The success of singer Susan Boyle on the reality show Britain's Got Talent has caused both television networks and their viewers to reconsider the intrinsic value of ugly people, media experts say.
In living rooms around the world as well as in the executive suites of media giants, those exposed to the Susan Boyle phenomenon are grappling with the paradox - thought impossible up until now - that an ugly person could be talented.
In New York, NBC chief Jeff Zucker confirmed that his network was "seriously considering" lifting its official ban against featuring unattractive people on the air.
"For years, the letters NBC have stood for 'No Butt-ugly Characters,'" Mr. Zucker said. "We're beginning to re-think that."
Jenifer Genterson, a news anchor from Abilene, Texas, is just one of a chorus of beautiful TV talking heads who have been startled and inspired by the surprising presence of talent in an ugly person.
"In the TV business, we're told that beauty is everything," Ms. Genterson said. "But Susan Boyle has shown us that ugly people have the right to live, too."
But Professor David Logsdon, who studies the rare occurrences of ugly people in the media at the University of Minnesota's School of Communications, warns that the isolated example of Ms. Boyle may give ugly people around the world too much hope.
"The fact is, only one in a million ugly people will ever get on TV," said Professor Logsdon. "Most of them will wind up in academia."
Elsewhere, one day after lifting travel restrictions on Cuba, President Obama said he would send Vice President Joe Biden there for the next four years.
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