THE EXTREME TREATMENT OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH ALBINISM,
ON "20/20," AIRING FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2 ON ABC
Imagine being hunted down by another human because your body is thought to possess magical powers that people want to bottle? It is the gruesome reality for people with albinism living in Tanzania, Africa. Albinism, a medical condition where the body produces little or no pigment, exists everywhere, in every ethnic group in the world. Here in the United States albinos, as they are commonly called, aren't facing the shocking attacks of those in Africa, but often face ridicule, prejudice and exclusion. Juju Chang reports on the extreme treatment of those living with albinism on "20/20," FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Chang travels to Tanzania, Africa where those with albinism are being hacked and killed so that witch doctors can use their body parts in potions. Over 54 people with albinism have been killed in the last two years, their body parts sold for thousands of dollars to witch doctors. UNICEF has called the practice a "heinous human rights violation." Chang reports on the lucrative underground trade, because of the belief held by some that a potion containing albino bones will bring luck and great wealth. She interviews one of only two people to have survived such an attack, a woman who had her arms chopped off and lost her unborn baby due to the trauma of the attack. Seeking answers, Chang was granted the first American television interview on this subject with Tanzania's Prime Minister.
Chang also meets with several people in the United States living with the condition, including an African-American family with twin boys, one of whom has albinism and struggles with his racial identity. She also interviews a teenage girl who is so teased and taunted that she becomes isolated at home, until she makes the decision to change her appearance, as well as a young woman whose unique beauty was noticed in the streets of New York by a photographer and who has since become a professional model, walking the runways in Paris and New York.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas. David Sloan is executive producer.