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

Australasian Melanoma Conference AMC2021
19 Nov - 20 Feb 2021

Australasian Melanoma Conference AMC2021

The 2021 Australasian Melanoma Conference (AMC2021) will held in Sydney, Australia.

Sharing our knowledge of melanoma on the global stage
15 Apr 2021

Sharing our knowledge of melanoma on the global stage

As leaders in the field of melanoma, clinicians and researchers from MIA will be sharing their knowledge at the virtual 10th World Congress of Melanoma. 

Tags: melanoma
Community Fundraising Wrap Up Jan-Mar 2021
15 Apr 2021

Community Fundraising Wrap Up Jan-Mar 2021

The easing of COVID restrictions has meant the return of community events, and we recognise the generous support of our community fundraisers.

Tags: melanoma
Melanoma patients and their families urged to speak up and put national spotlight on melanoma.
15 Apr 2021

Melanoma patients and their families urged to speak up and put national spotlight on melanoma.

Melanoma patients and their carers are being urged to participate in a ground-breaking survey which will shape the future of melanoma treatment, research, support and funding in Australia.

Tags: melanoma
Support for Melanoma March has come from everywhere
12 Apr 2021

Support for Melanoma March has come from everywhere

We have been buoyed by the wonderful support for our Melanoma March campaign, and our mission to cover Australia in footprints continues into April!

An inspiring WA Melanoma Community Forum
26 Mar 2021

An inspiring WA Melanoma Community Forum

There was a wonderful feeling of community support amongst the melanoma patients, families and friends at the WA Melanoma Community Form. 

Tags: melanoma
Family of 8-year-old with melanoma calls on all Australians to step up to help save lives
26 Mar 2021

Family of 8-year-old with melanoma calls on all Australians to step up to help save lives

The Price family has decided to share their story to inspire Australians to support research into new melanoma treatments.

Tags: melanoma
Rethinking skin surveillance for high-risk melanoma patients
18 Mar 2021

Rethinking skin surveillance for high-risk melanoma patients

New research has provided evidence in favour of a structured skin surveillance program for high-risk melanoma patients.

Tags: melanoma
Australia's oldest melanoma survivor steps up to save lives on his 105th birthday
11 Mar 2021

Australia's oldest melanoma survivor steps up to save lives on his 105th birthday

Melanoma research saved Bert's life at 101 and now he wants to give back. 

Tags: melanoma
Predicting disease spread in thin melanoma
05 Mar 2021

Predicting disease spread in thin melanoma

A new MIA online risk calculator for clinicians can determine the likelihood of thin melanoma spreading.   

Tags: melanoma
Exploring our own clinical questions through MIA's new trials initiative
04 Mar 2021

Exploring our own clinical questions through MIA's new trials initiative

MIA has recently established a new division of our Clinical Trials Program which co-ordinates and manages investigator-led multi-centre trials. 

Tags: melanoma
Young researchers awarded Fellowships to pursue innovative treatments for melanoma
04 Mar 2021

Young researchers awarded Fellowships to pursue innovative treatments for melanoma

Two young researchers from MIA and The University of Sydney awarded Cancer Institute NSW fellowships.

Tags: melanoma
Young researchers receive boost to develop innovative treatment for melanoma
04 Mar 2021

Young researchers receive boost to develop innovative treatment for melanoma

Two young researchers from MIA and The University of Sydney awarded Cancer Institute NSW fellowships.

Tags: melanoma
Launch of Melanoma March 2021
01 Mar 2021

Launch of Melanoma March 2021

Aussies urged to leave their footprint on melanoma as efforts step up to save lives from the disease.

Tags: melanoma
Olivia Vivian announced as MIA ambassador
12 Feb 2021

Olivia Vivian announced as MIA ambassador

Olivia is using her Ninja star power to shine a spotlight on melanoma prevention - in memory of her dad. 

Tags: melanoma
Melanoma breakthrough - neoadjuvant treatment saving lives.
09 Feb 2021

Melanoma breakthrough - neoadjuvant treatment saving lives.

Drug treatment before surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy, is being hailed as one of the biggest breakthroughs in melanoma treatment since the advent of immunotherapy.

Tags: melanoma
Melanoma breakthrough - neoadjuvant therapy saving lives.
09 Feb 2021

Melanoma breakthrough - neoadjuvant therapy saving lives.

Drug treatment before surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy, is being hailed as one of the biggest breakthroughs in melanoma treatment since the advent of immunotherapy.

Tags: melanoma
Are cancer patients on immunotherapy at a greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection?
04 Feb 2021

Are cancer patients on immunotherapy at a greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection?

New research, led by MIA, has revealed that cancer patients treated with immunotherapy are not at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection compared to other cancer patients.

Tags: melanoma
Are cancer patients on immunotherapy at a greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection?
04 Feb 2021

Are cancer patients on immunotherapy at a greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection?

New research, led by MIA, has revealed that cancer patients treated with immunotherapy are not at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection compared to other cancer patients.

Tags: melanoma
A message to all Australians from melanoma patient Stuart Taylor
16 Dec 2020

A message to all Australians from melanoma patient Stuart Taylor

Stuart has advanced melanoma which is not responding to treatment. He has shared his story on ABC's 7:30 in the hope that others can escape the same fate. 

Tags: melanoma