Occupy…The Real World?

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Has MTV’s The Real World found its next, big hit in Occupy Wall Street?

Bunim/Murray, the production company that handles The Real World, posted an ad on craigslist seeking members of Occupy Wall Street for the upcoming season: Are you a part of the OCCUPY WALL STREET movement? If so, please contact [email protected].

For those who are unaware, Occupy Wall Street is a movement that originated in the financial district of Manhattan in Zuccotti Park. Demonstrators have been civilly protesting economic inequality and corporate greed of the wealthy 1% since mid September.

According to the ad, The Real World will maintain its current formula despite a clear shift in tone. Yet, this bold move marks an unprecedented angle for TV’s longest running reality show. It would seem as though, for the first time in 27 years, MTV’s The Real World is about to get real.

Or is it?

MTV trying to hone in on the publicity surrounding Occupy Wall Street is both a smart PR move by the company and is sure to bring attention to the aging reality show. Moreover, Occupy Wall Street has a great number of young, impassioned, and disenfranchised members – in other words, the makings of reality television gold.

Blurring the lines of reality is no new concept for The Real World, but it may have an adverse impact on Occupy Wall Street’s poignant message.

“While it might give Occupy a chance to reach a new audience, I think it delegitimizes the seriousness of their cause,” says Gabe Rozenwasser, a freshman at Rutgers University.

The Real World may claim to function as a positive step for the movement, but demonstrators should take this with a grain of salt. Based on the show’s previous casting model, the protesters chosen will most likely paint the 99% in a negative light.

The Real World is a joke as far as television goes,” adds Rozenwasser, “it is kind of like selling out.”

Furthermore, Chaviva Kain, a freshman at Fashion Institute of Technology, questions what benefit this can serve the devoted protesters. “MTV can only gain by having people from Occupy Wall Street because it helps them either way, but they don’t really care about the issue.”

Unfortunately, the only ones who stand in a position to lose are the protestors from Occupy Wall Street.

Although casting calls will be held, it remains to be seen whether or not The Real World will be centered on this concept. Still, the buzz surrounding this event is certainly giving validation to the often-berated movement.

See below for Jon Stewart’s analysis on this media bias.

While Occupy Wall Street could certainly benefit from such a public platform in which to convey their message, if it wants to be taken seriously, perhaps it should seek out an alternative.

Freshman > Journalism > University of Maryland

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