Receive Nasty Criticism
When I posted my article about the nature of the reality TV industry on the university website, I wasn’t expecting the torrent of abuse that I received from certain people. I had addressed what I thought was a contentious issue of course, but one that was worth talking about: the idea that most of the people appearing on shows such as Britain’s Got Talent haven’t gone through the laborious and heart-warming process of struggling through personal issues, rising above them, seeing the light, auditioning for a reality TV show, getting through the hundreds of rounds, taking criticism from Simon Cowell and then winning the show with a standing ovation from the thousand + members of the audience. No. That isn’t the whole story. And that was made crystal clear when it was revealed that band Loveable Rogues had been cherry picked in advance by the producers of Britain’s Got Talent and had gotten through all the rounds because the judges wanted them to – not because they had come of their own choice and auditioned like everybody else.
This is a similar story to the ‘freaks’ of the show. Most of them have not auditioned. They have in fact been headhunted by the producers of these shows after being spotted doing mad things on home videos on Youtube for example. And that’s the sad, but very real, truth of the matter. Anyway, I wrote about this in an article called The Price of Talent, and for a few lines I mentioned Susan Boyle. I referenced the words of a Mirror.co.uk blogger who, in summary, said that if Susan Boyle didn’t look the way she did then she wouldn’t have been quite so famous. And to an extent I agree with this blogger. However, I received a lot of hateful comments on this article claiming that I was ‘arrogant’ if I had judged SuBo on her appearance before she had started to sing. In fact, I received a lot of hateful comments in regards to Boyle in general. These fans had latched onto a tiny facet of the article and had run with it, to the point of writing huge great comments praising Susan Boyle and casting down anybody who was critical. Even though the article was not about her.
It got me thinking about the people that must be writing these comments. At first I was hurt by what people said, because I wasn’t offensive about Susan Boyle, I was merely referencing someone else’s opinion – and, to be perfectly brutal – the opinion of the most of the public. However, after thinking about it, I realised that this was great. I had brought traffic to the university newspaper website and I had people talking about it. A debate had sprung up on the comment section between people who liked what I had to say and those who didn’t. Those who were intentionally rude about me – and not what I had to say – I just think of as people who cower behind their computer screens at home searching for anything remotely controversial said about people they love – aka Susan Boyle – ready to pounce with insults and belittling remarks. They hadn’t read the article, they had read the few lines on SuBo and gotten hot-headed.
That’s when I realised it didn’t upset me. They don’t know me, they hadn’t bothered to actually read the whole article which was very apt considering the controversy surrounding the Loveable Rogues and they made my article one of the most read on the website – score!!