August 27, 2005

Bonkers: Big Brother Broadcasting Baby's Birth

They make the best strollers, some jamming architecture--and the most blatantly sensationalist TV shows in the world. What is up with Holland?

The upcoming version of Dutch Big Brother will apparently have one of the house residents giving birth six weeks in. The show needs approval from the Dutch government to air it, though, since there are apparently tight restrictions on tiny children appearing on TV.

If only the Dutch knew that Discovery Health channel shows like a dozen babies being born every night on Babies: Special Delivery in the US.

Dutch Authorities Investigate "Big Brother" Baby [reuters/nyt]


The problem is not the birth itself, there are dozens of such programs daily it seems. The problem for the inspection is that the baby will remain in the house. So a baby is 'exploited' for TV-ratings for the first months of his/her life.
The inspection wonders whether that is in the best interest of the baby. Wouldn't be nice if you got a messed-up child because of the show.

But the inspection preventing child-labour is very strict. When a child plays a role in a commercial musical, they are limited to 2 plays per year or so. The musical-bosses are always making a fuss of that (They have to train very many children).

[Ah. just when I thought 'reality tv' couldn't get any weirder or more exploitative. -ed.]

I glimpse real birthing scenes at least once a week while flipping through American cable channels. The last time I checked, these TV shows carried commercials, too. God Forbid the general viewing public should see a real birth by a mother they've gotten to know something about over the course of a few episodes. The Horror!

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