TV’s Survivor plays race card as contestants split by colour

These concepts are socially constructed and have been given much weight. What are your thoughts?
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TV’s Survivor plays race card as contestants split by colour

Unread post by Christina Marie » August 24th, 2006, 6:38 pm

25 August 2006

TV’s Survivor plays race card as contestants split by colour

By James Gatz

RACE is one of America’s touchiest subjects, but the producers of TV reality show Survivor have crashed through this taboo by announcing that the competitors in the new series will be divided according to race.


In a move which critics have dubbed “reality racism” contestants will be divided into four tribes by ethnicity. That means blacks, whites, Latinos and Asians in separate groups.

The four “tribes” will be stranded on the Cook Islands and face a series of tests of their survival skills in the series which starts next month.




The move has shocked many, but the CBS network which produces the show insists that the move is more than a desperate stunt to generate interest in a programme which has lost a quarter of its audience in two years.

Host Jeff Probst said the idea “actually came from the criticism that Survivor was not ethnically diverse enough.”

“It wasn’t until we got to casting and started noticing this theme of ethnic pride that we started thinking, wow, if culture is still playing such a big part in these people’s lives let’s divide them based on ethnicity.”

However, he conceded “It’s very risky because you’re bringing up a topic that is a hot button.

“There’s a history of segregation you can’t ignore. It is part of our history.”

The show’s contestants, who include a police officer, a heavy metal guitarist, an attorney and a nail salon manager had mixed reactions.

One, named Yuhl, “was concerned we were going to turn this into something that would show stereotypes and reinforce them”.

The media reaction was generally hostile, with many warning that the move could expose dangerous racial fault lines.

One of CBS’s most senior journalists, morning show host Harry Smith said he was “stunned and quite frankly dismayed”.

The Washington Post charged that the decision to “play the racial card” was “a shocking development” motivated by a desire for free publicity.

“Are the producers utterly clueless about this issue, or are they utterly soulless in that they’re willing to engage this issue for the sake of ratings and buzz?” Lisa Navarrete, spokeswoman for the Latino advocacy group the National Council of La Raza told the Chicago Tribune. “It is really unconscionable and irresponsible.”

However, there are fans of the move — although their support may reinforce the warning of those who claim that such an explosive issue should not be used for light entertainment.

The notorious right wing radio show host Rush Limbaugh suggested that the show “is not going to be fair if there’s a lot of water events”, claiming that whites made the best swimmers and “blacks can’t swim”. But he also warned the whites would oppress the other tribes then “put everybody else on some kind of benefit programme”.

He added “[the African-American tribe] would have the heads up in skill and athleticism.”

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Unread post by none for you » August 26th, 2006, 8:41 am

I heard about this on NPR...

I dont watch TV, and I have always thought "reality TV" to not only be completely contrived, but an insult to intelligent people everywhere.

but THIS!!! ... this sounds better than hockey playoffs or real live catfights!!!

that Rush Limbaugh is some character, huh?
the best part about him is .. he gets away with it!!!

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Unread post by Christina Marie » August 26th, 2006, 8:50 am

realize the real lies wrote:I heard about this on NPR...

I dont watch TV, and I have always thought "reality TV" to not only be completely contrived, but an insult to intelligent people everywhere.

but THIS!!! ... this sounds better than hockey playoffs or real live catfights!!!

that Rush Limbaugh is some character, huh?
the best part about him is .. he gets away with it!!!



Ya its going to be a good one. Be ver interesting to watch how it plays out. My mom and I love Rush.

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Opinion:

Unread post by Christina Marie » August 27th, 2006, 2:30 pm

Opinion:

DeWayne Wickham: CBS's "Survivor" Staging Race War

In his latest nationally syndicated column, DeWayne Wickham says the CBS show "Survivor" is going to stage a race war -- reality style in its next season which begins September 14th. The following is an extended excerpt from Wickham's column.

Take my word for it; this is going to be “must see TV.”

The wise guys who run the CBS show “Survivor” have come up with an idea that’s likely to swell the program’s audience. In its new season, which begins Sept. 14, the 20 contestants vying for the million-dollar prize will be separated into groups according to their race or ethnicity.

That’s right: “Survivor” is going to stage a race war — reality TV style. The show’s producers aren’t selling it quite this way, but that’s what it sounds like to me. I’m not talking about the kind of racial conflict that erupted in the 1960s and nearly ripped this nation apart, but rather something that will appeal to the unspoken racism that festers just below the surface for many people in today’s more tolerant society.

