Friday, December 30, 2016

Valerie Fairman's Mother Blames 16 and Pregnant for Her Downfall

Valerie Fairman, who appeared on MTV's 16 and Pregnant, passed away recently. Her adoptive mom Janice blames the show for her life ending.


'She was a gorgeous girl and it all went to her head,' Fairman said in an exclusive interview with as she and her husband Gary spoke outside the four-bedroom home in Oxford, Pennsylvania, where they have lived for more than 40 years.
'She thought she could pretty much do whatever she liked after the show. She was determined to get everything she wanted.'

The twenty-three year old teen mom died from a drug overdose.

Per the article, the show tore the family apart because Valerie's parents didn't want her to participate, leading to Valerie leaving home. However, Valerie's appearance on the show showed a girl who was already acting out, in part to get attention because her adoptive parents had so many foster children in the home.

Did the show contribute to Valerie's eventual downfall? Probably. But is it fair to blame the show? I would say no. Valerie was clearly troubled before the show, and there's no way to say how her path would have turned out if not for the show.

In any case, we hope that Valerie's family finds peace and her daughter grows up to have a wonderful, fulfilling life with fond memories of her mother.

A&E Cancels KKK Reality Show, Cites Money As Reason....Not Logic

A&E was all set to air a docu-series about the KKK, then cancelled it, citing the fact that a nominal payment was made, which was against their documentary policy. It's more likely that on the heels of Leah Remini's Scientology show, the network thought this series was a good idea, but then realized they were so, so wrong.

Granted, the show was created with anti-hate groups and was meant to show the negativity of hate groups in America, but it was a risky move. Per the article linked above:

The series, produced in association with multiple civil rights groups and scheduled to debut Jan. 10, generated substantial criticism upon its announcement last week, included even calls to boycott the show.

The article also cites the fact that producers made payments to the show's participants and the network learned this through a third party. This sounds like tricky language to me - like the producers are not network employees and a third party was an intermediary (like a lawyer) who normally communicates between the two parties anyway. So, while it sounds like a crazy discovery later, it's probably status quo.

Here's my thing - networks have to take risks, especially in today's day and age, to gain and retain viewers. I get that. But this, even as an anti-KKK show, may be more than we're ready for right now. Plus, even with that being the message, from the minimal things I paid attention to, it didn't come across that way at first sight. And people make pretty quick snap judgments at first sight, which could easily create the kind of outrage that we've seen.

Would the show have had a positive, anti-hate related message? Maybe. But was the world ready for it? I think we are not. The better option is to skip this show and not give any attention to an organization that promotes negativity.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Should The Rockettes Be Required to Perform at Trump's Inauguration?

If you've been following the presidential news lately, you may have read that the Radio City Rockettes will be performing as President Elect Trump is sworn into office. Not all Rockettes were thrilled about this, and one was very vocal that she shouldn't be forced to perform for someone she doesn't support. While news has come out that the women will not be forced to perform, this caused quite a controversy before that happened.

So, should the Rockettes be required to perform for President Elect Donald Trump? I thought about this today, and I really don't have a definitive opinion. Here's where I stand on both sides of the issue.

Yes, They Should be Required (The Pro Stance)

Back in high school, my class was asked this question: would you work for a company who you don't support? As idealistic teenagers, many of us said yes. I imagined myself working for a cigarette company or something, where even though I don't smoke, I'd be able to fulfill my responsibilities. No problem. But as I've become an adult, I realize it's not that simple. I could never work for a company that treated women unfairly or said negative things about groups that don't deserve them. For example, I believe that women should have access to birth control - I would not be able to work for a company that refused to provide it to employees. With something like this, though, it's a one-time issue, and many of us disagree with some things that our employers choose to do. Especially in a unionized environment, people have to do things that may not line up with their values, but have to as part of their contract.

Whether or not someone supports Trump, he was elected, and we need to accept the outcome. If the hiring organization for The Rockettes agreed to perform at Trump's inauguration, the Rockettes need to go.

I can see the reasons why some Rockettes would not want to perform, but then the question becomes, where do we draw the line? Can a Rockette refuse a Sunday performance for religious reasons, even though she signed on to perform on Sundays? Where do the needs of the employer and employee's personal boundaries meet, without sacrificing the values of either?

No, They Should Not Be Required (The Con Stance)

Donald Trump is as polarizing as they come, and if performing at his inauguration makes someone extremely uncomfortable, they should not be subjected to such a thing. If it would negatively impact someone's mental health or long term job satisfaction, it's their manager's responsibility to work out a solution with them. Nobody should be forced to work in an uncomfortable work environment.

Whether you support Mr. Trump or not, he did make misogynistic comments, and today's modern woman should not be forced to stand for, or support that, if she chooses not to. Rockettes are role models for today's youth, and part of that means standing up for what they believe in. While they are part of a group, they are individuals, and they're entitled to their opinions on this polarizing subject.

There are plenty of Rockettes - it's likely many are willing to perform, and there's no need to force those who do not want to.

A Final Thought

Part of the reason this is so tricky for me is a tweet that went out in response to this controversy. Someone commented that a Rockette shouldn't have to dance for Trump, the same way a baker shouldn't have to make a cake for a gay wedding. Before I read that, I was pro-Rockette - you shouldn't have to perform if you're completely against it. But then I saw that tweet, and I don't think it's fair for a baker to deny a cake for a gay couple. So, that's how I ended up torn on this subject. Sometimes the issue is bigger than we are, and this is one of those cases. I don't think I can truly choose a side without being at least somewhat hypocritical.

What do you think about this?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Scipted TV Talk: The Last Man On Earth

While I normally focus on reality TV, The Last Man On Earth left me with so many questions last night that I thought it was worth discussing. If you haven't watched it, this post may contain spoilers.

The Last Man on Earth had a few key elements for last night's (12/11/16) season finale - or maybe it was mid-season finale - but either way, it's over until spring.

- Nobody was concerned about Gail being missing, in part due to their focus on Melissa's mental illness. At the end of the episode, Gail, who's still stuck in an elevator and hurt from her own accidental gunshot wound, loads her gun and shoots. We don't know if this is one final cry for help or the fatal blow, but we think it was her ending her life out of desperation. What are your thoughts on this? The show likes to keep things open ended so I think we may not have an answer for quite some time.

- Melissa, after disappearing, reappearing and standing menacingly on the edge of a roof, was locked in a room where she could be observed. While this may have been the best option, solitary confinement isn't known as the best treatment for those with mental illnesses, is it? It looks like she'll blame Todd next season for the lockup, even though he was one of the most hesitant to do that.

- Why isn't Carol looking pregnant yet? I am not good at understanding the passage of time in this show, but I feel like it's time for her to start looking the part, at least a little. Is this an indication that maybe the pregnancy isn't as viable as she thought? Is it meant to leave us questioning things? Is it just that time is moving super slowly and she wouldn't be showing yet? And what's going to happen when Erica has her baby, for that matter?

- Earlier in the season, we were left to infer that Tandy's brother Mike died and that Pat, the crazy yacht guy who tried to kill Mike, is still out there somewhere. Are we going to get any closure on these items? I think the answer may be no. This show doesn't seem to like to close open items, probably in an effort to keep us hooked. I mean, there's only so much that can be done with a show without adding extra characters, and that's more difficult in a post-apocalyptic world.

What are your thoughts? What do you think will happen when the show returns?