Sunday, April 26, 2015

Reality TV Meets Live Television With Bruce Jenner

Nearly 17 million people tuned in live for Bruce Jenner's 20/20 special with Diane Sawyer in which he announced he is transgender and is going to transition into a woman.

Below is a link to an article discussing the stats and demographics of who tuned into the special. It did so well, that many think ABC will re-air it in the coming weeks. I thought this was particularly relevant to our discussions about both reality TV and live television.

During the special, Bruce poked fun at the Kardashian reality series and stated how strange it was that while they were scrambling to come up with "storylines" for the show, he (I believe he said he's not ready to switch pronouns yet) had the biggest story of them all. Did anyone else watch the special? If so what did you think?

I thought it was thoughtful, and very well-done. Although it did not encompass all of the issues the trans community faces, it does put a recognizable face to struggle trans men and women face to be accepted in society.

Bruce is planning an eight-episode docuseries for E! that he hopes will raise awareness of LGBT issues.  I think this was very brave of Bruce to do, and is a step forward in reality TV covering important, topical issues. Hopefully it will help raise awareness, and open up dialogue and discussions to help less privileged members of the trans community.

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