Introduction: This film describes the dirty trick made in a top TV quiz show during the 1950s that led to the general belief that many of the popular TV quick shows at that time were rigged, and that contestants were given the answers before the show. This incident is considered a milestone in the TV spectrum because it suddenly pours cold water on a sizzling show that many people were excited to watch. The appeal of this quiz program is not focused on the scandal, but on the result. The readers of this paper will find it interesting to read because it is not a movie review or how the public reacted to the scandal, but it contains the personal thoughts of the writer.
Thesis: Is it ethical to accept the answers provided by the TV show hosts in advance knowing that "it's only a game show?" No, it’s unethical to accept the answers for the questions in advance even if it’s only a game show. Ethical arguments of the writer against accepting the answers in advance – There’s no doubt that during those times, TV quiz shows were exciting to viewers because they gain knowledge from the questions. Likewise, many people became an overnight sensation because of their ability to use their knowledge to compete with other contestants, and gain huge amount of money. In that era, intellectuals were respected, and a man could be catapulted to the limelight in a spur of the moment for being a poet or a teacher. People watch TV where they can see intellectuals answering difficult questions about science, literature and history. But it was so sudden that those were all gone because of the humiliating fraud committed by the participants of the show. The consequence was big for the high rating that was being aimed by the producers to reach. The case became subject to congressional inquiry, and all the fame, honor and reputation of the persons involved were stained with fraud. The writer believes that in any aspect of life, ethics should be taken into consideration. Had the contestants thought of ethics in accepting the answers in advance, they would have avoided the scandal that turned everything into a mess including their names and reputation.
The moral dilemma faced by the contestants and producers – All these people involved in the scandal would be written in history, and it wouldn’t be easy to forget them because they were the first persons who were caught in this first incident on TV. People watch TV because of trust in the shows they want to see, and it would take a lot of time before trust in TV quiz shows would return. On the other hand, the lost reputation of the people involved in the mess would stay forever. Those who praised them before would curse them for betraying the audience.
The moral principles they used to support their actions – On the part of the contestants, they claim that they didn’t commit a crime, and they would only want money and fame. The same is true with producers; they believe that they are not criminals, and they only want to improve their ratings on TV. They claim that they are making many people happy at home in viewing their stuff (The Quiz Show Scandal, 2012).
Conclusion: In response to the thesis, it’s not ethical to participate in a game show which is rigged because it’s not only cheating the game itself, but the audience that expects to watch a real TV quiz show which is done honestly. Everybody has their own reward for participating in the treachery; the participants who have to endure the harsh treatment from the public, and the producers who have to hide their faces when creating a new TV show.
The Quiz Show Scandal. Aug. 5, 2012.
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