Shame on You, ABC.
Shame on you, ABC. Not only is the title of your new comedy “Don’t Trust the B- in Apt. 23” offensive, but your sense of social responsibility is completely out of whack.
A commercial touting tonight’s episode features one of the main characters bragging that she “finally got a personal assistant.” When asked how she could afford to hire an assistant, her response is simple: “She’s a foster child,” the character says.
Unbelievable. Foster children have enough challenges in their lives already and then a supposed “family” network portrays them—not only in the episode itself, but in promotional spots for that episode—as nothing more than an commodity, something to be used for someone else’s benefit. It’s no wonder that one of the biggest problems foster families face is overcoming the low self-esteem issues of these wonderful children bring with them from years of abuse, neglect and ridicule.
By even hinting that a foster child is quick and easy solution to making your life easier, you have missed the mark. Irresponsible and selfish individuals do not need foster children; foster children need responsible and caring people to provide for them and to love them. They are to be served, not serve.
Furthermore, the commercial makes “getting” a foster child look to be an easy, spur-of-the-moment decision, like picking up milk from the grocery store. As a foster parent, let me assure you that it is anything but easy and simple. There is training, home visits, background checks and still more training.
For far too long, our society has seen children who enter the foster care system as disposable. I believe that instead, it is these long-held beliefs that belittle and scar these wonderful children that should be banished.
There are thousands of foster children who need role models, love and support. Perhaps instead of using these often voiceless victims as a prop for comedy, your network should be advocating for them, helping to fund organizations and charities that have the best interests of these children as their focus instead of using them for a character’s (and a network’s) selfish gain.