Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Cultureshock Rantpage: Channel 4 Child Abuse Claims

The original Channel 4 logo, used from 1982–1996Image via Wikipedia

Channel 4's 'Boys and Girls Alone' has been generating controversy ever since it was announced, but now seems to be reaching fever pitch, with various social services bodies and child psychology experts demanding that the show be pulled for 'child abuse'.

Now it wouldn't take a so-called expert to predict that someone would try to pull out the child abuse card, but I think it has taken just a smidgen too long for someone to point out the absurd, and frankly disgusting implications of that claim.

If 'child abuse' is 24 hour supervision by trained chaperones, parents watching and able to intervene at any moment and camping trips by the seaside, then what the hell is the fuss all about?

There was me thinking child abuse was a serious issue.

Oh and let's not forget paedophilia! I actually didn't see that one coming. Maybe I should be a little more cynical next time:

“There is something almost paedophilic in the way Channel 4 exploits children to attract sensational audience figures.”
Labour MP Denis MacShane (http://tinyurl.com/aaol74)
To so casually chuck in a reference to paedophilia is irresponsible, insensitive, and far more sensationalist than anything contained within Channel 4's programme, not to mention staggeringly ignorant.

This knee-jerk reaction is easily as childish as anything that occurs within the programme, which has received nothing but positive feedback from the parents and children involved, with claims that the children are more mature and confident following the experience.

And why wouldn't they be? The constant bickering/bullying/arguing/sniffling and fighting of the first couple of episodes was no worse than anything they will have put up with in the playground every day of their wretched traumatic lives. And if anyone had bothered to actually watch the programme, they would have seen the children developing more tolerant and mature attitudes astonishingly quickly.

Tuesday's episode saw the girls gutting, skinning, cooking and eating rabbit, and the boys catching and preparing fish. I very much doubt that would have happened if these child experts had jumped in at the first sign of 'trauma'. The series has also seen the boys move through fighting for dominance (resulting in the much reported 'knife threatening incident', involving an extremely dangerous butter knife at an extremely dangerous minimum of six feet away), to effectively agreeing that a democratic approach is better for everyone.

To cry 'child abuse' over something so trivial is nothing more than shameful, reactionary sensationalism, exactly the kind lampooned by the infamous Brass Eye in 2001, which itself probably had a few of the same feathers ruffled. Grow up.




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2 comments:

davidbraziel said...

Hi Tim,

Nice new blog!

Posted my comments on my Tumblr

http://braziel.me.uk/post/80195530/boys-and-girls-alone-channel-4

David.

rduht said...
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