The following is a personal comment from WIFT Executive Director Susi Newborn and does not necessarily reflect the views of the membership.

The recent news that there may be a Kardashian family-style reality TV show featuring Sally and Jaime Ridge has WIFT worried about the message the media is sending our daughters, our sons and their generation. Who are their role models? Why are we rewarding reality TV's exploitation of women's bodies? Are looks, for women, more important than their brains or their talents? Is hyper-sexualisation and self-objectification now a legitimate path to success in New Zealand as it is in America?
We should be appalled at how often the cameras and commentators focus on these celebrities, instead of the many other successful women who have actually contributed something to society. Our fascination with superficiality and the objectification of women in popular media is increasing. When our top representatives in the screen industry state that they believe
The GC - on which they spent almost half a million of our taxes - is a "modern form of documentary" or a "programme that has engaged the nation..." we should be really concerned about the future for our industry. At least 87% of people who voted in a NZ Herald poll said that there would 'No Way' they would watch a reality show starring Sally and Jaime Ridge. Thank heavens for that!"

2 comments for “WIFT Exec Comment on NZ Reality TV Shows ”

  1. Dear WIFT members

    Thank you to those of you who have written in commenting on the above. I was unaware of the strength of feeling out there for this topic.

    However, I would point out that this is not the opinion shared by all our members, and that I should have stated that this was a personal opinion rather than one shared by all at WIFT NZ.

    My apologies to those who are working on the shows - I know how hard it is to find work of any kind these days. My hope is for a screen industry that celebrates women's achievements rather than their objectification.

    Susi Newborn

    Posted by Susi Newborn on Wednesday, 9 May 2012 at 2:25:49 p.m.
  2. On Scoop last week, Tom Frewen shared your concern, and challenged NZ on Air to explain the loosening of programme genre definitions to allow funding of reality television shows under the pretence that they are factual documentaries. About GC, he wrote: Initial critical appraisal was overwhelmingly negative ... a Facebook page calling for the show to be cancelled had attracted more than 2000 “likes” within a couple of hours.

    Posted by Lindsay Shelton on Wednesday, 9 May 2012 at 10:09:21 p.m.

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