Various organizations in Spain have strongly criticized a proposal by Antena 3 Television to launch a reality show in which celebrities dress and act as beggars. The groups remark that the program would offend the dignity of those who have no choice but to beg and are struggling due to the global economic crisis.
Among other organizations, Caritas, The European Network for the Struggle Against Poverty, and The Federation of Organizations and Centers for the Integration and Assistance of the Marginalized have rejected the airing of the show “Celebrities and Beggars,” in which celebrities pretend to be homeless for the mere purpose of “making a spectacle of the reality of social exclusion.”
The show’s producer, Zeppelin, argued that the aim of the program is “to show how hard day-to-day life is on the streets” and to show “how unnoticed the homeless become.” However, critics said, such intentions, no matter how “humanitarian” they appear to be, have no relevance since the program is a reality show “in which individuals lose their dignity.”
The organizations said that the program offers a “media spectacle about a traumatic social reality that affects many people who have had very painful personal experiences.” They “deserve from everyone, especially the media, the maximum respect for their integrity, dignity and privacy.”