Pascrell, Bacon Seek Answers on Violent New Show The Power Slap
Washington, DC, February 15, 2023
Tags: Traumatic Brain Injury
U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Don Bacon (R-NE-02) today are seeking answers about a new program on TBS that seems to put contestants at an extremely high risk of brain injury. In a letter to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Reps. Pascrell and Bacon urge the cable network to reconsider airing the program and demand information on steps taken to warn viewers about the dangers of the show’s violence and on brain injury prevention.
“As the co-leaders of the Congressional Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force and authors of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act, we write to you with grave concerns about your new show, The Power Slap: The Road to the Title. This crass program glorifies dangerous and aggressive behavior at the expense of its participants’ long-term health,” the Members write.
“The Power Slap seems to be geared toward a younger audience. Its dangerous content is not sheltered behind a paywall, nor are any attempts made to protect the most vulnerable viewers. Instead, the program debuted during a popular time slot, exposing families and children to unnecessary violence. And the Power Slap’s social media accounts are replete with sleekly produced clips designed to attract young viewers and encourage them to share the show widely, possibly unaware of the dangers. The videos glorify those who can withstand the worst blows to the head without collapsing. We watched footage of a man struck in the face crumple to the ground displaying unmistakable ‘fencing posture,’ a telltale sign of brain trauma, yet at no point was this communicated to viewers; the violence was posted solely to titillate.”
For two decades, Rep. Pascrell has been a leader in advancing brain injury policy on Capitol Hill. Pascrell co-founded the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force in 2001 and has served as co-chair since its inception. The Brain Injury Task Force works to increase awareness of brain injury in the United States, supports research initiatives for rehabilitation and potential cures, and strives to address the effects these injuries have on all Americans, including children, members of the Armed Forces, and athletes.
The full text of the members’ letter.