Reflection on the show Bully Beatdown. On Broadcast Ethics.
The show Bully Beatdown may be considered unethical for many reasons, especially in the Philippine context. The concept of ethical relativism may be in play here, however, especially if one looks at the culture of bullying in America, the setting of the show. For years, there has been a culture of bullying in the country not only among teenagers on in schools but also in the workplace, which is also the case in Keiko’s situation. Bullying is a form violence which rarely involves fighting. It is mostly done in a non-physical violence such as psychological attacks, insults, or general mistreatment of someone. Regardless of how bullying is manifested, it is usually the transgressor’s desire to control the target that motivates the action (Namie, 2003). Bullying may stem from various reasons such as jealousy, racial or gender discrimination, or simply having to feel powerful over someone.
More often than not, the targets of bullies endure their pains silently in hopes of not aggravating the situation. However, it has been found that the common characteristic of bullies is that they are controlling competitors who exploit their cooperative targets (Namie, 2003). As such, the more the bullied won’t speak up or fight back, the more the aggressor will continue the bullying. Only when the acts of bullying are reprimanded will most of the bullies stop. Taking this into context then, there is indeed a merit for the rationale of the show Bully Beatdown especially since the bullies are reprimanded and are forced to face their victims and the victim’s fighter. When faced with a stronger force, bullies tend to back down and repent, although maybe insincerely, to his victim.
There is not much value in the beating down the bully per se, but the fact that the victim was able to rise from his comfort zone and address the issue, in whatever ways (e.g calling Mayhem for help) will make the bully think twice before doing the act again to him. Although losing in the show won’t guarantee that the victim won’t get bullied again, by the same person or another, the bully will be taught a lesson especially since he was reprimanded and was made to look back at his wrongdoings. In hindsight, it may be considered that Bully Beatdown, may actually be an ethical show after all.
Namie, G. (2003). Workplace bullying: Escalated incivility. Retrieved March 13, 2014 from
Written circa March 2014