COMMENT: Does reality TV really reflect the reality of our society?

It is amazing to see that even in the year 2022 we are still finding it hard to make British reality shows representative.

How can a show be qualified as ‘reality’ if it doesn’t show the reality of the society we live in? 

Made in Chelsea leaves me speechless with its lack of diversity. It took until 2016 – five years after the show first aired, for a black participant to be cast in Akin Solanke-Caulker.

I can’t even say change is happening slowly because change isn’t happening at all. 

There seems to be a struggle within British society when it comes to portraying the luxury lifestyles of others. It is presented as one-dimensional with no room created for the ‘Black experience.’ 

It is almost like ‘luxury’ and ‘black’ in British reality shows are like oil and water, they don’t mix. 

I know someone will ask: ‘Are there really any black people in Britain who live a luxurious lifestyle and can give us a taste of drama?’ 

The truth is the producers and show creators are not searching hard enough. We have already seen it is possible with Channel Four’s Black to Front initiative last year. They commissioned for the first time a Black British premium reality series called ‘Highlife.’ 

Highlife followed the lives and loves of a group of ambitious, glamorous young Nigerian Brits all chasing what they consider to be success. 

Sound familiar? 

Made in Chelsea pretty much has the same storyline and yet every week we see the same white faces. 

Watching their latest episode didn’t so much make me angry, but I felt more deflated if that’s the right word. I have lost confidence in the British TV world, if diversity is still not normalised today when will it ever be? 

Outrage doesn’t seem to be working anymore because although the TV world may be listening now after all the conversations we have been having over the last two years, they are still too slow to act. 

I can understand now why the black demographic of British society tend to watch American reality shows more. At least they will most likely see someone who looks like them, and somewhat shares the same reality. 

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