Sometimes reality TV goes way too far, and that’s what happened this week when Brittany DeJesus learned that her family isn’t what she thought it was.
Brittany appeared on Wednesday’s episode of Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn alongside her mom, Roxanne, and her sister, Briana, where the truth about the family was finally revealed.
In the preview clip for the episode, they’re shown during a therapy session, where Brittany admits that she’s scared her mom is about to tell her that her dad isn’t actually her biological father.
Roxanne wipes away tears as she tells Brittany, “Daddy’s not your daddy.”
While it’s probably good for the overall well-being of the DeJesus family for Brittany to know the truth, especially if she already suspected, what happens next is heartbreaking to watch. Brittany begs for a moment on her own, but Dr. Jenn tells her to stay put, letting the cameras document every second of her painful revelation.
Brittany tells Dr. Jenn that she feels sick, but that she always had a gut feeling, and begs again to leave the room. This time, Dr. Jenn allows her to leave, but insists on going with her — along with the cameras. As Brittany cries outside, she tearfully says, “I don’t want the cameras here now, please,” but of course, they stay.
I get that this is reality TV, and we come here for the drama. But I absolutely cannot imagine learning such painful, shocking news, let alone learning it on TV, where millions of people can bear witness to the heartbreak and humiliation Brittany must have been feeling in that moment. And now that moment is documented forever. Whatever healing she’s done since it was filmed is likely being set back by seeing that moment in headlines and GIFs, forcing her to relive it.
Sure, it’s nothing new that reality TV exploits its characters for more drama and better ratings. But in a case like this one especially, that definitely doesn’t make it right.