My appearance on The Ricki Lake Show was educational, more so for me (unfortunately) than for the viewers. In discussions with producers before the show, the focus had always been on my research. With all the discussion of my findings and publications prior to taping, I had assumed Ricki Lake’s questions during the show would also center on my research findings, and that the editors would show my name and title on the screen. Instead, they introduced me only by my first name and the interview was an awkward melange of Ricki trying to ask me about my personal relationships and me trying to redirect the conversation to the research findings. She was clearly frustrated and I was mystified, resulting in most of the interview getting cut from the show. The snippet they did use did not include any discussion of research findings and seemed out of place.
I have a lot of respect for Ricki Lake. She has been a voice of sex-positivty and acceptance of sexual minorities for years, and I trust that she intended to craft a show that presented polyamory factually. In the future, I hope to have an opportunity to appear on the Ricki Lake Show again to discuss my research. For now, I have learned to ask many more questions and insist on research focus at every stage, in every conversation with every producer. Hopefully my own learning curve can translate to public education regarding polyamory and sexual minorities.