Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Does This Offend You? (#13)

A Shot at Love is a reality dating show that will be broadcast on MTV starting in October. [Source] On the show the young woman pictured to the left, Tila Nguyen, will choose from among 32 potential suitors. Nguyen and her potential suitors will live together during the planned 10-episode run of the show and Nguyen will make eliminations at the end of each episode.

Viewers will be kept in suspense until the last episode as to whether Nguyen will find true love. Find true love with a man or with a woman, that is. You see, Nguyen, perhaps better known (at least to MySpace aficionados) as
Tila Tequila, is bi and her potential suitors will include 16 straight guys and 16 lesbians.


Oh Lordy! Some Christian folk are all in a tizzy about the show's concept, saying it will 'create confusion in the area of sex and relationships' among the young people who are MTV's core audience.

"Men and women are made in the image of God, and our masculinity and femininity reflect something of his wonder and glory. So it's no wonder the enemy attacks this area and works to create confusion, brokenness and lust. It's sad that MTV is cooperating so readily with our adversary. Especially since they just learned that what makes young men and women happy is time with their families and with God, not sexual brokenness and confusion." Jeff Johnson, Focus on the Family Action

Um, OK, but is it not also true that men and women are made with the ability to turn off the TV if they don't like what's being shown? I mean, I can't stand evangelical ministry shows that beg viewers for money. Should I take offense because those shows broadcast stuff I think is crap, or would a better solution be for me to just not tune in?

And, who is this 'enemy' that Mr. Johnson speaks of? Satan? I was not aware he was employed by MTV. But perhaps stealing souls is no longer as lucrative as it once and he needed a day job.

As for young people enjoying time with their families and God, Mr. Johnson is referring to an MTV / AP poll of 1,280 people, ages 13-24, that did, in fact, find family and religion were valued by those surveyed. (If you care, survey methodology is
here, results here [PDF].) Another finding: when asked their biggest hero 1% said Spiderman and 1% Superman. (Batman was mentioned, too, but trailed in the ratings.) As if that's not enough to convince you the poll was not exactly hard science, another 1% picked George Bush as their biggest hero.

And, anyway, I'm not sure it's fair to equate 'A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila' with sexual confusion and regret. Tila Tequila does not appear confused about her sexuality, nor filled with regret. About her upcoming show, on her MySpace blog - where she interacts with her 2 million+ MySpace friends - she writes:
"OMG I AM SO EXCITED! I AM EXCITED TO FINALLY COME OUT AS A BISEXUAL FOR THE FIRST TIME TO THE WORLD ... NOBODY IN TELEVISION HISTORY HAS EVER DONE SUCH A GROUNDBREAKING SHOW AND I AM HAPPY TO BE THE ONE TO PAVE THE WAY TO OPEN UP PEOPLE'S MINDS ABOUT THE LESBIAN AND GAY COMMUNITY!"

Hype? For sure. Is the show going to as be lame as all other reality dating shows. Probably. Is it going to open up people's minds? Maybe. (Because, like, reality shows are sooo realistic.) Will it confuse viewers about their sexuality and make them turn gay or bi? No way. Sexual preference simply does not work that way. And if you don't agree, then you know what? Don't watch the show!

2 comments:

Starrlight said...

If MTV decides your sexuality for you....you got issues!

thethinker said...

I saw a commercial for that on MTV. I think it's kind of funny. An interesting new concept for a dating show.