Survivor in Color
Reality television SUCKED this summer with its blatantly rigged outcomes that even Helen Keller could have seen coming, like Mike “the ugliest man ever to grace television” Malin winning Big Brother and Magni taking the top prize on Rock Star. OK, so they haven’t actually concluded yet, but I’m pretty sure that even if they don’t win, the producers will have generously helped the actual winners along. But now the new television season is starting and CBS is finally taking a chance and doing something that should have been done before. The 13th installment of Survivor is pitting five Asians, five black people, five Latinos, and five white people against each other to fight for the million-dollar reward carrot at the end of the game. The brilliance of this concept is that most likely the game will be played exactly as it usually is and the audience will be able to observe that underneath the skin people really truly are exactly the same.
Anyone who knows me would tell you that I have always had a fascination with the idea of racism. I have never understood how it is possible that people could hate other people solely because they are from a different country or of a different race. Sixty years ago millions of people were tortured and brutally murdered during the holocaust. The killings were allowed because a few powerful people convinced the masses that those of a different religion were so dangerous that they needed to be destroyed. Think about it for a second. Think how it would be possible to actually sit by and watch your neighbors be beaten and murdered. Imagine having the audacity to think that you had the right to own another human being as our settlers did with the slaves. Try to picture in your mind watching as people were dragged out of airports and looked away in prisons because of their ethnicity. Picture it graphically, the mutilation and destruction, the hatred and complete disregard for human life, and all the while we sit there and watch and do nothing…. The images of destroyed lives need to sit in our minds as a constant reminder of what exactly we as human beings are capable of. We need to remember and relive the horrors that took place in our not-so-distant past so that we can make sure nothing like it will EVER happen again. The inexcusable behavior of those who are openly, actively racist is nearly eclipsed by those who sit idle and don’t notice the world around them.
OK, so this is the point of my entry, where my best friend looks up from reading and says, “What the hell does this have to do with Survivor?” Well, the answer is, “Not much.” However, I do think it will be important for people to watch a show that has ethnic diversity. I have loved reality shows because they allow a little farm girl in Boise, Idaho, to see people of color and a boy from the hood to watch Asian Americans. You never see ethnic mixing on mainstream television. They are usually segregated into channels or there are a few token characters thrown in. No, Survivor will not change anyone’s minds about who people are. No, Survivor will not bring about some sort of ethnic peace. But if the most-watcjed television series can bring even a small amount of acceptance by showing that people of different ethnicities may have different customs and communication values but inside they all are the same, then I think something cool will have come out of the show.
And now for predictions: I guarantee that a white male will not win the show. Because no Asian, black, or Latino male has ever won a show on CBS, I would not be surprised if this was (finally) the time. My hope is that after this show the producers will push less for a specific ethnicity and realize that the winners are not the most important aspect of the show. How the contestants interact is what the viewers really want to see. So set your TiVos dudes! BLOG HARD!!!!
It’s always a business doing pleasure with you.
– Dylan Vox