With the popularity of reality television remaining unabated, precious little attention is given to the effects participation as a contestant on a reality television show may have. Although there is a growing body of work concerning the mental toll reality television takes on its contestants, the legal ramifications of such effects have remained largely unexamined. Even as some producers of such shows acknowledge the effects their programming has on their contestants, many hide behind the contracts contestants signed prior to filming, effectively blocking litigation. Further, a favorite defense of producers is that the contestants are not their employees and thus are not owed common employer-employee duties. Reality show con-testants are left with a feeling of being deceived and manipulated by producers hungry for ratings.
Jennifer L. Blair,
Surviving Reality TV: The Ultimate Challenge for Reality Show Contestants,
31 Loy. L.A. Ent. L. Rev. 1
Available at: http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/elr/vol31/iss1/1