I wrote my first ever complaint letter to the TV station today regarding an episode of a program yesterday.
Being almost 35 now, I’ve definitely met my share of undesirable services and things that establishments may want to change, but never have I felt the urge to submit a formal complaint since I’ve never felt too strongly about those slips in service quality. Not even when the irresponsible hairdresser who smelled of cigarette and beer kept disappearing midway through doing my hair and eventually gave me a horrible haircut; not even when the dirty hotel made me feel like I didn’t want to put my face on their pillow or use the blanket and I checked out without spending a single night there.
Yesterday, the program broadcast the sequel of a Twitter prank series on one particular comedian. The content itself was amusing although the invasion of privacy makes it hard to imagine such programs being available in other countries.
Several celebrities were invited to the studio to watch the video of the prank. Toward the end of the pre-recorded prank, the program somehow managed to trick the comedian into posting ridiculous content on his Twitter account once every 10 minutes for the next 24 hours, and if he fails to do it, he will be punished. The comedian continued it for over 3 hours and by 4 am, he was so tired, he fell asleep. The program decided to punish him.
The camera then came back to the studio of celebrities who were watching the prank and all were surprised at the abrupt ending since they didn’t know what the punishment was. The presenter of the prank then told everyone to look up the studio and there, the comedian was hung high up in the air on a board with wires, eye mask, and headphone on, so that he doesn’t know what was going on or where he was. Celebrities present were shocked and asked since when he was there. The presenter said he was hung there way before recording began. Bear in mind that this was a 2-hour special program; recording takes longer than the 2 hours that went on air; that he was there way before the recording started. So God knows how long he was left hanging there?
I wrote in the complaint because I felt that it was not comedy. That was nothing else but bully. If TV presents something like that as comedy, children will think it’s fun to do that to their friends. Given the horrific number of bullying cases in Japanese schools already, if the media doesn’t take responsibility and reconsider what is appropriate comedy, it’s hard to imagine child and teen suicide changing for the better.