America’s obsession for highly dramatic sensational reality shows

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

We have a large fraction of our population that seems to be obsessed with dramatic sensationalism and fireworks generated by the media, especially reality television shows, relentlessly throwing moral incendiary indiscretions in our faces on a daily basis. Many of the shows presented on television today are inundated with scenarios displaying the worst of human behaviors that should be shunned and discouraged. But ironically, there is a large audience catering to and gravitating to these shows, parading lack of self-control and embellishing immorality. Too many of these shows manifest the epitome of rude behavior, selfishness, backstabbing and glorifying the acquisition of material wealth to a fault.

In many of the shows, individuals (especially women) are often baited against each other—all full of jealousy. They throw shade and sometimes engage in catfights. We are seeing the worst of human behavior. Many people are becoming immune and desensitized to violence and disrespectful actions. True fans or supporters of these sensational shows are quick to claim they don’t support the violence or bad behavior manifested, seeing it merely as entertainment.

While we must always support freedom of speech and creative expression, we should be mindful of the negative and harmful influences that may be a product of its misuse. There should be a balance. Just as many shows manifesting the good, positive, and humanitarian spirit inherent in all of us should be offered.

Let’s not be so naïve as to believe that too much negativity doesn’t affect our young children when they are exposed to it constantly. I am afraid that we are creating a generation of young people who will be less empathetic and concerned with the well being of others. Unfortunately, there is a growing number of fans who think it is acceptable to manifest some of the immoral and dehumanizing behaviors they see in so many of these reality shows. In fact some people attribute cultural stereotyping to some of these sensational shows—especially when it comes to African American women.

There is no shortage of women, especially beautiful Black women, in many of these shows. But often they are depicted as shallow, materialistic gold diggers, conniving backstabbers, or loud talking women hurling berating derogatory remarks at each other. Too often reality shows consist primarily of extremely self-absorbed, highly jealous, women—unduly envious of each other. Their shallowness is often highlighted by their extravagance for materialism in trying to outdo each other.

It would only be fair to show more intelligent, conscientious, educated, loving, spiritual, morally driven women like those we personally observe: our mothers, aunts, sisters, and many other women in our lives. ‘Real’ reality would be to present other sides of human relationships devoid of the excessive drama and sensationalism that attracts many television viewers.

Believe it or not, there is an audience that wants more shows depicting the goodness, love, and humanity found in people interacting and living together with mutual respect and admiration for each other. I am referring to shows where dignity, self-respect, and true friendships are the norm and overly sensational, the dehumanizing drama is not the driving force to attract and pacify the audience. Truly decency and morality is not completely dead. Offer the public a balance in the shows we view.