Monday, May 20, 2013

The "Ugly" Baby Sealed It For Me.....

OK. Over the years, I've managed to tolerate and largely ignore the stupid, childish, often misogynistic rubbish spewing from the various male dominated sports shows currently broadcast on Australian commercial TV. I don't like them, but I can usually roll my eyes and simply scoff at the rants of certain boneheaded ex- football players because my partner often tunes in (admittedly more for the sport discussion). But tolerating these shows is getting harder, and this week I think they've just turned me from a reluctantly tolerant female viewer to a ranting, raving oestrogen - dominated hater.

Here's why.


The NRL Footy Show stole an image of an eighteen month old baby girl from her mother's Facebook page and used the image on the show, calling the child "ugly" and remarking upon her likeness to a well - known ex NRL player. Yuck.  It's not just the 'ugly' slur that disgusts me the most (and it does) nor the fact that a producer 'friend' stole the photo from Facebook without permission and plastered it all over national television in the name of derogatory humour. What gets me the most, is the lessons the men on these shows are teaching the younger viewers (think young men) who watch; that degrading other people is what gets you the biggest laugh in life.

Not only does the family of this little cherub need to live with their precious bundle of joy being labelled "ugly" but they now have to go searching for some kind of apology in the form of legal action in order to stand up for their child (and their privacy). How would we all feel as the child's parents? Would you be considering the fact that in the next decade when that child is old enough to 'Google' herself she's going to be faced with a photo of herself being labelled as an ugly baby who looks like a man? Jeez - there's an eating disorder waiting to happen! As usual, no thought has been given to the consequences of this stupid 'joke' which is why I think they're all boneheads, both in front of the camera and behind.

Let me say again, I can totally take a joke and I'm not a prude. But I find jokes at the expense of others just so vile, especially when they're done so publicly. Can't we just go easy on the Australian way of bringing each other down in the name of a cheap laugh? Shame on the networks execs who take no responsibility for the good of their content and simply consider the ratings. And herein lies the problem - we keep watching and cringing, not allowing the guilt we feel for a cheap laugh to dictate our choices. Well, I'm done. The "ugly" baby sealed it for me.


  1. I'm amazed it's taken you this long.

    For me the moment "Sam" Newman stapled Caroline Wilsons face to a bikini clad mannequin in 2009 this repugnant show went from an inane, unfunny anachronism to a frightening vehicle for misogyny.

    It's nothing more than a tribute to channel nines entrenched cronysim and boys club mentality.


  2. Yes - I'm still scarred by that one too. I often find myself referring back to that incident as the single most vile piece of Australian TV ever. Urgh.