Water Torture for Our Viewing Pleasure. the Show That Proves Reality TV Can Sink Still Lower; Controversial: Activists Demonstrate Waterboarding on a Volunteer in a Human Rights Protest in Washington

Daily Mail (London), October 6, 2008 | Go to article overview

Water Torture for Our Viewing Pleasure. the Show That Proves Reality TV Can Sink Still Lower; Controversial: Activists Demonstrate Waterboarding on a Volunteer in a Human Rights Protest in Washington


Byline: Liz Thomas

A REALITY television show has been accused of crossing the line from entertainment to sadism.

In Channel Five's Unbreakable the contestants are buried alive, trapped in a tent full of CS gas and must wade through piranhainfested water.

They are also subjected to waterboarding - a torture technique used by the CIA on terror suspects. This involves being tied down on a board, tilted back and having water poured over the face, which recreates the experience of drowning.

One of the volunteers was so traumatised they had convulsions on the first day of filming.

Another ran away into the African bush and had to be found with tracker dogs. Critics say the content is simply 'unacceptable'.

John Whittingdale, Tory chairman of the media select committee, said: 'You have to ask, where is it going to end? 'It seems that scenes of torture are being used as entertainment.

What next? Reality contestants having electric shock treatment? There is a point where such things should not be shown on television.' The motto for Unbreakable, which starts on Five tonight, is Pain is Glory, Pain is Pride, Pain is Great to Watch. The eight volunteers include a musician, a 20-year-old female bouncer and a personal trainer.

In another test, their hands and feet are bound and they are dumped in a 15ft tank of water and forced to leap up and down for air.

The presenter, explorer Benedict Allen, admitted that he was concerned about their safety and state of mind. …

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Water Torture for Our Viewing Pleasure. the Show That Proves Reality TV Can Sink Still Lower; Controversial: Activists Demonstrate Waterboarding on a Volunteer in a Human Rights Protest in Washington
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