Ironically, a panel created by President Lyndon Johnson to investigate the causes of the rash of race riots in the ’60s concluded in 1968 that television networks could help improve race relations by doing a better job of accurately portraying blacks.

“Television should develop programming which integrates Negroes into all aspects of televised presentations,” the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders said in its final report. “Television is such a visible medium that some constructive steps are easy and obvious.”

But in July 1999, then-NAACP President Kweisi Mfume looked at the upcoming fall prime-time television season, he complained that it constituted a “virtual whitewash in programming.”

Within weeks of that sharp criticism, the major television networks — ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox — brokered agreements with the NAACP to increase the number of blacks in their programs. The issues raised by Mfume “are relevant and extremely important,” CBS head Leslie Moonves said at the time. “I think we all agree that those of us in the entertainment industry need to make sure the characters on our screen reflect the diversity of our population as a whole.”

But in recent years, CBS has gotten more criticism than praise for the blacks that have turned up on “Survivor.” The show has been accused of selecting black contestants who perpetuate the stereotype of the “crazy black woman” and “angry black male.”

In defending the decision to group contestants along racial and ethnic lines in the new season, host Jeff Probst explained that the idea grew out of criticism that the show “was not ethnically diverse enough.” Of course, increasing the diversity of the show’s contestants is a good idea. Dividing them into four — white, black, Hispanic and Asian — competing tribes isn’t.

The show’s contestants — they’re called “castaways” — are supposed to be stranded on a deserted island where they alternately must work together and against each other to avoid elimination. The last “Survivor” wins the $1 million prize.

In past seasons, the show’s creator, Mark Burnett, has paired men against women and the young against the old, but I suspect that pitting racial and ethnic groups against each other will boost “Survivor’s” audience.

“He’s been taking the fault lines in society and using them in the show,” said Eric Deggans, media critic for the St. Petersburg Times. “This is probably the last fault line he can find ... Frankly, I prefer this to the way they’ve dealt with race under the table before.”

That’s one way of looking at it, but I see this thing differently.

Television has turned us into a nation of voyeurs. Millions of Americans tune in to watch so-called reality shows that have people eat disgusting things or brave tortuous ordeals for a cash prize. We watched a revolution erupt in the Soviet Union; a student stare down a tank in China and two wars unfold in Iraq — all of this on live TV.

I worry that for too many of us the lines between reality and “reality TV” have blurred.

The steady diet of reality shows press the limits of good taste and sensible behavior. And I fear that the upcoming season of “Survivor” will drag television viewers deeper into this swamp.

I'll take Wickham's word for it that this is going to be "must see TV," but I disagree that CBS's decision is a bad thing for television or America, and I don't see this season of "Survivor" dragging television viewers into a swamp of bad taste. I'm glad there is finally an adequate number of Blacks, Latinos, and Asians on the show.

If anything, this season of "Survivor" has the potential to build racial pride. More often than not, I tend to root for Black people when they are contestants in these television reality shows. Even though I get nothing when they win, I want to see Black people compete and win sometimes. I was glad to see Randal Pinkett become the first African American winner of "The Apprentice". (Click here to visit Pinkett's website.) Who didn't want Akeelah to win the spelling bee? (See, "Akeelah and the Bee".) I thought Ty Barnett was funnier than Josh Blue and should've been named the "Last Comic Standing". I rooted for Rueben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino (site) to win "American Idol". So, yeah I admit I like to see someone who looks like me compete against people who don't look like me and win. But, what Wickham seems to miss is that Americans don't necessarily root for people of their own race. I was glad to see Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth get booted off "The Apprentice". And if the Blacks team on next season's "Survivor" rub me the wrong way, or seem to be weak, or do something to shame the Black community, I'll have no problem rooting for another team.

Not only isn't this a bad idea, it isn't even an original one. You might remember NBC and Donald Trump thought about doing the same thing on "The Apprentice". (Click here to see my take on that.)

http://blackcincinnati.blogspot.com/200 ... aging.html

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Unread post by Silencioso » August 28th, 2006, 1:07 pm

It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. How could something like that not be viewed as racist? Unless all four teams are identical in terms of age, gender ratio, athleticism and education background, the show will be accused of being unfair to one group or another.

