Who's Your Daddy?

This post is more than 2 years old.

So, I hate it when folks in certain groups become whiny - always seeming to take offense at something that offends them when the context is not inflammatory or meant to offend. Sure, sometimes folks have legitimate concerns, but a lot of times I think folks just need to get over it.

I especially hate it when someone condemns a show/book/movie/etc without actually experiencing the media for itself.

That being said I'm going to turn into a big hypocrite and go against all of the above. Fox will soon be airing a new show called "Who's Your Daddy?" The idea is that an adopted woman will have to guess who her birth father is amongst a group of men. I just don't even know if I have the words to express how disgusting this is. As an adoptive father, I'm definitely biased, but I can't imagine this being a healthy way to talk about adoption. Of course, I'm not sure if this is worse than the movie Elf, where the main character is said to be going on a trip to find his "real" parents. (Yes, we only take care of them for 18 years or so - but we aren't the real parents.)

I'm happy to see, however, that at least one station won't be airing the show.

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Erik posted on 1/4/2005 at 3:33 AM

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the show, but why can't you understand why an adopted child would like to know their "real", biologocal parents? Perhaps I've simply misunderstood your comments.

Comment 2 by JesterXL posted on 1/4/2005 at 3:43 AM

It is ethically pathetic, but to answer the show's question, "Me.".

Comment 3 by Steve Collins posted on 1/4/2005 at 3:47 AM

I think this is just representative of the new levels of tastelessness so-called "reality" television producers are prepared to go.
Back when this kind of thing began, the original Survivor and the first couple of instances of shows like The Bachelor, Body Challenge and the like were interesting in that "fly on the wall" way. There are still a number of shows out there which through their clever twist on the genre (American Chopper on Discovery) or sheer ohmygod factor (Trauma - Life In The ER on Discovery Health) continue to provide watchable reality tv.
In the main, however, I think the push is towards the ever-more-derivative with any one worthy show echoed by 10 bad copies. Also, the preparedness of producers to quite obviously use large wads of cash as an incentive to lure participants to shows like Who's Your Daddy? simply points to the greed endemic in our western society.
If the networks ran 10 per cent of the reality TV they do now, keeping just the good stuff (I know it's not necessarily to everyone's taste, but taste doesn't necessarly define goodness) we'd be much better off. Then they could donate the thousands of dollars saved to worthwhile causes like the relief efforts underway in the Indian Ocean nations.

Comment 4 by ericd posted on 1/4/2005 at 3:50 AM

some affiliates are already dropping the show. i think its awful as well. id like the show itself to get dropped.

Comment 5 by Sean Corfield posted on 1/4/2005 at 5:03 AM

Whilst I completely agree with you as to how tasteless this is, this sort of c*** gets ratings unfortunately because a lot of viewers like this sort of drivel... what a sad statement that is on the general public :(

Comment 6 by Brian Kotek posted on 1/4/2005 at 5:19 AM

From the novel 1984:

"In reality very little was known about the proles. It was not necessary to know much. The care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer, and above all gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary. And even when they became discontented their discontent led nowhere, because they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice."

That was written in 1948 but, unfortunately, it seems to describe about 80-90% of the population of this country.

Comment 7 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/4/2005 at 5:21 AM

Erik: I'm definitely not against adopted kids trying to find their parents (although I will be honest and say the thought scares me). I'm against how Fox is treating the subject.

Comment 8 by Alex Hubner posted on 1/4/2005 at 2:57 PM

What to expect from a pro-Bush TV? FOX definitely sucks.

Comment 9 by Boyzoid posted on 1/4/2005 at 4:21 PM

It saddens me that the same network that brought us the Simpsons has also given us a long list of sh**, with Whos Your Daddy? being the latest item on the sh** list.

Comment 10 by Merlin posted on 1/5/2005 at 12:22 AM

Fox by far has the best news channel on TV but their prime time programing is starting to suck...unles your 18 I guess.

Comment 11 by Sean Corfield posted on 1/5/2005 at 12:24 AM

Fox? A good news channel?? ROTFL!!! No way, it is so totally biased it's ridiculous!

