These channels are failing the spirit of conservationism and education. They are failing inspiring awe in young people. Failing much needed inspiration in a very confused and conflicted world.
These shows are failing their core values, their main purpose, which is leadership in environmentalism and cultural education. Far worse, they are failing millions of young people - millions - who look up to them.
Please join me in asking Discovery, Animal Planet, and the History Channels to stop, apologize, and correct.
That’s an important read up there, folks. These “reality” shows are feeding an outdated and unscientific view of predator species. These are channels founded on principles of education and conservation (TLC, of course, left the building years ago). Are they willing to sacrifice that for what appears to be gratuitous bloodsport?
Like any media, you can vote with your eyeballs. And if you support any kind of rights for wild animals and natural spaces, you can not support these programs. If the account above is true, shame on these networks.
It speaks to part of a larger issue with nature films. The amazing footage we see in shows like Africa, Planet Earth, and Frozen Planet is rarely the result of serendipity. It involves years of careful research and preparation to maximize the chances of capturing nature’s majesty on camera, and what is captured is highly edited to create story, drama and emotion. These are uniquely human interests, and nature doesn’t include them in her original script.
That’s not to say we are being fleeced all the time. People like Sir David Attenborough take these concerns very seriously, and constantly strive to find the balance between entertainment and true nature in every varying instance. What we watch is real. But is it REAL?
I wonder how many people realize that, for instance, the famous polar bear birth scene from Frozen Planet was filmed in a zoo? Disney’s adorable Chimpanzee movie was not a documentary, but rather spliced together to create an emotional tale of adoption. Jason Goldman put together a great collection of opinions on the matter.
How far can we take allowances to deliver good edutainment before we are delivering bad science? The “reality” shows surely fail the test. But the others? What do you think?
I can absolutely assure you that Discovery doesn’t give a shit about any form of life, just the mighty greenback. Fuck them to hell!