Somehow, I'm not surprised that Fox has found a way to capitalize on the current economic situtation. However, since I just finished reading an article about how last month's numerous mass-murders might be tied to the economy, I'm a bit horrified by this concept. Turning layoffs into a Surivoresque vote undermines the seriousness of the situation. These individuals are not being voted off an island from which they can return home; instead, they're losing their livliehoods. The article states that a "business consultant" will help advise employees which of their own should be laid off, but will the show offer any support or guidance to the newly terminated employee(s)? Having worked through two nasty mergers that resulted in layoffs I can attest that the knowledge of impending layoffs sends ripples of paranoia through a company. Loyalties are tested, territories mapped out, backstabbing occurs, etc. (it is a miserable environment in which to work). Indeed, the atmosphere does have some similarities with reality shows that have eliminations. But in a company facing layoffs there are few immunity idols.
Perhaps, with the amount of money it will cost to produce the show, Fox could be helping the situation rather than profiting from it. But, that would suggest that there is a Rhetoric of Compassion in our society, which is something that today's earlier post by M suggests is wholly missing.