Morality In Media: Oprah's OWN Network Embraces Torture and Sexual Violence

Jan 31, 2013, 16:14 ET from Morality in Media

Telling Women To Accept Violent, Torturous Sex Culture

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Morality in Media (MIM) is calling for a nationwide protest of Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network citing the reckless glorification of sexual violence and torture depicted on the network. The Season Premier of Lisa Ling's Our America on OWN, January 29, portrayed the graphic depiction of "BDSM" sex (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism) in an hour-long television show, replete with whips, chains, handcuffs, and assorted tools of sexual torture.

"Women want to be loved, adored, and cherished, not whipped, dominated, and humiliated," said Dawn Hawkins, MIM Executive Director. "Oprah and her OWN cable network seem desperate to bootstrap their flagging ratings to the tawdry and titillating world of sadomasochism portrayed in the bestseller, 50 Shades of Grey," she added.  "This is purely trash TV and worse, it is entertainment likely to foster domestic abuse, primarily of women.  I would have thought Oprah should lead the charge against such exploitation," Hawkins said.

At one time the promise of the OWN network was to empower women to live their best life, with inspiring stories of hope, courage and self-esteem. Lisa Ling's Our America was not even in that ballpark.  "A responsible journalist would have at least mentioned that sadomasochism has long been recognized as a mental disorder in the American Psychological Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," Hawkins noted. "Sexual abuse of this nature is at the heart of the criminal acts of rape and sexual assault," she added.

"So much of the pornography today is filled with sexual violence and humiliation of women, so it is not surprising that BDSM activities would find an audience. However, MIM believes all women, children, and men have a natural human dignity, and that programming of this sort is inherently dehumanizing, corrupts healthy relationships, and grossly distorts a proper view of human sexuality," said Hawkins.

MIM is asking the public to contact OWN to protest this glorification of sexual abuse and torture and return to the kind of uplifting programs that we expect from Oprah. Contact OWN through MIM's website here:

Founded in 1962, MIM is the leading national organization opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law. MIM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our website is

Queally Hudson

SOURCE Morality in Media