Just when you think you’ve seen it all, leave it to The Bachelor to pull an Emeril Lagasse and “Bam! Kick it up a knotch!”
In case you haven’t heard, The Bachelor season finale was on Monday and Tuesday of this past week. And…wow. Just…W O W.
It was a dumpster fire of everything wrong with the media today.
For a super quick recap, Arie Luyendyk Jr. – the Bachelor – was down to the final two: Becca Kufrin and Lauren Burnham. And he had a really difficult decision, because he loved them both.
After much deliberation, he ended up proposing to Becca, only to call off the engagement with her, two months after the show finished filming, so that he could be with the runner up, Lauren.
But here’s the catch: he ambushed Becca and filmed the break up in its entirety. He ended things at one of their “Happy Couple Weekends.” (which are where the couple can spend time together in secret while the show is filming, as they’re not allowed to be seen in public because it would spoil the outcome of the show). She showed up thinking it was just a normal get together with her fiancé, and he showed up – camera crew in tow – and proceeded to blind side her with the break up for all the world to see.
And let’s not forget the grand puppeteer in all of this – ABC – airing the most devastating, humiliating, painful moment in this poor girl’s life — in a SPLIT SCREEN no less.
Chris Harrison, the host, kept reminding us of how this footage was unedited, setting a record for the longest, most dramatic raw footage ever to be aired in television history.
You could just feel them salivating over it.
They drew it out – for three hours. And then, added an additional live show the following night for another two hours.
It was just relentless.
ABC destroyed this young woman for the sake of ratings, and is now laughing all the way to the bank.
And honestly, I felt really icky watching it.
I had a text thread going with my parents – I’m in NYC, they’re in Ohio – and we were watching this horror show “together.”
And the conclusion was unanimous:
After about 30 seconds of the split screen assault on this woman, we didn’t like it. It was blatantly clear that this was not right. We were seeing something private that we should not be a part of.
It felt voyeuristic.
Aggressively and ruthlessly invasive.
And as much as I hated myself for watching this gut wrenching moment on TV, I couldn’t turn away.
I was caught in the viewing trap that ABC had so expertly manipulated into existence.
I am part of the problem.
I don’t know about you, but it feels like over the last several years – but especially recently – it feels like any last ditch effort of decency in the movie/television/media industry has raised their white flag and given up.
The garbage being belched out of Hollywood seems to have exponentially regressed in the last year.
Think about it: Fifty Shades of Grey is on it’s third sequel. The movie that won Best Picture, The Shape of Water, heavily involves bestiality. Which is not too far of a leap from 2014’s Best Screenplay, Her, involving a romantic relationship between man and an artificially intelligent “Siri-like” machine. This last year, the movie 13 Reasons Why glamorized teen suicide, while To the Bone all but glorified anorexia. Not to mention YouTuber Logan Paul broadcasting the dead body of a young man who committed suicide on his channel. There’s even a TV show that is literally called, “Luicifer.”
Frankly, The Bachelor’s morally numb and invasive finale seems like par for the course for 2018.
Which begs the question: Where is the line?
Or perhaps more accurately…Does a line even still exist?
And unfortunately, the answer to that question is sobering at best.
Because I am part of the problem.
My watching that finale, and talking about it, and listening to podcasts about it — that is the problem.
What we will allow is what will continue.
Every movie ticket we buy. Every “view” we give these television events — those are votes we cast with our eyeballs and our pocketbooks.
The mainstream, corporate media has proven to us over and over again that they are governed by one thing, and one thing only: money.
So if it sells, you better believe they’ll be dishing it out, no matter how vile or morally outrageous.
And we, as an audience, are letting them get away with it. But watching. By reading. By discussing. By keeping it relevant and propelling its social influence and social currency.
It’s time we take back that power. Make a stand that says, enough is enough.
By supporting films and shows that have positive messages. By not giving our money or viewership to media that corrodes the moral threshold of society. By resisting and taking a stand against media or personalities that shame faith and God and make a mockery out of believers. By sharing articles on Facebook that are positive, uplifting messages that counter all the garbage we’re being force-fed on a daily – hourly – basis.
It’s time we take back the world in which we live.
Enough is enough.
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