Reality Show Violence Getting Too Real?


"Things that we used to look away from are things that we watch on television on a daily basis," she said. "It sends a message to viewers that its something that's socially acceptable to our society these days."

The producers of MTV's "Real World" have struck by their long-standing rule for the show's 25th season -- bad behavior will send participants home. That happened last season in "Real World: New Orleans," when cast member Ryan Leslie was sent home after being caught urinating on a fellow cast member's toothbrush and exhibiting other drunken behavior.

Former Playmate on Fueling Bad Behavior

Jayde Nicole, a former star on the MTV reality show "The Hills" and Bravo's "Holly's World" admitted she has made a good living by being bad on camera.

"Now that are so many reality shows out there, they have to step up their game," she said. "Make it more interesting, more dramatic and more outrageous just to capture people's attention. It's kind of just a 'wow' factor."

The 21-year-old Nicole, a former Playboy Playmate, said her nasty temper earned her the nickname, "bunny with fangs."

"I am forever marked the instigator who has all the sexy friends and stirs up trouble," she said.

Known for sparking up vicious fights on "The Hills," Nicole said looking back, she was embarrassed by her behavior, but that some of the blame had to lie with the show's producers.

"The producers have a big role in what's happening on the show," she said. "They create a lot of drama and they start a lot of the fights...they will say so and so said this about you behind your back, and she said she slept with your boyfriend. It's like high school."

Nicole added that she felt that she had to act out because if she didn't play into what the show's producers were doing, she wouldn't end up on camera.

"You could say no but they'll think you're being uncooperative and they will try to film without you," she said. "When you sign a contract for reality TV it's like you have sold your soul."

Former Playmate Holly Madison, Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend and now the star of Bravo's "Holly's World," said even though her show isn't set up to be violent, she had to succumb to bringing Nicole on board to boost ratings.

"I think being successful without caving into things like a violent moment you just have to have things that other people, the audience, can relate to in possibly a more glamorous setting than their life," she said.

Madison added that there still is a need for drama.

"I think cattiness is probably, definitely a happy medium," she said. "Something that doesn't involve anything illegal. It's like a soap opera. It keeps people tuning back for more."

Reality Casting Director on Choosing Characters

Finding people who are ready to pick a fight on camera is where Vinnie Potestivo comes in. He is a casting director for reality shows such as "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" and "Millionaire Matchmaker."

"I think that there is a sense of entitlement that a lot of people have," he said. "As a reality casting director, I hear a lot of times, 'I deserve a reality show, I deserve to be seen on these things.'"

Psychologist Stacy Kaiser said that the unusual situations that reality shows force their participants into can sometimes be detrimental to them.

"I like to parallel some of these reality shows to a caged tiger that is used to being in the wild," she said. "They're being watched all the time, they start to feel anxious, they start to feel aggressive and they begin to behave in ways that are way more extreme."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 13256971.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...