The A&E cable network is being challenged to reconsider airing a new "reality show" that features spouse-swapping as a possible way to heal struggling marriages.
The FYI Network, owned by A&E, premieres a new show Tuesday night called "Seven Year Switch" that features four couples temporarily switching spouses – and which the Parents Television Council argues will presumably encourage adultery.
PTC's Melissa Henson says A&E is pulling a fast one on cable consumers by putting the show on a little known network for which she says possibly no one would voluntarily pay.
"Nobody would make [FYI] part of their cable bundle if they had a choice," she tells OneNewsNow. "[They are] putting programming like this [program] into our homes and we are footing the bill. We're forced to subsidize it even though it goes against the values of most people who are going to be paying for it."
According to the program's website, two "relationship experts" will help guide the couples through the month-long "experiment of switch therapy." Each of the couples is childless and has "hit a breaking point" in their marriage, states the website, adding that upon reuniting they will decide whether to part ways or stay together.
Henson says this year it seems that the emphasis on cable TV is on open relationships and open marriages, even there's no demand for that type of programming.
So what are consumers to do if they are troubled that such programming is being funneled into their home? "I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that A&E or FYI should refund that portion of our cable bill that is going to subsidize this network that we don't have a choice of opting out of," she responds.
PTC has posted an online petition allowing individuals to voice their opposition to the program, which is rated TV-PG.