byNate Barlow is a professional writer/director and actor in Los Angeles.
Fox TV has picked up a reality show from Endemol USA entitled “Someone’s Gotta Go.” Timely? Yes. Disgusting and a horrible idea? Also yes.
According to Variety, the show, which is already in production and has been described as “Survivor” meets “The Office,” has employees, at a struggling business, choosing for themselves whom among them is to be fired. The person who loses his or her job may receive a small severance package, but that’s it.
I was horrified as I read this article. Honestly, this reality concept disgusts me more than any of the violently shocking, unnecessarily sexually explicit, or pure trash offerings already polluting the airwaves. (Admittedly, I have a strong stomach for explicit and controversial material, while tabloid-type trash is simply something with which I don’t waste my time).
The problem with “Someone’s Gotta Go” is that Fox and Endemol are taking someone’s most tragic moment, being laid-off in a time on unprecedented economic insecurity, and turning it into entertainment. While the televising of an individual’s personal tragedy is by far the worst offense, everyone involved will experience the residual effects. The distrust and animosity generated among the other employees jockeying to save themselves is not likely to dissipate for a long time after the show is shot…if ever.
To make matters worse, bosses and businesses are further absolved of the responsibility for firing their employees. By nature, letting someone go is often not an easy task, and in these tough financial times it’s something with which many unfortunately struggle, as they should. When dealing with a person’s livelihood, the decision should never be easy or the responsibility never diminished. Yet, this is exactly what “Someone’s Gotta Go” does.
I wonder what other “considerations” these businesses receive?
We can only hope that this show fails miserably. Every time reality television has finally gone too far, some producer finds a way to lower his standards even more. Fox and Endemol should be ashamed of themselves. Mike Darnell (head of Fox reality) and David Goldberg (head of Endemol North America), I demand you step down!
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