Raleigh, NC FOX station pulls "demeaning" 'Marriage In America' series from the air
By Reality TV World staff, 03/11/2003
The Herald Sun reports that WRAZ-50, the local FOX affiliate in Raleigh, NC announced on Monday that it will no longer air FOX's "Married In America" reality TV show. Station managers said the show "demeans and exploits the institution of marriage." The program follows singles Jennifer Jaynes, Jill Marie Nicolini, Matt Arden, Billie Jeanne Houle and Stephen Savona as they let American TV viewers choose their fiancés and fiancées.
In a written statement WRAZ said it had "expressed serious concerns with ‘Married by America’ when the show’s concept was first revealed." After a second episode, which included discussions about contestants’ sexual appetites, aired March 5, the station "decided that the program did not reflect prevailing standards of good taste and that the show was clearly demeaning to the institution of marriage." "While WRAZ-TV/FOX 50 realizes that reality programming has become very popular on broadcast television, the station has made a decision that it will not broadcast reality programming that demeans marriage,"
An official at FOX’s Los Angeles offices said the network was disappointed with WRAZ’s decision.
"It’s unfortunate that our affiliate has made this decision," said Scott Grogin, FOX’s vice president of corporate communications. "However, we certainly respect WRAZ’s right to determine what is appropriate for its market." Grogin said WRAZ was the only affiliate that has canceled the series.
This is not the first time that WRAZ has chosen to pre-empt a TV show on moral grounds. In 2001, it replaced reality show "Temptation Island" with alternative programs, citing similar concerns about damage to the institution of marriage. A year earlier, it dropped the FOX telecast of "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire," which featured Darva Conger tying the knot with Rick Rockwell.