Protest Fox's Bad Dads

Apr. 28, 2008–May. 12, 2008


Fox received over 5,000 calls, letters, and faxes from our supporters, and our protest garnered coverage in over 300 newspapers. Fox never aired Bad Dads.

Fox announced its intention to launch a new reality show called Bad Dads. According to Reuters, in Bad Dads Jim Durham, director of the National Child Support Center, "functions as a sort of ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ for tracking deadbeats…It’s ambush reality TV…"

Durham will target fathers who are behind on their child support by "making their lives miserable—foreclosing on their house, repossessing their car. He will squeeze them…"

Working with Fathers and Families and the American Coalition for Fathers & Children, thousands of our supporters called and wrote Fox to ask them to cancel Bad Dads.

Why This Campaign

Fox announced its intention to launch a new reality show called Bad Dads. According to Reuters, in Bad Dads Jim Durham, director of the National Child Support Center, "functions as a sort of ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ for tracking deadbeats...It’s ambush reality TV.

According to Reuters, Durham will target fathers who are behind on their child support by "making their lives miserable -- foreclosing on their house, repossessing their car. He will squeeze them..."

We oppose Bad Dads because:

  • Bad Dads publicly humiliates children of broken families by depicting their fathers as not loving or caring for them.
  • Bad Dads unfairly depicts divorced fathers as uncaring and selfish, when research clearly shows that most divorced dads pay their child support and remain a part of their children’s lives, often under difficult circumstances.
  • The records of the child support agencies are notorious for being riddled with errors—they cannot be relied upon to determine who is a legitimate "deadbeat" and who isn’t.
  • Bad Dads singles out fathers for shaming, when U.S. Census data shows that noncustodial fathers are more likely to pay their child support than noncustodial mothers.
  • Bad Dads glorifies private collection companies whose practices are so abusive that even the National Organization for Women has condemned them and urged women to avoid them.
  • Television is rife with negative, misleading and unfair depictions of fathers--Bad Dads promises to be one of the worst examples.

Media Coverage

Our campaign against Fox's Bad Dads gained enormous media coverage, including:

  • Washington Post
  • U.S. News & World Report
  • National Review
  • Glenn Reynolds (aka "Instapundit")
  • KFYI AM 550 in Phoenix, AZ
  • Seattle Times
  • Syndicated advice columnist Amy Alkon
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • PJTV Host/author Helen Smith
  • Orlando Sentinel
  • Detroit News


"The undersigned believe that Fox's Bad Dads provides a distorted and counterproductive view of divorced and separated fathers. Moreover, it is harmful to children to publicly humiliate them by depicting their fathers as not loving or caring for them. We respectfully request that Fox cancel this ill-conceived show."

Howie Altholtz
Attorney at Law
Boston, Massachusetts

Marc E. Angelucci, Esq.
Men's Legal Center
San Diego, CA.

Lloyd Axelrod, M.D.
Mass. General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA

Maury D. Beaulier
Attorney At Law
St. Louis Park, MN

J. Michael Bone, PhD, President
JMB Consulting, PA
Winter Park, FL

Dawn Bowie
Attorney at law
Rockville, MD

Jan Brown
Founder and Executive
Director Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women
Harmony, Maine

Anthony C. Campagna, MD
Senior Staff Physician
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Lahey Clinic
Burlington, Massachusetts
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Steven Carlson, The Custody Coach
Child Custody Coach
Orange County, CA

Michael Carolla, LMFT
Co-Parenting Mediator
Pleasant Hill, CA

Jose David Cohen
Doctor of Clinical Psychology
North Hollywood, CA

Victor Clark Cohen
Attorney, Divorce Mediator
Board Member, Breakthrough
Parenting Services, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA

Gene C. Colman
Attorney at Law
Ontario, Canada

Anthony J. Comparetto, Esq.
Attorney At Law
St. Petersburg, FL

J. Christian Conrad
Attorney at Law
Laguna Hills, CA

Robert Anthony Cornejo, J.D.
School Principal, Attorney At Law
Montebello, CA

Terrence J. Cullen, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Bedford, MA

Mark T. Davis, Esq.
Family Law Attorney
El Paso, TX

Charles H. DeBevoise, Esq.
Boston, MA

Claudia Dias, MSC
Attorney at Law
Family Law Mediator
Domestic Violence Intervention Facilitator
Sacramento, California

Peter J Dimatteo MD,
Duxbury, MA

David Dodson, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
Wellesley, MA

Brian C. Downs, Esq.
Candidate for Judge of the 17th Circuit Court
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dr. Donald Dutton
Professor of Psychology
Univeristy of British Columbia,
Vancouver BC.

