TV

To Catch a Predator for Sex Workers Coming to A&E

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kevinomara/Flickr

A new reality series slated for A&E will feature a cop-turned-pastor intent on saving sex workers' souls by luring them to hotel rooms and then lecturing them on national television. Once he has sex workers cornered, pastor Kevin Brown has eight minutes to convince them of the error of their whorin' ways. It's like To Catch a Predator meets Pretty Woman! Which is to say: an abomination that should never, ever have gotten the greenlight.

The series—working title: 8 Minutes—is being produced by Tom Forman, who would still be touting extreme home makeovers and food truck races were it not for a 2013 Los Angeles Times article about Brown's "rescue" efforts. Apparently, Brown has been at his odious task a while. In 2011, he helped form Safe Passage OC, which conducts "unofficial stings to 'liberate' women and minors from a life of servitude," as the Times describes it. The group sees their missions "as undercover police operations—with a dash of prayer."

Thats right: Brown already spends his spare time hunting down and harassing sex workers. The description of his group's work is truly creepy and fanatical: 

To prepare for the missions, Reese trolls backpage.com or craigslist for potential victims, particularly those who look like they might be minors with an "emptiness" in their faces. … The group practices by using a Bluetooth as a walkie-talkie, driving around in a caravan and deploying as a surveillance team across motel properties, with each person assigned a specific role.

Seeing someone's photo online and then proceeding to track them down IRL and secretly monitor their movements would, under other contexts, be considered stalking. But apparently anything goes when your aim is to "save" women from exerting their own agency. 

As the Times article makes clear, most of the women Brown encounters want nothing to do with his savior complex. At least they're only subjected to a strange or scary or insulting conversation. Now Brown's stalk-and-save efforts come with a camera crew. 

Forman told Entertainment Weekly that the "girls" won't be shown on television without their permission, and that Brown's success rate has been about 50 percent. "Sometimes they turn and leave, but that's the case when trying to save prostitutes," said Forman. (They're wily like cats, they are!) A&E has ordered an initial eight episodes of the show. 

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  1. I believe I could make a sex worker change her ways in 8 minutes…

    Just by making her work.

    1. Who do you think you are – Warty?

  2. I assume they’ll shoot a season in Hawaii and have sex with the prostitutes and then do some lecturing.

    1. So, the CIA would be producing those episodes then…

  3. One can always hope that one of the hookers instantly pokes Brown’s eye out or at least zaps him with a stun gun. That would be entertaining.

    1. Hooker: You want to talk, fine, but you still owe me the fifty.

  4. “So, how did you become a prostitute?”

    Well, I used to be a cop-turned-pastor, but I saw the error in my ways.”

    1. Well, I used to be a cop-turned-pastor, but I saw the error in my ways regained some of my dignity.

      1. Hey, this is MY story- was a traffic cop turned call girl- precisely BECAUSE I saw the error of my ways? “Cop to Call Girl- Why I Left the LAPD to Make an Honest Living as a Beverly Hills Prostitute” (Simon and Schuster 1993)

  5. Unless they’re threatening violence or legal action, who fucking cares.

    1. Hopefully that will be the case and they won’t get any ratings.

      1. I’m asking why anyone here gives a damn. The icky socons think hookers should make different choices, so the hell what? AFAICT, he’s not using violence, he’s using persuasion. That’s what civilized people do. You think “Dem dirty whores need to leave deir sinful wayzah”. I don’t care. You wanna sit across a table from me and call me a fat fuck while I’m eating wings, I. Don’t. Give. A. Shit.

        OTOH, if you wanna invoke the power of the state or put your hands on somebody, now I’ve got a problem.

        1. The socon doth protest too much, methinks.

        2. I would be pretty upset if some wild-eyed PETA activist broke into my wings time.

        3. Is he paying them? If so, I don’t give a shit. If not, then he’s stealing their time, and he’s doing it in a way that they have no legal recourse. He might not be invoking the power of the state in that case, but he sure is letting it loom over his shoulder menacingly.

    2. My brother’s a fine missionary,
      He saves gorgeous women from sin,
      He’ll save you a blonde for five dollars,
      Oh, God, how the money rolls in…

      (original words, not adjusted for inflation)

      1. Oops, not intended to be a reply to anyone.

    3. ^^This x a google-plex.

      Really, it’s a conversation that basically says, “If you want to stop this, I/we will help you”. It’s an 8-minute conversation on his part, and he has even said he tries to set it up so that the woman can have “plausible deniability” if she actually is in danger from a pimp.

      If no coercion, so what?

  6. Maggie McNeill is all up in this bitch on teh Twitterz.

  7. Meh. I think the original version of this show with Jimmy Swaggart was better. I think, it too, was called “Eight Minutes.”

  8. “There’s an extra hundred in it if you let use show your face. One hundred more if you agree to say you’ve been saved.”

    1. Beautiful.

      “What kind of girl do you think I *am*?!”

    2. I’ve had a few friends who were involved in reality shows to some degree, and they all say the amount of “reality” is pretty low. A lot of it is scripted, and there are multiple takes to make sure there was enough drama. So I don’t think you’re too far off.

      1. What? No way.

      2. I know, first Gruber lets the truth about Obamacare out, and now this!

        1. Yeah, next they’ll be telling us Santa Claus isn’t real.

          Oh, yeah:

          SPOILER ALERT!

  9. 8 Minutes? I can do it five.

  10. I’d be willing to role-play his kinky 8-minute rescue fantasy, as long as he understands I’m still going to charge him for an hour.

    1. Nice.

      BTW, Ms. McNeill, love your twitter feed.

    2. I know right? Howzabout I go to one of his sermons and bang a pan for 8 minutes.

      Nothing pisses me off like wasting my time at work.

