Should TV Companies Use People With Mental Health Issues on Reality Shows?
With the recent problems suffered by Anne Hegerty on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, I was thinking about how people with mental health issues or conditions such as Asperger’s and Autism cope with these reality TV shows.
I am sure that many celebrities and members of the public that go on these shows are willing to undergo the trials and tribulations. However, I do have to call into question the reasoning behind some of their decisions. I am aware that many people want to go and put themselves in these situations, but are they really aware of the consequences?
The issues that Anne Hegerty had when she first entered the jungle, highlight for me the problems that some people face with these challenging reality TV shows. Although Anne has now seemed to calm down and dare I say, enjoy her experience, what will the long-term fallout be from this event?
I wondered if TV companies are giving the contestants on these shows the correct assessments before entering. Are they considering the implications of their actions, or are they fully aware, and want to use these stressful situations to gain more viewers for the show? They may argue that people agree to take part, but just because they want to, doesn’t mean they should.
I am not suggesting discriminating against people with mental health problems or any conditions such as Autism, but I feel that more needs to be done to stop what might become an exploitation of these individuals for ratings.
While there are many, including myself, who are praising Anne for bringing Autism to the public eye and raising awareness, we also need to be cautious of the fact that this is supposed to be entertainment, and is seeing Anne is distress really entertaining?
You can read more about Autism and Aspergers on the autism.org.uk website.