Contract for Prominent Reality Show Covers Death, Loss of Limbs, Nervous Breakdown, Humiliation, Being Shown 'In a False Light' and Email Monitoring, Among Other Intrusions Village Voice
Reality television is known for showing its subjects in an unflattering light, but a contract for one of the most prominent reality shows reveals that the practice is actually written into the contract, according to the Village Voice.
The standard contract for participants in MTV’s "Real World" includes the following terms: You may die, lose limbs and suffer nervous breakdowns; you may be humiliated and portrayed "in a false light"; your email may be monitored during the show; and the producer gets blanket rights to your life story.
The contract acknowledges that the activities of the reality show could, in other circumstances, be considered a serious invasion of privacy, and so asks participants to give the producer "irrevocable permission" to "fully exploit" all materials, including tapes from concealed cameras.
The contract also reportedly releases MTV from responsibility if participants contract AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases, and allows for the possibility of “non-consensual physical contact.”