Reality TV Show Bosses Criticised over Contestant's Mental Health

Reality TV shows have once again been in headlines.

The ‘reality’ TV series X-Factor, has been slammed for the way they evaluate and handle mental illness in their contestants. In August this year X factor bosses were taken to task over contestant Shirlena Johnson’s mental health. They were accused of ‘Building up her hopes, and crashing them again’. After concerns over her state of mind, she was axed from the show.

This follows the warnings given over the Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle.

The criticism of reality TV doesn’t stop there. There have long been calls for reality series to evaluate their mental health policies. As far back as 2006 Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of Sane, warned Big Brother bosses that: ‘The show is playing fast and loose with people's lives.’

Seems to me, that it is time the media started taking the effect it has on people’s well-being a little more seriously and reconsidered the way vulnerable people are exploited for entertainment...?

Here’s hoping!

Published in Uncovered Magazine October 2010 issue 1

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