TLC reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras” often generates negative press, but the program’s latest scandal involving a 3-year-old contestant dressing like actress Julia Roberts’s prostitute character in “Pretty Woman” has really rubbed many the wrong way.
Wendy Dickey, mother of the little girl who channeled the streetwalker film character, told TMZ that her daughter’s ensemble was “meant to be funny [and] not sexual at all,” but the Parents Television Council was anything but amused by the child’s knee-high boots and yellow wig.
“Whether you love or loathe child beauty pageants, everyone should agree that sexualizing a three-year-old little girl is wrong,” PTC wrote in a statement. “But that is exactly what the TLC network has done.”
“Such brazen and wanton material should qualify as child exploitation or abuse,” the statement continued. “Instead of creating ratings-friendly buzz, TLC engendered outrage among millions of parents and grandparents who are tired of seeing children exploited for ratings and robbed of their innocence by a greedy entertainment industry that will stop at nothing to make a buck.”
Given the new French children’s lingerie company and 10-year-old French model Thylane Blondeau’s recent suggestive Vogue photo shoot, Sherri Shepherd of “The View” had a reasonable response to the “Toddlers and Tiaras” debacle.
“When are we going to stop sexualizing our children?” Shepherd said. “Your job is to protect your child … if you don’t think pedophiles are watching this show, I have a bridge I want to sell you.” (RELATED: 10-year-old French model Thylane Loubry Blondeau’s mom closes daughter’s Facebook page)
Another pageant parent told ABC News that Dickey garners all pageant mothers a bad name.
“Us pageant moms already take a huge rap for what we’re doing with our little girls and it’s outfits like that that give us a bad rap,” the mother told the network.