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CBS recently debuted its new reality show, "The
Briefcase," but it is certainly nothing like "The Apprentice." Instead of competing for a cushy job alongside a multimillionaire, this controversial
reality series poses an ethical dilemma to families in poverty by offering them
$101,000 to spend as they please or share it with
another impoverished family.
These families, who are shown enduring the struggles
they face as a result of financial hardships, are then given information about
another family so they can compare which family needs the money more. This
ethical dilemma becomes the crux of the show as the families rifle through each
other's homes and belongings to get clues about how the other family lives, all so that
they can make their decision to share the money, keep it all to themselves or
give all of it to the other family.
Briefcase" is not the only reality-based show being referred to as "poverty porn." The BBC is also airing a reality show that many are angrily comparing to "The
Britain's "Hardest Grafter" pits underemployed, unemployed and minimum-wage workers against each other. The
least effective workers are eliminated each week and the hardest workers are
the BBC and the film company producing it are calling the show a
social experiment, while viewers are not taking it so lightly, going so far as
to file a Change.org petition to have the show taken off the air.