Psychologists under fire as Married at First Sight accused of emotional distress
Should psychologists be stepping in when Reality contestants go too far with TV humiliation?
Media psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg this week has criticised two television shows, Bullied and Married at First Sight, both for different reasons.
Dr Carr-Gregg, who is a regular on Sunrise, 3AW, New Idea & Huffington Post, described Married at First Sight as the “psychological sewer of Australian TV.”
“We are playing with people’s lives. I don’t think this is good entertainment, I know it rates its socks off, but so did the Colosseum in Rome because people liked watching lions rip Christians apart,” he told News Corp.
“I think that the psychologists who appear on it should hang their heads in shame because to be part of something that is so voyeuristic, so exploited, is not what psychology should be about — that’s my personal view.”
News.com.au columnist Kerri Sackville this week also questioned the role of the psychologists:
But Mr Aiken, Ms Schilling and Dr Stratford are not paid actors. They are qualified, practising psychologists who have made the choice to take part in this show, more than once. And psychologists are supposed to protect people from emotional distress, not be complicit in their bullying and humiliation.
The “experts” can’t have it both ways. They can’t participate in a show that thrives on tears and humiliation, and talk about duty of care. They can’t allow women to be bullied and degraded and contribute to their “empowerment and inspiration”.
Nine maintained they had a duty of care to all participants both during and after the show.
Meanwhile Dr. Carr-Gregg also questioned ABC’s Bullied for initially using hidden cameras in schools without permission (the show later had the participation of the Qld. Education Dept):
“They went into that school without the permission of the school. The kids that were photographed, they were pixelated, but they were all filmed without permission, they didn’t know that they were being filmed,” he told 3AW.
“These kids’ rights were violated, I feel very strongly that the kids who are featured in the program are now exposed to further victimisation.
“The kid who is bullied is clearly identified.”