The eviction of the three intimidating candidates was not enough: the companies Couche-Tard and GURU joined the list of sponsors who decided to disassociate themselves from OD Martinique. Given the scale of the crisis, producer Productions J was forced to completely overhaul the show.
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To stop the bleeding, the production had no choice but to take concrete measures. In a press release, titled Double Evolution, Productions J announced a “complete overhaul” of the reality show.
Not only were Philippe, Isaack and Felix left out, but Productions J would have also cut them during editing.
All episodes of the series were first removed from the broadcaster’s site and the decision was made to remove all three contestants from the screen as of Thursday night. In the episode broadcast by noovo, there were no more traces of the candidates considered toxic, Philippe, Isaack and Félix. According to our sources, the team at Productions J proceeded with a quick re-edit of the episode.
Listen to the cultural segment of Anaïs Guertin-Lacroix broadcast live every day at 6:35 am on QUB-radius :
OD Fridays, OD EXTRA and OD WEEK-END will also be closed this week. Sunday’s program will begin with the announcement to the candidates of the excluded participants and the explanation of the reasons for their exclusion.
The elimination dinner will be transformed into “debate, information and awareness of non-violent communication with the author India Desjardins who flew to Martinique the night of Wednesday to Thursday and the professor in bullying prevention at UQAM, Stéphane Villeneuve.
Withdrawal of nine sponsors
After Shop Santé, Oraki, Polysleep and Twenty Compass pulled out of the venture earlier this week, Couche-Tard also followed suit. The company announced the news on its Instagram page early Thursday morning.
“While we acknowledge that the production company has taken corrective action, we have made the decision to terminate our agreement with Double Occupancy, effective immediately,” reads Couche-Tard’s most recent Instagram post.
Screenshot taken from Couche-Tard’s Instagram account
Part of the Couche-Tard message.
The latter highlighted that the behaviors observed in the program do not correspond to its values and that it strongly condemned any form of intimidation or harassment. All while she emphasizes that her corporate culture is built on honesty, integrity and inclusiveness. For similar reasons, Quebec energy drink producer GURU announced that it was cutting ties with the program.
In addition to Couche-Tard and GURU, small businesses Twenty Compass, That’sso, Nail Creation and Lambert bags have joined the list of sponsors featuring OD.
In total, OD Martinique has lost nine sponsors since Wednesday.
Zero tolerance for youth.
Pierre Barrette, director of the UQAM School of Media, is not surprised by the magnitude of the crisis. According to him, it is not the power of bullying, but the level of public tolerance for this type of behavior that has changed over the years. It was the refusal of OD viewers to condone certain acts of intimidation combined with the withdrawal of the show’s now five sponsors that led to the expulsion of problematic candidates.
This edition of OD shows, he says, how much the line of what is acceptable has changed in recent years.
“Today the issue of respect between people and intimidation does not pass and the communication channels that are given to the public to express themselves are numerous and instantaneous, he believes. People have the ability to express themselves a lot on social networks, which creates a movement that, at some point, can snowball. It is the public who chooses!
It snowballed, it snowballed when the toxic weather widely reported on social media spooked five sponsors of the show.
“The people who have this sensitivity (the non-tolerance of bullying) are the young people and it is the young people who watch this program,” he adds. In my opinion, we should question the production’s choice to have chosen to mount these moments, because they very well could have voluntarily chosen not to show these episodes. But, it has to be said, it’s very good for reality TV and it gets people talking.
He says that he is not surprised by the recent radical gestures of the production, for whom the pressure must have started to be very strong as the degree of tension generated in social networks increased. The fact that we invite a public figure beloved of young people like author India Desjardins – “and not some obscure psychologist” – also represents, he believes, a mix between a real desire to restore a better climate, a liquidation of production for the public and a marketing trick.
“This shows that there is a collective awareness of psychological violence,” continues Stéfany Boivert, professor at the School of Media. Obviously, sensitivities change and programs have to adapt. If there is something constructive to get out of all this, it is that it leads us to reflect, condemn and criticize oppressive behavior.”
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