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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is Fox’s new reality show yet another sign of the apocalypse?

If I didn’t know this was true, I’d have guessed it was the Onion pulling our collective leg:

NEW YORK – 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.

The Guardian sums it all up beautifully:

About 700,000 Americans were sacked in March. In the past month three men who recently lost their jobs went on gun rampages, killing a total of 26 people. What to do with such grim news?

Bright sparks at Endemol USA, the American branch of the brand that brought you Big Brother, have come up with a new idea: to wallow in the misery of America’s threatened workers.

My question is: Is the mere fact that someone conceived of this idea and that enough other someones approved of it to get it into production enough to condemn the entire human race to summary execution by, say, a giant solar flare engulfing the planet Earth, or should we wait until TV audiences make this a hit and we start to see copycat shows in England and Japan before we few innocents need to start packing our bags and heading into deep space?

Is Fox’s new reality show yet another sign of the apocalypse?

(P.S. I’ll feel a lot better about the human race if we hear this is a hoax, but I’m not hopeful.)

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • Jurgan

    The funny thing is that the internal part of the show is, to me, a good idea. The concept of hiring and firing being decided by a democratic process within a company, rather than by the whim of one person who may or may not have any legitimate reason, strikes me as an incredibly positive development for American capitalism. But then, of course, they have to ruin it by televising the whole process, inviting the people at home to wallow in the misery of others (I can already see message boards with thread titles like “Fire That Bitch!”). One step forward, two steps back, I guess.

  • Saladinho

    Ha! Yes, MaryAnn, this is the kind of thing I had in mind when the solar flare hit and I was like, good riddance.

    Network is truer than true now, isn’t it?

  • Ken

    Not only is this a disgusting idea for a television show, it’s a horrible idea for the companies involved. It’s sure to destroy morale and many positive relationships between employees, as the employees that don’t lose their jobs will be all too aware of all of the negative feelings their employees have towards them.

  • Wow! A reality show that caters to the more callous elements of human nature. What a surprise.

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