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.
4 replies on “A brief aside on Jerry Springer the Opera…”
on the subject of freedom of expression, I thought that you might like this:
all the best JohnE
Jerry Springer (The Controversy)
This being the self-congratulatory “blogosphere”, I might as well weigh in. This is what the interweb’s for, right? I’m quite…
I saw Jerry Springer the Opera performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2002 and thoroughly loved it. I’ve been meaning to go and see it in London ever since but unfortunately haven’t got round to it yet. So it was great to get a chance to see it televised over the weekend.
When I first saw it I immediately thought it would cause controversy. However it’s strange that it’s only it’s appearance on TV that has elicited such a huge outrage by the moral guardians of society. I personally think it’s great that Opera has retained it’s ability to shock society. While theses days Opera is perceived to be safe high culture, in it’s time it often dealt with political, moral or religious issues which the moral guardians of the day also objected to.
I personally believe that Jerry Springer the Opera is a very moral piece of work and it’s a shame many of the complaints have come from people who haven’t even see it or can’t look beyond the language used. I can understand how people could see it as being blasphemous, however you have to wonder about people who’s belief systems are so fragile they could be broken by a piece of satire.
I am a research student at the university of manchester, i am inquiring as to whether you know of anyone (a christian) who is willing to answer some questions by the email concerning their opposition or support for jerry springer the opera.
Thankyou for your time