DULUTH, MN -- January 26 --Would you be eager to invest production and marketing dollars in NBC's "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search" if it was your own daughter who had her body verbally dissected on national TV?|
Through a grassroots email and fax campaign from Dads and Daughters, the national advocacy nonprofit, fathers and daughters across the country are asking this question of the people behind the program, including NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker and CEO, Bob Wright, Sports Illustrated President Gordon McLeod, VF Corporation (parent of Nautica) Chairman, President, and CEO Mackey J. McDonald, and Verizon Wireless Vice President James Gerace. See the effort at http://dads.e-actionmax.com/showalert.asp?aaid=995.
"NBC and their corporate sponsors (including Verizon, SI, and Nautica) should pull the plug on this ridiculous and regressive show," says Dads and Daughters President Joe Kelly. "As parents, we know that shows like this are bad for our children because they tell both our daughters and our sons that a female should only be valued for her body."
"Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search" has six, one-hour episodes, airing Jan 4 - Feb. 16, 2005, showing young women competing against each other based on their body shape and size, for an opportunity to be a swimsuit model in the annual neo-soft-porn Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
A coalition of groups is already speaking out against the program. The coalition includes the Girls, Women + Media Project, Mind on the Media, the National Organization for Men Against Sexism-Boston Chapter, and Dads and Daughters.
Tamara Sobel, Founder and Project Director of the Girls, Women + Media Project says, "NBC, Sports Illustrated, and all their corporate sponsors are sending a really negative message about women, about sexuality, and what we consider acceptable in the way men and boys treat women, and in the way girls and women treat themselves."
Kelly adds, "Once again, a network, advertisers, and producers have chosen the sleaze common denominator. You can bet these CEOs wouldn't let their children participate in this show, so how can they send these horrific messages to our daughters and sons?"
Dads and Daughters is the national advocacy nonprofit for fathers and daughters. DADs inspires fathers to actively and deeply engage in the lives of their daughters and galvanizes fathers and others to transform the pervasive cultural messages that devalue girls and women.