The BBC’s version of Stan Lee’s reality show Who Wants to Be a Superhero? reportedly is under fire for subjecting contestants — ages 9 to 13 — to unnecessary stress and criticism.
I didn’t even realize there was a British take on the series, which aired for two seasons in the United States on SciFi.
Although the original, American version featured adults, the Children’s BBC show focuses on 13 kids who create their own superheroes and participate in a series of trials. Each week the contestants are judged on their performance, and one is cut from competition.
The winner will travel to Los Angeles to meet Lee.
According to the Daily Mail, the controversy was sparked by the past two episodes, which each showed children crying or choking back tears as they were eliminated.
The newspaper quotes a few psychologists who say the experiencing is potentially damaging to children, but a BBC spokesman disagrees. “There is absolutely no evidence of any distress to the children,” he said. “They have all said they had a happy time.”
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