Even the ‘reality’ is twisted and the truth stays hidden

Everyone knows that you can’t believe what you see on TV. The storylines are made up, and the characters are unrealistic. It is also common knowledge that the media lies. Tabloids take someone’s words and manipulate them into something they’re not. This is why documentaries exist: to provide an uncensored look into what truly goes on behind the scenes.

Pro athletes live picture-perfect lives, but only show this side to the public. Actors are meant to seem relatable and personable, but how much of that is a facade?

Documentaries are meant to serve this purpose. Fans are anxious for the truth, not only what major companies and businesses want you to see and hear, and even this is straying from its intent. What used to be a factual look into the history or background of an event or person has now turned into another staged media campaign.

Many documentaries have come out recently highlighting different parts of the sports industry. “Formula 1: Drive to Survive,” “Cheer” and “Break Point” are all examples of these newly revealed insights into what being in the spotlight actually means, both professionally and personally. However, many concerns are raised questioning whether the full picture is being shown. It is not a true behind the scenes look if the major corporations still have a lot to gain or lose from the outcome. In a football series, the NFL will not sit back and let their name be dragged. The PGA won’t allow this series to be used negatively against their organization.

These corporations have too much influence over documentaries that are supposed to expose the truth about what fans don’t see. Instead, the corporations themselves are never negatively portrayed and do not face consequences as a result of the hidden information. The subjects of the documentaries are more negatively impacted than the companies as a result to this phenomenon. Despite the nature of documentaries, the main subjects are still employees under these companies or in business affiliated with them in some way, so it would be naive to think that they aren’t skewing coverage. Nothing new will come to light if the same people keeping it in the dark in the first place are still involved and have so much power.

Adding yet another issue to the table, documentaries can bring fame and attention to bad people. The stories of serial killers and dangerous individuals are told and reenacted through recent documentaries for the viewer’s pleasure. As interesting as these narratives might be, people are overlooking the fact that they are only giving these criminals more money and power. Netflix and other producers leave out key details that alter people’s views of the situation in an effort to make the story more entertaining, but that is not the original intention of bringing a true story to the screen.

The recent Netflix hit “Inventing Anna” tells the story of a woman who scammed her way through New York as a German heiress, adopting the name Anna Delvey. Now having posted bail and under house arrest in her East Village home, the reach of the real basis for the series has only grown. She has fans everywhere and received $320,000 from Netflix. 

So, the question remains: why are we justifying their bad behavior?