Congressmen Pascrell and Bacon Celebrate Apparent End of Grotesque Slapping Show
Members had called out promotion of violence and brain injury risks to parent company Warner Brothers Discovery
Washington, DC, March 16, 2023
Tags: Traumatic Brain Injury
U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), and Don Bacon (R-NE-02), the co-chairmen of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, today celebrated the reported end of the Warner Brothers Discovery-TBS show, “The Power Slap,” where participants hit each other full in the face. The show provides little warning on brain injury risks.
“We are happy at reports that the grotesque program showcasing extreme, mindless violence will no longer be aired on television and hope they’re true,” said Reps. Pascrell and Bacon. “Smacking people who cannot defend themselves to cause possible serious brain injury is not entertainment; it is an embarrassment to the whole country. Warner Brothers and TBS have used intense violence to titillate and attract young viewers while doing next-to-nothing to warn Americans about the ever-real dangers of traumatic brain injury. Even if the show is mercifully gone, our offices will continue to seek answers about whether the show adequately protected its participants and why it did not provide adequate warnings.”
On February 15, 2023, Reps. Pascrell and Bacon wrote TV executives urging the TBS cable network to reconsider airing the program and demanded information on steps taken to warn viewers about the dangers of the show’s violence and on brain injury prevention.
Commenting on the programming, the members wrote: “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.”
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.