The Case Against The Apprentice
This year, viewing figures for hit BBC business-based reality show, The Apprentice, have fallen for the first time since 2005 by approximately 1 million.
Some lingering faith in humanity has been restored.
Why? Well, since you asked…
Exhibit A: The Candidates
The man who won The Apprentice 2012 considers himself a ΓÇÿdemi-godΓÇÖ and ΓÇÿthe reflection of perfectionΓÇÖ.
Nauseating, yes ΓÇô but unfortunately, these are not the kind of statements that stand out on a show that seems to just parade the worst examples of British business people before our eyes each year.
In a true homage to the sentiment that only the worst people get ahead in life, The Apprentice appears to value only the most arrogant narcissists and rewards them with opportunities that many a struggling and honest business person could presumably only dream of.
Exhibit B: The Premise
When is reality television no longer reality?
Living up to the squirm-factor of trash TV is one thing and giving UK viewers a stranger to despise is another ΓÇô but remember that Big Brother espouses only entertainment value and X Factor encourages improved interest in the music industry in addition to these things.
Whereas the ‘reality’ premise of The Apprentice is to reveal ‘insight’ into lessons on how the best get ahead in business.
And what are these all-important lessons, and who are we categorising as ‘the best’, to potential business people and entrepreneurs of the future?
At first glance, the lessons are only these: that self-gratification is all-important; that talking about yourself in embarrassingly over-exaggerated terms is the key to success; that pinning the blame on the person next to you without looking them in the eye is the best way to save face after a screw up.
Exhibit C: The Depressing Reality
Ricky Martin is the latest Apprentice and has genuinely won a real life place as Sir Alan SugarΓÇÖs new business partner. His pitch was an idea for a niche science and technology recruitment agency.
This business plan may have some genuine real world value, but itΓÇÖs difficult to be sure because nobody cares enough to report on it.
It doesnΓÇÖt seem to be the point. It appears much more interesting that, according to the Daily Mail, Martin is so saturated with self-importance that he even makes his wife cringe.
Should people who reached fame this way be rewarded by becoming the partners of one of the top UK businessmen?
Martin himself has exposed the depressing reality underlying the race he ran and won by telling the media that his offensive personality is not a reflection of his true self ΓÇô only a tool that helped him win his 15 minutes and a ┬ú250k business deal.
This statement ΓÇô far from being a saving grace ΓÇô seems to underline the point of The Apprentice as a vehicle for fame and a demonstration of bad business rather than an insight into real world board room practices.
Do you think The Apprentice has some benefit that makes it a worthwhile use of airtime? Tell us if you agree or disagree in the comments below.