Sex, Lies, and 8 Minutes: Reality TV Ripoff

Siouxsie Q.
3 min readFeb 9, 2022

By Siouxsie Q Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The moral scruples of most reality television shows are dubious, at best. Hidden cameras, unlimited booze, and a house full of 19-year-olds could be the premise for a barely legal basement porn site or a pitch for MTV’s latest iteration of Jersey Shore. But the recently canceled A&E program 8 Minutes, a reality show about bleeding-heart-cop-turned-pastor Kevin Brown and his mission to save Houston women from their lives in prostitution, sinks to a new low.

Pastor Kevin poses as a client and books sessions with sex workers. Instead of having sex with them and then placing them under arrest, as vice officers have been known to do, he stages an intervention and offers working girls a way out of what he calls “the life.” Underscored by dramatic music, the opening credits say, “With pimps lurking, all we’ve got … is eight minutes” to spend with these women before the crew’s safety is compromised. The implied threat of a dangerous sex trafficker waiting in the wings is key to creating tension in episodes with titles such as “Gorilla Pimped.”

But soon after the April 2 premiere, the show was abruptly canceled after sex workers who had appeared on the series began saying the 8 Minutes rescue operation is about as legitimate as anything else on reality television.

“Donna,” who appeared on the second episode, told BuzzFeed News that though she had done sex work in the past, she was not currently in “the life,” and the “pimp” looming in the background of some shots was, in fact, her husband, who was paid to pose as her trafficker.

All participants were paid an appearance fee, but the women who have come forward say that aside from that fee, they did not receive any assistance. The show promised these women resources to help them leave the sex industry, but those resources never came.

A woman named Kamylla, whose episode did not air before the show was canceled, says 8 Minutes producers gave her just $200 to tell her story on national television. She needed the money. Kamylla, a wife and mother living in poverty in Houston, and her husband had been looking for work for months with no luck, and they were on the verge of eviction.

Kamylla had recently begun offering fetish services to clients in secret, telling her family she was cleaning houses. But the business was slow, as it often is in November, right before the holidays. So when 8

Siouxsie Q.

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