Rede and Reality (TV)

I’ve been thinking about the Rede a lot lately. Although it may cause some snickers amongst people who know me, I’m actually really interested in ethics. The biggest Wiccan ethic (and the only, according to some) is the Wiccan Rede. An it harm none, do as thou will. Or in simple, “If it is not going to hurt anyone, it is okay to do.” A tall order, really.

I’m going to branch off a little bit here, but stick with me. I’m not a fan of most reality TV, although I will admit I got a kick out of Joe Millionaire. I also really like to watch Big Brother. I wasted an entire morning this week reading forums recapping the live feeds of the latest edition of Big Brother. This past week I’ve also wasted time looking for information about Jennifer Lopez and Ben Afleck (who have now split), and dirt about why Bill Murray and Lucy Lui won’t work together anymore. I even watch Access Hollywood this week. Talk about slumming. 🙂

To bring it back to my original topic, does all this snooping and prying into other people’s lives contradict the Rede? Who am I harming? In the case of Big Brother, I don’t think I am harming anyone. These people went on this show knowing full well that people all over North America would be watching their every move. But I think the line is crossed when their lives outside of the house are discussed outside of the show (on forums, other TV shows, websites, etc.).

As for listening to all the gossip about celebrities, I think I’m moving into a seriously dark grey area here. If it is something that is done in public, then it isn’t so bad. But if it is something that has gone on in private, but that the media has discovered, then I don’t think it is okay. For example, yesterday on Access Hollywood, they were talking about the accusations about Kobe Bryant. Discussing the facts is well and good, but they brought up legal trouble his father had approximately thirty years ago, something to do with drug possession and a high speed chase. I really thought that it was awful to bring that up. And they also spoke about his wife’s parents declaring bankruptcy and getting divorced. What does that have to do with anything?

Where’s the harm, you might be asking. Well, I know the information will be out there whether I listen to it or not. Sadly, there is a huge appetite in North American, and most of the western world, for this sort of thing. The harm comes form the affect this has on the celebrities and their families. As I said, if it is something done in public, I don’t see much of a problem, as long as it is reported with some class. But then reporters talk about family members, or events unrelated to their career, it’s wrong. And by me listening to it, or actively searching it out, I’m only adding to the problem.

I guess I’ve figured out, that for me, watching reality TV isn’t against the Rede, but listen to celebrity gossip just may be.