Two lettres in one day. It’s a thin line, between love and hate.
TO: Channel 4
RE: ‘Secret Millionaire’
It is incredibly meaningful to have seen this programme mature with age. At first, it seemed gimmicky, however, last nights broadcast was, in my opinion, very groundbreaking. In contrast to many shows on television, you’ve presented the harsh realities of substance abuse and addiction.
Thank you for not sugar-coating the issue. Thank you for not ‘teasing away’ the message with anecdotes and ‘you know how it is’ sidebars. The ramifications of booze-drug peddling on television are paramount. The honesty in this programme, and the bravery of the ‘millionaire’ should be a new benchmark for producers and filmakers. It is easy to make jokey programming that pleases alcohol manufacturers. I am sure it is difficult to get messages such as ‘alcohol is a drug’ past the ratings’ team.
I don’t advocate prohibition, just more provocative, responsible programming, like yours, to balance the onslaught now directed at Western society.
Now, about that one you call ‘Skins’…
Your programme that has just aired is one of the biggest feats of misinformation I’ve seen in recent years.
I am in no way in support of porn for underage teens, but you generalise the effect of porn, alone, to the point of absurdity, while, your sponsors: Gillette with dancing, perfect legs (just before the part of shaving), Guitar Hero with a bottomless woman (perfect blonde), Orgy scenes from the ‘Rock the Boat’ movie, and oral simulation in the Baileys advert – outright hypocrisy! The effect of mainstream media, glamour magazines, adverts, films and the like have as much/more to do with girls’ (and boys) poor self image as porn.
On protection: your premise is again, almost laughable. PC World cannot effectively control what anyone does with a computer any more than BMW can stop you from hitting another car. You neglect the real problem because it is too big for your hour: targeting the porn sites themselves. It has been proposed over and over in the US and UK to create a domain (i.e. .prn or .sex) which would contain all porn and be as simple as a click of a button to lockout on any computer, completely. Unfortunately, the Puritanical factions of our society don’t want to acknowledge the very existence of porn, or create a place for it. Why not send your producers out to joust a windmill (or Westminster) and call them Quixote?
The showing of porn to the parents was subjective and irresponsible. OF COURSE you’ll get that reaction. Why not assemble a room of right-wing Christians and show rap videos? Why didn’t you ask them why they buy their children computers, and leave them alone, in their rooms, to do whatever they want? Isn’t E4 the home of the show ‘SKINS’?? Again, hypocrisy!
Finally, it is sexist and disgustingly suggestive to gather agroup of high school students and repetitively point the finger at ‘the lads’… baiting them with silly questions. Again, irresponsible with a capital “I”. Girls are just as responsible for their own self image – and not entirely because of boys.
Perhaps this subject is too great for a few hours. Perhaps you actually need more time to produce a responsible piece of work. This, as I just watched, was dangerously close to doing more damage than good.The overall silly premise seemed like something produced in the 1960s, not 2009.
Turn off the cheesey bumper graphics and Barry White samples, stop editing like an MTV video, and try again. You need to, because this programme did not make the cut.