Group of artists calls on CBSA to cancel border security reality show

Posted by admin on Apr 23rd, 2013


VANCOUVER – A group of artists is calling the Canada Border Services Agency to cancel its reality TV show following a raid at a Vancouver construction site last month. The group, including actors, directors, writers and musicians, has signed an open letter of concern calling on the CBSA, the Vancouver-based Force Four Entertainment, Shaw Media and Global to stop airing the series called Border Security: Canada’s Front Line.

“At best, this TV show is an invasion of privacy with questionable ethics on informed consent,” the letter states. “At worst, it can put the lives of vulnerable migrants and their families at risk by commercially exploiting their stories for broadcast.”

The letter goes on to express concern over the “extremely troubling” hand the federal government plays in dedicating resources to the production.

Among the more than 175 cultural professionals to sign the letter are actors Nicola Cavendish (The Grocer’s Wife,) Margo Kidder (Lois Lane in the original Superman) and Maggie Wheeler (Janice, the high-pitched girlfriend of Chandler, on the TV show Friends.)

Marcus Youssef, a Vancouver-based director and actor, said the show has raised public outrage for making entertainment out of deportation.

“We, as cultural professionals, are proud to join affected migrants and their family members, community groups, over 23,000 petitioners, legal groups, and international human rights organizations in calling on Force Four, Canadian Border Service Agency, Shaw Media, and Global TV to end production of Border Security,” he said, in a statement.

Production of the show was signed off by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, but the federal government has refused to reveal how much the show is costing taxpayers.

Critics, including Amnesty International, say the government violated the privacy and dignity of those filmed during production, while the Opposition claims it’s a misuse of tax dollars in order to promote the Conservative party’s law-and-order agenda.

Meanwhile, a petition calling for the show’s cancellation has gathered over 23,000 signatures.

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