Professor Camacho Discusses Reality-Television Violence

Thursday, July 07, 2016
KQED ARTS -- “He was probably a dream character for the producers,” says Dr. Melissa Camacho, an associate professor of mass media at San Francisco State University, of Chad on “The Bachelorette.” But the behavior of people like Chad doesn’t worry her as much as the audience’s tolerance level. “To me, the larger question is why the audience would find this acceptable.” Chad is just one bully in a long line of reality show bullies. They’re the characters that the audience loves to hate, even if they’re physically and verbally abusive. This apparent inability to see the abuse as anything more than entertainment deeply concerns Camacho. “Are we suggesting that these types of violent episodes on a reality show are things that we’re not supposed to take seriously as audiences because it’s just a reality show? At what point do we say that this is violence?”