by Allie Martin and Jody Brown
(AgapePress) – The American Family Association has launched a nationwide petition drive asking sponsors of Temptation Island to drop the controversial television show.
Since its inaugural episode last month, FOX Television's Temptation Island has generated headlines and controversy. The show features “committed” unmarried couples who are placed on a tropical island where another group of singles attempts to test the couples' relationships by seducing them. But according to a press release from AFA, the “reality series” has garnered only half the number of national sponsors normally found for an hour-long show. Three of the series' major sponsors Sears, Best Buy, and Quaker Oats have already told their consumers that they will no longer advertise on the show.
AFA Founder and President Dr. Donald Wildmon says viewers need to let all of the program's sponsors know that Temptation Island will not be tolerated.
“This is a very debasing, demeaning program the whole concept is demeaning,” Wildmon say. “Television, more than any other single medium, has debased our society. When you think they can't get any worse, they do. It's time for the American public to say, 'Enough is enough.'”
According to AFA, FOX seems confident the show's ratings will eventually wear down advertiser resistance. AFA quotes one FOX executive who says, “Once a show starts popping [ratings] numbers like this, it suddenly becomes art rather than trash.”
Wildmon believes that statement is revealing, saying it “proves that if [families] are going to have any impact on television programming, it is going to be through communicating with sponsors.”
According to The New York Times, one media-buying executive commented about the program: “I would never put our clients in a show like Temptation Island … The whole show is founded on a premise that is totally distasteful. The next step is the Roman Colosseum.”
“Is this any way to show young people how to build lasting, life-long relationships?” Wildmon asks. “But this is all Hollywood knows about relationships. They don't understand God's design for marriage. For them, men and women are just sex objects.”
AFA plans to deliver the petition to all of the show's sponsors and to FOX Chairman Rupert Murdoch on March 1.
(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)