TV shows are known to bend over backwards for TRPs. We’ve witnessed dramatic pauses, slow panning cameras, fisticuffs and loud arguments that could make cats look tame. But recently a new trend seems to have taken centrestage. Fairly irrelevant reality show American Idol grabbed international headlines when Katy Perry kissed a boy, and no neither he nor the viewers liked it.
For those who are unaware, here’s exactly what went down:
Not just this, Katy has been channeling her inner creepy lady by hitting on most male contestants. When one of the contestants narrated his life story, all Katy could do was go, ‘You’re sooo hot!’
In case nobody sent Katy Perry (or you) a memo, objectification and sexism runs both ways and we’d thank you to not propagate it.
The incident kickstarted the conversation about how it’s not okay for BOTH male and female contestants to casually harass male contestants. Many comments poured in asking, ‘If a male judge would’ve done this, there would’ve been outrage. Where is the outrage now?’
And rightly so. Do we not live in a society that wants gender equality? If Papon was wrong to kiss a minor and call it ‘paternal and mentor’ affection, then Katy’s unwelcome kiss to the AI contestant is just as wrong.
But as it turns out, Papon or Perry’s kisses weren’t lone incidents. It’s almost like writers on reality shows are *adding* this ‘element’ to their scripts to keep the drama quotient flying high.
In the latest Roadies Xtreme episode, judge Neha Dhupia can be seen grabbing a boy and kissing him on the cheeks. Here’s the backstory- the boy was asked to propose to Neha as a task (because what else would you do with a female judge, right?).
Anywhoo, Neha was super impressed with the way he did it, grabbed his face and gave him a peck. Nope, there’s no seeking permission before the pecking.
Another incident that was pretty difficult to digest was on Top Model India when a male contestant walked the ramp and Judge Anaita Adajania got up to fix his shorts. While doing so, she playfully rubbed his thighs and smirked about how nice they are while the judges go ‘ooohh’.
Our word of the day is ‘Consent’ which means seeking permission and waiting for a green signal for something, before it is done.
How is anyone not reacting to this? In both situations, the boys are clearly comfortable. Even if they’re scripted, the kind of message it gives out is incredibly, incredibly toxic for young people watching these shows and assuming that when a woman takes liberties, men are not supposed to protest.
Here’s the lesson for the day kids: harassment is harassment, no matter who does it. The fact that both these shows air on major TV channels with thousands of people watching them, this sort of behaviour needs to be flagged down.
Where is the young, woke generation when you need them?