Thursday, 3 January 2008

TV Company Voyeurism

So Mrs C and I settled down for a spot of telly last night. What was on, I hear you ask? Channel 4 prime time – My Fake Baby. A truly disturbing evening ensued.

The programmed focussed on 3 or 4 ladies who were choosing and then nursing their own dolls. Now not your ordinary toy shop type doll. These were very realistic rubber dolls for adults to dress up, play with, take for a walk etc.

We followed the ladies as they chose them, designed them, went shopping in Harrods with and for them, one lady even went to the States with her Mother to go and collect her new one (her fifth) and go through a ‘bonding process’ in a hotel room for a few days, where she ‘got to know her doll’.

As the film rolled on, it became clear that each of these ladies had a rather tragic history. One had four children, wanted more, but after 4 caesareans couldn’t. One had brought up her grandson whilst her daughter was recovering from cancer, bonded incredibly closely with the child, and just could not get over her ‘loss’ when daughter and grandson emigrated to New Zealand. One lady – the Harrods shopper and US visitor – I assume could not have children…so had dolls instead.

I couldn’t watch it for long. It was just too disturbing.

Obvious point: these ladies – nice, sweet educated, charming, good people – desperately need help. Counselling at the very least. They have gone through a seismic event in their personal lives and not dealt with it well. For them, I feel sorry and concerned that no one in their immediate family and friends group has gripped the situation and sought out the right sort of help for them.

The sickening main issue and point of this post: this was car crash television at its worst. Some evil bastards at Channel 4 had the idea, commissioned the programme, researched the issue, sought out these sad ladies, filmed them, edited the film and ran it on prime time TV. They exploited some very vulnerable people and made an entirely voyeuristic programme – and presumably lots of money for themselves – out of these ladies’ sadness.

I feel revolted that our society let’s this sort of exploitation happen.

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