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Shining a spotlight on reality TV

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

By Winston Chu and Mahika Khosla Nov. 9, 2023


The reality television show “Love is Blind” offers viewers a glimpse into the world of true love: Singles attempt to fall in love with someone on the other side of a wall, removing physical appearance from the equation. This unique social experiment has captivated the attention of many viewers. However, amidst a supposedly heartfelt atmosphere, contestants have made allegations against the show regarding sexual assault and neglect.


Lyn Kang art

In August 2022, contestant Tran Dang filed a lawsuit against the show’s producers—Kinetic Content and Delirium TV. Dang claimed that her then-fiancé, Thomas Smith, “forcibly and repeatedly made sexual contact” despite her “expressing objections” while filming the show in May 2022, and complained that the production crew had filmed the entire event without her knowledge. The defendants claimed that the problem lied in communications and ignored Dang’s concerns.


This was not the first time “Love is Blind” was hit with a lawsuit; Jeremy Hartwell, a competitor on season two reported that the cast were forced to film up to 20 hours per day, while deprived of food and water. Producers gave excessive alcohol to contestants in order to make them behave in ways entertaining to viewers, and cut off their phone access—although, the show creator defended that contestants are forewarned about the lack of technology during the show, and have the right to stop participating at any time. The allegations led many viewers to question whether the show should continue airing.


“Certain reality shows will do whatever they can in order to make it funny and entertaining to watch. These measures are often harmful to contestants and violate their rights,” Junior Vincent Chung said.

Such allegations have not only arisen in “Love is Blind,” but in various other reality TV shows as well. Contestants on “Bachelor in Paradise” were involved in controversial incidents involving excessive alcohol consumption. Other reality shows like “Love Island” have caused several actors to attempt suicide because of the lack of attention that was given to their mental health and personal well-being. These disturbing incidents emphasize the necessity of ensuring a more responsible and ethical approach to filming reality shows.


“Reality TV often does not provide a truthful account of what actually happened. Editing, manipulation, selective casting and the pursuit of entertainment value can distort the accuracy of events, leading to a portrayal that is more dramatized than a reflection of reality,” Sophomore Shreya Manu said.

The increasing popularity of reality TV shows may be a result of the rapid commercialization of the modern world; people desire “authentic” experiences, which makes them turn to reality TV shows. However, many of these shows continue to sustain an unethical culture behind the scenes, fueled by approval and engagement from viewers. By boycotting or petitioning against the unethical practices behind reality TV shows, viewers can use their influence to put an end to this abusive culture plaguing the entertainment industry.

 

About the contributors

Winston Chu

staff writer


Winston Chu is a sophomore at Leland High. He enjoys writing, debating, and sleeping.








Mahika Khosla

staff writer


Mahika Khosla is a sophomore at Leland High School and is a writer for The Charger Account. During her free time, she enjoys reading novels, watching movies with popcorn, and creating board games.




Lyn Kang

artist


Hyunsuh Kang is a junior at Leland High School and is the artist. During her free time, she enjoys watching movies, sleeping and listening to music such as pop.


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