Thursday, August 24, 2006

Segregated Survivor??

I'm usually not a big reader of the local newspaper: San Diego Union Tribune mainly because most of the articles are poorly written and, quite frankly, the current events depress me. But today I picked up the paper and was struck by an article on the front page. TV's "Survivor" will air their gritty reality show Sept 14, 2006 with one "interesting" twist, the tribes on the show will be divided by race: whites, African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics. The host of the CBS show Jeff Probst said that being on the show was a social experiment and this will "add another layer" to the experiment. I was shocked by the audacity of CBS to air such a thing. Although they have aired shows where the tribes were divided up by age and , neither of those is as slippery a slope as race. Jeff Probst goes on to say:

"I think at first glance when you just hear the idea, it could sound like a stunt," Survivor host Jeff Probst said on a CBS morning news show. "But that's not what we're doing here."
"We've always had a low number of minority applicants ... apply to the show. So we set out and said, 'Let's turn this criticism into creative for the show,'" he said, adding that it fit Survivor's mission of being a "social experiment."


Executive producer Mark Burnett told an entertainment newspaper that race does not have to be an issue in daily life. "Maybe that taboo could disappear through this."

With this being said, I do not think the premise of the show is very appropriate. Why not create teams that are diverse such as African Americans, Asians, and Whites on a team? Dividing them up by race is a clear cut way to bring out racial dissension amongst the tribes. I can already envision an argument arising because someone decided to use the infamous phrase "You peaople." I'm interested to see what YOU PEOPLE think.

2 comments:

Brother Spotless said...

I think Darkness is exactly correct: the show is begging for something to jump off and racial tensions to rise.

This season will be based on an extremely slippery slope, because while there's nothing wrong with the groups theoretically, our nation has an issue with race (isn't that an understatement...). A show like this forces you to root for someone, and with the teams divided the way they are, the understanding is that they will root for a race (and against another race), which is comprehensively problematic.

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