“Do You HATE Chloe & Kelly?”
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An Open Letter to the ‘My Kitchen Rules’ production team
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For the past weeks I have been annoyed at the Producers and Editors of ‘My Kitchen Rules’, a Reality TV Show from the 7 Network.
But what started as a niggle …a mild discomfort, has escalated and transformed into completely insulting. Not only is the show insulting my own intelligence, it is insulting the very people it has cast in this year’s competition. I understand the nature of ‘Villains’ on a Reality Show, heck, they are my favourite contestants. But the general public’s inability to separate ‘Editing’ from ‘Fact’, and using Social Media as a medium to express their disgust is when this harmless ‘Light Entertainment’, becomes ugly and disturbing. Not to mention, the lack of restraint shown by the production team in ACTUALLY adding fuel to this fire.
Reality TV, like any other television show needs to tell a story to the audience and create the usual talking points which we will later discuss around the water cooler.
As in any story, we need our heroes, we need our villains …understandable. Who are our central ‘Villains’ on this year’s MKR? Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, their names are Chloe and Kelly. Two well travelled friends who have done next to nothing to deserve this disgusting treatment.
“Oh, but their attitude is horrible!”
“They are so arrogant!”
I hear you audience members cry!
But really… do these little things really spark such an outrage? If comments like these insult you, then you need to become better acquainted with Reality TV and understand what a true ‘Villain’ is.
In my many years of watching this genre, I have seen people make bold racial and political statements. Lie about family members being deceased. Even pretending their house and family dog were lost in Hurricane Katrina!
… “I didn’t enjoy their food” …
Starting to see what I mean. These girls don’t even come close to being referred to as truly unlikable characters.
But what is perhaps the biggest concern, are the editing techniques being used (and I must add very poorly executed) to make these girls the ‘Villains’. What I am specifically referring to, are the inclusions of reaction shots, that are clearly not happen ‘in the moment’ and choices of which confessionals are being shown. It’s all very negative and all very much one-sided. These girls are not just a character, but, wait for it …Real People, with many more aspects of their personality than which is being presented. And hey, if people were like myself and had a strong understanding of Reality TV Editing, this would be all good. In an INTELLIGENT world this would be fine, but it is become more and more clear that your viewing audience, with all due respect, are not intelligent at all! People are buying everything you’re selling, taking everything they see in this show as FACT and reacting irrationally on social media.
Surely, you are aware of the negative reaction and cyber bullying these girls received during the first week of the program:
Chloe and Kelly are very unlikeable humans frankly. To think they want to cull sharks in WA and these people walk around freely? #mkr
Chloe and Kelly from WA. You are tip rats, choke on your food please.
Keep in mind, these are real Tweets and far from the worst I’ve witnessed.
When the girls returned during the Gate-Crasher week, (This is where the poor editing was most prevalent) rather than trying to calm the fire started back in Week One, you fed it petrol. And for what reason? To see how high you could get the flames? It’s like sending your child off to his first day of school with a big ol’ kick me sign attached to his back. A little bit of restraint would have been appreciated. Sure, you have another target to share the hate, Captain Jack Nicholson (if you were wondering), but clearly a man in his fifties is much better equipped to deal with this situation than two young woman.
I’m guessing your news programs have reported on cyber bullying before. I’m sure you’re currently covering the tragedy of what’s happened to Charlotte Dawson over the past 24 hours. I can imagine you are all speaking in low, serious and sad tones about how online negativity played a part in this terrible occurrence.
And on that, over the years, have you not explored the ways in which schools are trying to target this new medium of harassment. Have you not shed a tear for the young people who have had their lives destroyed by bullying? Of course you have! In fact, I’ve had a channel 7 personality attend the school I teach at to talk about targeting the issue!
Through simple, editing techniques you are standing your ‘Villains’ in front of a firing squad. Not for the REALITY of their actions, but for the CONSTRUCTED character YOU are presenting to us.
An informed opinion and judgement of a person cannot be expressed in a Tweet of 140 characters. All that can be said is a quick remark, either positive or negative. And guess whose reading these reactions? That’s right! An unintelligent public, with the inability to question what they see, many of which are impressionable teenagers. The same teenagers we are trying to deter from this behaviour,
I’m sure you and the network would never encourage this, but you could at least make a BIT of an effort to discourage it. By inserting hash-tags and tweets into the show, you are telling your audience that this behaviour on Social Media is an integral part of the viewing experience and that the conversations occurring online are OK to take part in.
There needs to be a form of control. How this could all be managed? I don’t know… you’re the ones in the industry and I’m the guy furiously typing away on his lap-top.
In a show where you want the public to root for the “Nice” people, because, “Oh my, I can relate to them!” This ‘Nice’ general audience are awful quick to show us their extremely ugly and dark sides online, and the comments being made by them are far worse than ANYTHING said by the girls.
Channel 7 and the MKR Production Team, do not forget that YOU are the ones who cast these girls, YOU are the ones in control of how they are being presented to the public , and YOU are the ones responsible for what is currently happening to them.
Do they need to meet a tragic end like Charlotte Dawson for anyone to actually stop and see what is happening? I’m sure EVERYONE hopes not!
I titled this article “Do You Hate Chloe & Kelly” and do you know why?
Because I felt that would get the most attention from this audience. If I titled it, “In Support of Chloe & Kelly” or “Are Chloe & Kelly Being Treated Unfairly” would half as many people click on the link.
Think about your intentions and your behaviours, all of you.
This is getting out of hand.
Host of the Really Reality Really Podcast
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For a further discussion on this topic, be sure to tune into the Podcast: