Reality TV isn’t, proclaims Ken Burns

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PBS documentarian Ken Burns has some strong opinions about reality television — and all are negative. In an interview for a Kansas City Star series on the subject, he tells TV critic Aaron Barnhart: “The nomenclature is what’s infuriating to me. This is not reality. Nobody proposes or dates or checks people out in front of millions of people. The notion that this is reality is beyond the pale. What it does is just become a vehicle for the same shallow consumerist mentality that is driving our country into the dirt.”

Burns continues: “There is an aspect of voyeurism that is interesting, but what we’ve done — and it’s the definition of decadence — each generation of reality shows has to up the ante. So now we’re watching the Kardashians get bikini waxes with the appropriately fuzzed-out areas. What does this say to our children when we’re falling behind in math and science?”

Barnhart identifies Burns as “filmmaking legend and reality hater.”

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