For your consideration. The following story of a nation of curious people. So, every Tuesday night, millions of people tune in to watch The NBC program ” The Biggest Loser”. Our curiosity gets the best of us on this night. Why? Because we can watch as contestants are ridiculed, screamed at and manipulated all in the interest of a game show. This show is in my opinion a cross between, Survivor, Big Brother and Jerry Springer, with a few other things I cannot name here. It happens to be the only show on network TV in which Shame, Bullying, “Prejudicial Behavior”, Scare Tactics, “Scream Therapy” and so much more, is allowed to take place on our TV screens, in primetime each week. How are we to educate each other and our children, to be tolerant and kind to each other, when this program promotes a “bullying” and assorted other poor behaviors every week? All this is accomplished in the name of ratings.
Having watched Survivor for many years, I expect the scheming and back stabbing, lying and what have you that goes on each week. Yeah! It’s a game show. This behavior on the show is expected and it is the entire premise of that show draws us in. Out Wit, Out Last, you get the money. So, the Biggest Loser, is nothing more. Don’t look as if you didn’t know that! Having not watched the show since its first air date back years ago, I had to watch parts of the show because I wanted to write this story. I listen to people speak about this TV show. First, there are the groups who watch because, in the privacy of their own homes they can ridicule the contestants at will. Fun, huh? I once asked a woman, who was very, very thin, why she watched the show every week, as she did not need to lose any weight. Her response was, “Someone has to show these people, it is not smart to be overweight.” Soooo, they are stupid? I asked how she felt about the screaming and yelling that Bob and Jillian did every week. Her response was. “It’s OK! Someone should have screamed at them years ago.” Nice! This person also believes that treating employees that same way is perfectly all right. Oh, wait. I need to clarify that. Only if that employee is overweight. Loves to see them cry, so “maybe they’ll finally get it.” Ah, bullying at it’s finest. What a nice person to work for.
The show may “help” certain people. I find it hard to believe one needs to be harassed on a game show to change their life. Just sayin! “Alex, I’ll take kindness and education for $1000.00.” My poke at Jeopardy here, but my point is made. Severe obesity should be treated as any other emotional issue or addiction. I am not a medical practitioner. I understand bias and prejudice when I see or hear it. Mostly though, I understand Kindness. NBC should be ashamed and take this show off the air. Call it what it really is. It’s a game show. The producers can throw in personal poignant moments to rip your heart out and cry along with others. Grown men crying, as they stand half-naked on a stage for the weigh in, the camera lens in a “tight shot” of their faces, this is not an act of kindness. You want to care about these people. And, yes they are people. Bob and Jillian get paid to produce many “dramatic moments” and act as if this was real life. In 2004, the winner in weight loss earned $250,000. Rumor had it that the trainers were paid $100,000+ for the season. Not to mention the publicity they all earned for their own fitness routines, DVD’s, workout wear and so on. A game show is not real life. Bob and Jillian will continue to go around hawking their wares on any and all TV, radio and personal internet sites and receive Big Rewards for “acting in a game show”. Do not ever forget, Bob and Jillian are paid handsomely for their acting skills on this show. Viewers out there, are you really watching Jillian’s face when she is making a contestant work really hard while screaming? Do you watch her when she is scheming with the contestants on a winning strategy? Strategy for what? Oh yeah, MONEY!!!
Here’s an idea! Would we care to watch a new show called ” Biggest User?” It would be a great show! Because user addiction is such a health issue in this country, we should give it a chance. Scores of Drug Users can participate in group activities, exercise sessions and mini marathons to show they are committed to get on the right track. Can you imagine, seeing Bob and Jillian scream and belittle those “users” in similar circumstances? The result would be an entire country outraged! Yet, if one is overweight, it is perfectly OK! That is bias my friends.
With a slew of network programming dedicated to poor behaviors, it boggles one’s mind how much we as humans tolerate. I say we as humans are smarter than that.
The public that watches The Biggest Loser is the reason it is still on the air. These are the people who are responsible for the making of the show. Shame on all of them.
Bob Harper: A Celebrity Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor. Jillian Michaels: A Personal Trainer, Diet Products.
Host: Alison Sweeney
Trainers: Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels
Executive producers: Ben Silverman, Dave Broome, JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson and Mark Koops
Co-executive producers: Howard Owens, Todd Lubin, Matt Assmus
Line producer: Carole MacDonal
Director: Neil DeGroot
Director of Photography: Neal Gallagher
Casting producer: Allison Kaz
Origination: Los Angeles, CA
Produced by: Reveille LLC, 25/7 Productions, 3 Ball Productions
*These are my opinions based upon a review of the show and other discussions.