Is reality television too open to bullying? 251



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Last night on the New Zealand series of X Factor, a young man called Joe Irvine performed, wearing a suit with his hair slicked back. He did a wonderful job and the audience absolutely loved it. However when it came time to hear from the judges, two absolutely throttled him on his outfit choice, calling him a myriad of insulting things and belittling him in front of a multi-national audience. This has made us open up the discussion, is reality television too open to bullying?

You can watch the segment in the video below, but here’s a recap of some of the things two judges said.

UK judge Natalia Kills said, after his performance, “As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband (fellow judge Willy Moon), from the hair to the suit. Do you not have any value or respect for originality?

“You’re a laughing stock, it’s cheesy, it’s disgusting,” she said.

Natalia’s husband and fellow judge, Willy Moon, then compared Irvine to the fictional Psycho murderer Norman Bates and said Irvine’s performance felt “a bit cheap and absurd” indicating he had some kind of “stalkerish” or “obsessive” problem because he was wearing a suit.

It was revealed about 30 minutes ago that the couple have now been sacked from the positions of judge on the show – driven by a viral social media campaign against their bullying since last night.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Human Rights Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said “bullying isn’t acceptable” whether at work, at school or on stage at an X Factor talent show.

“I’m glad to see Mediaworks decided to not be a bystander and to publicly condemn bullying abuse.

“Many people across the country spoke out to support the young man who was publicly ridiculed on the show last night.

“I’d like to congratulate the thousands of everyday New Zealanders who took to social media to condemn this bullying behaviour, to stand up for someone else who was being bullied”.

So it’s time to have this discussion, should there be some kind of rules and regulations for judges on live, reality TV talent shows? Do you think that these kinds of shows open them up to bullying? 



Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. The individuals concerned (don’t deserve to be called by their names) need their mouths washed out with VINEGAR SOAP AND WATER – KAY I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THEM EITHER NEITHER HAS MY DAUGHTER AND SHE IS NOT YET 40 – THEY ARE nobodies

    1 REPLY
  2. Think that was dreadful and pleased the TVNZ station fired them. He didn’t look anything like the rude sheilas husband. Unfortunately we didn’t get to hear the contestant sing, just the verbal abuse by that girl.

  3. Glad I am still in Australia & didn’t have to watch this. Who do these 2 think they are?? Actually…showing my 62 years because have never heard of either of them

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    • You’re not showing your years. I gather they are more or less one hit wonders and hardly anyone had heard of them (judging by the comments). I certainly hadn’t and hope I never do again.

    • Not one of my teenage niece’s or my 20 something nephew’s have heard of them either………..So they are obviously not as famous as they think they are!

  4. This is why I don’t watch the vast majority of reality shows. If they don’t include bullying, it’s ridicule and the way they deliberately induce exhaustion and anxiety makes me hopping mad. Totally disfunctional.

  5. Bullying and harrassment have been a serious and largly ignored problem in NZ for a long time, especially in the workplace. There are laws but they’re largly ignored. It was so good to hear that in this instance it’s been stamped on hard. Unfortunately, if it had not happened on TV, probably nothing much would have been done. It was so heartening to hear that complaints from the public had flooded in. The two judges (?) showed exactly the sort of people they are. NZ doesn’t want or need them. As far as regulating judges comments go, I really think no regulation is needed. They just need to know……if someone behaves in such a way there will be very serious consequences indeed. The Jeremy Clarkson, umm, fracas needs different handling. Boys shake hands…….and BBC grow up. Oh, and BBC, if you’re going to have staff work long hard days away from home, you really do need to make sure you feed them properly, or you’ll have whole crews snarling. Please no more pc nonsense. It’s the most destructive concept ever.

  6. so glad they were fired fromthe show and it would not hurt the female judge to go and wash her face did she put her makeup on with a shovel

  7. Couldn’t bear to watch it again!! It was quite disgusting! Not sure who that woman thinks she is! Please get some NZ judges with integrity!

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