Fiona Dawson, fighting prejudice through reality TV

Fiona Dawson: Pitching An Anti-Prejudice Reality Show

Hair Balls is a very finicky TV watcher, opting mostly for shark-based shows, or dramas featuring the Amish getting out of tricky situations using only their earthy wiles, but we'd definitely watch the series that Houston activist

Fiona Dawson

is trying to get off the ground.

The British-born Dawson has teamed up with local producers at Zenfilm (the good people who brought you Get Out of the Closet) to pitch a pilot for "NOW," a reality show about people overcoming discrimination and intolerance (but, sadly, not sharks).

"The stories are endless, simply because every human being, in some form or capacity, has felt prejudice or discrimination," Dawson tells Hair Balls. "....There are great stories out there of ways people are trying to overcome that or help one another, and it's those positive stories that I want to get out there. You know, one of the key phrases in my demo is 'bring light to the darkness of intolerance' and I just feel that by sharing human life stories, that we can understand each other a bit better and that can help provide understanding and insight and compassion....I know that sounds like a terrible cliche."

A lifelong volunteer and non-profit trenchworker, Dawson looks pretty dang good in front of a camera, and frankly, with that accent, we'd listen to her rattle off tech-stock rates. But it turns out that her show just might be interesting --- her three-minute pitch involves, for example, a plan to interview a woman in Saudia Arabia who's legally permitted to fly a jet, but is still banned from driving a car.

Of course, making this reality series a reality involves overcoming adversity -- of the financial kind. Dawson is trying to raise $20,000 by November 30 through individual and corporate donations. (While a $1 pledge will allegedly bring you the "satisfaction of helping a project that brings light to the darkness of intolerance :)" we suggest the $5,000 pledge, which will nab you a three-night stay on South Padre.)

Dawson says the show is a natural extension of the satisfaction she's always felt from helping others.

"You have to find out in life what moves you and what makes you feel connected with life, and I feel most connected when I'm working with charities and helping and trying to do good things," she tells Hair Balls. "And so this is just a way of taking it to the next level."

Which is all well and good, but we really hope she finds a way to include sharks in at least one of the shows.

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