If you’ll recall, I’m not a lawyer. Still, my HR legal senses perked right up upon reading about a proposed new show on Fox: Someone’s Gotta Go.
In this fun new reality show, real employees at real companies get to vote one (or more?) of their co-workers into unemployment land. Oh sure, it sounds like all sorts of fun. As the linked article points out, not all employment rights are waivable in advance, so who knows how this is going to work out.
Perhaps the “package” given to the terminated employees is so fantastic that the other employees will be fighting to be laid off. But, that would not make it a good reality show. It would just turn into “who can be the most obnoxious” and then it would be like Big Brother or something.
Gah. Do these television producers ever, ever, ever consult their lawyers? And legal aspects aside, being laid off (note, not fired for cause) can be extremely painful. Putting that on television is just down right rude.
I know, some people will do anything for their 15 minutes of fame. I bet Fox is counting on the fact that we’d all love to watch such procedures.
I bet they are wrong.
Have you ever noticed when watching an action movie in a theatre that the patrons silently munch on overpriced popcorn (with extra butter-ish!) while heads are exploding and limbs are being chopped off by airplane propellers, but see someone get their fingers slammed in a car door and everyone cringes. Why? Because we have no experience with our own heads exploding. (If we did, we wouldn’t be watching the movie as there would be nowhere to put the popcorn.) But, we’ve all slammed our fingers and we KNOW that hurts.
Likewise, the things that take place on Survivor or the Amazing Race-or even the Apprentice-are so far from our reality that we can watch them without cringing. But, getting laid off is something that hits too close to home. Too many of us have experienced it ourselves. The rest of us know someone who has been through it. Most of us fear that it could happen to us at some point. Those that don’t fear are in an advanced state of denial.
I predict viewers will find it too painful to watch, lawyers will find it too tempting for law suits and that Fox will bag the whole thing.