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Old 02-16-2006, 09:04 AM   #1
Dagobahn Eagle
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Lack of respect from show producers

Here it is at last, the debate on Idol, reality programmes, and mainstream disrespect for human values in general.

Personally, I find it appalling that this kind of thing is even allowed. Putting a teen in front of a whole nation of viewers and yelling at him or her is simply not right - in any way. Let's not get into how damaging it is for that person's mental health, how it promotes bullying among kids and tells them that constructive critisim is for cowards. Let's not get into how the kids who are yelled at will probably not sing again for a long time, if ever. Anyone with half a brain understands these things - I'm not going to tell a bunch of pretty intelligent teens and adults why it's wrong to be an "a-hole". I'm not going to address the useless clichés of "they participated, their choice" or "you can just choose not to watch it". Anyone with half a brain and so on.

What really interested me, however, is this article I read in the latest issue of the Scandinavian Science Illustrated's history magazine. It dealt with advertisements of the 50's and how they used methods that would not in any way have worked, or even been allowed today. The article made liberal use of All-American Ads, which is, I believe, this book here.

So the questions for the thread are:
  • Is it right of hosts to treat contestants with the disrespect they treat them with currently (we can't avoid this one, can we)?
  • Should there be governmnent regulations for programmes regarding the treatment of contestants/guests?
  • Is this kind of disrespect on TV here to stay, or will it disappear the way the very liberal (to put it diplomatically) ads of old did, to be smirked at fifty years later?

Go.

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Old 02-16-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
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I honestly am not sure what the base complaint of this thread is, perhaps because I got very little sleep last night, but as far as if the current 'fad' of television or ads or whatever we're talking about will eventually fade away, the answer is of course.

I don't really know how television across the pond goes, because I don't watch it, but if it's like American programming (and I would assume it is) it's extremely fad-based. You may have noticed a few years ago that there were approximately 4 million different game shows in the US all trying to be the new 'who wants to be a millionaire'. Now there are few new game shows, and the old ones are not shown very often.

There are a zillion reality TV shows now because Survivor was such a big hit, but in a year or two the rest of the world will be as sick of reality TV as I am and they'll also be tired of the CSI-type shows, and we'll have some new TV fad. Perhaps shows about puppet criminals or talking animals will be the new thing, and then we can have this discussion about the abuse of forcing animals/puppets into acting positions.



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Old 02-16-2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
I'm not going to address the useless clichés of "they participated, their choice" or "you can just choose not to watch it".
I doubt they are useless cliches if they apply. They can choose not to participate. In fact, if they are not adults, I bet their parents specifically signed a waiver allowing them to. So people willingly do something that has a good chance of hurting their feelings. Whoo.

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[*]Should there be governmnent regulations for programmes regarding the treatment of contestants/guests?
Why is it necessary? If the show is so objectionable, no one will apply to participate... if they do, then it's their fault if they are insulted or 'mentally damaged'. The FCC doesn't need to crack down on foolishness.

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Is this kind of disrespect on TV here to stay, or will it disappear the way the very liberal (to put it diplomatically) ads of old did, to be smirked at fifty years later?
Dunno for sure, but it will probably disappear like ET said. I hardly ever watch TV anyway; it's so dull compared to compy that it makes my head hurt.


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Old 02-16-2006, 12:21 PM   #4
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It's not like the people getting involved with Idol don't know what they're in for. The show has been on for what seems like forever. So there really should be no surprises.

As someone working in the creative fields (music and art) let me tell you it's rough. It's not just on TV that this stuff happens (although it's probably a bit exaggerated for the cameras.)
Not everybody is going to like what you do, and some of them aren't going to bother to be the least bit tactful about it. Learning to shrug off the harshest criticisms and moving on to try to better yourself is probably the best thing these kids can probably do if they are serious about having any kind of career at all.


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Old 02-16-2006, 07:47 PM   #5
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Even though I don't approve of the treatment of contestants in American Idol (specifically the treatment by a bitchy British prick), it's absolutely not the government's job to regulate and restrict it. It's like with Howard Stern; just because the religious right and the other fundie nutties in power don't like him doesn't mean they should be able to censor him.

The idea of government having the power to censor TV shows because some people, including myself, don't approve of what happens in them, is frightening.
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:10 AM   #6
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Why is it necessary? If the show is so objectionable, no one will apply to participate.
In theory. Reality says otherwise.

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if they do, then it's their fault if they are insulted or 'mentally damaged'. The FCC doesn't need to crack down on foolishness.
Funny that there are laws on seat belts and narcotics, then. You want those removed, too?

And as for "mentally damaged", it has been proven multiple times that shows like Big Brother do cause depression and other illness in the participants. You just wasted two quotation marks.

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It's not like the people getting involved with Idol don't know what they're in for. The show has been on for what seems like forever. So there really should be no surprises.
Again, this makes sense in theory. But 99% of the people who apply for Idol think they can sing. They've been told so by the people they've sung to, they've been cheered, they've been encouraged. So yes, there are surprises.

