Assault and battery on the Amazing Race

Does anyone here keep up with The Amazing Race? I’ve just been completely wigged out by the casual showing of partner-on-partner abuse, including assault and battery.

No one on the show said a word or attempted to intervene. Just expected “rougher than usual handling”, I suppose? Justified in the pursuit of a million dollars? Only a hysterical chick having a panic attack – they need a bit of force for their own good?

**WARNING, and spoiler for 15×05.**

Summary of the video:

Mika and Canaan are in second last place. To finish, they have to take the “Leap of Faith” in Dubai (a large, steep water slide), then footrace the Harlem Globetrotter team to a Pit Stop.

Mika has an intense phobia of heights. She starts to have a panic attack. Canaan, her partner, gets up in her face and shouts at her. He calls her a “complete moron”. He attempts to grab her hand and drag her to the slide, while she shouts “No!” and “Don’t touch me!”

Closer to the slide, he grabs her and picks her up against her will, apparently attempting to throw her down the slide. She is panicking, and sobbing, and screams “Help me!” repeatedly when he grabs her. An attendant is clearly seen standing only a couple of metres from them, impassive, while this happens.

Later again, she is sitting at the top of the slide. He sits behind her, against her protests, and attempts to pry her fingers off the grab bar so he can force her down.

The Globetrotter team then come along and start taunting Mika, telling her “don’t do it” and “don’t hurt yourself”, so they can get ahead in the race. Canaan tells them that that wasn’t cool, and calls Big Easy “a piece of crap”.

The bystanders and crew watched this calmly without anyone stepping in, and nothing was said at the end of the race, and they sent it to air without so much as a “hey, this isn’t cool”, or a warning to viewers, or an “If this is happening to you, this is where you can get help”.

Eventually Canaan goes down the slide, and Mika decides not to do it, and walks back down, saying to the camera, “He’s going to hate me”. They are eliminated from the race.

This video demonstrates to women, in absolute clarity, the fact that a man can be perfectly free to assault you in full daylight, with plenty of people around, on camera, while you scream “help me”, and no one will do anything.

Here’s the video.


Categories: arts & entertainment, gender & feminism, violence

Tags: , , , ,

16 replies

  1. I don’t watch this anymore, it bugs the hell out of me. I’m not surprised they seem to revel in bringing out the worst in people.

  2. This reminds me of some recent episodes of The Guild
    Spoiler for 3×4, 3×5, 3×6
    one of the characters, Zaboo, is in his first real relationship, with a gamer woman whose name I can’t remember. The episodes show clear sexual assault and DV, her being the attacker and him the victim.
    ~end spoiler~
    it’s disturbing the ease at which producers show this stuff, without any warning or information. Even worse is when it is played for laughs, as in the situation above 😦

  3. PK: I haven’t watched The Guild. Is it fiction or reality TV?

  4. Yeah, what Cath said.
    I think the fact that no one stepped in on Amazing Race is further proof of rape culture – it’s seen as perfectly acceptable to manhandle your partner if she gets “hysterical”. When it’s accepted to have so little respect for someone’s boundaries… It terrifies me what else he might be able to get away with.

  5. This is the first season that I have skipped. I have found that each season there is always a couple in which one member is extremely verbally abusive and even threatens physical violence. Nothing is ever said which of course normalizes this behavior. It seems acceptable to yell and get in someone’s face because a million dollars is at stake. There always seems to be a way to justify abuse.

  6. What gets me is he keeps saying: “I’m not gonna force you.” When he totally *just tried to.* And *continues* to try to force her afterwards.
    Bah. Thank goodness I don’t watch The Amazing Race.
    .-= Tera´s last blog ..*Squeak!* It’s open thread time! =-.

  7. That poor girl. What bugs me about this show, and I admit I don’t watch it alot, is that the challenges are mostly strength or speed based and skewed toward the men being more able to complete them in a faster time than the women.

  8. I think it’s a testament to her fear when A MILLION DOLLARS won’t even make her go down the damned slide. As someone who’s intensely scared of heights, and I mean standing on a chair freaks me out, I know how she feels.
    She should dump his ass. Poor sweetie.

  9. I bet she doesn’t even blame him for his behaviour. With everyone around her normalising it, how could she have the chance to get the perspective?

  10. Incredibly disrespectful and abusive. I am constantly amazed at how people think that they get to decide for someone else what qualifies as scary, offensive, etc….
    I think it’s a testament to her fear when A MILLION DOLLARS won’t even make her go down the damned slide.
    Nacey, I completely agree.

  11. What made me even more sad was their reactions in the post-elimination interview. In this the two of them are sitting together as if nothing has happened while the guy, Canaan, is talking about forgiveness. Not Mika forgiving him for his appalling (and criminal) behaviour, but him forgiving her! He bignotes himself about how he doesn’t hold it against her and it could have been him freaking out at the top of the slide, and he understands that nobodies perfect blah blah blah while Mika sits contrite and silent at his side.

  12. In the “Previously On” section of today’s episode – all the voiceover says is that Mika was “crippled by her fear”.

  13. @lauredhel “In the “Previously On” section of today’s episode – all the voiceover says is that Mika was “crippled by her fear”.”
    Well, “Mika was crippled by her overbearing and obnoxious boyfriend’s violent attempts to forcefully supplant his will for her own” was a bit too long for the soundbite.

  14. becsh: I was going more for critique of a reality TV show using the word “crippled” against a woman who has just been assaulted on-screen by her partner for showing signs of having a disability, but I realise I didn’t make that explicit.

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