"The high school seniors started a Facebook campaign to ban the show, arguing that it sexualises children as young as two and encourages paedophilia. The group quickly attracted close to 5,000 members.
TLC has defended the show, saying they are simply depicting—“from an objective and unfiltered perspective”—something that 100,000 kids take place in each year. For someone like me, who watches the show knowing that toddler beauty pageants are disgusting, the show may appear objective in that it succeeds only in making me even more disturbed by them."
Tennant-Moore also provides a link to an actual clip of the show, featured on Jezebel, which is not only disturbing but pretty infuriating. I'm feeling more and more that the UN's needs to broaden and formalize its condemnation of using children for reality television programming, unless strict guidelines are followed in ensuring the shows respect children's rights and dignity. For example, last fall, a UN report on child welfare in the UK warned that the use of "distressed" children in reality shows such as Supernanny could harm their rights, and that these shows "may "constitute an unlawful interference with their privacy" and that the media had to act further to protect children in such shows" (as quoted in the October 4, 2008 edition of The Herald).
A big kudos(!) to Huynh and Cornelius for bringing this show and important issue to public attention.
If you want to learn more about their efforts, you can check out (or join) their Facebook Group, or read some of the original news coverage of the campaign over at the Niagara Falls Review.