A Georgia father who appeared to threaten his son with a belt on an episode of Supernanny Jo Frost’s new TV show is speaking out against the backlash.
Chris Spivey, of Gwinnett County, told INSIDE EDITION the footage does not tell the full story and claimed UPtv's "Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour" edited the episode in a way that would boost ratings.
“You can’t always believe what you see on television,” Spivey told IE.
In a statement to INSIDE EDITION, UPtv said: "The video shown in this episode is powerful and may cause viewers to be uncomfortable. But it happened; the footage is authentic."
Surveillance cameras installed in the Spivey family home last October appeared to capture a tense exchange between Spivey and his nine-year-old son, Marcus, who has a severe learning disability.
“Marcus, come here,” Spivey says to his son, who walks to where his father is sitting in the family’s living room.
“Yes? Yeah, daddy?” the boy responds.
But Spivey shoots back: “I said come here.”
The irritated father continues to insist his son stand in a particular spot, until his wife, Meshane Spivey, who is lying on another couch, interjects.
“Move up and stand there.... Move all the way up. And hurry up, please," she said. “Ok, I can’t protect you if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do. Move up."
After Spivey accuses Marcus of taking his cell phone charger without permission, he orders his son to go to his room, saying: “Alright, well… let’s do it. Go upstairs to your room.”
As the little boy slowly makes his way upstairs, Spivey can be seen standing up and removing his leather belt before he follows his son, who cries out as he heads into the bedroom.
“Stand up. Stand on your feet. Do you understand? Do you understand? Do you understand me?” Spivey can be heard saying as the sound of a belt hitting something can also be heard.
“Yes! Yes!” Marcus says and can be heard wailing in the room.
Footage appeared to show Meshane Spivey – who during an interview for the show said she worried her three children were “spending too much time in front of screens”— staring at a cell phone downstairs during the entirety of the incident.
The footage does not show any beating and Spivey claimed that he did not hit strike Marcus with the belt and only hit the bed.
“Those types of shows are very well edited by producers to drive controversy,” Spivey told IE.
Frost confronted the parents about the findings, saying she does not believe in corporal punishment and warned them that she planned to alert the authorities to the incident.
“What I found on the surveillance camera was pretty alarming for me,” Frost said in a Skype call with the parents seen on the episode.
Spivey admitted using corporal punishment in the past to discipline his children, which Georgia law permits as long as the child is not harmed.
“We have whooped our kids, yeah,” Spivey said, claiming to not remember what led to that day’s incident.
His wife added: “That situation, he had taken something that belonged to his dad and he lied about it over and over again."
“I think he’s too scared to tell the truth,” Frost replied.
Ultimately Spivey said he and Frost would have to “agree to disagree” on the issue and disconnected the call.
“I do not believe in corporal punishment. If you’re going to use pain as a practice to instill better behavior then you’re going to raise your children to fear you," Frost said. "It creates emotional and mental health problems my job is to teach positive parenting and techniques that bring peace and harmony and confidence and connection."
Spivey told reporters that the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigated the incident but found no evidence of wrongdoing.
A spokeswoman for DCFS told IE that by law they could neither confirm nor deny any investigation into the matter took place.
Spivey told IE that he believed the episode helped drive ratings for the show, which he said “had received no publicity up until that point.”
“You can’t always believe what you see on television,” he repeated.
The Spivey family was reportedly featured on the show because parents Meshane and Chris wanted advice on getting the children to listen to their mother.
Meshane Spivey said: “They act like they’ve lost their minds.”