It's time to outlaw sunburn on reality TV shows - enough is enough

It's time to outlaw sunburn on reality TV shows - enough is enough

31 July 2017

It feels like groundhog day - another reality TV show, another batch of blatantly sunburnt contestants.

Earlier this year it was Cheryl on Married At First Sight. Last night it was Australian Survivor's turn - and its debut didn't disappoint in the sunburn stakes. Who else noticed the bare arms, backs, shoulders and legs exposed to the searing heat and elements? The painful glow of raw sunburn the inevitable result.

When will TV producers get with the program? Sunburn drastically increases your risk of melanoma, and melanoma kills. It's a sad reality for too many Australian families. One Australian dies from melanoma every five hours, and it kills more 20-39 year olds than any other cancer. 

Surely TV executives have a responsibility to safeguard contestants from harm during the filming of what ultimately is a game. They wouldn't ask contestants to perform death defying stunts without full safety equipment and harnesses. So why do they ignore the very real and potentially deadly health risk that comes from sunburn? 

 

But more than that, reality TV shows also have a responsibility not to normalise sunburn, and by doing so, portray it as a sign of strength and endurance. While network executives are no doubt this morning basking in the glory of Australian Survivor's ratings success, I'm lamenting the fact that thousands of impressionable young viewers are now even more desensitised to the dangers of sunburn. Melanoma is not a game, and its greatest risk factor - sunburn - has no place on a reality TV game show. 

It makes me frustrated. It makes me angry. But mostly it makes me sad. While we at Melanoma Institute Australia are trialling new melanoma treatments to save lives, and educating the community about the need to protect themselves from the sun, shows like Australian Survivor are doing the exact opposite during prime-time viewing.

My challenge to the networks is this: let's outlaw sunburn on reality TV shows, and treat it like the potential killer it is, just like smoking and drink driving. By forging an alliance, we can outwit, outplay and outlast melanoma. Only then will our children and grandchildren be the ultimate survivors. 

Carole Renouf

CEO, Melanoma Institute Australia

 

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Durante |Melanoma Institute Australia | 0412 798 990 | jennifer.durante@melanoma.org.au

Melanoma Institute Australia launches free e-learning education portal
20 Jun 2018

Melanoma Institute Australia launches free e-learning education portal

Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has launched a free e-learning portal to educate healthcare professionals about the latest advances in melanoma diagnosis and treatment.

David Day and a lifetime of missed moments
08 Jun 2018

David Day and a lifetime of missed moments

When David lost his life last year, he was 33, with three daughters under six.

Australian melanoma experts share latest breakthroughs with world's best oncologists
06 Jun 2018

Australian melanoma experts share latest breakthroughs with world's best oncologists

ASCO 2018 brings together the world's best in oncology from around the world. 

ASCO 2018 – the important role of clinical trials
06 Jun 2018

ASCO 2018 – the important role of clinical trials

Clinical trials are just that – trials in a clinical setting to evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of individual and combination treatments.

MIA Scoops Awards at the International Academy of Pathology
04 Jun 2018

MIA Scoops Awards at the International Academy of Pathology

Melanoma Institute Australia scooped the award pool at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Academy of Pathology. 

Evidence drives sweeping changes to melanoma treatment recommendations
25 May 2018

Evidence drives sweeping changes to melanoma treatment recommendations

Melanoma patients across Australia will benefit from the release of updated clinical care guidelines.

Melanoma and Marital Status: A Study
11 May 2018

Melanoma and Marital Status: A Study

An American study has discovered a link between early detection and marital status in melanoma diagnosis. 

A weekend in Paris talking all things pathology...
02 May 2018

A weekend in Paris talking all things pathology...

An international course on melanoma pathology in Paris, France co-directed by Professor Richard Scolyer took place over the weekend.

Our own 'Australian Story'
30 Apr 2018

Our own 'Australian Story'

Professor Richard Scolyer highlights the difficulties of diagnosis following the Australian Story feature program on Emma Betts. 

Cancer Australia releases 'stage at diagnosis' data for top five incidence cancers – including melanoma
27 Apr 2018

Cancer Australia releases 'stage at diagnosis' data for top five incidence cancers – including melanoma

For the first time in Australia, national data has been released on cancer stage at diagnosis. This data explores the top five incidence cancers – female breast cancer, colorectal, lung, prostate cancers and melanoma.

The inspiring story of Emma Betts premieres on Australian Story
16 Apr 2018

The inspiring story of Emma Betts premieres on Australian Story

'Dear Emma' - a tribute to the life and times of a young woman determined to raise awareness about melanoma. 

Toyota helps tackle Australia's national cancer - melanoma
09 Apr 2018

Toyota helps tackle Australia's national cancer - melanoma

Carole Renouf, CEO for MIA thanks Toyota for helping fuel ongoing melanoma research.

Tackling the Kokoda Trail for melanoma
06 Apr 2018

Tackling the Kokoda Trail for melanoma

Fraser Dykes tackled the Kokoda Trail on an eight day trek in memory of his friend Mark 'Bod' Boddison.

Professor Richard Scolyer presents at world's largest annual meeting of pathologists
29 Mar 2018

Professor Richard Scolyer presents at world's largest annual meeting of pathologists

Harvard’s Clinical Professor Martin Mihm and MIA’s Conjoint Medical Director Professor Richard Scoyler delivered a series of lectures on melanoma pathology in Vancouver, British Colombia this week at the world’s biggest annual pathology meeting.

Congratulations to Kaye Oakley
29 Mar 2018

Congratulations to Kaye Oakley

A round of applause for a well deserved win.

Farewell from Carole Renouf, CEO of Melanoma Institute Australia
26 Mar 2018

Farewell from Carole Renouf, CEO of Melanoma Institute Australia

A message from our CEO, Carole Renouf

Marching in the twilight
26 Mar 2018

Marching in the twilight

Piction, Brisbane, Bahturst and Port Macquarie march to end melanoma. 

Researchers uncover treatment sequence for advanced melanoma patients
23 Mar 2018

Researchers uncover treatment sequence for advanced melanoma patients

Australian researchers have greater clarity on the best course of treatment for patients with advanced melanoma which has spread to the brain.

An unsung hero of melanoma care for nearly 30 years
22 Mar 2018

An unsung hero of melanoma care for nearly 30 years

Melanoma treatment has come a long way in recent times, and the role that nurses play caring for melanoma patients has changed dramatically too.

Sharing our research on melanoma surgery
21 Mar 2018

Sharing our research on melanoma surgery

MIA is sharing it's research with the global surgical oncology community this week at the Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Symposium.