Calling for a response to emotional abuse concerns from Channel 5 #AnswersPleaseChannel5
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On January 2nd 2018, Channel 5 broadcast episode 1 of season 2 of their reality show 'One Night With My Ex'. It featured two ex-couples spending the night together with the prospect of hashing out old problems and possibly getting back together.
One of the two couples has the internet concerned. Aimee and Tom were described as a couple who were together for a year, but had been split up for four months at the time of filming. As the show went on Tom seemed to display many worrying traits, characteristic of someone engaging in emotionally abusive behaviour. He was shown to be coercive and controlling over Aimee throughout the programme- using her full name on National Television ("deary me Aimee Cross), using threatening language ("you want to be VERY careful what you say next"), showing himself to have predetermined his controlling ways (threatening to walk off the show to Aimee, but telling the television crew he was never going to do so), placing himself in charge of parts of her life he shouldn't have control over (he refers to a time she changed her phone password, and most importantly, blew up when he learned that she went for a drink with someone else while they were broken up), and finally stepping in and acting like a 'big strong man' when she was broken down from his tactics, apologising and crying (and being visibly happy to have reached that point as he smiled while giving her a hug after making her cry).
Many many people were upset and uncomfortable watching this exchange, and a glance over the #OneNightWithMyEx hashtag on twitter will show this plainly. Speaking out the general consensus was that Aimee should "run for the hills!" but among tweets like this were more interesting insights...
Some of Tom's ex girlfriends came forward to tweet that they were glad to be rid of him, and that they were not surprised that he '"hasn't changed".
Many people described that they had exes who acted in ways Tom was showing in the programme, saying they were glad to out of dangerous relationships, and they worry for Aimee.
Some tweeted helplines and resources for people effected by what they were watching.
Largely though, by a few days later, the overwhelming lingering feeling is a huge disappointment in Channel 5 for airing such a situation without stepping in to help the people, or providing a warning for viewers, or links to help.
Victims of emotional abuse and narcissistic partners, often do not know they are. So wound in the web that their partner has spun, they believe that they are the ones in the wrong in any given situation, and they believe that the relationship they are in is a loving one. As such, it is conceivable that Aimee and Tom could easily have passed any screening pre-show, and will be further able to escape post-show care, if any is offered.
As such, this petition is not asking for detailed explanations of Tom and Aimee's private life. They are adults able to use their support networks of friends and family to traverse whatever situations they are in, no matter how worrying it seems to be to thousands of Twitter users.
What this petition is asking for, is a detailed response from Channel 5 addressing our concerns.
We want to know who Channel 5 uses as independent experts in assessing people prior to the show, and what post show care they offer.
We want to know that they are ashamed that they glorified emotional abuse for views in the name of 'great telly', not only that, but ashamed that they haven't even acknowledged that what was portrayed on Tuesday night was a representation of emotional abuse in the first place.
We want to know that Channel 5 will be more careful with the welfare of their reality television participants in the future.
Twitter user Roslyn Coldrey said it so well:
"If this is satire & parody it's in extremely poor taste. 1 in 4 women, 1 in 6 men abused; 2 women a WEEK, 30 men a year #murdered; 400 suicides a year. #mentalabuse is not a ratings game #refuge @channel5_tv @ZoeDuerden raise awareness not ratings #OneNightWithMyEx"
"Anybody in an #AbusiveRelationship please see below for help. Please also send complaints through to @Ofcom: http://ofcomforms.secure.force.com/formentry/Site … or 020 7981 3040 for @channel5_tv airing #mentalabuse as entertainment & "great telly" #OneNightWithMyEx"
Emotional abuse is unlawful. There have already been over 60 Ofcom complaints to Channel 5.
To see more and more details on this story, head to Twitter and search #OneNightWithMyEx and #AnswersPleaseChannel5 and use the hashtags to share this petition.
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