Are modern television shock documentaries just as bad as Victorian side shows?
A new UK reality television programme has been announced. Beauty and the Beast, produced by Channel 4, will feature an attractive contestant alongside a person with a physical disfigurement living in an apartment covered with mirrors.1
Vivienne Pattison, the director of the pro-censorship lobby group Media Watch, described the proposal as unhealthy, “voyeuristic,” and “an extraordinary freak show.”
In the face of media outrage Alison Walsh, the disability tsar for Channel 4, defended the show in the Guardian. She wrote, “More than half a million people in the UK live with severe facial disfigurement. We are afraid to look them in the eye. We are cruel to them—whether actively abusive or by patronising and excluding them, making lazy assumptions about their lives and capabilities . . . It’s time to confront the real problem: prejudice is the beast; this series declares war on that and on beauty fascism.” She said