Amazing Race

So, on the newest incarnation of the Survivor, they're going to team the contestants by race: white, black, Hispanic, and Asian. Interesting. I wonder whose brilliant idea that was.

ABC said the casting decision was to answer the criticism that the show didn't have enough diversity. While I applaud them for including more minorities, I just can't understand the purpose of pitting the contestants against each other along racial lines. Why? Are they trying to make some kind of a statement? Are they trying to show racial empowerment? Or are they just interested to see if the racial myths are true, that one race is stronger than the others, whether physically, intellectually, or spiritually? In a way, I think it's interesting, because the Survivor has always been a fascinating show for observing social, political and cultural dynamics, and one can argue that racial issues are some of the trickiest. Perhaps the producers are on to something here.

Last season they pitted the men against the women, at least initially. I didn't watch the show; I don't know how well that went and what they learned from the experiment. NBC did the same thing with the Apprentice as well.

On the other hand, real life doesn't reflect that kind of divisions. Men and women work and live together. People of all races do the same. It's 2006 and we should be talking about integration and racial harmony, not segregation. I seriously hope that the Survivor would handle this twist with sensibility and heart, and not for "entertainment value" alone.


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