Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another (late) Friday Fuckwit - "Someone's Gotta Go" reality show

Even by reality TV standard,  this show hits a new low:

The Fox network is letting employees of some troubled small businesses decide which one of their colleagues will be laid off and turning the results into a reality show.

The series, "Someone's Gotta Go," is in production, but Fox wouldn't say on Wednesday when it would go on the air.

Each episode will feature a company with about 15 or 20 employees that needs to cut costs because of the economy. Instead of the boss deciding who is fired, the company will open its books to show everyone's salaries and let the employees make the call.

In an inverse to "The Apprentice," the chosen one loses, instead of gets, a job.

Fox says the laid-off worker will get a small severance, but isn't saying whether the network or producers are paying the participants in anything beyond the chance for prime-time fame. Fox is developing the show with Endemol USA, the company behind "Big Brother," "Deal or No Deal" and "Fear Factor."
...Mike Darnell, chief of alternative programming at Fox, said everyone who participates in the show knows fully what they are doing.

"I feel that it's part of the times that we are living in," Darnell said. "It's certainly no worse than watching the news every night and hearing all the statistics and watching what is happening. To be frank, like all these shows, if you don't want to watch, don't watch it."

He envisions it as a story about employee empowerment. Many people in the workplace can relate to seeing a colleague laid off and wondered why someone else they perceived as less valuable kept their job, he said.

Darnell said he wasn't concerned about the emotional fallout in a workplace after "Someone's Gotta Go," where an employee might be left to work with a colleague they'd just said on national television should be fired.

"Sounds like good reality television," he said. "You just described a good concept for a reality TV show."

Not quite how I understand 'employee empowerment,' what about them working together to support each other, run their own companies, fight to keep jobs for all of them? Says it all that Darnell isn't concerning about people's emotions or welfare or how they will continue working together afterwards. And what of the person chosen to be fired, yeah that's going to feel great , no job and also feeling unwanted and unpopular by your workmates. Dog eat dog indeed. 

Still it suits the companies, a divided workforce is a lot weaker, at each others throats rather than the bosses, plus making money for the TV company.

Workers of the world unite !