“It’s Do or Die”: Cultural Labor, Competitive Reality TV, and the Reproduction of Neoliberal Capitalism

Aiden James Kosciesza


This article argues that creative competition reality television, a distinct genre within the reality TV format, reproduces capitalist hegemony by naturalizing neoliberal values, the myth of meritocracy, and the precarity of cultural labor. Drawing from a case study of Amazon Studios’ 2020 fashion design competition Making the Cut, I examine the pedagogical role of creative competition shows as they shape the labor conditions of the cultural workforce.


creative competition reality television, cultural labor, attention economy, neoliberal capitalism, meritocracy, Marxist critique, Making the Cut, Amazon Studios

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