Reality Bits: Racists and Rapists and Killers, Oh My!

As 2016 drags its poop stained ass to a close, it continues to provide more reasons to not read any news (real or fake) or scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed. And Reality is eager, as ever, to keep up with the fuckery.

EXHIBIT A: Game 2: Winter …

game-2-winter

A Russian reality TV show that offers a $1.6 million prize purse for someone who can survive nine months in the wilds of Siberia is warning would-be contestants they could face death or injury if they participate. (The Hollywood Reporter)

 

According to Deadline

The rules say “Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.”

The show’s creator Yevgeny Pyatkovsky – a Russian entrepreneur whatever that means- is quick to point out that anyone engaging in, say, rape or murder is still subject to Russian law. However, by putting that kind of language into the rules and the releases signed by contestants, the producers are–to all intents and purposes–encouraging participants to break the law.

[It’s kinda like how we don’t explicitly tell cast members on The Bad Girls Club to get into weave-pulling fights. We don’t have to. They know.]

The premise seemed so preposterous that Vocative suggested it was yet another instance of fake news (although it apparently isn’t); and it should also be noted that while Pyatkovsky says …

“We are currently in negotiations with television networks about airing the reality show,” he said. “It will be carried on one of top 10 local stations.”

Translation: he doesn’t have a broadcaster.

Nonetheless, is this move really that surprising? Competition Reality has long pushed the envelope when it comes to placing cast members in dangerous situations (I am legit surprised no one has ever died on the set of Survivor) and let’s please not forget that in February 2015 8 members of the cast and crew of the French Survivor-type TV show Dropped were killed in a helicopter accident.

 

EXHIBIT B: A&E’s Generation KKK

Members of the Ku Klux Klan yell as they fly Confederate flags during a rally at the statehouse in Columbia

A documentary about, as may seem redundant, folks in the KKK and the family members they attempt to recruit into it.

Per The Hollywood Reporter

The cable network, on a buying spree of serious-minded documentary fare of late, has embedded cameras with the KKK over the past year in an effort to facilitate a dialogue between a handful of leaders in the hate group and members of their family who want out. Sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the cable player has handed out an eight-episode order to Generation KKK, set to premiere in January.

Now, based on A&E’s recent programming choices, including Leah Remini’s exposé of Scientology and the Emmy-winning Born This Way, it is quite possible that the intent of the channel is not necessarily to promote the whole pointy hood wearing lifestyle. However, as  Carly Ledbetter points out in The Huffington Post…

Regardless of the show’s intent, broadcasting views of an extremist group to a potential audience of millions of people allows for the dangerous possibility that “Generation KKK” normalizes the very real and hateful attitudes of KKK members.

Honestly, I don’t believe that we shouldn’t make documentaries about things we despise. However, when A&E hires Gurney Productions, the creators of the clearly scripted Duck Dynasty (which starred everyone’s favorite outspoken homophobe Phil Robertson) I’m going to give the project serious side-eye.

Blech… Can this fucking year just end already?

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