A Canadian game show called Just Like Mom aired from 1980-1985. Fergie Olver [whose name I kept misspelling, which is now fixed] and his wife Catherine Swing co-hosted the show for 4 of those years. Mr. Olver seemed to have a little obsession with affection, and a viewer caught on to that trend and edited the video you’ll see below. This is what it can look like when an adult is showing inappropriate sexual attention to a child.
I’m neither a psychologist nor expert on these issues, but I’d like to share my interpretations and thoughts about what’s going on here:
Why don’t the mothers do anything about Olver’s behavior? They’re sitting right next to their daughters who are being pressured into giving out kisses to a middle aged man. I think they hold back out of embarrassment or fear. If they say something, it’s on television in front of an audience that wants lighthearted entertainment. The producers and director would be angry for the disruption. They’d draw attention to themselves. Maybe it’s not a big deal, they might think. This is just funny and non-threatening.
- Can someone who was the age of those children or older tell me what affection with strangers or family friends was like back then? Was it more socially acceptable?
Is it nervous laughter we hear in the background, or is it truly amused chortles? It bothers me to hear little snippets of cheering when a girl finally gives in to the pressure.
Fergie Olver uses a light, playful tone of voice when talking to the girls. He showers them with compliments and asks about their personal life–even the dating practices of one girl. He uses his body to get very close, covering their personal space with his arm around the back of the chair and his head stooped low to make eye contact. He moves closer and tricks the girls into bringing their faces up before stealing a peck on the cheek or even the lips.
When a girl refuses or acts nervous, Olver either goes for the kiss anyway and ignores their feelings, or he tries to persuade them; he even tells Alison (0:46) with a whisper in her ear that if she gives him a kiss, she’ll win the show. When she refuses, he warns her of the consequences. What do we call coersion of a sexual nature? That’s right kids: sexual harrassment.
What. A. Fucking. Skeezebag. I wonder what Olver’s wife thought of his sexual miscunduct on the show? What was he like in private when the cameras weren’t rolling?
Who’s my favorite kid? Alison (0:46) who says clearly that she does not give out hugs and kisses freely and that no she will not give him one even when he asks repeatedly. Alison’s mom calls him a “dirty old man” after he tries to bribe Alison. That’s the one piece of honest observation we get to see in this video, and I don’t feel that anythiing is amusing or wrong about her saying what everyone should have been thinking.
The girls’ body language should say enough: We see two of the girls physically move away from Olver when he goes in for the kiss. They’re startled, frightened, and uncomfortable. That is called unwanted sexual touching.
How did this douchebag get away with such flagrant behavior? Have we simply grown more aware of the dangers of that sort of attention than we were back then? What do you think of these clips?