Dangit, I hoped to avoid addressing these things for the thousandth time.

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The idea of government having the power to censor TV shows because some people, including myself, don't approve of what happens in them, is frightening.
There's a far cry between impeding freedom of speech and impeding the way these shows play with people for a profit.

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As someone working in the creative fields (music and art) let me tell you it's rough. It's not just on TV that this stuff happens (although it's probably a bit exaggerated for the cameras.)
Scenario editor (several games) and writer here. I agree. Some people are simply barbaric when it comes to critisism.

However, there's a far cry between Idol and that.

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Learning to shrug off the harshest criticisms and moving on to try to better yourself is probably the best thing these kids can probably do if they are serious about having any kind of career at all.
You can't justify bullying as "training", though. Sure, teach the kid what to do if... Heck, when it happens, but don't educate the kid on it by doing it to him or her. That's like a schoolteacher educating first-graders on bullying by being an ******* towards them.

The contestants of Idol are not "trained" or "encouraged". They're devastated.

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Old 02-17-2006, 07:55 AM   #7
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Then they shouldn't go on. I know I wouldn't.

Like I said: The show has been on long enough that anyone trying out for it should really be aware of what they are possibly setting themselves up for.

Of course, I'm not that big a fan of the "Star System" type model of the music industry that Idol perpetrates. The whole idea of becoming an instant pop-music star without having to pay all the dues it should normally take to get there doesn't encourage much sympathy from me towards those who put themselves out there for that. If you really believe that you can go from the shower and the Karaoke bar, straight to sold-out arenas without going through all the in-between stuff, then you are setting yourself up for disaster anyway, even if the Idol judges were the nicest people on the planet.
Most of those that are successful on the show have already paid a lot of dues. Those that get ripped on mostly haven't.
I'm not saying they're getting what they deserve... but it should be a wake-up call to a lot of folks who are deluding themselves over the amount of talent they have, and the amount of work it takes to "make it."

Then there's the question whether anyone would watch the show without that aspect of it. That's a big selling point, and I would maintain it's a large part of the shows lasting success.
It's like saying that people only tune into NASCAR to watch the cars go round and round the track for several hours... without ever, even just a little bit, wanting to see the crashes. Everyone knows it's not true.

The barbarous, only partially evolved reptile brain of ours happens to like revelling on others miseries. We like to feel secure in the knowledge that it's not us up there getting emotionally eviscerated on national TV. It's like a modern day gladiatorial contest... without all the blood.
The Emperor decides who lives and dies, metaphorically speaking, and the crowds cheer his decisions. Bread and circuses. We haven't come that far, after all.

And as long as it still gets good ratings, that formula will continue.

All that being said, I have never personally watched a second of the show. Looks to me like it sucks.


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Old 02-17-2006, 11:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
In theory. Reality says otherwise.
I have NEVER felt forced to enter any contest. Either I will or I won't; the point is that NO ONE can make me.

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Funny that there are laws on seat belts and narcotics, then. You want those removed, too?
Guess what? Seat belts are there for a distict safety reason: to prevent you from getting killed. Drug addictions make you a complete waste of society's time. Neither one only affects you. Neither one equates to being put down by some joker on TV, or even close to it.

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And as for "mentally damaged", it has been proven multiple times that shows like Big Brother do cause depression and other illness in the participants. You just wasted two quotation marks.
I found an article on viewers that had problems with it, but I'd like if you can get me an actual source.

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Again, this makes sense in theory. But 99% of the people who apply for Idol think they can sing. They've been told so by the people they've sung to, they've been cheered, they've been encouraged. So yes, there are surprises.
If I was a person trying to audition, I would get objective opinions from people who would not lie to me. It's their fault if they can't figure out they need to do that. That's a pretty basic thing there.

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Dangit, I hoped to avoid addressing these things for the thousandth time.
Perhaps you should listen to it then.

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There's a far cry between impeding freedom of speech and impeding the way these shows play with people for a profit.
The shows are also a far cry from forcing anyone to get on them.

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Scenario editor (several games) and writer here. I agree. Some people are simply barbaric when it comes to critisism.
Lovely. I've experienced it myself. I'm not mentally destroyed, I'm not crying in my corner waiting for someone to give me antidepression drugs to 'fix' me. Oh dear, I've actually tried to see what they said, even if it was offensive, and then used that on my next project. Guess what? My work is the better for it.

Quote:
You can't justify bullying as "training", though. Sure, teach the kid what to do if... Heck, when it happens, but don't educate the kid on it by doing it to him or her. That's like a schoolteacher educating first-graders on bullying by being an ******* towards them.
The choice here is more like, "Do you want to go to this bully and see if he beats you up, or do you want to go to class?"

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The contestants of Idol are not "trained" or "encouraged". They're devastated.
If you set yourself up to be devastated you will be devastated. The people that are must have a very low opinion of themselves to be emotionally destroyed by some people whose very job it is to do so.


