Thursday, June 14, 2007

What is entertainment?

Are we crossing moral boundaries?

Paris Hilton Arrested Image Courtesy:

On Monday, at the end of WWE’s broadcast of RAW, it was implied that the WWE chairman Vince McMahon was killed in a car bomb. Even though people were stunned and shocked at the time, it now looks increasingly like another of WWE’s gimmicks rather than any actual explosion. The reason? To increase the ratings of the show!!! Some must have found that entertaining but many others found that sickening.

More than anything it is the timing of the gimmick that needs to be questioned. Everyday scores of people die all over the world due to the menace of car and suicide bombings. Even considering the argument that maybe we are taking WWE and its numerous gimmicks too seriously, their effort to trivialize the menace of such attacks just doesn’t make any sense. It was utterly thoughtless and insensitive on the WWE’s part to have come up with such a storyline.

Mr. McMahon Image Courtesy:

Some might say that it is part of a great storyline and hence we should not be too concerned about it. Agreed it is entertainment and agreed it is fake. But the line between reality and entertainment has always been very thin in the WWE. The thing is, most of the viewers of WWE are kids who idolize their stars and take most of the action to be real. They are sending the wrong message if tomorrow WWE comes out and say that Stone Cold or some other superstar did it. It would imply that Mr. McMahon was a bad guy, so what’s the harm in blowing up his car? In this day and age of campus shootings, that is a dangerous message to send out to the kids. Not to mention the moral and ethical implications of such gimmicks. So then why did they show it? Because we as audience asked for it.

The word entertainment has been acquiring some strange meanings these days. In the name of reality television we are beamed even the mundane activities of people participating in that show. I am not panning all reality shows here. There are some really good ones too, but there are also others which have been pushing the envelope just a bit too much. They are feeding on that most deplorable of vices in mankind; poking their noses into other’s business. The recent BIGG BOSS TV show in India was just an example of this.

Celebrities have endured and suffered a lot due to this very intrusive nature of ours. It is another matter that some of these very celebrities actually encourage such intrusions and come up with so shocking scandal or the other just to stay in the limelight. But there has also been cases when the privacy of a person is violated repeatedly just because that person is a public figure, sometimes even leading to tragic circumstances; most notably as in the case of Princess Diana and her boyfriend. The reason given? We the audience demands it!!!

Princess Diana Car Crash Image Courtesy:

I have always believed that morality needs to be defined by time and culture that we live in. What is considered to be moral in one society at a particular time may not be the same in another. But still even considering that, shouldn’t there be a line drawn somewhere? Aren’t we pushing the boundaries what is acceptable and what is not? I feel that the line should be drawn by we the audience. Otherwise there could be a day when we see real life murder on TV in the name of entertainment. Would that be entertainment? After all it is nothing more than a show! right?

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nfad said...

Right, and i happened to be an AVID fan of wwe.

But commercialized media is starting to create a major stand, and sadly, it is nothing to be proud of.

I guess too much media is being left un-controlled these days. Kids are being too dependant on the media that one day it may prove to be a fatal influence in the upcoming generations!


Nyree said...

Hi, I agree with you that we should be drawing the line somewhere. If they think that flashing something like that is a joke, well it is not funny!

Steph in Swansea said...

Thank's for stopping by friend.

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shoeaddict said...

Wanted to thank you for visiting my blog, too. Looks like you've been visiting lots of blogs.
I agree that we, the audience, must draw the line at what is acceptable. Continuing to watch and buy magazines, be fascinated by people with no talent or people who behave badly only continues to perpetuate this madness. I, for one, do not want to see a real live murder on tv.

Anonymous said...

hello, this is my first visit on this blog and i will come by more often! thanks for the encouragements by the way!

In relation to the article, the entertainement industry must indeed start acting more responsibly. the line must indeed be drawn, but i think the audience is incapable of drawing this line. TV can not solely be about profit and perhaps gouverments should set up more associations and give stricter guidelines to tv channels. This article made me think of geroge cloonys film 'Goodnight and good luck' and the last speech on the power of television...

Rachel Lares said...

Have you ever heard of the book, 'Amusing Ourselves to Death'? If you find this incident disappointing then you will find the book fascinating and quite frustrating, but enjoyable (and informative) nonetheless.
Please read it, but after you haves, you'll feel guilty for watching television.
Please read it!!
~the lovely (from the 'On Keeping A Notebook' blog)

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Parenting Teens In Today's World said...

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F o r | o r N said...

I completely agree with you,

there needs to be a demarcation between 'Entertainment' & 'Reality'.

Ethics should be respected.

Good Post.