On Big Brother Nigeria and Morality – Seun Idowu
Except one has a strict and limited worldview, there is no form of moral degradation in BBN. Many who speak against the show do so from a subjective point of view. A lot of the things we see as moral or immoral depend on the context, dispensation and society.
There is a celebration in Swaziland called annual reed festival in which women publicly display there breasts and put on micro-mini skirts. Ironically, it is to celebrate the chastity of the young girls who go before the king and in the process the king picks a wife from them. Do we call the people and their king immoral? And if we do, according to whose judgement?
Away from that, many are confused about what constitutes morality and the main issue has always been about sex in big brother show. Of all the activities that happen in the house, moralists are quick to point to sex which is only about 1% of what happens in the show. They don’t see the underlining lessons on interpersonal skills, communication skills, on emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, team work and communal life. They don’t get to see mentoring being provided to the participants. They don’t see the intellectual tasks and training being given to them. But they are fixated on the sex which is not even hardcore and not beyond what most people including the moralists watch in movies.
Is sex immoral? No! Is public display of sex immoral? Yes and No! Yes, it is immoral and wrong if you are left with no choice but to see the sex scene. For instance, if you are in a public space and a couple engage in the act or a TV screen in a public space displays that, then it is immoral and many countries have laws against that. But if in the privacy of your room, you tune your TV set to a station showing sex scene, whose fault is that? DSTV is not NTA, it’s a private company and they are not obliged to operate by your morality. This same DSTV hosts a number of religious stations and have a wide range of channels for anyone to pick from.
Furthermore, the station puts a label on all of its shows or films for parents to know which one is good for the kids and it also announces the nature of the programme. Parents can lock a station so children won’t be able to access. If you will lock the door of your bedroom when you want to have fun with your spouse so your kids won’t barge in, why not lock your TV? If the PayTV has put all those precautions in place, then why blame the organizers of the big brother show?
Moreover, the show has its moral codes and violation of the codes leads to sanctions and expulsion. Equating sex in the show to immorality and illegality such as rape or sexual harassment is a sanctimonious misjudgment. Those who sexually harassed their mates in the house have been expelled. So, when we talk of morality, who is the adjudicator? The best we can do is to tune off our TVs and disallow our wards from watching.