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Reality TV producer says everything is ‘100% manipulated’ and they decide who’s the villain and hero

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

Reality TV producer says everything is ‘100% manipulated’ and they decide who’s the villain and hero

A reality TV producer has revealed something shocking: the shows that you absolutely froth over are not a great representation of reality.

Shock, horror.

If you've ever wondered what really goes on when a reality TV series films a person's life as part of a game show, experiment or just to cover their life, then listen up.

This anonymous producer explained how their colleagues will choose the villains and heroes for the series and then manipulate them into situations to fit the story arc already written for them.


Vice sat down with the unnamed producer - their identity is protected because, you know, they want to keep their job - who dished out all of the insider dirt.

"They have no idea who they are going to be. Part of my job when I meet them is to basically become their best friend. Straight away," the producer revealed.

They explained how the manipulation starts from day one. Build trust and then corrupt, corrupt, corrupt.

The producer even joked that the collective noun for a group of them is a 'manipulation'.


That's dark.

Credit: DAVIDE FERRERI / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: DAVIDE FERRERI / Alamy Stock Photo

They said the trick to finding the perfect contestant is pretty straight forward: host a massive interview and see how much you information you can extract from them.

"The master interview would be like, we'd sit down in a chair for an hour, two hours, sometimes more, and basically, I’ll just ask you questions about yourself, but I'll try to keep it like a conversation," the insider claimed.


"I had one contestant admit that he didn't like his date because she was Asian…When I left the room, he went to my camera operator and said, 'Oh, f**k. Oh, f**k. No. I thought I was just talking to a man. Am I f**ked?' And the camera guy is like, 'Nah, man, they're probably never going to use that'."

Spoiler alert: they totally did.

"It's reality TV, so of course they're gonna use it," the producer said.

The producer explained to Vice how a contestant's entire perception can rest in their hands.


"We can give you a hero or a villain cut. It’s a lot easier to give someone the hero cut, it's harder to give someone the villain cut because you still need to do the dodgy s**t," they revealed.

"[But to make that edit happen] you still need to look like an a**, you still need to say the bad s**t."

They added: "So if people come and go, 'I wasn't happy with how I was portrayed on this show'. They still had to have been an a**hole."

So there you have it. It's all just as fake as the closing scene of MTV's The Hills, when the camera pulled out to reveal they were on a set all along.

Featured Image Credit: Tero Vesalainen / Alamy Stock Photo. Richard Walker / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: TV and Film, Australia

Rachel Lang
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