More Duggar Fallout? OWN Cancels Show About Father Of 34

Have we reached a moment where we call into question the very existence of reality TV? This question is triggered by the news that came late last week regarding OWN's decision to cancel its upcoming series about music producer, Jay Williams, who has fathered 34 biological children with 17 different women. "The series aimed to follow Jay as he worked to put his life and fractured relationships in order and to hold him accountable every step of the way," OWN said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "The intention was to help Jay work to establish new connections with his family, his children and the mothers of his children. Production has ended and the series will not air." The show came about after Williams appeared on another OWN show, Iyanla Fix My Life, and appeared to be unrepentant about his, er, prolific behavior. Naturally, everyone's first response to his story runs a course from astonishment to disgust, then a curiosity about the lives of his children and their mothers. The freakier a person's life is, the more they deserve to have a television show. Some are speculating that OWN pulled this show before its scheduled September run because of the controversy over 19 Kids and Counting, and admitted child molester Josh Duggar. Despite the very different situations of both shows, viewers would no doubt see the big connection: lots and lots of kids. We wonder if there's a more thoughtful reason at work, too. A TV show, however well-intentioned, turns real people's lives into spectacle for entertainment, and the medium doesn't lend itself for further contemplation about what the children are going through. Even if some of Iyanla's program addressed the inherently selfish nature of Williams' fatherhood, making him the star of his own show is now rewarding him for it. Perhaps OWN has done a bit of soul-searching and come to this conclusion.

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