Turkish “Big Brother” Reality TV Scam

Does anyone else have at least some begrudging admiration for the perpetrators of this Big Brother fraud that has just been revealed in Turkey? As the Guardian reports, nine Turkish girls were held for two months in a luxury villa in Istanbul and filmed 24 hours a day believing they were in a reality TV show.

Nine women were led to believe they were being filmed for a Big Brother-type television programme, according to the Dogan news agency and other news reports. Instead, their naked images were sold on the internet by their captors.

The women had responded to an ad seeking contestants for a reality show which would be aired on a major Turkish television station, Dogan said. The nine captives, including a teenager, were selected from other applicants following an interview.

They were made to sign a contract which stipulated that they could have no contact with their families or the outside world, and would have to pay a fine of 50,000 Turkish lira (£20,000) if they left the show in the first two months, the agency reported.

What has happened here is like the inverse of The Truman Show, in that rather than being an unknowing character in a TV show the does exist, these girls were knowing characters in a TV show that didn’t exist.

That such a fraud could be so easily  pulled off and sustained is a demonstration of the way in which reality TV shows have offered up the possibility of easy fame and fortune to the average person in the street. Without the worldwide popularity of programs such as Big Brother, the scam had no chance of success.

These women were taken advantage of, yes, but they…

“were not abused or harassed sexually but they were told to fight each other, to wear bikinis and to dance by the villa’s pool.”


Pillow fights, babes and bikinis: Big Brother the way we always imagined it would be

So I ask, isn’t this just an extended variation on other scams that offer fame to the naive, such as film producers offering the possibility of film roles to starlets in exchange for sex, or photographers offering the same to wannabe models?

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One Response

  1. The fact that these types of shows even exist is a sad reminder that Hollywood has become so totally lazy and cant be bothered to come up with new and interesting ideas other than voyerism. All these shows no matter the genre are the same “Dull” but the sad fact is that no one is forcing anyone to participate even those women in the Turkish scam participated voluntarily and what worse, we support it by watching in record numbers reminds me of the romans and the gladiators and the fall of the empire.
    At least the gladiators had no choice

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