brianarudolph wrote: While the show runners, directors, and writers of any show have a responsibility to tell the best story that they can, I do not automatically accept that if that plot line includes exposure that it must entail the exposure of an actual illusion used by many magicians to earn their livelihood.
You don't accept it. But you are part of a magic community. The taboo on exposure is something we impose on each other, and the only way to enforce it is to ostracize from the community those who violate it.
People who produce TV shows aren't part of the community, so ostracizing them doesn't do any good. For the most part, they don't recognize any obligations to magicians to protect secrets (and why should they -- we do a crappy job of protecting them ourselves). Their idea of secrecy is Trade Secrets, when you receive something in confidence only after signing a contract with teeth that requires you to keep your mouth shut (I've heard that Copperfield uses this method). We publish, lecture, teach, and sell to anyone with a buck things that we call "secrets" but which clearly aren't.
I posted the numbers above to make a point. 3 million viewers enjoy a show with a secret in it. A few thousand magicians might think otherwise, a few hundred might say so on internet forums, petitions, etc., and a few dozen may actually have their livelihoods affected. Any taboo on exposure simply isn't a consideration in that environment.
If I were a producer and Ed Alonzo or Harris said there's a problem with exposing the secret of thin model sawing, my first response would be "what secret -- it's on youtube", and my second would be "thanks for your input, decision is made, we are moving on". There wouldn't be a third (and I might well have a new magic consultant and actor). Alonzo's and Harris's jobs are to produce the script and tell the story, not to represent the interests of a small fringe element of the audience. If doing so offends their personal sense of ethics, they are free to refuse the job.