Just when we thought we’d heard of every conceivable means of humiliating a woman on TV, along came “Blachman.”
Here’s the premise of this Danish prime-time TV show: a woman enters a room and silently strips in front of the male host and a male guest, who then critique the woman’s body out loud in front of her.
Danish X-Factor judge Thomas Blachman, who hosts the new, eponymous show, claims he doesn’t consider the content problematic. He told the Daily Mail, “[T]he entire idea of the show is to let men talk about the bodies of naked women while the woman is standing right in front of them. The female body thirsts for words. The words of a man.”
According to the Sun, DR2 channel producer Sofia Fromberg also fails to see any problems with the show: “We have a program that reveals what men think about the female body. Quite honestly, what is wrong with that?”
The Copenhagen Voice reported on reactions to “Blachman” in Denmark. BloggerLotte Hansen, for one, asked DR2 channel to cancel the show, calling it “disgusting” and “an outrage.”
Objectifying and criticizing female bodies on television is common on reality TV shows like “America’s Next Top Model,” and research suggests that this type of dialogue can be harmful to female viewers. A 2005 study found that viewers felt higher anxiety about their own bodies after seeing body criticism on television, and research from 2004 found that young girls were likely to internalize the appearance ideals they see in the media.
Blachman himself seems unfazed by the criticism. He told the Voice: “Ungratefulness is the only thing that can really wear down the few geniuses who reside in this country. Remember, I am giving you something that you have never seen before.Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”