Wednesday, August 23, 2006

CBS: The Eye Goes Racist

Grand Wizard Jeff Probst

Which race is the best?

Finally television viewers will discover the answer, thanks to CBS's long-running reality show Survivor.

Not wanting to be outdone by ABC's puff piece on the white supremacist Olsen twins, CBS is devoting its 13th season of Survivor to examining the age-old question-- who can eat bugs, light fires and perform inane log rolling tasks better: whites, blacks, asians or hispanics?

No, I'm not making this up.

"I know, from where I sit, I found it to be one of the freshest ideas we've had going back to the beginning of this show in season one," says Survivor host Jeff Probst.

Yes, good old fashioned racism! What a fresh idea!!!

"The idea for this actually came from the criticism that 'Survivor' was not ethnically diverse enough," Probst also said.

So people said the show wasn't diverse enough... so you decided to create a show segregating people into races and putting them in competition with each other?? As opposed to putting them all together??

"I think it's very natural to assume that certain groups are going to have audience members rooting for them simply because they share ethnicity." Probst again.

Yes, I can picture it now. The KKK sponsoring "Survivor parties" in which members sit around rooting for the whites! What a great way to foster... "ethnic pride"???

Apparently the show's new commitment to "Diversity" didn't include geographic diversity. 15 out of the 20 contestants are from either New York or California.

Reality Blurred writer Andy Dehnart says that dividing the tribes by race is no different than dividing them by sex or age, as has been done by Survivor in the past. But I would argue that men haven't put women in internment camps, forced them to pick cotton or built fences to keep them out of the country. Competition between the sexes, or between people of different ages has always centered around perceived differences in physical and mental strength. The battle of the sexes and the battle bewteen age groups both transcend racial and cultural lines. But competition between races has been based on little more than ideological and cultural biases. Therefore, dividing people by race is not merely arbitrary, as Dehnart says, but in addition hearkens back to some of humanity's most grotesque beliefs and actions. And, um, I hate to state the obvious.. but you're not appealing to "ethnic pride" when you group all Koreans, Japanese and Chinese people into an "Asian" group, and putting other subcultures into groups based on skin color. "Ethnic pride" has nothing to do with skin color. What Probst is really talking about is "racial pride"-- a term you'll find used most often by members of White-Supremacist groups. Making Probst's version of "ethnic pride" the basis for a reality show is, at the very least, poor taste, and at worst, an appeal to people's worst prejudices.

Can't wait to see how this "Battle of the Races" turns out. Or if the tv watching public will even tune in to this crap.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

grand wizard jeff probst! haha great picture, and great commentery

Joe B. said...

You know what really pisses me off about myself? It's that I blogged about this and it's all over the 'net and the TV and you blogged about it and it's just what CBS wants us to be doing.

Did you think once about Survivor before you heard about this today? I know I didn't.

Adam said...

Yes, we'll blog about it, and talk about it... but will we watch it?? I know I have no desire to see the battle of the races go down. Can't imagine the fans of survivor (there must be at least a few left) are too happy about this either. I think, I hope at least, that all this negative publicity turns people off the show, rather than on to it. Thanks for your comments!

Hot Mama said...

Very interesting...looks like what passes for entertainment in the 21st century culture has not evolved beyond the bear baiting of the Elizabethan Age.

...roseykrh said...

Last year, they seperated castaways into 4 tribes by age and gender, but it was only for the first full night and day. As soon as the first competition was done, they merged the 4 tribes into the usual 2 tribes.

I understand the racial issue here is serious, but I don't expect it to be a "battle of the races" as it is being called. I expect it just to be some publicity raising stunt that will last a whole one night and one day until the first competition is over with and then the tribes will no longer be seperated by race.

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