‘To Catch a Predator Meets Pretty Woman’

Elizabeth Nolan Brown has a post about an appalling new show on A&E that is described as “To Catch a Predator meets Pretty Woman.” The show features an ex-cop turned preacher stalking sex workers, luring them to a hotel room and then proselytizing them to “save” them.

A new reality series slated for A&E will feature a cop-turned-pastor intent on saving sex workers’ souls by luring them to hotel rooms and then lecturing them on national television. Once he has sex workers cornered, pastor Kevin Brown has eight minutes to convince them of the error of their whorin’ ways. It’s like To Catch a Predator meets Pretty Woman! Which is to say: an abomination that should never, ever have gotten the greenlight.

The series—working title: 8 Minutes—is being produced by Tom Forman, who would still be touting extreme home makeovers and food truck races were it not for a 2013 Los Angeles Times article about Brown’s “rescue” efforts. Apparently, Brown has been at his odious task a while. In 2011, he helped form Safe Passage OC, which conducts “unofficial stings to ‘liberate’ women and minors from a life of servitude,” as the Times describes it. The group sees their missions “as undercover police operations—with a dash of prayer.”…

As the Times article makes clear, most of the women Brown encounters want nothing to do with his savior complex. At least they’re only subjected to a strange or scary or insulting conversation. Now Brown’s stalk-and-save efforts come with a camera crew.

They actually look up sex workers online, then have a van full of people tracking them and setting up sting operations. That’s called stalking and it’s kind of criminal. Unless it’s a preacher and it’s on a TV show, apparently. Wanna bet that they’ll only have women on the show?

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  • brucegee1962

    I was under the impression that the people on all these “reality” shows wouldn’t be shown unless they signed some kind of waiver allowing their image to be used. Of course, lots of people want to be on television come what may, but I would certainly hope that the women would be able to walk out immediately without signing anything and never get shown. Of course, that might be hard if there was bullying going on.

    OTOH, I’d also expect that if someone was in poor economic circumstances, the thought might immediately run through her head: If I repent publicly and tearfully right now on TV, and this gets shown a lot in evangelical circles, I might be able to work a pretty sweet deal for a year or two hitting the church lecture circuit and grifting the rubes with tales of how I saw the light. So actually, this guy might actually create a lot of “converts.”

  • http://composer99.blogspot.ca composer99

    A&E has come a long way from the days when we mocked it as the ‘Armaments & Explosives’ channel (because WW2 and other war-related programming tended to dominate).

    Unfortunately, that long way A&E has come is towards thinking programming like this is at all acceptable.

  • illdoittomorrow

    I’m imagining a lot of stick and not very much carrot for any sex workers cornered by this creep. I don’t know how much, if any, money they’d get for being on the show, and if things don’t go the producers’ way, there’d be plenty of browbeating, I’m sure. Then again, you could just put people on without waivers. How would they fight back?


    Armaments and Explosives? I’m thinking Assholes and Effluent might be an appropriate name change.

  • Kevin Kehres

    And they don’t think these women have protectors (aka, pimps)? Some of whom are nasty pieces of work who will do whatever it takes to protect their financial investment?

    Something tells me this isn’t going to work out so well.

  • yazikus

    Also, this is like a theft of wages- he is literally stealing time that they could be using to work. Terrible idea all around.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Wanna bet that they’ll only have women on the show?

    I have little disposable cash, but I’ll take that bet in a reasonable amount: trans* sex workers for the sweeps week win!


  • culuriel

    Did anyone notice that one of their damsels in distress literally told them about someone engaging in rape and human trafficking, and not a single one of them got her to the police to report? Did any of them think to report on their own, giving whatever contact info they could to the police to follow up? No. They put the young woman on a bus for home. Her alleged traffickers have no consequences. If these people are really so concerned about human trafficking, why not put the criminals in jail? And was anyone else creeped out by the sad reality that only one “rescuer” in the story is a woman? Do they really think that a guy and his guy friends are going to convince a prostitute that they’re not some creepy kidnappers? There’s just so much that’s patronizing here without actually working on the actual problem of human trafficking.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    A&E has come a long way from the days when we mocked it as the ‘Armaments & Explosives’ channel…

    You mean they no longer follow the Book of Armaments? HERESY!!! The wrath of the Lord shall rain down upon them in five…two…one…

  • Pierce R. Butler

    A contemporary US tv show actually goes 8 full minutes without a commercial?!?

    Who do we call to report an observable miracle?