It’s not just TLC and A&E; Discovery’s reality shows also earn their share of terrible press. Sons of Guns, once a popular show for fans of the Second Amendment, is now at the heart at a couple of awful child abuse cases.
The first involves Will Hayden, the lead gunsmith seen front-and-center above, who has been arrested and booked for child molestation. (Fans seem to claim his name is being besmirched by a bitter ex-girlfriend.)
And now, Kris Ford (seen far right), husband of Stephanie Hayden-Ford (who is also Will Hayden’s daughter), has been arrested for badly bruising her 9-year-old son during punishment.
But what good is a broken family circle without Dr. Phil?Will Hayden, founder and owner of Red Jacket Firearms in Baton Rouge, first found himself in the ire of the media and local authorities for aggravated rape of a 12-year-old child.
Hoping to salvage its business and the publicity it received from the show, Red Jacket kicked Hayden to the curb via Facebook (hey, it’s the 21st century).
Today, Red Jacket Firearms has received complete legal separation as an entity, from Will Hayden. We will continue to operate, although with heavy hearts and promise to do everything in our power to fill customer orders, back orders and provide support to those affected by these new developments.
That effort would fall flat as Discovery Communications did exactly what it should have done, ratings be damned. A spokesperson said:
“Given the serious and horrific nature of the charges against Will Hayden, we have decided to halt further production of Sons of Guns and cancel the series.”
Good thing, because this happened less than a week later:
(Amazing what TV makeup hides, isn’t it?)
That’s Will’s baby girl and his sidekick Kris, who were arrested for the abuse of their child — Kris allegedly beat the child but Stephanie was “in the room”. In the wake of these arrests, Hayden-Ford came out with this bombshell: Dad molested me, too.
Of course, she went straight to Dr. Phil.
Ford sat down with Dr. Phil McGraw and stated that her father acted inappropriately with her when she was 12 years old….adding that she was depressed and avoided her father after the incident and carried knives with her.
Keep in mind, that’s not what she said a couple of weeks ago on her fan Facebook page debating the merits of the show:
“Guys the show is NOT cancelled! We so appreciate the outcry of injustice but its not true, I guess some ppl just need ratings lol! We are on a hold with filming while my family takes care of a few things. You guys are the best fans ever & we love you so much! Thank u for standing strong with us!”
Regardless of the claims, counts, and cancellations, this story reminds us of the dangers of putting anyone on a pedestal.
Just because people appear on various screens to entertain millions of viewers doesn’t mean they have earned our adulation. If we hadn’t made these folks famous then they never would have had the opportunity to disappoint or disturb us.
That’s a PR ethics course that needs to be taught.