The Irish state broadcaster RTE’s bid to combine reality TV and its coverage of the coronavirus crisis has been met with sheer horror online by a viewing public appalled at the title choice – ‘Operation Covid Nation’.
The show, which is expected to launch sometime in April, promises “to help people stay healthy, in mind and body” while they “deal with the reality of isolation.”
Four households will reportedly be chosen from among the applicants, each of which will receive an appearance fee. The RTE production team will install unmanned cameras, and will follow “strict social distancing guidelines” in avoiding any contact with the “household members.”
No sooner had the state broadcaster tweeted a call-out for applications, than a torrent of complaints, outrage and ire was unleashed by the Irish taxpaying public, who described the show idea as “sick and wrong on so many levels,” and “insensitive, outrageous, blatantly opportunistic.”
Some invoked scenes from their favorite TV shows to more accurately convey the “peak crass” of the pitch, citing the death tolls from countries across Europe as reason enough to cancel the show before it had even begun.
Any prizes handed out to anyone who has breakdown? Or contracts the virus during the recording? What drama that would be. What an awful idea for a show. 🤢🤢🤢
— Aodhán Ó Coileáin 🇵🇸 🇮🇪 🇪🇺 (@CapersColly) March 26, 2020
Many were convinced this was a premature April Fool’s joke until others assured them that no, this was indeed a real thing.
Some took aim at the editorial board, claiming that“RTE really is the cancer of the broadcasting world,” while another exasperated Twitter user said: “this news makes me want to put my head in a lawnmower.”
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