Horrid TV: Who’s Your Daddy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Who’s Your Daddy?

It was the latest among the horrendous choices on TV in the category of &uot;Reality Show.&uot;

I must admit, I was curious. So curious, in fact, that I watched Who’s Your Daddy?

when the 90-minute special aired last week.

Of course, I, like anyone with any sense, was appalled.

Here’s how it went:

There’s this girl named T.J. who was given up for adoption at birth (for reasons not mentioned).

She’s introduced at the beginning of the show to a group of eight older men, one of whom is her real father.

&uot;Hello, T.J., my name’s Bob and I’m your dad,&uot; one man said.

&uot;Hi, T.J., I’m Bill and I’m your father,&uot; claimed another.

&uot;Hey, T.J., my name’s Joe and I’m your daddy,&uot; they went on and on.

During three rounds of questioning, T.J. attempted to eliminate the wrong &uot;dads&uot; while each &uot;dad&uot; tried to trick her into believing he was the one.

The &uot;dad&uot; fakes would receive $100,000 if they could fool T.J.; however, she would receive the $100,000 if she could ferret out the right one.

Dressed in her slinky black dress (to impress her &uot;dad,&uot; I guess), T.J. finally picked the man who was her real father.

Then, among the tears and hugs, she forgave her dad, met her real mom along with several brothers and sisters. Instant family – and $100,000. Wow.

And all she had to do was go on TV and exploit herself, her parents, seven other &uot;fake dads,&uot; FOX and anyone who’s ever been involved in the adoption process.

When word got out about this special, FOX reportedly received a number of letters and email from adoptees, parents and national adoption organizations.

Those letters proclaimed the show’s concept offensive, perverse and despicable.

But producers of the show defended it, insisting that all involved were willing participants and that it would be produced in a tasteful manner.

One FOX spokesperson even claimed the network received word from numerous adoptees that the show was &uot;useful and empowering.&uot;

This, I don’t understand. Surely, they did not watch the same train wreck I did.

According to some media reports, this spokesperson said, &uot;… we’ve gotten dozens of requests from adoptees saying if we do decide to do another show, they’d love to be a part of it.&uot;

Surely not.

Yet, producers say they have filmed six episodes of this repulsive show; although only one, the one last week, has aired or was scheduled to air so far.

The adoption process seems so precious to me. It is certainly a shame that a group of people would choose to denigrate it this way. Let’s hope they’ll trash the other five episodes and this first catastrophe will be the last.

Candace Parker is the news editor at the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at mailto:candace.parker@shelbycountyreporter.com