Thursday, November 24, 2011

Abusers, flash mobs, and Howie Mandel

My family couldn't wait to talk about last night's episode of Mobbed today.

They were repulsed.

They were traumatized.

They were disgusted.

I watched it this morning online, and I concur. It WAS repulsive and disgusting.

That poor daughter and that poor abandoned wife, set up on national television to take part in the "what a great guy the abusive man is" spectacular. Howie even ends it all by telling the abusive husband and father, "You are the man!"

For a family that is healing, this show highlights everything wrong with abusive men. First, the abusive dad has set the whole thing up in public, on national television, so that if the abused women in his life don't just immediately forgive and adore him, THEY look like the douchebags instead of him. Public displays of affection, devotion and remorse are common among abusive men. The public face is always that of all-around great guy.


Second, he gets to abuse his daughter on national television, with Howie Mandel's help! Before his grand entrance as the remorseful dad, begging for forgiveness, HE ABANDONS HER AGAIN, RIPPING OPEN HER BROKEN HEART and then imploring her to forgive him on national television.

Why abandon the girl first? What the hell, Howie? How did wounding her afresh make your flash mob of "love" a better production? I hope they both (mother and daughter) sue the shit out Howie for the emotional battering that girl took on national television. That was so effing cruel,to have Dad call and say he wasn't coming and hang up on the DAUGHTER HE ABANDONED! The producers of this show actually did that! Howie had his arm around the dad while he was doing the dastardly deed!

Who would do that? They have no psychological consultants on this show? They are going to go involving themselves in people's most painful traumas for entertainment value, without any concern that they might be helping to revictimize these women?

Unbelievably cruel, that's what it was.

So, they helped this abusive man start off the show re-traumatizing the daughter, then REFUSE TO LET HER LEAVE!!

Howie is giving secret instructions to his employees to not let this crying, confused, distraught woman leave. The rest of the show people are smiling, enthusiastic, giving high-energy performances at Howie's direction, doing everything possible to manipulate this girl to act happy.

If they were decent people they would have just stopped. They would have let that girl leave, taken her somewhere safe that she could try to recover from this fresh abandonment from her father. To be fair, most of the people involved in the production probably didn't know about the abusive phone call that started the event. I don't think the mother did, since she got out of the limo smiling at her daughter. Still, Howie and his producers KNEW. They made it happen!

But no, at Howie's direction, his employees lead the daughter into the flash mob, where people sing nice words to her while her heart has just been ripped open. She smiles the smile of the abused, but her body language- arms closed around her body, hand covering her face- tells the truth that she wants to disappear and find a safe place; that where she is at the time is not safe. And you know what? It was not.

The whole extravaganza was a power play by the abusive husband. Public displays of grandeur are common with abusers.

The whole thing was about him, not about his daughter. I am sure those women have been through this before. Love bombing, is what a friend called it recently. She rightly told me that women stay in abusive relationships because they forgive too quickly. The abuser says he's sorry and then love bombs them. Ostentatious displays of affection: roses, serenades, expensive gifts are often a part of it. The women want so desperately to be loved that they forgive, and the stage is set for the cycle of abuse to begin again.

This man was not sorry for abandoning his daughter. He would never have started off the show by abandoning her again if he understood the damage his abandonment had already done. He manipulated Howie into helping him manipulate his daughter. Sick. Twisted. Horrifying.

Imagine how different the show would have been if dad showed up like he promised, showing he was a different man by BEING DEPENDABLE. The girl was so happy at the beginning of the show, thinking her dad was coming to support her in a musical production. If he had kept his word, and then the flash mob broke out, that would have been a beautiful sight to behold.

But, no. True to abusive form, he has to hurt his daughter before he can be good to her. There she is, heart full of hope, beaming, expecting her dad to show up....then the phone call.

"I'm not coming. I can't explain," he says and hangs up.

The girl is devastated.

It's obvious she's devastated. Does Howie do the compassionate thing and send a counselor down to talk to her? Does he cancel the show, and apologize for using her pain as a source of entertainment? I wish.

No,Howie has his employees steer her out to where the flash mob starts singing to her, and eventually, the abusive dad IN THE SPOTLIGHT, calls down to the daughter he just emotionally bitch-slapped on the phone and wants to be forgiven.

This is the most disgusting thing I've ever seen on television.

So, no one on Howie's staff knows anything about domestic violence/emotional abuse? No one checked around to see if this show was a good idea?

Grandiose statement of remorse are a hallmark of domestic abuse.

Apologizing in public, so the victim can't possibly have a real conversation about the pain the abuse has caused, is also a pretty common abuse tactic.

And Howie Mandel helps this man publicly humiliate his daughter AND praises him for it. Unbelievable. I want to believe he was duped out of ignorance, but honestly how can anyone be ignorant of domestic abuse in this day and age? Abandonment IS abuse, Howie. People who abandon ARE abusers. Call you local shrink to verify, but it's pretty common knowledge.

You can find the episode online somewhere. In the thirty-ninth minute, in the lower right hand corner of the screen, is one lone face that seems to reflect that he knows what is really going on. Everyone else, true to the script, keeps maniacally smiling and cheering like this is a great thing that just happened. Thank you, sir, whoever you are, for your sanity.

Howie Mandel helped a man use a flash mob and nationwide television to publicly emotionally abuse his daughter. They all try their best to manipulate the girl to say she's happy about it, but she honestly says instead, "I don't know how I feel."

Yeah, that's cause inside you're devastated, but a cast of hundreds is being used to emotionally manipulate you to be happy about your abuse. I hope that girl get some help.



  1. No shit! A friend just told me that Howie does crap like this on every episode of Mobbed, emotionally abusing people first and then springing their "heart's desire" on them immediately following. What a dick.

  2. This has seriously ruined my husband's holiday. Abandonment is a big issue for him. F*** you Howie Mandel. You suck.

  3. When this show came on, we were troubled and bothered. "They shouldn't be doing this," said my husband. I agreed, and we turned off the TV.

    Apparently the producers wanted to up the ante on the emotional level of these shows, turning them into voyeuristic displays of people's real pain. We couldn't watch.

    I think Howie probably did it out of ignorance-- but my husband has not studied the tactics of abuse, and he knew it was wrong anyway. A little bit of a pause to THINK would have been the best thing of the Hollywood folks involved could have done. And then chosen not to do this show. Frankly, I hope the women sue them.

  4. PS. On reading the other comments, I'm changing my mind about Howie Mandel. If he does this regularly, then he's dysfunctional himself.

  5. I'm so sorry. :-( I don't have cable and your experience has really summed up why I hate reality TV shows. They're not ALL bad, but I don't have the emotional energy to watch the crap to find the good stuff.

    (((Hugs))) Praying for you and your family.