I research entertainment and media trends constantly because of my work in the music and humanitarian world. I subscribe to Noam Chomsky's philosophy of "Manufacturing Consent." I may be one of the few people alive who had the opportunity to spend an afternoon picking the brain about the psychology of promotion with Dr. Edward Bernays, Founding Father of Public Relations.
We met at his home. At the time, Dr. Bernays was in his late 90's. He was kind and gracious to me and had a mind that operated like a precision watch. He served coffee and crumb cakes as he joyfully showed me through albums of pictures with he and numerous Presidents of the US, Henry Kissinger, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and every famous person you could possibly imagine. Much later in life I would learn that he was the nephew of psychoanalysis pioneer Sigmund Freud. Even later in life I would learn about the philosophies he employed on behalf the powerful and elite for whom he worked: "We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of... If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it."
Few, who have given any reflective thought about the power and influence that media has on society, can doubt that when major corporations, who have a fundamental edict of increasing shareholder equity, commit to spend millions of dollars to advertise on a given TV show, that they expect a return on the investment in the form direct consumer purchases. TV network executives define a show's given demographic market niche and then direct their team to solicit Ad Agencies who represent the Corporate Brands whom they know are looking for this consumer profile fit.
The content of a TV show, be it negative, violent and ultimately detrimental to the moral fiber of society, appears to be an inconsequential factor in the overall equation of whether a company chooses to invest their advertising dollars with a given show. Look at the companies that sponsor the monstrous sport of cage fighting.
However, in no other case is this lack of moral discrimination so glaringly apparent than with the TV show Lucifer, a Fox produced and branded show. According to Fox's publicized logline for the show: "Lucifer, bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals."
Who ponied up to place the integrity of their brand and shareholder equity behind this show that glamorizes the devil as being good? You'd be surprised...at least I was. Here are a few: Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, Android, KFC, Olive Garden, DirecTV, Microsoft Surface Pro Four, Playtex Sport, Sprint, H&R Block, Subway, Time Warner Cable, Volkswagen Jetta, Call To Duty Play-station 4, T-Mobile, Discover Card, MetroPCS, and Geico to name a few.
Bottom line, if we allow Networks to present such shows to the public and TV Executives to continue to create, produce and then inflict this schadenfreude (a German word meaning "to take pleasure from someone else's suffering") onto society, irrespective of the known negative effect on it has viewers... and if we as consumers, who become aware of such shows and the Advertisers who sponsor this depravity, do not send the direct message of "I'll never buy your product again" or "I'm dumping your stocks" or "you're done" to corporate brands, then we can only expect society to turn out more and more people who think its cool to watch shows about barbarically brutal fighting, serial killers who sadistically torture and murder others and let us not forget the show that portrays the devil as good and hip.
If we allow such trends to occur and seduce the mainstream into accepting this as the norm, then we'll likely end up turning out people who think indifferently (the opposite of being loving) and act psychopathically.
This phenomenon of a gradually calculated decline in moral and spiritual integrity, as directed by a certain elite few, will predictively occur unless people wake up and take action. Indifference and apathy occur liken to the science experiment when a frog is placed in a pan of cool water on a stovetop. As the stovetop heats and the water gradually moves to and reaches a boil, even though the frog can jump out of the pan, at any time, it never does, it dies. This tragedy occurs because of the frog's inability to sense the pending life threatening danger and to take action to avoid it.
Similarly, if we allow the menacing influence of certain TV and/or movie content to go unchecked and corporations from whom we buy products to sponsors such debasement without pushback, then the boil of apathy and moral confusion will likely lead us to experience and repeat the history of the fallen Roman Empire. According to Lewis Munford (1895-1990), American renowned historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology and influential literary critic: "Rome fell not because of political or economic ineptitude, not even because of barbarian invasions; Rome collapsed through a leaching away of meaning and a loss of faith. Rome fell because of a barbarization from within."