Shoojit Sircar Talks About Why We Should Ban Kids’ Reality Shows

After all, do we want (mentally) healthy children or little brittle stars?

2 min read

A moment from <i>Indian Idol Junior</i>; Shoojit Sircar

Talent reality shows have been part of our television for a long time now. And quite a few of them like Indian Idol Junior and Sabse Bada Kalakar have children as participants and are wildly popular to boot. After all, who doesn’t like to watch immensely talented kids perform and win fame and prizes?

Not everyone it seems. A couple of days back director-producer Shoojit Sircar took to Twitter to express serious reservations about such shows. Check out his tweet:

We caught up with the filmmaker to find out what triggered this outburst.

My tweet was quite an emotional outburst, you can say. I’m seeing this since quite some time, it’s not that I just saw it suddenly. And I was thinking may be in some shows it might be okay. But then I realised that when my daughters were watching it, the way the shows are designed, it was affecting them. It is not just the participants I’m talking about. I’m also talking about the people who are watching it. What aspirations they are getting out of it. I felt they thought this is the real world, this is reality. This is not reality. This is a staged show and the pure mission of the show is to sell.
Shoojit Sircar, Director
What do you know what life is till the age of 10 or 12? Whatever you’re showing, whatever is happening on TV, that’s what you think is the real world. For them their aspirations at this age becomes what? Fame, popularity and money and competition? Is that the world that we want to make? So, they’re only growing up to be popular, being good looking? That’s not real. And, people who are watching it - what aspirations do they get? With the show, the way you’re treating them, their jokes... there are adult jokes, the child is not supposed to hear that possibly. And you shamelessly, just for the sake of money, you are promoting it in the name of talent. So, people are saying this has become a platform. No, this not a platform. In the platform, you don’t scrutinise a kid. In the platform, there should be no judges. How can you judge a 10-year-old?

Shoojit has definitely opened up an important debate. After all, do we want (mentally) healthy children or little brittle stars?

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