The star of a reality television series is suing the show’s producers, claiming that she had to put her life at risk to honor her contract, all because the show wanted to get exciting footage.
Variety reports that the suit was filed in federal court in Alaska by Susan Aikens, star of National Geographic Channel’s “Life Below Zero.” Produced by BBC Worldwide, the show tracks the activities of subsistence hunters in a remote area of Alaska.
“The lawsuit, first reported by KTUU in Anchorage, contends that her contract was so onerous that she felt forced to do whatever the BBC producers told her to, regardless of her safety concerns,” Variety reports. “A spokeswoman for the BBC said the company has not yet reviewed the lawsuit and would have no statement.”
Variety reports that Aikens alleges in the suit that “a producer on the show forced her to drive her snow machine across an icy river at 60 mph. She crashed and was thrown from the vehicle. While she lay in the snow suffering from serious injuries, Aikens claims the BBC crew delayed her rescue in order to get more footage.”
The report notes that the suit faces significant hurdles, including “contractual provisions releasing the BBC from all claims arising from the production. The contract also states that Aikens knowingly assumed the risks of injury and death associated with the show, including the hazards of traveling in all-terrain vehicles in harsh weather.”