well, my friends, it's time to step away from the soap box. For now. On February 6th I invite you to not watch NBC. Looks like there will be a cool episode of Nova on PBS! Who doesn't love supporting educational television?
PS - Check these out for more information on ways to help contribute to the dialog or just to learn more about violence against women: V-Day, RAINN.org, & WomensHealth.gov.
PPS - Good reads: Current Conscience, Feminist Frequency, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, Feminist Law Professors, and JeanKilbourne.com.
"Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors." -Evelyn Cunningham