Outback House debut in Australia leads to complaints about animal cruelty.

Australia’s ABC debuted Outback House on Sunday, that network’s version of 1900 House. The series follows 16 people on “a 10,000-acre, 19th-Century sheep station cut off from the contemporary world.”

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, “Complaints that one participant kicked a rooster and that the mismanagement of newborn lambs led to their deaths have illuminated the tension between historical accuracy and modern values.” The death of some animals on the premiere episode has led to an investigation by the RSPCA. Specifically, “one participant kicked a rooster,” and some “lambs died after pregnant ewes were inadvertently mixed in with a group of wethers during muster,” while “others were taken by foxes.”

A network exec told the paper, “I don’t think people in 1861 were any more brutal than anyone is today, but it’s life on the land and animals die.”

Settlers’ life unsettles ABC viewers [Sydney Morning Herald]
Outback House [ABC Australia]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.