Oh Noes! Survivor Plays To Stereotypes?!
Sponsors Abandon Survivor
This article discusses GM's scarpering, but Coca Cola and Home Depot have bailed as well. I find the whole business hilarious. Alanis Morissette, please call your office--this really IS ironic!
I have now read four articles on the subject of Survivor's latest insipid gimmick--dividing the four tribes by race in case you've been living on a deserted island yourself--and heard endless radio commentary, but not one of these outraged pearl clutchers has addressed the show's past scheme of dividing tribes by sex.
How is it different? No, really. How?
What a testimony this kerfluffle is to the lousy sexist culture we still are. Did any sponsors take their toys and go home during the seasons when that preening jackass Jeff Probst took every opportunity to suggest that men who lost to women were a bunch of worthless pussies?
Will we see Jeff gleefully querying, say, White team members on their feelings about losing a swimming challenge to the Black team? Or the Asian participants on losing a puzzle challenge to a bunch of Hispanics?
Will he encourage Black contestants to stand on blocks and strip naked for food like the women contestants have?
Shall I go on? Perhaps not. The point is that sexism remains so normalized, so invisible in its ubiquitousness, that our eyes pass right over it. We react viscerally to the idea of turning racial tension into game show fodder, and rightfully so, because the legacy of racial hatred is violent and horrible, but what about the stain of gender violence? Why should "the battle of the sexes" be harmless and cute while "battle of the races" offends, particularly when rape and domestic violence still threaten us?