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Unread post by Silencioso » August 28th, 2006, 1:08 pm

God help the creators of Survivor if the white team wins.

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Unread post by BlaKK » August 28th, 2006, 2:33 pm

Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, Disney And Whoever owns Viacom, Own every channel ever broadcasts.

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Unread post by BlaKK » August 28th, 2006, 2:35 pm

They have there agendas, and there agendas will be carried out, they are the elite.

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Unread post by Christina Marie » August 30th, 2006, 9:31 pm

I hope that some of us will watch this as it unfolds and discuss it. Should be interesting.

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Unread post by looneytunes1 » September 1st, 2006, 6:10 pm

lol imma watch it :D

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 1st, 2006, 6:41 pm

Starts Thursday Sept 14th, 8pm PST. Check your local listings for other time zones.
Last edited by Christina Marie on September 8th, 2006, 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by Q » September 2nd, 2006, 2:34 am

Christina Marie wrote:I hope that some of us will watch this as it unfolds and discuss it. Should be intere


sting.


how could you like rush? he is racist

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 2nd, 2006, 11:47 am

Q wrote:
Christina Marie wrote:I hope that some of us will watch this as it unfolds and discuss it. Should be intere


sting.


how could you like rush? he is racist


Because he is a character. I didnt say I agree with everything the man says or believes in Q.

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Unread post by black » September 6th, 2006, 10:38 am

Q wrote:
Christina Marie wrote:I hope that some of us will watch this as it unfolds and discuss it. Should be interesting.


how could you like rush? he is racist


you shouldn't be suprised?

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Unread post by MiChuhSuh » September 6th, 2006, 12:16 pm

BlaKK wrote:They have there agendas, and there agendas will be carried out, they are the elite.


It just looks like they want ratings more than anythings else. Survivor isn't exactly chart topping like it used to be

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 6th, 2006, 1:01 pm

johnnyblack eye to eye wrote:
Q wrote:
Christina Marie wrote:I hope that some of us will watch this as it unfolds and discuss it. Should be interesting.


how could you like rush? he is racist


you shouldn't be suprised?


What did I just say??? I said I did not agree with everything the man says, but he is a character. Johnny, you dont even know me.

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Unread post by EmperorPenguin » September 7th, 2006, 11:33 am

BlaKK wrote:Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, Disney And Whoever owns Viacom, Own every channel ever broadcasts.


Ted Turner was ousted a looooong time ago at Time Warner.

As far as this race survivor thing goes, you know near the end they're going to merge the remaining teams into one big melting pot and cop out with something like "Look at how well all the races work together." and then whitey will win and there will be a big shit storm again. :P

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 9th, 2006, 3:57 pm

Mark Burnett says "racial differences are unlikely to matter" on Survivor Cook Islands

Mark Burnett has given his most extensive reply yet to his critics about the racially divided cast of Survivor Cook Islands. It’s in the form of a letter to the editor of today’s Cynopsis, an e.mail newsletter sent each morning by Cynthia Turner. Yesterday, for the first time ever, she included letters to the editor, all about Survivor. In today’s edition, Mark Burnett responded. His comments, with the irrelevant introduction excised, are as follows:

… I agree with the overriding sentiment which is “wait and see”. This sentiment clearly comes from rational people who have at least seen a few episodes of Survivor. These people can therefore logically deduct that racism is far more likely to be found in our modern world where socioeconomics, and by extension, race plays a large part in how people are associated with and even worse judged.

Whereas on a desert island where economics and social class count for nothing, it’s simply your ability to build a fire and catch fish that becomes of paramount importance. Add to this, the political nature of Survivor which is overlaid on the survivalist themes and you need to add in the criteria of “Do I like this person?” or “Can I convince this person to vote with me?”

Survivor is probably one of the greatest leadership and management tests you can witness. It’s almost like firing someone who works as your subordinate, then the next day, asking them to lobby “your boss” to give “you” a promotion. Survivor is the equivalent of this where the very people you play a part in getting rid of, are asked to turn around and reward you for it.

The premise in dividing tribes by ethnic pride was that racial differences are unlikely to matter one iota when the modern world is removed.

Were we correct?? Time will tell. All I can say is that the series will pull no punches and will at the very least show that behaving like an asshole isn’t the exclusive right of any particular race. It will also show that it’s impossible to stereotype people once you meet them and (even vicariously) live with them as they struggle to build a world.

