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August 23, 2006

Survivor: Jim Crow edition

New 'Survivor' Divides Groups by Race (AP)

Allegedly, the "reality" TV show "Survivor" was criticized for not being sufficiently ethnically diverse. Their solution? Segregating contestants by race and pitting them against each other.

The announcement was made on CBS' Early Show. Host Jeff Probst says the idea ''actually came from the criticism that 'Survivor' was not ethnically diverse enough.'' He says the twist fits in perfectly with what ''Survivor'' does, saying the show is ''a social experiment. And this is adding another layer to that experiment.'' Probst says contestants had mixed reactions to the racial divisions.

Problem solved! I can't wait for the TV critics to gush about how brave "Survivor" is for prompting open and constructive discussions of race in America.


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» Survivor's Races from The Debate Link
CBS has confirmed that the next season of Survivor will feature racially segregated tribes (H/T: Orly Lobel). They're claiming that it will be a useful social experiment. I never watched Survivor (or any reality TV with the occasional exception of Th... [Read More]


If it was Red vs. Blue, you know you'd watch.

Hey, they have to have SOME kind of reason to call it "reality" TV.

[who watches that crap anyway?'

Hm. Apparently Latinos are neither white, black, nor Asian. Good to know.

I might actually watch, just to see the train wreck after the first physical challenge: no matter who wins or loses, *someone's* gonna let loose with Pat Buchananisms, and teach us all some new synonyms for 'macaca.'

The absolute best part will be reading wingnut bloggers trying to draw grand lessons from each challenge and competition.

The absolute best part will be reading wingnut bloggers trying to draw grand lessons from each challenge and competition. - togolosh

Or claiming that this segregation on a TV show shown on a "liberal network" (i.e. it's on the TeeVee, therefore it must be "liberal") indicates that liberals really are segregation loving racists, e.g., for supporting affirmative action.

"Survivor" just may be the lamest show in the history of television. I tried to force myself to watch it once, but quit after ten minutes. I couldn't believe that this was the hit show that people were talking about.

It's called "reality" but this kind of cutthroat bullshit does not jibe with what I see in social or even business situations. It's not reality at all. It's like a comic book, only not as well written.

Well, as long as the Asians get to keep Wu-Tang Clan, I'm happy. [/Chapelle]

"Survivor" just may be the lamest show in the history of television.

Wow, you've clearly seen very little television.

This is great publicity on their part, and the fact of the matter is, they'll be back to standard, inoffensive, two-tribe Survivor within the first three episodes. But they'll have been talked about again for the first time in ten or so seasons.

Ok, I've never seen a single episode of Survivor, but can't escape this story in the blogosphere today. So I just have to ask: what's the significance of dividing the tribes by race? Is it so we can start a whole new line of stereotypes based on Survivor-like behavior? E.g. which race is the most cutthroat, full of backstabbers, etc. Great.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this is a horrible idea. I can't see how anything postive could result from a televised and sanitized version of a mini-race war. I'll be paying close attention to who the sponsors of the show will be.

Remember the blue eyes/brown eyes lesson?

I now know I have lived too long. Especially with Limbaugh handicapping the races, no pun.

Segregating contestants by race and pitting them against each other.

Wow...what a novel concept. I wonder where they get their ideas?

I've heard, from an native Hawaiian, that Hawaiians (and other Polynesians) are NOT allowed on Survivor.

Presumably because they'd do so much better than those citified wussies. It would be no contest.

Now, I have no way to tell if this is actually true or not. And it does seem rather self-promoting from its source. But it does make you go 'hmmm'.

Regarding "other Polynesians," you do need to be an American citizen to be on the show.

As for the rest of it: plain malarkey.

One, it's just not true, and two, doing physically well is not only far from a guarantee, it's sometimes a handicap.

So, for whatever reason, Sage hasn't updated your site feed since Monday. Ergo, I just discovered this. I now have a slack jaw and blurry vision. Stunned. Utterly stunned.

While I find Survivor to be a pretty dull show in its recent forms (I was a fan of 1 & 2) this idea is actually pretty interesting. I mean, if they made a reality show about an integrated high school or college, where you mixed people from all different ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds, the people would generally gravitate towards their own. We all know that America is still highly segregated, and some of that is due to people choosing to live among those with whom they feel comfortable: their own! There other socio-economic and racial bias reasons as well, to be sure. But what makes this interesting to me is that the producers could very well make the separate racial groups diverse within themselves.

To wit: in each of the groups we could see individuals from different economic backgrounds. They will be fighting amonsgt themselves based on their own differences, not to mention the racial tensions that will be inevitable. CBS is shooting for a shock value, and race is the easy way to do that. I won't watch it, but hey, whatever works for them.

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