Pop Culture

Poor Entertainment

Poor people tell their sob story on live television in the hope that the studio audience will give them money. Where would TV and film be without the financially challenged as some easy entertainment?

Dutch TV channel SBS6 (known for their cheap reality shows about everything) definitely loves them. This isn’t the first time they’ve dipped into this pool, but a live (“live”) show of begging is new. The official synopsis says of Geld Maakt Gelukkig (Money Makes Happiness):

Every day our presenter will meet with three Dutch people in dire financial need. With GELD MAAKT GELUKKIG they will do their utmost to win the studio audience for them. The studio audience exists out of 100 people, all with €100, and all of them can decide whom to support. The participants are interviewed by two experts: former social lawyer Prem Radhakishun (known for his loud opinions) and a budget coach. They will also offer tips, council and advice. Touched by any of these stories? You can help any of the participants with any amount, becoming a part of the movement of Dutch people taking care of each other.

On the channel’s website there’s a teller: these people still need your help, these have reached their goals. The ones in need are found through social media, the background of the people in the studio audience is unclear.

But is all this important if someone in a (really) tight spot can very quickly get (a lot of) money? These people know what they got into and I don’t have to watch. 100.000 Euros make a difference, no matter how deep or shallow the financial hole is. It’s the TV channel that I don’t trust, especially because of their “wish” to start a movement. SBS6 only moves towards making money in any way.

I think the idea has potential (although I would drop the studio audience), to give people money and support in return of their story about their past and their future. Something more active, two-sided, instead of the Samaritan and his receivers. Make it a story about people, not about their worst moments.

What do you think? Is this turning poor people into just their wallets or an original, public way of helping?

By freckle [M]

Freckle can't decide between writing fact or fiction, so she does both, on a very regular basis, and sometimes even for money.

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