We've seen some pretty crazy stuff given away on TV before. Extravagant getaways... home makeovers... and who could forget that year Oprah gave away cars to her entire audience? ("YOU get a car and YOU get a car and YOU get a car!)
But we're pretty sure we've never seen a giveaway quite so insane (and unconscionable) as the one a Pakistani talk show is currently offering up. TheWashington Post reports that talk show host Aaimir Liaquat Hassain has been giving away abandoned babies on live TV since last month—and has no plans to stop any time soon.
(Now just take a minute. Let that sink in...)
Last month, the show gave away two baby girls to childless families in a surprise move that stunned audience members and, of course, drove up the ratings. According to reports, they hope to give away another baby boy just this week. Producers say the "giveaway" is all about uniting children in need with loving parents who otherwise can't have kids. And while yes, in theory, that all sounds nice... come on—that's what adoption is for. We're talking about giving away BABIES here! On live TV!
But it seems Hussain and his producers don't find anything wrong with that. "If we didn't find this baby, a cat or a dog would eat it," Hussain told his studio audience. That may sound pretty far-fetched at first listen, but the sad truth is that many babies are often left to die in dumpsters because of the intense poverty Pakistan is currently facing.
So how exactly Hussain is getting all of these babies on TV? They're being rescued by the Chippa Welfare Association, a Pakistani aid organization devoted to rescuing abandoned babies.
But that's not all. Hussain has also posted a call-out on his website, appealing to families who cannot properly care for their kids: If any family cannot afford to bring up their newborn baby due to poverty or illness, then instead of killing them, they should hand over the baby to Dr. Aamir,” the statement reads.
Critics are understandably calling the whole thing a disgusting ploy for ratings, but Hussain and his producers are sticking by the show. According to the The Washington Post, the talk show—which is the top-rated program in the country—normally gives away things like motorcycles, cell phones, and other fun gadgets. Hussain frequently awards viewers who call in with the correct answers to his questions on Islam, chats with celebs, and even cooks on-air. But ever since he announced that he'd be kicking off Ramadan by giving away babies ... well, the nation has been glued to his show, for better or worse.