Problems with reality TV shows

Notes for families who have been contacted and would like more information

Kristiva Stack posted this at Radical Unschooling Info and let me share it here:

I recently came across something that I thought I'd share if the topic ever came up again. The author is researching psychopathy and the different people and businesses where a severe lack of empathy is possibly the reason for their (particular brand of) success. This is part of an interview with a woman who used to be a (very successful) guest booker for multiple reality shows. She explains how her and her colleagues would have to become detached, to the point of making fun of the potential interviewees. Otherwise the job would become too depressing.

Some quotes from the book:

"'My jobs was to call them back, repeatedly, over a matter of weeks, even if they'd changed their minds and decided not to do the show. There had to be a show. You had to keep going'."

"'I'd ask them what medication they were on. They'd give me a list. Then I'd go to a medical website to see what [the medications] were for. And I'd assess if they were too mad to come onto the show or just mad enough.'"

"'And that was Charlotte's secret trick. She said she didn't stop to consider *why* some sorts of madness were better than others: 'I just knew on an innate level who would make good television. We all did. Big Brother, The X Factor, American Idol. Wife Swap. . . Wife Swap is particularly bad because you're monkeying with people's families, with their children. You've got some loop-the-loop stranger yelling at someone's children. The producers spend three weeks with them, pick the bits that are mad enough, ignore the bits that aren't mad enough, and then leave.'"

I thought her comments made a very clear point about the agenda of these reality TV shows. Regardless of how nice they may seem or the connection you may feel you've made with them.

The book is called: The Psychopath Test - Jon Ronson

Kristiva Stack, October 15, 2013
Note sent about Lande Yoosuf (Punched in the Head Productions)
making inquiries summer 2013
Hello everybody! I decided I should probably mention to you guys about an opportunity my family and I decided to turn down. We were recently picked to be on a television series for an upcoming show on unschooling and free style parenting. It is going to be on Bravo, I'm not sure when but, they were going to film us at our house (like the Duggers) for 7 days between mid August through the beginning of September.

It was suppose to be like an interview mostly showing just the parents telling about how they unschool. At the end of the show they wanted us to have a family relative to debate with, then we shake hands and part ways.

The more we talked to the producer about it the more it sounded like a set up. It seems like they are trying to make unschooling parents look bad, and not only that it can ruin families relationships.

She was going to pay us pretty good, (and we could really use that money) but no amount of money is worth that. She asked us typical questions a person may ask an unschool parent, and when we answered she rudely laughed to herself on some of them.

The lady found me through a comment I made on YouTube about unschooling. Her name is Lande Yoosuf. She has produced lots of shows like 16 and pregnant,and what not to wear. This one is going to be made through punched in the head productions. I know there is no way to stop the show, but if she contacts you...well you can look up the production company, see her long list of shows she has made, it just doesn't seem like a good deal to me.

About Wife Swap:

An unschooling family

The Truth about Wife Swap

Joy Building an Unschooling Nest Just Add Light and Stir (daily inspiration)