i should have known better, but i tried to watch a bit of "the x-factor" a couple of weeks ago. i think i lasted about half an hour, though i can't say i was paying full attention even during that time. i know that these kinds of shows are really popular & there are lot of people who really enjoy them. if you are one of those, then i'd ask you to go and find something else to read just now.
i can't help it, i just felt so sickened and appalled at what i saw. to me, it seemed like one of the worst kinds of exploitation. here were people, some of whom are in pretty difficult situations as regards poverty. some of whom desperately want to find something missing in their lives, and think they can find it through fame and fortune. people with dreams, perhaps unrealistic dreams, but heartfelt and genuine dreams nonetheless.
all of these things were used by the producers of this show to put these people in a situation where they would be laughed at and humiliated. it's not spontaneous. the show is highly managed; all of the performers had gone through some kind of screening process before they were allowed to perform in front of the judges and audience. during that screening process, it would have been blatantly obvious which performers didn't have a chance, and would therefore receive that special brand of nastiness that is simon cowell. with the added icing of boos and jeers from the audience.
those performers could easily have been weeded out. there is absolutely no need to put them through a situation that was clearly traumatic - at least for the ones that i saw. it's bad enough to be told that you aren't going to make it through to the next round, but that's part of any normal competition & i don't have a problem with it. but to be told in a way that is insulting and mocking, and which encourages others to do the same? it's awful.
i don't care that these people consented to go on the show. i don't care that they would have signed some kind of contract allowing their performance and the judges & audiences reactions to be broadcast to millions of people around the world. i've said it in a different context, that of using surrogates from developing countries, but it holds true just as much in this instance: just because people consent to their own exploitation or humiliation doesn't mean that we should go ahead and exploit or humiliate them. people will do anything when they're desperate - and desperation takes many forms and may have many causes. it's not ok to use that desperation to make sh*tloads of money off their public humiliation.
i know that evolution is a thing, and i know it takes millions of years to work. but it really saddens me that humanity has not changed much at all over thousands of years. that we're still happy to make public entertaiment for many out of the pain of a few says nothing good about our species. nothing good at all.