TV show sparks angry backlash over segment on man who died from injecting scrotum with silicone
Hundreds of people have slammed an Austrailian TV show for "exploiting" the story of a man who died after injecting his scrotum with silicone.
The Project, a news and current affairs talk show, aired a segment which saw mother Linda Chapman confront a 'bondage master', accusing him of coercing her son Jack into body modification.
Ms Chapman was visibly shaken onscreen, fighting back tears in the angry confrontation, which spurred many viewers to label the piece as "disgusting", "sensationalist" and "manipulative".
Her son, Jack Chapman, died in Seattle after he injected a large amount of silicone into his genitals, leading to death from Silicone Injection Syndrome, and also causing three lung-related issues, including hemorrhaging.
His mother claims that his 'master', Dylan Hafertepen, is to blame for his death, telling The Project: "It was devotion, it was like some sort of clan, family, like a cult. And to prove their devotion to him they had to change their bodies."
The segment showed Hafertepen give Ms Chapman her son's ashes in a tense exchange, in which the mourning mother claims she was never told he was ill in hospital, brings up his will which left his $200,000 inheritance to Hafertepen, and tells Hafertepen she wishes he were dead.
In turn, the bondage master says he did not inject Chapman's testicles with silicone and accuses the mother herself of mistreating her son.
After the show hit screens, angry social media users insisted that The Project had gone too far, with many claiming they hadn't handled the matter sensitively.
"What on earth The Project? Absolutely exploitative piece about Jack and Linda (sic)," wrote one Twitter user.
Another claimed the show attacked non-heteronormative relationships, saying: "Lots of people live in different relationships than a nuclear family. While losing a son is obviously heartbreaking, I feel this was a generalised and sensationalist attack on non heteronormative relationships (sic)".
Mr Chapman - who also went by 'Tank Heathcliff Hafertepen' and 'Pup Tank' - was an active member of San Francisco and later Seattle’s gay BDSM community. He reportedly served as one of several slaves to Hafertepen, who is also known by the nickname 'Noodles and Beef.'
Leader Hafertepen allegedly requires his followers to have engorged scrotums, along with certain other physical attributes, and is said to have introduced Mr Chapman to the fetish of body manipulation and subservient roleplay.
When Ms Chapman found the contract that set out the full terms of the relationship, it apparently stated that Hafertepen was 'the master' and Mr Chapman one of a number of "pups" who had to obey him.
The followers were said to be the exclusive property of the master, while the pup had no identity other than that given to him by their leader.
Mr Chapman was reportedly forced to take Dylan's surname, sign over his salary, cut off contact from anyone outside the group and wear a chain around his neck.
In addition, the pups cater to the master's needs by performing a number of other submissive acts to win his affection. Their behaviour is allegedly likened to an "obedient puppy".