reactionary moralising?

This morning I read on the (Australian) Channel Nine news website that Australian Big Brother were going to have an exercise where the participants had to look after toy dolls as if they were real babies. The television program is not going to have the exercise after one of the participants became upset and said she suffered a miscarriage 18 months ago (Big Brother’s toy babies upsets Democrats).

According to Channel Nine, the Australian Democrats want the government to take action against Network Ten (the makers of Australian Big Brother).

Australian Democrats leader Lyn Allison said Big Brother had plunged to new lows and urged Communications Minister Helen Coonan to take action against the program.

“Women are again being exploited and stereotyped in the obscene pursuit of ratings and cheap entertainment,” Senator Allison said in a statement.

“If the show knew about these circumstances this is a disgrace.

“If it didn’t know it should have. I urge the communications minister to take swift and strong action.”

I Honestly do not understand how Big Brother has plunged to a new low. The show relies on coming up with activities to keep the housemates occupied. It sounds like they cancelled the activity when they saw it made a contestant upset. How exactly is this exploiting or stereotyping women? Some women have miscarriages. And they can get upset about it. It sounds like the show is being sensitive to this situation.

I can’t believe the Democrats want the government to intervene in some way. Should the government be able to intervene in the content of a television show because the issue of miscarriage came up? I certainly don’t want to return to the time when the experiences of women and their bodies were things not mentioned on television. How does Lyn Allison think the show was exploiting and stereotyping women? And why should they have known about the contestant’s miscarriage? Does she think that having a miscarriage makes you too fragile to decide to go on a reality TV show and the Network should screen out anyone who has had this experience?

Anyway, I’ve found a good blog post with background detail and comments I pretty much agree with over at the Hammer.

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2 Responses to reactionary moralising?

  1. zinegeek says:

    I’ve just been informed by my friend Darlene that the producers of Big Brother did know that the woman concerned had had a stillborn child. So, I guess, that might change things a bit.

  2. Just to play devil’s advocate, there’s every chance the task could have occurred without incident. Granted, some foresight might have prevented the situation, the scenario wasn’t entirely without merit.

    I don’t think there’s a lot to be gained from playing the blame game and calling again for Channel Ten’s head. The show has illustrated the lengths it’s going to to please the conservative voices that are eager to descend on this particular brand of entertainment, which is probably more indulgence than the NEED to give it.

    Full sympathies to the contestant in question, but it wasn’t the evil SOME wanted to make it out to be, or an affront to women’s rights.

    I wonder how Miss Allison felt about the “objectification” of the women who were taking erotic belly dancing lessons days later from Demet, the professional dancer who entered late.

    Maybe we should burn them all as heretics.

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