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People are calling for 'poverty porn' TV shows such as Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away to be taken off air.
Earlier this week it was announced that Channel 5's Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away was ordered to pay £20,000 in damages after it showed couple Shakir Ali and Shahida Aslam being evicted on TV.
After news of the ruling broke, many people flocked to social media to condemn shows like Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away calling them 'exploitative' and accusing them of profiting from vulnerable people:
This show strikes fear into the heart of the people who are already financially struggling.
Doing a one off documentary about paying debts, fine. But having it on day time TV daily is just a bit much. Fine a way of helping these people rather than using then as entertainment
- Jacob Lindie (@JacobLindie) February 23, 2018
I personally can't stomach programmes like this.
All too often it glorifies taking money off people in dire financial difficulty.
Although I agree people should pay what they owe, rubbing their noses in it by sticking a camera in their face is unpleasant to say the least.
- Moorscram (@Moorscram) February 23, 2018
Shows like this should not be on TV, simple as that. Exploitation of vulnerable people at its worst.
- James Lazarus #FBPE (@JustSayNope) February 23, 2018
Well done them ,sick of poverty porn while everyone gets kicks off on others misery https://t.co/oKgXOzZ8wR
- gail ward (@blueannoyed) February 22, 2018
Poverty porn and I hate it, more and more people are finding it hard to get by and it shouldn't be entertainment. It's not even informative, at least give information and advice on debt management to help prevent the need for bailiffs
- andy82 (@Andrewc65399098) February 23, 2018
The couple took Channel 5 to court where their lawyers argued that the production had taken it too far in their quest to get some interesting telly. With Mr Ali saying he did not give consent for the footage to be shown.
He said the episode had "showed them at their lowest ebb.... in a state of shock and very distressed... [and] caused them significant loss of dignity".
Lawyers for the production company argued that showing such subjects was in the public interest, but, ultimately the judge, Mr Justice Arnold, sided with the complainants.
Summing up, he said: "The focus of the programme was not upon the matters of public interest, but upon the drama of the conflict.
"The programme did contribute to a debate of general interest, but I consider the inclusion of the claimants' private information went beyond what was justified for that purpose."
Following the ruling, Channel 5 issued a statement to say it welcomed the judges decision, which recognised the show was 'made in good faith and in the public interest'.
A spokesperson told the BBC the case only related to a 'segment involving the Ali family and not the series in general'.
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