A&E is catching a lot of heat for its latest reality TV show, 8 Minutes. It stars former Marine and police officer Kevin Brown, who is now a pastor. Since finding God, Brown no longer sees himself as an enemy to criminals but focuses “his compassion towards gang members and women caught up in sex trafficking.” With the help of volunteers at his organization Lives Worth Saving – Human Trafficking, he poses as a john and offers victims of sex trafficking a way out of the life. He says he usually has only 8 minutes to do so.
Many find the concept and content of 8 Minutes offensive and intrusive to the lives of sex workers. “Sex workers lives are not entertainment. This show is not only degrading in nature, but it doesn’t find sex workers, it tricks and manipulates sex workers into allowing him to come into their private space and then sets about abusing their human rights and expects these women will later consent to him using their face on television,” writes Jackie Parker, who started a petition at Change.org. Journalist Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work, said “the show’s ambush style sets a negative tone in the sex worker community when it comes to the media.” 8 Minutes airs Thursdays at 10pm on A&E.