Comment 12 by James Edmunds posted on 1/5/2005 at 7:38 PM

This show concept isn't simply tasteless, it's worse than that ... in that it actually DOES reflect a certain kind of taste. A lot of what is on television now seems to have the dystopian media portrait of Farenheit 451 as its guide.

Your discomfort, as an adoptive parent, with the thought of adopted children one day wanting to find their biological parents is very understandable. Sources like the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/pub... have some interesting information about the complexity of this issue, including the exploration of the idea that this desire on the part of the adoptee can reflect a need to exert some personal control over a vulnerable area of life, rather than any unhappiness with the adoptive parents; and may also be as simple as addressing the need for genetic information for health care and similar purposes.

What I found very interesting on the NAIC site was the assertion that, "a successful search, with the support of adoptive parents, often makes relationships between parents and adopted persons closer." Presumably this occurs when the loving and concerned adoptive parent, responding to the observed and expressed desire on the part of the adoptee, becomes supportive of the child's need to fill in this area of his or her complex life history. My guess is that this usually occurs when the child has reached 20s or 30s; or perhaps late teens. I once reported an in-depth newspaper story about adoptees who were searchng for their adoptive parents, and one of the most troublesome issues for many of the adoptees was their worry that their adoptive parents would perceive that this effort was in some way a reflection of a criticism or lack of love or respect for those adoptive parents; the adoptees were unanimous that such was not the case.

I would be curious to know what information and guidance you were provided, if any, from the adoption agency that helped you with your children, that might be helpful in regard to this issue. Adopting children is a kind and loving act, and certainly must carry with it some complexities not found in other parent-child relationships.

By the way, this Fox horror was a ratings bomb:


Comment 13 by Yves posted on 2/14/2005 at 6:42 AM

"All hail the mighty dollar"...

With the slew of shows that have been coming out, like many new "reality show" (who's reality anyway!?), nothing surprises me anymore....

I have to agree with you about the show.

I think that some of the movies/tv shows that display absolutely stupid acts for the sake of entertainment may be showing us something.... I'll leave it open at that.

That's my rant. ;-)

Comment 14 by Collage_Life posted on 7/26/2006 at 11:56 PM

What a mindblower.

I'd like to presume that college-educated persons are the decision-makers at the networks, OK? In this light, I have to question what exactly are they thinking? And who do they think their viewing audience is? Thankfully, I stopped watching television altogether about 6 years ago...

Lets start programming that will upset not only the family constellation in general - which is already in such danger, but lets yank any thoughts to what's appropriate for public gaze and ridicule - all in the name of entertainment.
...thank you Jerry Springer and Maury, and to some effect, Oprah (she's simply more finely appointed.)

Honestly, I guess it makes sense. Anything can happen - that's obvious. In the news today, they proved the devil exists! The child-drowning mother is "not guilty" because she had "satan" in her head telling her to kill her kids.

...maybe these television producers have satan in their combined heads, too.

Comment 15 by Russ Michaels posted on 11/2/2007 at 3:04 AM

What I really hate is people who watch things they don't like and then complain about it.

The people on these shows choose to be on it and want to be on it.
The people who watch these shows, choose to watch it because they like it.
If you don't like it, don't watch it. Pretty simple, then it wont bother you.

I think this show sounds pretty pathetic too, in fact I find most reality shows quite pathetic and I think your own life must be very lousy and boring if you get joy from watching other peoples sorry lives being aired on TV. But most people seem to like it, so what the hell, no skin of fmy nose, I don't watch them, so I don't get all upset about.

Comment 16 by Raymond Camden posted on 11/2/2007 at 4:49 AM

Russ - so you are saying that you MUST see something before you can make a judgment on it? This isn't a book. A work of art. A movie. It is a reality show. It is NOT deep.

I _do_ think I'm allowed to have an opinion on this being an adoptive father myself.

Comment 17 by Russ Michaels posted on 11/2/2007 at 5:17 AM

An opinion is like an asshole, everyone has one. It's ok to have an opinion, but there is no need to get agressive or pass judgement on anyone that has a different opinion.

Comment 18 by Raymond Camden posted on 11/2/2007 at 5:29 AM

This is my blog. It will ALWAYS have my opinions on it. My readers expect it.