Among the Savages

Why does a progressive Spanish TV channel close to the ruling Socialist government exploit Africans for entertainment?

A scene from "Perdidos en la tribu."

The savage Africans have arrived to Spanish television. Supposedly progressive Spanish TV channel, Cuatro — it is close to the ruling Socialist government — last year unfurled one of the most racist products ever seen: “Perdidos en la tribu,” translated “Lost in the tribe,” a reality show in which three Spanish families live for a while with “… three primitive tribes unaware of Western civilization: the Himba, the Mentawai and the Bushman.” The prize: about US$200,000 if they integrate in the amoral wilderness of the uncivilized blacks and stay for, at least, 30 days with them. Painful.

Here’s the ridiculous promo:

‘he Navarro family needs a change immediately. They are a unique Andalusian family that is going through a difficult time: the marriage of Isabel and Jose are in crisis. She is a feminist, restless and capable of anything but she is not satisfied with her routine and needs to start living. He, a bingo manager, is an old-fashioned educated father. From work to home and from home to bingo. He is religious, protective and according to the women of the house, somewhat macho. The children Antonio and Chabeli are completely different. While Antonio loves to spend hours and hours in front of the computer with role-playing games, his sister Chabeli is a beautiful young woman who likes to always be perfect … The Navarros love their land so much that they have never left it. Will “Lost in the Tribe” be the adventure they really need to turn their lives around?

Sharp TV critic Javier Pérez de Albéniz, wrote soon about it: “Are we talking about an ambitious anthropological essay? Maybe it is the making of a National Geographic documentary. Or maybe some ethnological project backed by the United Nations. No, my dear friends, it is a new television product of exploitation of indigenous people.”

Now, after the success of the first season — with an average of 2 million viewers — the second one promises “more adventure” with the Hamer from Ethiopia, the Kamoro from Papua and the Nakulamené from Vanuatu. Shameful.

And that is not all, some Spanish NGO’s have denounced that the conditions of life are faked and the villagers were disguised and paid some $200 that then were spent in alcohol.

Further Reading

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