Anyone that works in Hollywood, knows that lawsuits are about as common as a Hollywood kiss on the check. “I don’t think a successful executive in Hollywood could count on two hands alone how many times they’ve been sued or threatened suits,” producer Bruce Edwin reports. “In Hollywood,” the producer adds, “lawsuits are kind of like foreplay for the rich and powerful. It’s all about power and control and who wins and who can get others to bend to their will. If production companies had a dollar for every time some jackass tried to sue them, they’d be rich on that alone,” he adds.
And so, when a woman who appeared on MTV’s “Real World” got the bright idea to file a $5 million dollar law suit against the producers and network of the show she appeared on, alleging that she was liquored up, and mocked for not agreeing to have sex with one of the other participants on the show, one may wonder, is MTV, the Real World, its producers Bunim/Murray Productions, and its production company Viacom to blame? The woman, who is not a celebrity by any means, is suing for invasion of privacy, being portrayed in a false light, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and disclosure of private facts.
Producer Bruce Edwin, who is also a talent manager, and has had clients booked on a number of reality shows for MTV and VH1 states, “I have dealt with many of these reality show contracts, and most of them are very long, up to 20 or sometimes even 40 or more pages. Any participant on one of these shows waives their rights to sue, and agrees to being portrayed in any light, even if it is accidentally negative or even purposefully negative. The contracts are very one sided, favoring the production companies, as they should be. If production didn’t protect themselves in this manner, any amateur to this business who is a fame or a money hungry jerk could come along and try to get more than they bargained for, biting the hand that’s fed them.”
Regarding this woman’s claim that she was too inebriated to legally sign a liability waiver, Bruce Edwin states, “That’s absurd. For one, most of these contracts are filled out at home, and one is not even accepted on these shows until they are filled out and sent in, usually by the companies courier account, or by fax or sometimes E-mail. If she was drunk at this time, then I would guess that that was her doing. The casting offices do not allow drunken persons in to their lobbies, and if she was on the show drinking, then that was her choice, and the contract would have already been filled out days before.”
“And if one is too naive to get an attorney to go over a document before they sign it,” Bruce Edwin continues, “then one is at least smart enough to turn on the T.V. and know what they are getting themselves into. If this person wins one penny, it will be just another case to add to the list of frivolous lawsuits that have abused the judicial system, wasted taxpayers money, and played the victim card, when the only thing they are perhaps a victim of, is their own stupidity.”