Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team
So this is what it’s come down to, has it?
Taking the least respectable portion of a demographic and giving them a platform on which to embarrass themselves and everyone they represent? So has been, and continues to be the ongoing trend in reality television. Normally, you’d breathe a sigh of disapproval, change the channel and feel sorry for the city or culture that has just been misrepresented. This time is different, though. This time it’s personal.
According to www.oconnorcasting.tv, O’Connor Casting has begun searching for White Sox fans who live on Chicago’s South Side, who dislike the Cubs, and who (wait for it….) resemble a “”Jersey Shore” type of reality star.” The casting call goes on to describe its criteria: “ARE YOU THE NEXT “Jersey Shore” TYPE OF REALITY STAR? Do you live on Chicago’s Southside? Are you the GUY or GIRL who is awesome in oh so many ways? Are you sexy, crazy, fun, outgoing, outrageous, love to make things exciting, always up for an adventure, and a HUGE SOX fan who thinks the CUBS suck? If so, then we want you, your friends, your total awesomeness. CONTACT US NOW!” View the entire casting call here: http://oconnorcasting.tv/castingboard/index.php?q=node/6
In other words — unless I’m mistaken — an excuse to manufacture a Chicago version of what has become one of the most socially protested, insulting, grotesque displays of human behavior in recent television history. Already, I can hear the collective sounds of Chicagoans (myself included) hurling their lunches into their laps. White Sox fans and South Siders don’t deserve to be represented by the lowest common denominator of individual. We are one city, despite the connotation a show like this would suggest.
While the website does not disclose when, where or on how grand a scale the reality show will air, one thing is certain: whether you’re a Cubs fan, or White Sox fan, or don’t care for sports altogether – this is bad for Chicago. Period.
There is no benefit in plucking the most abominable members of any fan base, culture or city and parading them around as if they were the majority. “Jersey Shore” became a television phenomenon for all the wrong reasons. Its success came at the the expense of many who never asked to be associated with the stereotypes the show has created. And yet, it seems companies are tripping over themselves to clone and serve up the next batch of culturally destructive, two-dimensional, well…… “Hiney Birds,” as “Hawk” Harrelson might describe them.
Shame on any Chicago-based company that so willingly offers up its own people to be used as embarrassing pawns in the name of a reality television show. The Windy City deserves better.
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