Nov. 19 update: Positive changes regarding Scrubbing In!

November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013: The Truth About Nursing website has provided some positive news about Scrubbing In. According to the website, "MTV has agreed to take several helpful steps, including airing the show at a less prominent time, some re-editing of episodes, and other efforts to convey accurate information about nursing, although the last six episodes will air."

Read the full passage here.


October 31, 2013 UpdateRead Linda Haslam-Stroud's letter to Bell Media CEO George Cope. It reads, in part, "This show has already engendered outrage and demands for its removal by tens of thousands of professional nurses, nursing students and their supporters across North America. Further, I have shared this information about Bell Media’s apparent support for this insensitive, unprofessional and demeaning portrayal of nurses to my nursing colleagues, representing millions of professional nurses around the world, and registered a complaint with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, asking them to investigate.

"I note from your website that Bell considers itself a good corporate citizen, “engaged in improving the well-being of society … while living up to the most stringent ethical principles and rigorous business standards.” I am appealing to your spirit of good corporate citizenship to take action to have this despicable show pulled from the air. Bell Media and its parent company Bell Canada Enterprises must show leadership by modeling inclusiveness, dignity and respect for all."


October 18, 2013: This is an urgent request to help with another campaign to fight the negative portrayal of nurses in the media. You may already have seen the trailer for the new MTV Show “Scrubbing In,” which has been promoted frequently and is set to premier on the cable channel MTV on October 24, 2013.

The trailer portrays a group of travel nurses who leave their home towns to work in a major California hospital. These nurses are filmed both in a practice setting and in their personal lives. The trailer portrays the nurses engaging in a number of unprofessional activities, and they are shown in an inappropriate, inaccurate and offensive fashion. I am outraged that these select people of dubious moral character are chosen as representatives of the nursing workforce.

To suggest from the trailer that this is “reality” is highly offensive and degrades the professionalism and dedication of all nurses.

ONA has embarked on successful campaigns to deal with this relentless stereotyping of nurses, such as the Dentyne Ice Gum ad from Cadbury Schweppes, which removed the ad and committed to consulting with professional nurses for future use of nurse images in their ad campaigns. Here is our Position Statement, The Image of Nurses, which details our views of the negative portrayal of nurses in the media and advertising, and strategies to use to deal with it.

You can help too by signing the online petition, which has already garnered almost 5,000 signatures.

You can also write your own letters of complaint. Addresses are provided below.

We strongly urge you to help out in any way you can. It is crucially important that we voice our outrage and frustration at such depictions of nurses in the media. It is insulting and simply unacceptable to those of us who use our skills every day to provide quality patient care. The nurses portrayed in the show present as sexual objects, exploit negative stereotypes and diminish the fact that we are knowledgeable health-care professionals who make the difference between life and death for patients every day.

This relentless stereotyping of nurses as sexy and promiscuous women and, in this case, sexy and promiscuous male nurses as well, diminishes and disrespects the nursing profession to the extent that, at a time of severe nursing shortages the world over, it could have the damaging effect of discouraging potential nurses from entering the profession.

Addresses for the Canadian Broadcast Council, Bell Media, MTV Canada and MTV Studios in California:

Canadian Broadcast Standards Council
Andrée Noel – National Chair
John MacNab – Executive Director
Teisha Gaylard – Director of Policy
P.O. Box 3265, Station D
Ottawa, ON   K1P 6H8
Phone (613) 233-4607 or toll-free 866-696-4718
Fax (613) 233-4826
Email: complaints@cbsc.ca

Bell Media/MTV Canada
Kevin W. Crull, President, Bell Media
Rick Brace, President, Specialty Channels and CTV Production
Catherien MacLeod, Senior Vice-President, Specialty Channels
299 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 2Z5
Phone (416) 384-8000
Email: bellmediacommunications@bellmedia.ca

Camila Ossa, Communications Coordinator, MTV
(416) 384-2594
Email: camila.ossa@bellmedia.ca

Eleni Tenuta, Senior Manager, Communications, MTV
(416) 384-5325
Email: eleni.tenuta@bellmedia.ca

MTV Networks Inc
Stephen K. Friedman, President of MTV
Nick Predescu, Executive in Charge of Production
Janay Dutton, Executive in Charge of Production
David Osper, Executive Producer
Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Producer
2600 Colorado Avenue,
Santa Monica, California  90404
Phone (310) 752-8000

Jennifer Solari
Vice-President, MTV California
Email: Jennifer.Solari@mtvstaff.com

Sincerely,

ONTARIO NURSES' ASSOCIATION

Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN
President

Document Download: ONA Position Statement - Image of Nurses, October 2013

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