I know this is an unusual thing to talk about for me…but I came across this article about the America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) contestant, who was and is a meth addict (maybe Dr. Phil did something), and I really couldn’t help responding. As I wrote, it became clear to me what the big picture was: the moral (ethical) and social responsibility of those who are much more fortunate (the 1%) than the rest of us. I realized a long time ago that all these newly rich individuals and corporations creating the big divide in our society, a very few of them, have any ethical social conscience. It used to be that the barons of industry were actively involved in their communities building things and donating to causes which in their day were about societal betterment for all. If the idea that promoting institutions such as: Education or the Arts were important to that betterment, then that is where they put their money. Now, the newly rich put their money constantly into themselves. We live in a very narcissistic and fatalistic age. It seems that everyone just takes care of themselves. They make sure they have much more than what they need, and maybe if they step out to donate to a cause, they do what is “trending”! Which is still all about them.
I wrote what you will find below in response to what people were saying about Tyra and the ANTM franchise. So this is how it went:
In this day and age, when corporations are being asked to take stock and responsibility of what effect their actions have on an individual and the whole of society (financially (banks/investment companies), emotionally (tabloids), health-wise (cig/pharma companies) and are sometimes being jailed for it or sued, the excuse that this is just a (reality) show and after the show, well, you’re on your own; that there is no responsibility of the show to be mindful of those that have borderline personalities, is just a bunch of hogwash.
But Hollywood is full of that, isn’t it.
I’m only interpreting and responding to, the responses people are giving defending Tyra. But she’s the exec producer. She can change the way the show is conducted if she really wanted to. To have a marginally stable personality on a show because it’s good for ratings (that’s why they choose some people), well, the show is just as bad as a Springer show, or whatever the other shows are called!
She’s convinced herself that she’s doing a good thing, that she is contributing somehow (as they all do). We all know, she’s making a shit load of money off you guys through the show. The cult-like following of her or any other celebrity (for that matter) can only add to the blindness that drives Tyra as a producer and those like her. We all contribute (yes, I’ve watched the show…duh), but that still doesn’t mean she and her producers should continue to conduct themselves and the show in such a way that when someone really needs their help they are not there.
Tyra thinks she’s a mentor to all the models, but really she only has herself in mind. Which is not a bad thing entirely if you divulge that in the beginning and let people make decisions on the whole truth of the show. Nothing wrong with having a successful show.
But… caring about the people during and after the show would only make a little dent in the bottom line and would probably catapult them into the realms of philanthropy and good works which is about legacy. Not something anyone with money, lots of it, think about these days. It probably doesn’t occur to her as producer (a business person), to think about what she’s leaving behind. There’s a great opportunity here to do real good in your own community, to really make a difference, to finish what you’ve started, and not only Tyra but a lot of Hollywood…and the rich 1% are missing out. That’s sad…tragic really. Can you imagine if they actually cared about the well-being of those that have gone through, (opened a counseling center, had (real) therapists on staff, were pro-actice in identifying troubled individuals and guided them to seek help, donated to America’s (and all the countries’ you find ANTM) foundations for good mental health, drug abuse, etc..) how great their legacy would be!
If Tyra thinks she’s a mentor, then be a mentor. Mentor’s stay for the long haul. (But are wise to those who just want to suck them dry or wise to when they can’t help any longer). That’s what mentors do. Business people and corporations are the ones who suck you dry for their own gain and then toss you.
Yes – some survive this treatment and that’s because of their own strength and conviction, not because ANTM did you any favors (“agencies don’t know what to do with you because you’re so famous and still a rookie”.)
So remember that ANTM is like any other show in Hollywood and is there strictly for ratings and revenue. And that means your idol Tyra… she is executive producer after all. She (the show) has enough money to change the foundations and mandate of the show and the ‘schooling’ of the contestants. But as exec prodr, she hasn’t yet.
This is a call out to anyone who has the money and the power; will you take up the challenge of real mentoring and philanthropy? To have a social conscience and put some of your energy into caring deeply about your effect on those around you and who come to you for guidance? Do you care enough to follow through with what you’ve started given your resources, and make a difference in your community?
I’d like to hear from you…