Nonbinary actor and activist Misha Osherovich has announced their latest project: a dark comedy series focusing on the “troubled teen” industry.
Deadline reports that Osherovich, 25, best known for their role in the horror-comedy Freaky, co-created and co-wrote the new show with Skylar Landsee. Freemantle Media, the production house behind The Mosquito Coast will produce.
Titled Troubled, the series will examine the multimillion-dollar industry aimed at behavior modification through “tough love” in young adults. Oscherovich based the premise on their own experiences with a tough-love behavior modification program.
“Troubled is based on my story and the stories of the teens I met during the years I spent inside the system,” Osherovich said in a statement. “The secretive world of the troubled-teen industry shames its survivors into silence. Now, with this series, I am breaking mine. I am thrilled to collaborate with Fremantle to make these stories heard.”
The so-called Troubled Teen Industry had its inception in the 1960s as a means of curbing bad behavior in young adults through a mix of religious and military-style discipline. Recent years have seen a number of popular programs come under fire as survivors have shared tales of physical and mental abuse at the hands of their instructors. Moreover, said programs often carry a heavy price tag; Help At Any Cost, a chronicle of abuse within the industry, reported the cost upwards of $2,000 a month in 2006.
Freemantle has not yet announced a target release date for the series, or if Osherovich plans to star. The actor has spoken in the past about their time at Island View, a tough-love program in Utah, likening its “treatment” programs to conversion therapy. They further alleged that Island View administrators punished patients for any expression of queerness as rebellion.
Island View has since become the target of scrutiny following a series of extreme physical injuries at the hands of facility employees. That includes a 2014 scandal in which a former resident sued the facility as well as TV personality Dr. Phil McGraw after suffering a broken arm and nerve damage during an altercation with staff. The woman in question attended the facility on the advice of Dr. Phil who also offered to pay for her treatment.