Christian A. Eades, Esq.
Family Law Attorney
Washington, D.C.

Stephen D. Finstein, LCSW,
Mental Health Consultant
Dallas, TX

Michael Friedman, M.D.
Berkeley, California

Sheara Friend, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Boxboro, MA

Matthew D. Gold, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor
Tufts Medical School
Everett, MA

Stephen A. Gershman, CFLS
Certified Specialist in Family Law
Board of Legal Specialization
Sherman Oaks, California

Glenn D. Herlihy, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Haverhill, MA

Mindy L. Hitchcock, Esq.
Family Law Attorney
Southfield, MI

Edwin C. Holstein, MD, MS
Clinical Assistant Professor
Mr Sinai School of Medicine
New Your, New York

Robert J. Hundertmark
Attorney At Law
Woburn MA 01801

Stephen J. Johnson, Ph.D.,
Director, The Men's Center
Los Angeles
Woodland Hills, CA

Karen Jones
Author, Relationship Coach
South Lawrence, MA

Michael Kennedy, JD
Child Support Liberation, Inc.
Upland, CA 91786

Gregory T. Kotonias, M.D.
Assist. Professor of
Clinical Psychiatry
Boston University
School of Medicine
Boston, MA

Neil Leavitt
Attorney at Law
Hollywood, Florida 33021

Edward H. Lee
Family Law Attorney
Springfield, NJ

Stephen Levine, Esq.
Certified Specialist by
the State Bar of California
Criminal Law
San Bernardino, CA.

Wayne M. Levine, M.A.
Agoura Hills, CA

Mel Lurie, M.D.
Bosrton, MA

Jayne A. Major, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Breakthrough Parenting

Anthony Mancini, J.D.
Peabody, MA

Jacqueline R Mark, Esq.
Family Law Attorney
Reading, PA

Brett W. Martin, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Westminster, CO

Linda G. Mills, B.A., M.S.W., Ph.D., J.D.
Author, Violent Partners
New York University
New York, NY

Enrique A. Monteagudo, J.D
Child Advocate
San Diego Family Law Council for
San Diego, CA

Steven W. Newell, M.D.
Children's Voices of Colorado, Inc.
Lone Tree, Colorado

Tracy Nightingale
Attorney at Law
St. Louis Park, MN

Michael L. Oddenino
Family Law Attorney
Arcadia, CA

Patricia Overberg, MSW
Former Director, Valley Oasis
Domestic Violence Shelter
Lancaster, CA

Nicholas Palermo, Esq.
Family Law Attorney
Boston, MA

Curtis J. Patton
Family Attorney
Pittsburgh, PA

Pat Piper, PhD
Child and Family Therapist
Wellesley, MA

Kevin Polis
Family Law Attorney
San Diego, CA

Jay Portnow, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Clinical Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,
Tufts Medical School
Boston, MA

Hon. Milton H. Raphaelson, Esq.
Retired Massachusetts District Court Judge

Al Rava, Esq.
Civil Rights Attorney
San Diego, CA

Adam M. Sacks, Esq.
Family Law Attorney
Beverly Hills, CA.

Shari Schreiber, M.A.
Los Angeles, CA

Frederic H. Schwartz, MD
Worcester, MA

Lisa Scott
Family Law Attorney
Seattle, WA

Wendy Sheppard, MSW
Parenting Coach and Therapist
Ambler, PA

Douglas Slain, Esq.
Criminal Defense
Oakland, CA

David C. Stone, Esq.
Family Law Attorney
Anaheim, CA

Paul Stuckle
Attorney at Law
Plano, TX

Lisa Taylor-Austin, NCC, LPC, LMHC, CFMHE, LLC
Board Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator
Milford, CT

Henry A. Tenenbaum, PH.D.
Sarasota, FL

Michelle Ventimiglia, MA
Early Childhood Educator
Northridge, CA

Karen Wagner, MA
Parenting Coordinator
Marietta, Georgia

Special Thanks to...

Syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker, for her column in support of our campaign—Bad Dads a bad idea (5/4/08).