This is disheartening to say the least. Jaunted points us to a NY Post article revealing that much of what’s seen on The Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild is staged:
“Discovery Communications has learned that isolated elements of the ‘Man vs. Wild’ show in some episodes were not natural to the environment, and that for health and safety concerns the crew and host received some survival assistance while in the field,” a spokeswoman for the network said.
“Moving forward the program will be 100 percent transparent and all elements of the filming will be explained up-front to our viewers.”
It goes into detail:
In another instance, where Grylls was supposed to be surviving on a desert island, he was actually in Hawaii and spent nights at a motel, Weinert said.
The same episode had Grylls building a Polynesian-style raft using only materials around him, including bamboo, hibiscus twine and palm leaves for a sail. Weinert said he actually led a team of builders to construct the raft.
It was then taken apart so that Grylls could be shown building it on camera.
I like to think The Discovery Channel runs a more legitimate game than, say, Fox or NBC and that their programming is above the reality TV and sitcom drivel of network television. Perhaps I’m a bit naive.
They appear to be leaving this claim in limbo, as though it’s “under investigation”, but the quotes and interviews given in the Post’s piece seem pretty cut and dry to me.
I’m sure some will argue that “Hey, it’s just TV. What do you expect?”. But, for me, this is completely disingenuous. I don’t watch much television anymore and it’s a bit of a slap in the face to have the curtain pulled back on a show that I do enjoy to reveal that it’s largely bogus.
I know there are some Man vs. Wild fans among my readership. What do you all think?