Friday, January 19, 2007

My Thoughts on the Latest TV controversies

Well, well.

There certainly has been a lot of controversy on television lately. Starting with American Idol. People seem to be increasingly dismayed that Simon is rude and picks on people for their personal appearance. People are saying that the majority of the "loser" auditions this year appear to be people who are mentally unstable, or otherwise not responsible for showing up on a television show notorious for mocking those lacking the singing ability/starpower sought. Honestly, I have a little trouble feeling really sympathetic about this. Surely, somewhere, these people have seen American Idol before signing any release papers. In addition, I really don't feel that these auditions are as real as they seem. While I agree that Simon crosses the line in what he says to people on several occassions, if you are going on a show like American Idol, please watch some auditions before signing away your rights. And please practice before going and please get some constructive feedback from neutral parties. The auditions are my least favorite part of American Idol, and I'm fine missing them.

Secondly, Isaiah Washington and TR Knight. Isaiah Washington calling TR Knight a word that is unacceptable to call someone who is homosexual. And then lying about it and using the word again the night Grey's Anatomy won the Golden Globe. I find this whole incident to be very interesting because I think it shows our increased tolerance of homosexuality as an orientation and a strong calling to equate an incident like this to a similar racial incident. Furthermore, I think it shows us, how we are increasingly intolerant of those who harbor any prejudice. Although in each incident of this kind that has made the news (Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, and now Isaiah Washington) the leaders of offended group have shown a willingness to meet with the offender and help rehabilitate them, the public seems much less forgiving. I am certain that a lot of the problem in this particular case, however, is because it's so personal. TR Knight has to work with Isaiah Washington and the character of George O'Malley actually looks up to and respects the character of Preston Burke a great deal. Isaiah Washington didn't make a broad sweeping comment, he made a very personal attack. In that regard, I find this incident to be truly troubling and very sad. And last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy was an interesting episode in so many regards, very personal and touching and capturing much of human drama and emotion, but it was greatly overshadowed by the controversy currently surrounding it. For just an insight to how personal this episode was to the writers, check out the Grey's Anatomy writers blog here.

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