The latest sexcapade at Big Brother demonstrates that the show is well past its use-by date. Indeed, it was past its use-by date six years ago when it first appeared. How much further down the septic tank do we have to go before Channel 10 realises that this show is one big mistake, and pulls it off the air, never to be seen again?
The alleged sexual assault that took place on BB this weekend was simply the inevitable result of a program that seeks to shock and offend. It is the logical outcome of a format that puts sexed-up kids into a sexed-up house and bids them to party, party, party.
And we call this reality TV! The only person I have heard of who parties 24/7 without a care in the world is Paris Hilton. Most young people do not live this way. Thus the whole show is artificial and a fraud. And it is also a lousy role model for young people.
That these kinds of outrageous sexual shenanigans could happen is not at all surprising: the whole show is set up for this very thing to happen. Take a bunch of hormonally-charged young people, put them into a sexual hothouse, apparently complete with group showers, communal beds and a never-ending supply of free alcohol, and wouldn't you have a perfect recipe for disaster?
Such sleazy antics naturally flow from such an environment. But of course Ten is giving us the usual baloney. “We don’t condone this behaviour”, they whine. “We do not accept this kind of conduct.” Puh-leeese, tell me another. They are the ones who set up conditions that such activities were likely to happen as night follows day.
So please Channel Ten, spare us your crocodile tears.
A Sydney academic, Catherine Lumby, who also happens to be paid by Ten to advise BB, said the whole thing was no big deal and that Ten acted responsibly by removing the two male housemates claimed to be involved in the sexual aggression.
Sorry Catherine, but Channel Ten has not been acting responsibly now for six years. It was irresponsible to air the show in the first place and the only responsible thing to do would be to pull this “Toxic TV” show once and for all.
Now just in case the folk at Ten are a bit slow to grasp my meaning here, let me provide a simple illustration. Suppose you put a dozen five-year-olds in a room, filled with cardboard boxes and old newspapers. Also in the room are cans of petrol and other flammable liquids. Also, there are matches and cigarette lighters scattered throughout the room.
Now will anyone really be surprised to hear that a fire has broken out in the room? And would it make much sense to have Big Brother’s voice boom over the speakers, telling the children, “you have acted irresponsibly - please leave the room”? Most people would say it was the clowns who set this situation up in the first place who were being irresponsible.
Of course I am not saying that the housemates on BB were not responsible for their actions. They were, and are. But it is Ten who allowed this situation to fester and flourish in the first place, if any sexual assault did take place.
You have to ask whether Ten may not be partly responsible for this whole sordid mess, and equated to the same sort of responsibility a cruise ship company may bear following a sexual assault and tragic death of a young woman on a pleasure cruise. Fortunately in future wild, drunken sex cruise parties are likely to be banned. Ten should look again at its program.
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