  11. A&E really does suck now. When people sit down on the couch to watch these shows, what are they getting out of them?

    1. My Mom watches some of these, and for the life of me I can’t understand why. She doesn’t really seem to know why either, other than that she gets hooked on them. You wouldn’t guess that she would get into them by meeting her, either.

      1. I can’t understand why some people watch 9/11 footage every year around the anniversary. The History Channel usually replays the footage. I’d rather watch The 700 Club than watch that shit.

        1. Yeah, seeing those images makes me really uncomfortable in a way that the most grotesque, gory, vile shit doesn’t.

    2. The First 48 gives incredibly valuable insight into the way cops operate in investigations and interrogations. The leaps of logic they often make are astounding.

  12. I’m really not seeing the liberty angle here. I’m all for decriminalizing it, and have no moral compunctions about patronizing one, but unless this guy has a cadre of cops waiting in the adjacent room to arrest the broad unless (or possibly even if) she renounces her heathen ways, I’m ambivalent about his hobby.

    Provided he’s paying for their time.

    1. You can still think behavior is sleazy and underhanded even if you don’t think it should be illegal. I think this show is going to perpetuate some ridiculous myths about prostitutes (they’re all enslaved by pimps! Sex trafficking, sex trafficking, sex trafficking!) and can criticize it from that angle even if it doesn’t specifically have anything to do with liberty.

      I mean, what the fuck do Loder’s movie reviews have to do with liberty? Reason still publishes those.

      1. Hey, you’ll have to pry my Loder reviews from my cold dead fingers!

      2. Fair point. Let me rephrase: I’m not certain why it deserves the opprobrium Brown’s selling here. I’d rather he’s working this angle than working as a vice cop.

    2. Retired cops are using religion and their law enforcement expertise to intimidate and harass sex workers and you are ambivalent about this.

      You earn a reward for being today’s dweeb.

      1. Eh. I did say I’m ambivalent. I wouldn’t watch the show, but I’m not going to bust his balls over it–again, so long as he’s making it worth their while. If he’s luring them into motel rooms for his unofficial stings and then wasting their time, which will of course be much longer than eight minutes, he’s a shitheel and I hope his show folds.

        1. You didn’t use the word ‘ambivalent’. Your post projected it.

          You know he’s wasting their fucking time, Dweebston. That’s what a retired cop who becomes a pastor does. This show is not about kindly discussing options with down-on-their-luck women.

          No one would watch that. It’s about drama, harassment, and intimidation using the pastoral position, cameras, and potential law enforcement involvement. And this can be discerned eating a popsicle with zero brain stress while watching monkeys rip cars apart.

          1. I meant remunerating them for their time, which I assume they agreed to when they arranged to meet him. If he’s turning them loose uncompensated for the time of theirs he’s negotiated, he’s wasted their time.

    3. You know, not everything covered by reason has to have a “liberty angle.”

      Commenting on the culture has its purpose regardless of whether the government is involved or not.

  13. “In 2011, he helped form Safe Passage OC, which conducts “unofficial stings to ‘liberate’ women and minors from a life of servitude,” as the Times describes it.”

    Isn’t there something a bit ironic about a preacher trying to liberate other people from a life of servitude?

    1. Not really. Servitude to earthly pursuits precludes living a proper life of servitude to God. (as I understand it.)

      1. Read again and think outside your box, Dweebie.

        1. I was born and raised and remain an atheist with very little reading into Christian philosophy, so take it for what it’s worth. It doesn’t seem counterintuitive to this heathen.

    2. The preacher is a retired cop by the way. Can’t this two-legged shit leave adults providing discreet services the fuck alone? Nope, not if the bible and feminism have a say.

  14. Pastor Brown should be a feminist icon! Feminism and Jesus love sex stings!

  15. As bad as this is, it still sounds way less pornographic than Intervention.

  16. It sounds stupid and possibly insulting to sex workers (though I’m sure not all of them love what they do), but it doesn’t move the libertarian outrage needle.

    1. I do have one question. On these hidden camera shows, do the harassed have to sign releases or can the network show them without their consent?

      1. I think the networks have to get their consent to show their faces, but can blur their faces without consent. I’m basing this on a few episodes of COPS I watched as a kid. (If ever there were a show where EVERYONE was the asshole, it was COPS.)

      2. Depends on the laws of the state in which the recording was made.

      3. I have no idea, but I tend to see enough blurred out face on TV that I assume a consent form is par for the course.

    2. Sure it does, if you believe that sex work is something the public needs. You may be able to get all you need without it, but sooner or later you’ll be old.

  17. Is it wrong to hope this guy tries to pick up an informant or undercover cop and ends up getting convicted of solicitation? I only hope that because I’m assuming he’s an ardent supporter of prohibition.

    1. Cops arresting other cops (incl former)? LOL

      1. He’s a former cop? Oh, never mind then. Guess I should RTFA.

    2. Not wrong. Same thought went through my head.

  18. Sounds like easy money for the chicks.

  19. How about we arrange to ambush this asshole and “rescue” HIM? It’d be doing the world a big favor!

    1. I get to punch him lightly in the sphincter if I join your gang, bro.

  20. “You should give up your whoring ways and get a respectable, decent job!”
    “And how much does that pay, preacher man?”
    “Eight bucks an hour.”
    “LOL, see ya.”

  21. A&E is trolling whores to sell Progressive Insurance and Volkswagens. Christ, what hypocrites.

    1. They’ve been doing that for years.

      Real Housewives of _________ ring a bell?

      1. That’s Bravo

  22. Brown already spends his spare time hunting down and harassing sex workers.

    Hell, who doesn’t?

    Clever to work your hobby into a paying TV gig, though, I’ll give him that.

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