So I watched Jerry Springer The Opera last night on BBC2. It was pretty rude, pretty funny and had an interesting and surprisingly sophisticated philosophical outlook. I’m delighted that we live in a country where such things are broadcastable and I can’t really see why anyone would have had such a problem with it that they would have try and have it banned – particularly given the almost grotesque amounts of warnings that were placed around the show to try and avoid offending people. This was much less bizarre or troubling television than – say – the live Autopsy that was on Channel 4 a while back, or Derren Brown playing Russian Roulette.
The response around the net has been interesting and varied. Here’s a brief selection of some of the most interesting comments I’ve read on the subject:
- Frankie Roberto on Jerry Springer
- Martin Belam on Jerry Springer
- Stewart Lee responds to criticisms of Jerry Springer
Martin also mentions the BBC’s Points of View Messageboard where there’s been a lot of debate about the show – most of the comments that I’ve read at least have been highly supportive:
- Well Done BBC for Jerry Springer
- Jerry Springer – Enjoyable Television
- Gerry Springer Opera
- Crazy Arguments to justify Jerry Springer
- Jerry Springer The Opera – ABSOLUTE DISGRACE
- Jerry Springer is hardly worth such controversy
I should point out again that I’m also delighted that we live in a country where people are free to protest against things like Jerry Springer as well, and I understand that there is a complexity here about what is appropriate or innappropriate to broadcast. Certainly I’ve complained in the past to the BBC about things I think are unfair or dangerous or damaging. Sometimes I think the complexities of BBC policy on this stuff aren’t known to people outside the organisation. If you’re interested in knowing what the BBC thinks is appropriate or innapropriate (and what it judges itself against), then I can heartily recommend reading The Producer Guidelines which are well-polished and thorough.