Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Everyone's a little bit racist?

Thoughts on the new "Survivor" twist of dividing up the teams by race? Given the show's queasy history with minority casting and portrayal, I'm having a hard time seeing an upside.

5 comments:

Daniel said...

The upside -- say what you will -- is that for the first time a Mark Burnett show this side of "The Contender" has a cast that actually looks like America (whatever the heck that means). Maybe they're going to make a point about racial stratification in this country? Or maybe it's gonna become some weird medication on cult psychology and brainwashing. Something like "The Wave." And in the end, everybody's going to be shocked and disgusted at how quickly they became polarized, how quickly they resorted to stereotyping and scapegoating.

Or else the teams will be divided by race for one episode before going back to normal tribes almost immediately...

Dan

dez said...

Burnett's either a mad genius or barking mad. I think it's a bad idea myself, but I'll be watching anyway because I still like Survivor.

Anonymous said...

Anybody find it odd that The Amazing Race and Survivor are getting diverse this fall?

As an Asian male, I've always complained to myself about how The Amazing Race is almost always 10 white teams and 1 black team. (with few exceptions in the first three seasons and last spring). Suddenly, there's Muslims, Asians, Indians ... What's happening?

Same for Survivor: I thought there was a quota that you couldn't have more than two black males competing. I mean it was always weird that there would always just be one black male and one black female (again, with some exceptions).

I don't know about the segregation twist, but I like the idea that there is diversity. I just wish the other Survivor seasons weren't so predominantly white.

Laura Holt said...

When I heard about it, my first thought was how much harder anyone who wants to satirize reality shows is going to have to work to come up with something to beat this idea in terms of sheer boneheadedness. I agree that the diversity record on these shows is appalling, but why they didn't think they could solve it by adding the same number of members of different races/ethnicities without SEGREGATING them on their own tribes?

Although, I haven't seen this many people talking about Survivor in awhile, so maybe that's all they wanted to accomplish.

Brent McKee said...

I think that the reason why you're seeing more "variety" in casting for shows like The Amazing Race and Survivor is because there has been comment about the dearth of non-white (and to a lesser extent non-black) people on these shows. Of course it doesn't hurt when you can develop good story lines around cast members in the shows.

I can't help but see the Survivor gimmick as s short-term thing. I seem to recall reading that the producers don't like working with more than two tribes for too long because it increases production costs I wouldn't be surprised to see "segregation" ending after the second elimination and the "schoolyard pick" system used to bring the tribes down to two.