When we first heard about ABUSERS – a new reality show still in development about domestic (and other forms) of abuse – we anticipated the controversy it would create. After all, shows like A&E’s Intervention and Hoarders have become immensely popular despite claims that they are as exploitative as they are educational.
But ABUSERS creator Albert Harris Jr., a former governor’s aide from New Jersey, says shows like Intervention are sickening. “It’s the rubber-neck effect…you don’t actually want to look at someone’s head dangling out the car window, but it’s the reason why we look. We look to see the worst thing that could happen.” He also cites how audiences reacted when Jersey Shore pulled the clip last season of Snooki getting punched as reasons why ABUSERS – which will follow couples around in a day of their life, both separate and together, to see how their lifestyle affects both themselves and their friends and families before offering them both a chance at rehabilitation facilities – won’t be airing any physical violence.
“One of the biggest inspirations for me was Denise Brown, and her account of her sister’s tragic death,” says Albert, of O.J. Simpson‘s murdered wife Nicole Brown‘s sibling, who will be a producer on the show, “And during one of the earliest meetings she made it very clear that there was no way she was going to be part of anything that would be exploitative.”
ABUSERS has only begun pitching their program to different networks, but is currently looking at MTV, VH1, and Lifetime as possible future homes.
Tell us: Would you watch ABUSERS? Does the omission of physical violence change your view of the show?