A&E’s controversial 8 Minutes has been cancelled after five low-rated episodes and several damning claims. Episodes are no longer on the show’s web site one day after BuzzFeed reported that the show–which promised to help sex workers–actually lied to and exposed them.
A&E said the show would follow a pastor, Kevin Brown, on his “harrowing undercover missions to offer help to women they believe may be in danger” using cameras hidden in hotel rooms.
BuzzFeed talked to three women who were on 8 Minutes, and reports that it “did not keep the sex workers’ information particularly discreet” and that the women “were never given any of the promised assistance.” The women also said the show’s editing distorted the reality of their lives. One woman, identified as Jazzy, said, “They’re full of shit.”
But… The show…pastor…tv…producers they do not give a 💩 about me or nobody else. They are using me and more 39 girls to make money
— Kamylla (@kamyllahelpme) April 24, 2015
What did A&E say about its failure to support the people its show was supposed to support? Its shameful cop-out was to not comment because the show’s no longer on the air, according to BuzzFeed. The network did confirm to the Washington Post that it has been pulled from the air; episodes are also no longer on its web site.
Before the show debuted, a coalition of groups wrote to executive producer Tom Forman and said that “the tactics of Kevin Brown and ‘8 Minutes’ mislead the public and threaten the rights and safety of sex workers and survivors of human trafficking. In addition, they exploit the lives and images of those in the sex trade, thereby exploiting people from a marginalized and stigmatized population.”
As it turned out, they were exactly right.