You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Provocative TV show asks awkward questions

AAP logoAAP 2/08/2016 Danielle McGrane

A new ABC show is giving the Australian public a chance to ask minority and marginalised groups the awkward questions they've always wanted to know but have been too uncomfortable to ask.

You Can't Ask That puts questions to groups including wheelchair users, fat people, ex-prisoners, polyamorous couples and transgender people who are willing to take on the nation's nosiness.

Despite the supposed differences between the groups, there's one topic that keeps cropping up for everyone.

"What was really surprising was how many questions about sex came up," the show's producer/director Aaron Smith told AAP.

"I think we're just a little bit obsessed or voyeuristic, or I'm not really sure what it is."

The overriding message that comes through on the show is that there are more similarities running through all these different groups than people may at first realise.

As Smith says, the process is a real leveller.

"We might have all these labels put upon us and all these different experiences that we go through in life but we're all humans at the end of the day," he said.

The production team travelled the length and breadth of the country to record the experiences of people from rural and regional Australia as well as from the cities.

The questions were also carefully chosen.

Thousands were submitted anonymously online and the team whittled them down until they picked out the most common or overriding themes that people really wanted to know.

"There are a few questions that still make me uncomfortable when I hear them read out loud," Smith said.

"But I found the more offensive the question, the more ridiculous it looks onscreen," he said.

"That inspired us to put the text up because, when you see it on screen, if it is a ridiculous or offensive question it really points itself out."

Everyone chosen to take part in the show felt comfortable on camera, and they all had the opportunity to refuse to answer any question.

The show is driven by the people who are willing to field the difficult questions and answer the public in their own words and, hopefully, shake off some stigma along the way.

"You don't hear an interviewer, there's no opposing point of view presented on screen, so it's all about making people shine really."

* You Can't Ask That premieres on ABC on August 3

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon