Generation Cryo is a new reality show — sorry, “docu-drama” — that’s set to air on MTV starting in November. It follows Breeanna, a 17-year-old girl with lesbian moms who was conceived with the help of an anonymous sperm donor.
Not long ago, Breeanna went online to the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) and discovered she has 15 half-siblings, maybe more. Now she’s on a quest to meet them all, and with their help, track down their bio father. The show follows her on her journey.
No doubt it’d be a great story to watch — if all the participants had consented to be involved. But at this stage, the donor still hasn’t been found and so he could be pulled into a very public reveal he didn’t know was coming.
I’m not the only one who feels a little uncomfortable with the whole thing. DSR director Wendy Kramer was grilled at the show’s press conference about the donor’s right to privacy.
“The Donor Sibling Registry is a mutual consent contact registry, so we don’t want to out anybody, we don’t want to invade anybody’s life, but we wanted to make a forum where those who want to be found can find each other… So if their donor doesn’t come to the DSR because he’s hesitant, he has concerns, he doesn’t know about it, other children on the DSR, including my son, have taken further measures to find their donor…They just want to give these donors the opportunity to know them.”
That doesn’t answer the question. When asked again, she want on to say:
“We’re not uncovering anyone. We have thousands of donors on our website who say, ‘We’re just as curious as the kids are.’ … It’s all very positive.”
It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of donors who are interested. What matters is whether that one particular donor is willing to be contacted, and contacted publicly.
Kramer did later say that the man wouldn’t be shown on camera unless he consented. But would his name be used, whether he agreed to appear or not? And TV being TV, if the man is found and won’t agree to appear, you can bet much will be made of that fact. There needs to be drama, after all.
So while there might be a lot of good in the series, it’s not one I can get behind.