Against my better judgement I decided to watch the X-Factor last night. Normally I avoid all reality shows but I thought this is one that everyone is always talking about and the start of a new series, so worth giving it a try.
What I saw though was one of the nastiest and cruellest pieces of television in my life. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion, horribly unpleasant and cynically manipulative. The sole purpose of this show seems to be to invite the audience watching at home to laugh at the contestants and to be 'entertained' by seeing others being mercilessly stripped of their dignity. This is not entertainment in any sense of the word, its cruel and unfair. I think it says a lot about our society when watching a programme that is solely based on individuals being rude to each other is considered either acceptable or decent.
I imagine X-Factor has a huge following amongst young children and teenagers. What sort of message does it send to them? That it is acceptable to be rude and to disrespect entirely another person's feelings? To laugh and call others less fortunate than ourselves silly names?
The X-Factor felt like the 'judges' were elevated to the role of the bully with the audience being invited to join in, supporting their attacks on the defenseless. Having suffered at the hands of bullies when I was a kid, I know just what a horrible experience that is.
This really is a disgusting and devaluing piece of television. It has no moral centre and I am disappointed that our values have slipped to such a low point. Certainly I will never be watching this programme again.