Wednesday, August 03, 2005

MTV to further Exploit Working Class Americans

"Trailer Fabulous" crosses the Line

Well, I should've known somebody would make it happen. Why exploit the middle class with reality television? After all, the American Middle Class is disappearing anyway. There are just so many poor folks to make fun of these days anyway...

Apparently, MTV execs finally took the game to a whole new level, and the network's spin doctors are already gearing up for the backlash.

"We like to reflect all areas of our viewers and their lives," Executive Producer Tony DiSanto, as quoted by CNN, said. "There is a large portion of our viewers that live in trailers and in trailer parks across the country."

DiSanto has never lived in a trailer. As a matter of fact, only about 8% of the American population lives in mobile homes, according to the last U.S. Census. Mobile homes offer an affordable, warm place to live for millions of Americans, yet has never represented a particularly attractive consumer demographic, namely because of the lower income base associated with "trailer park" living.

So is MTV claiming that its largest demographic group lives in mobile homes? Or is there something more sinister at work here?

Sinisterly corporate is probably more appropriate.

The show's producers are already on the defensive, claiming they're only catching the humor inherent to life in a trailer park. Yeah. Sure.

And I maybe those guys marketing the "Dukes of Hazzard" flick aren't thinking about those trucker-hat hungry suburban kids whodress poor without that pesky "no money" problem.

I don't know what pisses me off more - rich kids that think poverty is somehow cool or the corporations that exploit "trailer chic" as a way to capitalize on that same demographic's fantasy land.

I have a new kind of reality show in mind.

How about "Viacom Execs Visit Church Hill," where the ol' Zenfo Pro takes these suits down for a night on the town in Richmond, Virginia's "murder row," one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. We can cut down East Broad, and I'll even throw in some kevlar. The objective - last one to get shanked during an armed robbery wins.

Or how about "Pimp my Gated Community," where the wealthiest 1% of the American population turn over multimillion dollar estates to the poor folks and have to spend the night in an honest-to-god housing project, Parkview Gardens, in my hometown, complete with the minimal security and safety enjoyed by the nation's poorest. Imagine the entertainment value of little Janie Suburbia wearing a $90 "vintage" tee-shirt while having to eat courtesy of a school's free-lunch program. (Sorry, no Taco Bells in the cafeteria, just the Grade C roast beef and instant mashed potatoes.)

Better yet, how about "Real World: Sudan." Seven total strangers picked to live in Darfur and have their lives and subsequent struggles to simply survive taped for entertainment purposes.

MTV's "Trailer Fabulous" is blatantly exploitive, no matter how they choose to spin it. When network folks go on the defensive even before a show airs obviously know they are exploiting but want to minimize the potential backlash.



CNN COVERAGE:
CNN.com - The anti-home makeover show, sort of - Aug 3, 2005

8 comments:

Ms. Jen said...

Hehehe...my stylist now hates u, dude.

I quit watching MTV after they did a story on one of my friends that made my friend look like a homewrecker. This is a much more adult reason :-)

I grew up in a trailer park. The folks that grew up around me didn't need a mobilehome makeover, they needed damn jobs, good schools, and for human beings to give a shit about each other.

Honestly, I could give a crap about keeping up with being trendy anymore. The hottest people, I'm learning, are those who care about what's really going on in the world.

Thx for helping with registering for classes, dude. A million kisses and other things too ;-) You are way too sweet!

JH

Ms Jen said...

BTW, I took your advice...getting the hybrid.

Anonymous said...

Right on, man! I saw a commercial for this the other day and it made me sick to my stomache. I live in a trailer and I've worked my ass off to pay for it. I don't need MTV making me feel like a stupid redneck because of where I live.

Jeff, Hamilton

Ms. Monkeythong said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ms. Monkeythong said...

Oy vey. I grew up a trailer park, too, first thru fifth grade, then we moved back to Cincinnati. Our neighborhood in Cincy was WAY more dysfunctional and creepy than the trailer park. In fact, the trailer park was a pretty decent place except for the smelly sweage treatment plant and when they put manure on the cornfield next door...

I'm so glad we don't have cable; I may miss The Daily Show, but at least my kids don't get infected by this crap.

Smurf said...

Wow... like we have talked about several times, I don't watch MTV any more anyways... they rarely ever show music anymore.. I am so dienchanted with Reality shows anyways... Embarrassed to say I watched Joe Millionare... I watched three series of American Idol... but I am tired of it all.. I may have watched like ONE episode of Survivor.. I did watch one episode of that Celebrity show with the little mini-me dude that peed on the mirror... that show had Peter Brady and a few others.. I also watched a few episodes of the Celebs on VH1 about loosing weight... it had Liv Tyler's little sister, Judge somebody and one of the famous brothers.. can't think of his name..I have friends that thrive on that stuff... not me...

btw, you left a VM on Thursday saying you had a new number and you sent it out by email.. I never got it. Thanks for calling though... I appreciate the fact you cared enough to see how we were. We are okay, but it seems like every avenue we are trying is not working.. I am tempted to call the KKTV11 Call for action... but like with the BBB and the labor board, none deal with subcontractors... which really sucks... this man HAS to be exposed... several shady things going on... and the fact he calls himself a Christian really disturbs me.

Love you, Shirley

Smurf said...

to clarify... we don't know if the call for action is strictly consumer or for any need to publicly call for action...

Ogbuefi Stephi said...

everything about the media these days scares me and disgusts me. it makes me despise humanity, to tell you the god-honest truth. i mean, something's gotta be wrong with us if there is actually a market for this kind of show.
the dramatic gap between classes is nothing to exploit for perverse entertainment sake. i'm sorry, but nothing about that is entertaining.
thanks for the post.
~stephanie