Freire admits the methods of liberation he proposes are complex, and I think they are even more so today, partly because of technology. “Technology” can simultaneously serve and undermine oppressors and the oppressed, as well as the process of liberation. One such technology is Hulu.
The TV show, Undercover Boss, is meant to show the CEO (oppressor) what it’s like to work for a day with his company’s laborers (the oppressed). At the end of the episode, the audience is eager to see how the CEO will respond. In the episode I watched recently, the CEO takes on a surfer-boy persona and learns some of his most talented employees are neglecting health issues because they don’t have health insurance or sick days, have to choose between fixing their cars or feeding their kids, and get treated badly by customers when out-of-date computer systems slow down their work. The CEO is sympathetic towards the three workers he meets and gives them collectively over $100,000 in addition to promotions they didn’t ask for. As for the other 10s of thousands of workers in his company, their cash registers will be upgraded sometime in the next three years. Otherwise the situation is unchanged.
The CEO continues to oppress as he has full power over the value of and kind of gifts he gives to the lucky few he met, and more knowingly neglects his company’s lack of living wage for all employees. Spending time with him is portrayed as the chance of a lifetime and hard working, relatable people receive highly deserved and needed gifts. The CEO is seemingly transformed from an innocently unaware leader to a generous friend of the people. The average audience is more accepting of the bigger picture, even tho for most employees the oppressive structure hasn’t changed.