MTV has agreed to make changes to its controversial new reality series “Scrubbing In” after several nonprofit nursing organizations protested how the show depicts the profession.
The remaining episodes will be edited to include more scenes that highlight nursing skills and the show has also been moved from 10 p.m. to midnight, where viewership will be decreased, Variety reported.
MTV will also consult with the nonprofit The Truth About Nurses regarding any future nurse-related programming and promote a Web feature called “Day in the Life of a Nurse.”
The show, which debuted Oct. 24, follows nine nurses from different parts of the country as they immerse themselves in Orange County life. The trailer alone sparked debate online, with some lobbying to have the show taken off the air and others praising the effort to highlight the profession.
A petition on Change.org demanding the show be cut garnered more than 30,000 signatures.
MTV officials didn’t know much about nursing stereotypes or how they undermine the profession, but the network and nurses were able to meet in the middle, The Truth About Nursing‘s founder and Executive Director Sandy Summers told Variety.
“Hollywood producers and executives have often simply dismissed our concerns, claiming that their programming can’t affect the real world, even though they are eager to accept credit for improving public understanding when their work is well-received. So, we were very pleased with our interactions,” she said.
The show fell flat with viewers as well. It averaged less than 500,000 total during its first three airings, according to Variety.
The main trailer for "Scrubbing In" begins with a quick shot of cast members leaping nude into a swimming pool, followed by a voice-over declaring, "They're hell-raisers!" Over the next minute, it features shots of the nurses drinking, flirting, arguing and occasionally uttering torrents of bleeped-out oaths.
Nurses are also seen hard at work assisting patients, with one cast member, at the end, wiping tears off her cheeks and declaring, "I love what I do. I love being a nurse."
Mark Cronin, the executive producer and co-president of the production company 51 Minds Entertainment, said the Orange County setting was a happy coincidence. Western Medical Center and Coastal Communities Hospital -- the two Santa Ana locations where the cast members worked -- were in need of nurses over the summer. (Representatives of both hospitals, citing an agreement with MTV, declined to comment on the show.)
Cast members subjected themselves to filming six days a week, with cameras following them in and out of the hospital. Brief scenes in the first episode show the nurses boating in Newport Beach and congregating at local restaurants and clubs.