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