- Mark Burnett

Look, I think Mark Burnett is a genius. He makes better television than at least half of the yahoos who produce dramas and comedies for the networks, and he’s changed reality TV forever. But his responses keep ignoring the fact that he divided the tribes by race. Simply having a racially diverse cast is one thing, and would likely accomplish much of what he describes above. But by separating the tribes, he’s created tribal loyalty based upon race, both for the audience and the players. Therein lies the problem, and that’s why some people are concerned.

Of course, Burnett has seen all of this play out, and also knows who won. Perhaps race is a non-issue for the cast, and will never be me mentioned by the castaways, who are instead more concerned with landing additional guest roles on CSI.

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Unread post by Tyrant » September 9th, 2006, 4:03 pm

Anit going to be no suprise for me if the blacks end up winning cuzz this shit is all set up and they don't want to look like racist.

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 9th, 2006, 4:04 pm

Tyrant wrote:Anit going to be no suprise for me if the blacks end up winning cuzz this shit is all set up and they don't want to look like racist.


If the man was worried about the show seeming racist why would he be doing it at all ?

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 14th, 2006, 10:36 pm

Did anyone else watch the first Survior tonight? I was really amazed by how much stereotyping the was by the races toward themselves. This promises to be interesting.

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Unread post by none for you » September 15th, 2006, 9:43 pm

Christina Marie wrote:Did anyone else watch the first Survior tonight? I was really amazed by how much stereotyping the was by the races toward themselves. This promises to be interesting.


nope//// no TV, but I DID watch Crash again.... :)

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Unread post by Dr. Gonzo » September 16th, 2006, 8:02 am

That show is rigged...There are TWO white teams. :x

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 17th, 2006, 10:18 pm

Dr. Gonzo wrote:That show is rigged...There are TWO white teams. :x


What you mean Doc

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Unread post by BlaKK » September 17th, 2006, 10:22 pm

All TV is rigged, Gonzo nigga you know this.

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 17th, 2006, 10:25 pm

I dont know what he is meaning, I watched it and there is only one white team. He is just being Gonzo.

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Unread post by none for you » September 17th, 2006, 10:35 pm

Christina Marie wrote:I dont know what he is meaning, I watched it and there is only one white team. He is just being Gonzo.


i bet he means the camera crew.

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 17th, 2006, 10:36 pm

realize the real lies wrote:
Christina Marie wrote:I dont know what he is meaning, I watched it and there is only one white team. He is just being Gonzo.


i bet he means the camera crew.


Hey!! I bet you are right!!! I never thought of that...

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Unread post by Dr. Gonzo » September 18th, 2006, 7:36 pm

I mean the "Latino" team. There is only one brownie in that team! The rest are obviously of pure Spanish ancestry.

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Unread post by Christina Marie » September 18th, 2006, 8:01 pm

Dr. Gonzo wrote:I mean the "Latino" team. There is only one brownie in that team! The rest are obviously of pure Spanish ancestry.


Oh...ok

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Unread post by jeremy » September 19th, 2006, 11:02 am

Dr. Gonzo wrote:I mean the "Latino" team. There is only one brownie in that team! The rest are obviously of pure Spanish ancestry.


Dr.Gonzo is right about this.Me being a hispanic I can tell the difference.

Here is the only "brown" one on the Latino team.She's the Peruvian chick:

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor13 ... ilia.shtml


While the rest are ,like Gonzo said,of pure or mostly Spanish ancestry.

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor13 ... tina.shtml

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor13 ... tina.shtml

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor13 ... illy.shtml

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Unread post by Dr. Gonzo » September 19th, 2006, 11:04 am

jeremy wrote:
Dr. Gonzo wrote:I mean the "Latino" team. There is only one brownie in that team! The rest are obviously of pure Spanish ancestry.


Dr.Gonzo is right about this.Me being a hispanic I can tell the difference.

Here is the only "brown" one on the Latino team.She's the Peruvian chick:

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor13 ... ilia.shtml


While the rest are ,like Gonzo said,of pure or mostly Spanish ancestry.

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor13 ... tina.shtml

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor13 ... tina.shtml

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor13 ... illy.shtml


LOL

You noticed the Peruvian chic to? :D

I'm pulling for the Inca. :wink:

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