The Push is a show being advertised as “Only on Netflix,” although it was previously aired two years ago, just not in the US. It is directed by Derren Brown, a psychological illusionist who continually questions the boundaries of human mentality, by placing typical people into extreme situations. The Push seeks to answer the question, “Can even the most moral people be made to commit horrendous acts, simply by shifting the message of what’s normal?” The film has one man that is unaware he is being filmed with the rest being actors. The objective is to place the man into a position that he feels the only way to escape the situation is by committing murder.
You can find the official trailer for The Push at:
Other shows by Brown have placed people in the decision of taking control of a Boeing 737 at 500mph, tricking participants at a “motivational seminar” into robbing a security van in broad daylight and other controversial shows related to psychological manipulation.
Discussion around Netflix airing The Push vary from the ethics of placing individuals in such an extreme psychological position to the content and the way it is being delivered by Netflix. There is both backlash and excitement over Brown’s Netflix show, while some people stand on the fence of it being ethically wrong, yet are intrigued.
Comments have noted and made clear they are not impressed with Netflix advertising the show as only on Netflix as well as including why some people choose Netflix over other ways of viewing shows.
There are those that are thrilled with The Push being aired, while others see it as distasteful. Some question how scripted the show is, noting that all participants have to sign voluntary consent forms, even if they do not know the entire story line.
Although Browns work is typically controversial, has he crossed a line with this film? Is it common knowledge that people can be manipulated into anything, murder included? Is this purely to make money at somebody’s expense, or does this have a true educational purpose? Should Netflix advertise shows as only on Netflix if they have aired in the past? Does it make a difference that this has aired before elsewhere? Is the media ethically responsible for the content that has desensitized citizens?