British Prankster Dressed as Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Rapper Exposes ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ as ‘Contrived, Manipulated’ in New TV Documentary
A comedic character actor exposed what he said were unethical, behind-the-scenes practices on “Britain’s Got Talent” in a TV documentary aired Tuesday night, the UK’s Mirror reported.
Simon Brodkin — best-known outside of his country for throwing swastika-emblazoned golf balls at then-presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump at the reopening over the summer of his Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire — filmed his escapade last year, which involved auditioning for the hit reality show under the assumed name of Steven Goldblatt, disguised as an ultra-Orthodox Jewish rapper.
In the Channel 4 documentary, Brodkin said:
This show sets itself up as a pure, simple, innocent talent show. I don’t think it’s that. Shortly before I went in front of the judges I was advised what to say and how to present my act. A lot is recreated and manipulated. My arrival, registration and leaving were all staged. I was given direction as to how to act and they re-shot each stage several times. Having very little talent certainly isn’t a barrier to success on “BGT.” Some careful box fixing and a decent sob story can get you a long way, as proven with Steven Goldblatt.
The film shows Brodkin backstage being repeatedly asked the same question by producers until he tells them what they want to hear, and he claimed they altered the acts to fit the show’s agenda. He said “Britain’s Got Talent” also filmed fake scenes of contestants expressing happiness or sadness after an audition, even before they performed in front of the show’s four judges.
Brodkin got four “yes” verdicts from “BGT” judges in the initial audition, but subsequently was asked to leave the show when an executive producer discovered his true identity.
A spokesperson for the competition slammed the prankster’s documented accusations, telling the UK’s Daily Mail, “It is not unusual for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ to work with acts to ensure their performances are suitable for family viewing. On this occasion, Simon Brodkin auditioned with a rap containing material we were concerned may cause offense. We subsequently found out that Simon Brodkin is a ‘comedian’ and hoaxer who promotes his act by deceiving people. It is untrue to suggest that ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ manipulated Simon’s act.”
Another source quoted by the Daily Mail said, “It’s ironic he thought it was funny to manipulate a full live theater audience by making false claims about who he was and yet is trying to accuse ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ of being manipulative. This guy is just desperate for fame – and is hoping to get it by being a professional fraud and con artist.”