Tuesday, June 6

A clean smack: the last barbarism of American trash TV


Dana White, the mixed martial arts magnate, is behind Power Slap, a controversial program that has scandalized doctors, critics and congressmen in the US

Two of the Power Slap contestants.TBS

Would you endure a smack with an open hand, without moving an inch before the impact, knowing that your rival can concentrate all his anger, rage, contempt and testosterone in the attempt? And two? And up to three? Say no, please. Masochisms, the just. But in the United States everything is possible, and more if there is goose pasta involved. The macabre formula was launched in mid-January as a television program power slapbroadcast by TBS- and in only eight episodes has raised enough blisters to submit it to study before the US Congress. It is not for less. Specialized critics do not give credit. They wonder, it is not known if with sarcasm or sincere concern, if the following will be live stabbing between contestants for the amusement of the staff. All for the audience in a nation that has long since lost its grip.

TO Dana White, the man behind the grotesque spectacle, the idea seems perfectly legitimate to him and even more bearable for the participants than other displays of extreme violence such as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), the organization of which he is president. “Imbeciles”, he snapped when asked about the many critics of him, remembering the time when he was attacked for defending mixed martial arts, now in full swing in the US. In his program the “athletes” receive “three to five smacks per event”, which compared to the “300 or 400 blows” that a boxing fighter takes, is nothing, he reasons. And those who don’t want to see it, you know, don’t look, says the promoter, He has managed to amass a juicy personal fortune estimated at 500 million dollars.

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White explains that he got the idea from watching YouTube videos of Polish and Russian guys shaking off slaps. “I liked it right away”he said convinced, recording eight episodes in Las Vegas, where many of the UFC fights take place. Besides, the videos generated traffic in abundanceSo he got to work getting it approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Later, TBS gave him the approval to start broadcasting it.

It has raised enough blisters to submit it for study before Congress

It would have seen the light on January 11, but a video of White himself smacking his wife during the New Years celebrations in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, forced to postpone the broadcast for a week. White apologized for the assault on his wife, blaming alcohol.

The premise of the eight shows that have aired is simple. The opponents play heads or tails who hits first and the one who accepts the blow, without moving in the slightest, has 30 seconds to recover from the impact. The first “combat” of the first episode is enough to understand that it is not an easy task. The man who is slapped immediately falls to the ground and appears to lose consciousness.. When he comes to he doesn’t even know where he is, attended by doctors.

kortney olsonbodybuilder and owner of her own company, also lost consciousness after her rival’s blow, who, seeing her in such a state, could not help but hug her and cry. “It was a horrible experience”Olson explained. It will be the last time I participate.

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barrage of criticism

White is very serious. He has created up to four weight divisions and expects the categories to fill up. His idea is to fight to climb positions in the ranking, as in other internationally regulated sports. But for now he has already encountered his first serious problem. TBS announced Tuesday the cancellation of the broadcast after receiving a barrage of criticism.. There are not a few experts who have warned of serious brain damage for those involved. Bennet Omalu, the prestigious Nigerian neuropathologist, does not rule out deaths if they go ahead. He considers it an insult to human intelligence. “It’s a very stupid and unsafe sport. It’s primitive,” he said. Bill Pascrell, congressman from New Jersey, and Don Bacon, his counterpart from Nebraska, announced in February the creation of a committee in Congress to investigate the legality of the program.

It is a very stupid and insecure sport. it’s primitive

Bill Pascrell, Congressman

It is not the first in the annals of American trash TV where violence is the main claim. The figure of Jerry Springerthe undisputed king in that section. His crude display of banality lasted 27 years at the point of fights on the set with issues like incest, infidelity, jealousy, drugs or debt earrings in between. A freak show In all rules.

Its equivalent in Latin American version was commanded by the Peruvian Laura Bozzo, another presenter turned into a mass phenomenon that made her guests pass, knowing that they were going to get involved in a matter of minutes. And therein lay the morbidity of the matter. He presented them with a cuteness that became famous over time.: “Let the wretch come in!”, he exclaimed, always referring to a cuckolded husband, a jilted boyfriend or a similar specimen who was forced to try to defend his pride in the middle of the set, despite not even being able to place half a cake before two built-in cabinets – the swordguards that Bozzo had at his side – pounced on him, ready as prey dogs to pounce on their puny catches and restore some order to such a television circus. White has managed to take it to the next level.

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