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.
CEO, Melanoma Institute Australia
For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Durante |Melanoma Institute Australia | 0412 798 990 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
'Dear Emma' - a tribute to the life and times of a young woman determined to raise awareness about melanoma.
Carole Renouf, CEO for MIA thanks Toyota for helping fuel ongoing melanoma research.
Fraser Dykes tackled the Kokoda Trail on an eight day trek in memory of his friend Mark 'Bod' Boddison.
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.
A round of applause for a well deserved win.
A message from our CEO, Carole Renouf
Piction, Brisbane, Bahturst and Port Macquarie march to end melanoma.
Australian researchers have greater clarity on the best course of treatment for patients with advanced melanoma which has spread to the brain.
Melanoma treatment has come a long way in recent times, and the role that nurses play caring for melanoma patients has changed dramatically too.
It was a massive weekend of Melanoma Marches with six Marches in: Bendigo, Canberra, Manly, Newcastle, Bunbury and Adelaide.
Weekend two hit the ground marching with Melanoma Marches in Wollongong, Townsville, Mandurah and Western Sydney.
Melanoma Institute Australia's annual fundraising initiative is all systems go!
The reported proliferation of illegal commercial solariums is costing lives and requires urgent government intervention.
15-year-old melanoma survivor Toby Rayner will lead Mount Gambier’s march against melanoma Julie-Ann Sams knows all too well that melanoma doesn’t discriminate.
Updated guidelines defining appropriate excision margins have been published thanks to research from MIA.
Joanne and her trusty companion Frankie spend their days spreading a message of hope in hospitals, nursing homes, even prisons. It is a long way from her darkest hour facing palliative care. This is her story of hope.
Melanoma impacts more Australian teenagers and young adults than any other cancer. Dr James Wilmott, who has a young family of his own, has devoted his career to determining why these young Australians are susceptible to melanoma, and importantly, how to save them.
Melanoma Masterclass celebrates Australian luminaries who have transformed melanoma treatment worldwide
The extraordinary contribution of Australia’s most distinguished melanoma clinicians and researchers is being celebrated today.