Abby Sunderland, the teen sailor rescued from an aborted solo yacht trip around the world, has been labeled a "Balloon Boy" clone after it emerged her father was negotiating a reality TV show ("Adventures in Sunderland") as his daughter set off on her doomed journey. Laurence Sunderland has since announced he has cut ties with the production company behind the show, but fans of the 16-year-old sailor are calling for talks to resume. Does Abby Sunderland deserve reality TV fame? (Listen to Sunderland assure she'll try her voyage again)
Sunderland is an ideal role model for young girls: Abby Sunderland is a "brave, talented young sailor" with the passion to follow her dreams, says Jessica Wakeman at The Frisky. She could be a "great role model" for teen girls who only see the "vapid, mind-melting crap" on shows like The Hills and Real Housewives. The Sunderlands aren't "nut jobs" like Balloon Boy's family. "They have passion" that may be worthy of TV fame.
"Teen sailor Abby Sunderland's Dad ditched his reality show dreams"
A reality show would only reward this disgraceful behavior: Sunderland's father says he wanted "an inspirational program celebrating a family of daredevils," says Leonard Pitts Jr. in The Miami Herald. But no reality TV show should celebrate the "meaningless" risks the Sunderlands allowed their daughter to take, or reward such "calculating" parents willing to "exploit their own children" for reality TV's sake.
"Taking the ultimate risk — all in the name of TV fame"
Turn off the cameras and let Abby Sunderland's achivements speak for themselves: By bringing reality TV into this drama, says Matt Mendelsohn at AOL News, Abby Sunderland's "fame-seeking parents" have only cheapened her impressive accomplishments. The parents seem to see "dollar signs dancing on the waves" — but if every "feat of daring" is "documented by a team of television producers," it eclipses the hard work that is put into it behind the scenes.
"Opinion: reality show talk tarnishes Sunderland's achievement"