How Flashy Backgrounds on TV Shows Can Be Harmful
I really love reality talent shows. As a former amateur singer and dancer myself, I can relate to those poor suckers who are brave enough to face the possible disdain of judges such as Simon Cowell. However, I have been seeing a trend that disturbs me as a person with a slight visual impairment.
These shows are putting elaborate, ever-moving backgrounds with occasional flashing flames behind the performers. Sometimes there are multiple patterns.
After two eye operations, I have some blurriness on one eye and it is sensitive to strong lights. Focusing while watching regular TV can be challenging enough, but bright, constantly changing background sets make it very difficult for me to see the performers clearly.
Talent shows such as “America’s Got Talent” should have had a warning for people with certain conditions such as a rare form of epilepsy. Bright, throbbing, ever-changing lights and flame throwers can trigger seizures or migraines. When dancers wear colors similar to the stage set, they were hard to see clearly.
Not all sets were overdone. Some put the spotlight on the performer (usually a singer) and had a soft background. Sometimes there was rain or snow flowing down. Those scenarios are fine.
A few years ago, I did reach out to one dance show and asked them to tone down their sets. I never got a response and nothing changed. I hope that TV talent shows will take the concerns of visually impaired people more seriously in the future. And just think of all the money these people would save when they do not use these elaborate designs and pyrotechnics!