Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

December 3, 2005

Polyamory on the Montel Williams TV show (and how to see it)

Daytime TV has a deservedly bad reputation (think Jerry Springer), but the Montel Williams show is known as less dumb and exploitative than others. Such, anyway, was the gossip flying around the online poly world after a producer for the show started seeking people in group relationships to come on TV.

Sure enough, it worked out very well. The show aired on November 29, 2005. An initially hostile audience seemed won over by the end, the host posed his devil's-advocate questions but was fair and generous, and the participants were generally thrilled with how it went. Including the way Montel closed the show with a video of one panelist's partner's 15-year-old daughter telling how great it was growing up in a poly household.

Here's a comment from activist Cherie L. Ve Ard:

I have now watched the episode twice, and overall, I think it was fantastic considering it's daytime TV.

I had talked fairly in-depth with two of the associate producers of the show and Nan Wise before the taping, in consideration of going on the show myself with some of my network. What [the producers] told me they set out to accomplish is indeed what they did. They stuck to their word.

Nan, John, Amy and Julio did a superb job fielding questions and presenting themselves. Their media experience shows through (they were previously featured on Penn & Teller's Bullshit, as well as some other outlets). They also have fairly extensive presentation experience behind them as well. (You can learn more about Nan at her website, http://www.outrageousintimacy.com/ ).

I really liked the model that Dawn & Akien portrayed on the show, particularly her 24-year LDR relationship with Gary that predates her marriage to Akien. Having Gary's daughter do a spot at the end was fantastic as well.

I also appreciated the non-married poly couple that was shown towards the end. It's nice to start presenting that polyamory isn't always necessarily an extension of the marriage concept, or an opening up of marriage.

Montel seems to really get polyamory, and that the default relationship models aren't working. He presents polyamory as a viable alternative option. This was his second show on the topic (he did one a couple years back, in which he ended it saying "This is the relationship model of the future."). It was really good to see him handling this again, and saying he wanted to do yet another show on it. I take him at his word on that.

All and all, our poly representatives did an OUTSTANDING job. They all came off as articulate, professional and bright. They all presented as folks who have well considered their relationship choices.... Just this afternoon I have already received a few inquiries from folks seeking more information about polyamory after seeing it on Montel.

So, where can you SEE the show??

You can buy a legal videotape from Burrelle's Transcripts; call 800-777-8398. You'll need the topic and air-date: The topic is MULTIPLE LOVE: POLYAMORY. The air-date is Tuesday, November 29, 2005. The tape costs about $38. Purchasing it makes you copyright-compliant to show it to groups.

If you can cope with a 260-megabyte download, you can get it from the Polyamorous Percolations site by following the instructions here.

Added April 23, 2006: A much easier way to view the show now is simply to click here.


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