Just like other countries, Persians also have their own talent shows which mainly focus around singing. There has been a dancing one before but that didn’t last very long. (They all take place outside of Iran obviously. Iran doesn’t even let women sing let alone produce a singing contest.)
Anyway, this recent one is called “Stage” and it’s produced by Manoto TV. This is the same channel that I managed to get a job at this year as a creative producer, however, I had to turn it down due to their full time requirements (as I’m still in uni) and also the fact that it included a 3 month probation. I have nothing against probations, I’ve had a 3 month one before at Urban Outfitters. My problem is that, working for this channel means I am exiled from Iran due to the ridiculous, political issues Iran has with the channel. I could go on and go about the lack of freedom within media and amongst journalists in and outside of Iran, however, that’s not the aim of this post. I had to reject the role as I feared that it is possible after the 3 months, they could tell me that they no longer want me working for them which means I have lost the opportunity to visit Iran forever because of a couple of months. I can’t do that to myself. They can exile me, but I can’t be the one putting myself in that position. Iran is home and I can’t risk being thrown out.
Back to Stage.
The programme is very similar to X-Factor and therefore they share the same basic rules. The position of the candidates is in the hands of the viewers. This is where, I believe, as Persians, we need to work on. So you view the show, you write your opinion and hashtag them, you vote, you criticise, but the majority of you (and I don’t mean all of you, I mean some Persians) take things a bit too far. Yes, I understand in an entertainment show, people will be judged and criticised by their style and appearance more than their actual voice. And I too, am guilty of similar judgments. However, many Persians start to swear and make nasty comments about the person’s family. These comments are usually aimed at the person’s mother or aunt (dad’s sister) who have no role in the show and are never shown.
This is what I don’t understand, why it’s necessary to offend someone’s family. You don’t see viewers of X-Factor commenting things like “my dick in your aunty’s mouth” or “I’ll f*ck your mum” (yes, some of them are THAT cruel). It’s not just about these shows, Persians tend to do this on a regular basis. I remember one of my exes would swear at me a lot and it ended up rubbing off on me. I didn’t mind it at the time because clearly the anger stemmed from one of us (although, now I realise I shouldn’t have let him say those things. I was young and dumb) however, as soon as he said something about my family, was the moment I walked away from that relationship for good. That’s the thing, Persians involve family into everything. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all Persians. But this habit of theirs needs to be put aside because there’s simply no point in offending someone’s family who you don’t even know nor do you get to have an opinion on.
One of the judges tonight on the show had to make a comment at the end to remind people that it isn’t a war and no ones family is involved therefore there’s no need for nasty comments. It’s simply a show with the purpose of entertainment. When there’s no shows like this, people complain and when they do finally produce a show, people show disrespect. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion and share it whether it’s a positive or negative one, however, swearing and disrespecting someone’s family or background is something that shouldn’t even cross your mind. I hope there can be more Persian entertainment shows like this since all we seem to have is news broadcasts and religious TV shows or boring documentaries (no wonder, people switch to Turkish series).
In the meantime we should enjoy Stage. Oh, and look forward to “Befarmaeed Sham” (Persian Come Dine With Me) since I’m on it this season! I still don’t know when it will be aired but it’s also filmed by Manoto TV so it probably will be shown after Stage ends but I’ll keep everyone updated! Unfortunately it’s all in Persian with no subtitles, however, you can still watch it and pretend to understand.