Brazil bishops say reality TV is bad for society

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - Brazil's Catholic bishops have criticised the country's popular reality TV shows.

The National Conference of Brazilian Bishops called the shows an "attack on the human dignity of participants, who are fascinated with monetary prizes and a short-lived status as a celebrity."

Reality shows draw huge audiences in Brazil, but they are also criticised for sexual innuendo and bad language.

The bishops urged television networks to think about their role in society.

One of the popular reality shows is Brazil's version of Big Brother, where contestants live in a studio house constantly monitored by cameras.

While the winner receives about $900,000 (£550,000), other participants have followed up their appearances by posing naked in Brazilian magazines, or hosting other television shows.

The bishops said reality shows had a "low moral level" and were "an abusive and immoral exploitation", in a statement on the NCBB's website.

The statement calls for an end to "this evil of society" and says that "freedom of expression does not give anyone the right to attack the moral values that sustain society."

Brazil has the largest baptised Catholic population in the world.