The AP reports that The Big Donor Show, which was broadcasted yesterday evening, was a hoax. It seems that the producers believe that, because it was a hoax, anger and disgust were not justified.
Well, sorry, but I disagree. As Ed Morrissey explains:
I’m not sure which scenario was worse, but both are pretty repulsive and exploitative. The producers claim that they wanted to make a statement about the lack of organs for transplant patients, and at least the topic got some attention. However, they used real ESRD patients for the roles of the contestants, which seems rather cruel, considering that they had to pretend to abase themselves to seem the most pathetic — and the most worthy — of the transplant.
This is a particularly cruel manipulation of people. Even though the participants were in on the hoax, the public was not. They were manipulated by ethically challenged con-artists with a particularly foul “end justifies the means” outlook.
One thing that has to be said, it has created an international firestorm and people are, suddenly, talking about this problem: not just in the Netherlands, but also in, say, America. As such, I guess that the show has achieved something positive. The downside: I do not think it will last (people will simply move on) and, well, I agree with what Ed wrote: joke or not, it is (still) pretty offensive.