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BBC Great Britain General News

BBC backlash builds over ‘Hunger Games’ style poverty gameshow


By John Glenday | Reporter

June 1, 2015 | 2 min read

The BBC has become subject to an online petition calling for the cancellation of a new gameshow format before it has even aired; Britain’s Hardest Grafter.

Over 23,000 people have signed a petition calling for the show to be axed, angered by a format which sees low-paid contestants pitched against one another for the chance to win a £15k cash prize.

Part of a new genre of so-called ‘poverty porn’ programming the reality style platform was criticised by petition author James Pauley who wrote: “This is the next rung down the ladder in the disturbing trend of voyeuristic "poverty porn" made popular in programmes like 'Benefits Street'.

“Unemployment and poverty are serious social issues and should not be the subject of a cheap game show format, designed to exploit some of the most impoverished in our society for the purposes of dubious "entertainment".

Defending the show in the Independent a BBC spokesperson said: “Britain's Hardest Grafter is a serious social experiment for BBC Two which investigates just how hard people in the low wage economy work.

"Each week the contributors – who are all in work or actively looking – will experience a different 'blue collar' role as the series explores the truth about Britain's work ethic. Throughout the series, the contributors are rewarded for the work they do.”

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