MEDIA WATCH: X Factor’s Redemption Song?



Redemption is one of the most important values Society can stand for. The anger generated by myopic crime headline driven media has created a hatred towards prisoners and criminals that demands suffering as an acceptable punishment rather than the removal of liberty.

That anger ignores losing ones liberty is a punishment that is for a species that requires social structures as desperately as ours a terrible punishment in of itself.

The desire to turn what is an already painful punishment into suffering has led to one of the highest incarcerations rates in the world and private prisons perversely able to make profits off incarceration.

In short, we need to be far more open to redemption and promoting of redemption as a society, so X Factor’s desire to give a convicted killer a chance to appear and contest on their alter of light entertainment would have been a great call, if Shae Brider had been a real case of redemption.

Since the show screened him, details have emerged that question his glossed over version of events. True redemption would have shown Shae taking far more personal responsibility for his actions, contacting the family of the victim of his crime for their blessing and worked as hard as he could to give back to society what he has taken. That clearly hasn’t occurred which makes X Factor’s gesture meaningless.

The issue then moves to why X Factor’s producers didn’t back ground search enough to know the full story. If it was laziness, that is appalling, if it was because they thought it would be great controversy for ratings then that’s appalling.

Incompetence or venal corporate greed?

TDB Recommends

X Factor have to show a better job of redemption than Shae managed.



  1. My parents often go to the service station where Shae works and say they were always impressed how pleasant he was. From what I’ve read Shae has tried to do the right thing. I don’t think the family of the victim were ever going to be happy that he was on X Factor whatever he did. He’s hasn’t broken any laws in being on the programme and is trying to get on with life and the music which he obviously loves. He has as much right to be on the programme as anyone else. I suspect he was always a pretty okay person but ended up with the wrong people as a teenager. This is a very common story in provincial towns throughout New Zealand.

    • When you look into the background of some killers or if you know their personal background, it puts a whole different light on how the rest of the world thinks about them. So I agree with your sentiments entirely.

  2. Chet Baker, Leadbelly, Billie Holliday, Sonny Rollins, Aaron Neville, Steve Earle, Felka Kuti, Chuck Berry, Merle Haggard, Tupac, James Brown, Bobby Brown, Lil Wayne … Just saying.

  3. There have been other cases where a person has committed a serious crime, and then later gone on to a successful career.

    I’m thinking mainly of Leslie Grantham, a well known British actor, best known for portraying “Dirty Den” in Eastenders for many years in the UK. When he was 23 and a young soldier stationed in Germany, he and another soldier stabbed a German taxi driver to death.

    He served 11 years in prison and then trained as actor and has appeared in many British productions.

    Whether it’s right or wrong is the question.

  4. Correction to last post.

    The taxi driver was shot in a struggle not stabbed, and Grantham’s past and the time he spent in prison wasn’t revealed until much alter on when he had become a successful actor.

Comments are closed.