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Old 02-17-2006, 01:10 PM   #9
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There has been a recent move to "cruelty tv".. where the majority of the enjoyment is derived from laughing at the misfortune of others.. rather than in the past when there was more of a focus on wanting you to like and support the attempts of those on tv.

Shows like celeb big brother, I'm a Celebrity, pop idol (and every clone), the weakest link, and many other reality tv shows these days do love to set people up and then knock them down.

There is no denying it leads to great tv, and i guess its always been there in some part in shows like jerry springer or even those home video shows.

A few recent reality shows do seem to be pushing it to the extreme.. but as long as people keep watching then they will keep making them. And since most of the people i know who watch pop idol say that the best bit is the early rounds when they get to laugh at everyone who is awful.. and simon cowell seems to have become the most popular judge because he is the nastiest.. I can't see them stopping making them anytime soon.

Unless someone kills themselves...



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Old 02-17-2006, 04:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Funny that there are laws on seat belts and narcotics, then. You want those removed, too?
Of course those laws should be removed. It isn't the government's job to regulate your personal choices and to babysit you.

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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
There's a far cry between impeding freedom of speech and impeding the way these shows play with people for a profit.
There's plenty of TV shows where people are abused/exploited for ratings. Jackass and Survivor, for some examples. But it isn't the government's responsibility to stop people from getting their feelings hurt.

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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
The contestants of Idol are not "trained" or "encouraged". They're devastated.
Yes, they are devastated. But oh well. Here would be my advice for any contestant who got insulted: okay, so you got called fat/ugly/gay/horrible/etc. on TV by some bitchy British prick. Time to get on with your life and realize that nope, you don't have what it takes to be a star. And you had to learn it the hard way. But if someone is going to break down and be scarred or damaged mentally, for god's sake, get a spine and just move on. It isn't the end of your life; maybe you can sing at your sister's wedding.
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
That's like a schoolteacher educating first-graders on bullying by being an ******* towards them.
Oh, and the big difference here is that a first-graders don't volunteer themselves to be placed in that situation. These contestants do.

A more apt comparison is perhaps volunteering for the Marines, and running into a particularly nasty Drill Sargent.

It might not be pleasant for those in that situation, but they wanted to be there, after all.


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Old 02-18-2006, 01:42 AM   #12
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I can't beleieve this subject is even debatable.

Wow. Just wow.


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Old 02-18-2006, 10:14 AM   #13
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Anything is debatable.

But that doesn't mean they will be good or interesting debates, though...


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Old 02-22-2006, 04:45 AM   #14
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The shows are also a far cry from forcing anyone to get on them.
I didn't say otherwise. Not that it's got anything to do with this.

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Lovely. I've experienced it myself. I'm not mentally destroyed, I'm not crying in my corner waiting for someone to give me antidepression drugs to 'fix' me. Oh dear, I've actually tried to see what they said, even if it was offensive, and then used that on my next project. Guess what? My work is the better for it.
Me too. However, I wasn't exactly put up for the whole nation to see, was I?

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Guess what? Seat belts are there for a distict safety reason: to prevent you from getting killed. Drug addictions make you a complete waste of society's time. Neither one only affects you. Neither one equates to being put down by some joker on TV, or even close to it.
And depression costs society just how many million dollars a year? Being put down for the whole nation to watch and then getting a depression for it does not only affect you.

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Yes, they are devastated. But oh well. Here would be my advice for any contestant who got insulted: okay, so you got called fat/ugly/gay/horrible/etc. on TV by some bitchy British prick. Time to get on with your life and realize that nope, you don't have what it takes to be a star.
"You get insulted, give up"? Wonderful attitude, budd'.

Heard about training and improving your abilities?

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I can't beleieve this subject is even debatable.

Wow. Just wow.
I pwn at surprises.

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A more apt comparison is perhaps volunteering for the Marines, and running into a particularly nasty Drill Sargent.

It might not be pleasant for those in that situation, but they wanted to be there, after all.
Bad analogy. Drill sargeants need to be a bit nasty, as the recruits might end up under fire, you know. Most Idol contestants don't risk ending up in an M-1 Tank coloumn under attack from Iraqi insurgents.

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Then there's the question whether anyone would watch the show without that aspect of it. That's a big selling point, and I would maintain it's a large part of the shows lasting success.
It's like saying that people only tune into NASCAR to watch the cars go round and round the track for several hours... without ever, even just a little bit, wanting to see the crashes. Everyone knows it's not true.
True, that.

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Old 02-22-2006, 08:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Bad analogy. Drill sargeants need to be a bit nasty, as the recruits might end up under fire, you know. Most Idol contestants don't risk ending up in an M-1 Tank coloumn under attack from Iraqi insurgents.
No... but if they continue to go out for auditions they could continue to hear very similar things about their abilities and appearances.
Like the drill-sargent, the show's judges are a bit on the extreme side. So that it will numb you for anything that might come thereafter. If you survive that and continue to move on with your life, then a somewhat snide or sarcastic comment down the road won't even faze you, most likely.


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