Let’s talk: Channel Nine slammed for ‘poverty porn’ TV show

Channel Nine has found itself in hot water once again after airing its new reality show ‘The Briefcase’ last night.
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Channel Nine has found itself in hot water once again after airing its new reality show ‘The Briefcase’ last night.

The show featured two struggling families who each received a briefcase filled with $100,000 in cash on their doorstep. They were also given a note that told them the money was theirs, but they had the choice to keep all of it, keep some of it, or to give it all to another family in need who they would learn details about over the coming week.

While Nine pitched the show as a heartwarming and sometimes gut-wrenching look into the lives Aussie families, many viewers described it as “poverty porn” and accused the station of pitting struggling families against each other for entertainment.

“Do Nine not realise just how cruel the concept of this program is?,” one man wrote on Twitter.

“Like throwing a chip and watching seagulls fight over it,” added another.

“Who thought parading around disadvantaged people was a good idea? What a morally bankrupt concept,” tweeted Nermin.

The real kicker though is that Nine has even admitted to tricking people into being on the show.

“We told people we were doing a show called ‘Making Ends Meet’, in which we were going to come and speak to them about their financial situation and provide some financial advice,” Andrew Backwell, head of programming and production at Nine, told Fairfax.

“We’ve tried to go with average families that have fallen on hard times. Not by being slack or lazy or not giving a shit, but through no fault of their own. You’re going to look at them and feel some compassion.

“We wanted to find ordinary middle-class families that had fallen on hard times.. It wasn’t people putting up their hands for help. It was people looking to share their story of what happened to them.

“It was certainly not families after a hand-out.”

Well people certainly felt compassion for them, but it seems like most viewers were sorry they had been “exploited” by Nine.

Others though, jumped to the show’s defence and said it is a great opportunity for the families and that there’s nothing wrong with it.

At the end of last night’s episode both families decided to donate all of the money to each other – a win win for all involved. The show will continue with two new families next week.

What are your thoughts on this?

Is Nine exploiting struggling families just for entertainment? Or is this ok?

  1. Anne Sayles  

    I don’t understand any of these reality shows, it seems to me that people are being exploited for everything where private moments are there for everyone to see and to play on people’s consciences like this is appalling.

  2. not my favourite show But if people end up with the help they need ..Its all good..Last night was good ..Cant imagine that happening every week..We shall see..

  3. Herma Little  

    reality shows are not my cup of tea. If it is yours…well enjoy!!

  4. Susanne Afford  

    I guess if people agree to being involved in a reality show, they must get paid for it? Hoping I’m right, as other people get paid for being on TV. Both nice families, and both very kind and caring. In reality, would this really happen? What if one family decided the other was more needy and gave them the lot, and the other family decided they needed the money and gave the other family nothing? Would one family get $200,000, and keep it? A little bit too unrealistic for me, and it went on and on. But I did enjoy seeing people giving to each other, without reservation, even if it was contrived.

  5. The previews of this show was enough for me shouldn’t be allowed to happen will never watch

  6. Rob Ozanne  

    One more reason not to watch 7, 9, or 10. Crap programming is also appearing on ABC1

  7. Rod Phillpotts  

    watched it while reading good book makes me wonder about all these so called REALITY shows all of them including this one have to be scripted will stick to Netflix from hereon

  8. Jacqueline Rose  

    I watched the show, not sure I would watch again.
    The two families were the most warm caring selfless people, and it was heart warming to watch. The farmers should be really proud of the way they have raised their daughters, who have the same selflessness.
    Very hard act to follow for the next families !

  9. Not really my type of show but watched last night’s show and was pleased to see both families were winners. I am just worried about what happen’s when one will share and the other doesn’t. My grandson is 14 watched it last night with us and said that he thinks it will be good to watch when they all share but he’s sure that there could be people that are to greedy to share on there and that would be the end of his watching it as he thinks channel 9 is just making it a hard problem for the battlers situation even worse. I was pleased they both came out winners let’s hope that continues

  10. Helen T  

    I don’t watch this sort of rubbish .

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