The insatiable quest for programming ideas has fueled the predicable parade of remakes, reboots and revivals in the entertainment industry and especially on television, where the TV show ephemera of cops, courts, and coroners litters the landscape.
Since original TV shows are rarer than COVID masks in Florida, I rode the zeitgeist like a mechanical bull for a show idea that will deliver the right mix of reality, salaciousness and moral superiority…it’s called ESCAPE FROM CANCELED ISLAND and it’s lit.
Escape From Canceled Island is a reality television program where a group of social pariahs are put on a desolate island and must embrace their shortcomings, rectify their f*** ups, redeem their name and earn a way back to civilization. It might sound simple, but trust, it isn’t a walk in the park…where you fake a 911 call to weaponize the police against an innocent Black man. Cancel culture feels like it’s on the verge of spiraling out of control, which frankly is why it would make for great television!
It’s a topic that elicits brusk dialogue and was taking over the internet until Jada Pinkett Smith blessed the web with Entanglement. Powered by social media and old fashioned herd mentality, cancel culture allows total strangers to crowdsource, weaponize and direct outrage at targets deemed to be flagrant to the ideals of racial, ethnic and gender equality. Similar to the trope of an angry mob of villagers carrying pitchforks, cancel culture creates a hashtag that seeks its pound of flesh from offenders.
Famous celebs and luxury products get canceled, just like everyday consumer brands and private citizens. But since there’s no official “cancel council” determining who gets the hashtag, there’s fallout and pushback over who is getting canceled. These disagreements often break down along generational lines, with Gen X and Baby Boomers citing Millennials penchant for oversensitivity and political correctness, which leads to their hair-trigger twitter fingers and taking an Oprah-esque “you get a car” approach to canceling.
The actual island for the show is full creepy! Situated smack in the middle of nowhere and teeming with flying roaches and those bats the size of human toddlers, it’s the type of place where Fyre Festival might have their next debacle. There’s canceled products strewn about on the beach, with Aunt Jemima bottles and Goya Frijoles Negros cans dotting the white sand like a bunch of penis fish.
It’s is also haunted by the ghost of canceled past, so contestants might wake up and see the slave master Thomas Jefferson writing about how slavery is inherently wrong, or catch a glance of John Wayne and Walt Disney playing chess with all-white pieces.
Canceled Island is a MAGA free zone and is patrolled by nosy Black grandmothers, who will issue the standing threat to “smack the taste out your mouth” to anybody they catch “talking under their breath”!
They’re listening for contestants with a smart mouth, who might mumble phrases like all lives matter, what about Black on Black crime, reverse racism and Obama is a fascist. Oh, and “they’ll spend all their reparations on Cadillacs” will also catch a backhand. Contestants that have lived much of their lives without seasoned food will not grasp the severity of the warning until it’s too late.
Escape From Canceled Island will also place people in triggering situations to test their reactions. Contestants will encounter long checkout lines in the grocery store, where all the customers are speaking Spanish. Contestants will also attend sporting events where players (and some fans) kneel during the national anthem and will consistently be shown Black people experiencing joy in public spaces.
The canceled will receive infractions for any racist and sexist actions or reactions. An infraction is also earned by expressions of White privilege, or White fragility meltdowns. When a contestant racks up seven infractions they’re remanded to a building called “Wokeness” for a minimum of twenty-four hours. In Wokeness, a Black Lives Matter mural covers the entire structure, concealed speakers blare Malcolm X speeches 24/7, a hologram of President Obama is everywhere, while “real” American history is taught by Chuck D and reparations investment literature is in every room. In severe cases, Dr. Cornelius West is brought in to perform songs from his 2001 album, “Sketches Of My Culture.”
Wokeness only serves an Ital menu for all meals and like the NBA bubble in Disney World, food delivery is no bueno. Contestants will only discover this when the car icon carrying their food on the app, sinks into the ocean on their iPhone. There is a secret Chic-fil-A stand on the grounds, but finding it takes serious exploration, and contestants will be told the stand is in a really bad part of the island.
Contestants can get booted off Canceled Island if they amass more than 12 infractions, are physically violent with any non-contestant, or call the cops on Black people for any reason. It is an upside tho! The canceled that can resist abhorrent behavior, survive wokeness, learn and appreciate the value of other people, genders, and cultures, admit that they benefit from White privilege and disavow White supremacy can make it off the island and be reinstated back into society.
Well, that’s all theoretical, because who the hell knows how the whole cancel thing works anyway? I thought Kanye was canceled, and now he’s running for frickin’ president!! I do know that’s my show idea, so exec producers, get at me while this idea is still wet. We should do it for the culture…and if you don’t know what that means, please don’t call me!
To read more stories by Richard Burroughs, visit his Medium page here.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of BK Reader.