Why did the producers of the X-Factor show axe Shirlena Johnson?
If she was bad at performing on the show, that is understandable. But she was axed because, if this is true, that she had failed to notify the show’s producers that she had been diagnosed with mental illness. After these revelations, the producers felt they had no choice but to let her go.
Why is this? Why, in these so-called enlightened times, where it’s okay to be black, gay, Muslim, etc, but it’s still taboo to have anybody who has mental illness to be on a TV talent show? The X-Factor producers didn’t want a repeat of the problems that affected Susan Boyle on their sister show Britain’s Got Talent a year ago.
Personally, I find this affair a complete disgrace. Simon Cowell probably thought he was doing the right thing, but in reality, he’s caving to to many people’s negative perceptions about mental illness, exacerbated by media stories of people being victims of violence by those with such illnesses.
Once diagnosed, with a proper level of support, people with mental illness could be able to live near normal lives. Shirlena should have been allowed to remain on the X-Factor, so the viewers could be able to see her real talent shine through.