Is the Jerry Springer Show Real or Fake? Staged?
Intro To Reality TV and My Life with Reality Television
Let me start out this article by explaining that I am no stranger to being on television. I was a child model for a toy company then appeared on television for the next 20 years in various shows, music videos, online videos, newspapers and more.
So lets get into my personal experience with "reality tv" first.
I was first contacted by a popular reality television show in late 2011 or very early 2012. What had happened was, I had listed a large-bust mannequin for sale on the website CraigsList.com. This mannequin was purchased for my retail store, but her skin-tone wasn't correct with my lighting and the position of her arms didn't work for my needs. So the decision was made to sell her.
After the posting was made, I was contact by a popular show which involves the "pawning" of items. At first I was very excited. I thought this would be a great opportunity for myself and my store to get publicity, and the woman I spoke to made me believe that this was an excellent opportunity. She and I then continued to "negotiate" over several phone calls, but as the calls continued the more skeptical I became....
My Phone Calls with Reality TV Producers / Coordinators
The first few calls went great. I genuinely was under the assumption that I was going to appear on television, wearing my stores logo merchandise (tees and yoga pants) and sell my mannequin. As negotiations continued, things became even more sketchy.
1. Since the huge Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness event was taking place the following month in Detroit, MI (the SAME PLACE as the filming of this show), I clearly stated to the coordinator / producer that I would like to do something that has NEVER been done on a pawn show: I wanted the "result" to be both parties agreeing to donate 100% to Susan G. Koeman; whatever their "bid" was for the large-breast mannequin, my store would personally match it and together we would write a check, televised - it seemed very fitting being that the show would be based on the mannequins amazingly large bust and Susan G. Koeman is a huge advocate for fundraising for breast cancer. I was willing to GIVE AWAY the mannequin (approximately $300 in value plus shipping) in exchange for BOTH the pawn show and my company helping bring awareness to an exceptional cause. Of course I also wanted to wear my logo on TV too. - My "idea" was declined promptly. I was quite confused as to why any business wouldn't want the support of such a huge foundation, such as Susan G. Koeman in addition to NO LEGITIMATE COST to their company, after all I was donating the mannequin on their show, and can you imagine the support they would gain by BEING THE FIRST pawn show to raise money for such an amazing cause?!
2. After my offer was declined, things got even more strange. I was very, very clear that I did not *need* to "pawn" this mannequin. I did not want to come across as "broke" nor look like an idiot. I explained that my business is literally named after me and that my reputation in the community means everything to me. At this time I was informed I was not "allowed" to wear any logo-bearing clothing AND if I even mention my stores name or location that the show producers "may" (will) edit it out.....and this is when everything took the craziest turn -
3. I was then told about how I must sign waivers in regard to my appearance, which, to summarize, basically stated that the editor/business has the right to make me "appear" however they chose that would be best for RATINGS.
Now continue on with my article about Jerry Springer and I will add in more of my experience at the end -
Is the Jerry Springer Plot Episodes Real or Fake?
As mentioned above, from my own experience; the people are real and the situations are (somewhat) real. But the show needs the best ratings it can get, and in regard to Springer, having "fist fights", women showing their bodies and *amazing* surprises, such as "Your Bride is Actually a Man" obviously gets ratings.
If you have watched The Springer Show change over the ages, you may see it as I do; it has went from a "semi-normal" type talk-type show (when I was in High School) to a completely over-the-top, outrageous mashup of mix of strip-club versus absolute oddities combined with endless, almost cued fist-fights. The "evolution" of this show has seemed to turn into more of an outright soap opera versus a legitimate reality tv show.
And The "Plot Thickens"...
To merge my personal reality TV show with the Jerry Springer Show;
The more time went on, the more I realized that the pawn show I was asked to appear on mirrored the "complaints", per say" of the Springer Show guests -
Indirect or direct statements from coordinators / show producers stating:
1. "Can you be dramatic?"
2. "We CAN'T CONTROL what happens"
3. "We can't guarantee anything"
4. We will be EDITING the footage so it FITS into prime time television
Just like others, I requested that my name is not "tarnished", words were not "altered" and I was NOT made to look like a perv (remember, I was selling a large-bust mannequin on Craigslist....the LAST thing I need is for a nationally televised show to make me look like I'm some kind of weirdo)
So Is the Springer Show Actually REAL or Staged?
Remember, Jerry testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and said that as far as the show was concerned, the people on the show are real - and we have already agreed to this based on my personal experience with Reality Television.
But now we get to the issues of the alleged "fist fights" -
Are Jerry Springer Fights Real or Fake?
In the "REAL" world (not "the Real World TV Show), if you punch someone in the face, you will be prosecuted criminally. Yes, this is a REAL crime and there is no way to escape, yet Jayde Nicole, a former star on the MTV reality show "The Hills" and Bravo's "Holly's World" admitted she has made a good living by being bad on camera. - But how do they "get away with it"?....simple answer, WAIVERS.
A waiver pretty much means that you are signing away your rights to pressing charges, AND also agreeing to whatever terms (even fine print) there may be. Plain and simple. Check out one example of a VERY, VERY basic waiver of rights here.
Here's some excerpts from the very basic waiver above:
- False light: A false light claim would state that the participant was falsely portrayed. This would include a claim that the film made the participant look like a racist when he is not. Therefore, by signing a release which includes this right, the participant is prevented from suing
- By signing a release which includes this right, the participant can no longer sue claiming that the film or its producers engaged in extreme and outrageous behavior that caused the participant serious emotional consequences.
- To sue for defamation, a participant would have to show that the film made false statements about the participant. However, a participant cannot sue if the statement is understood as humor-
* Just the above three statements should be enough to make you want to re-re-re-re-readd your contact before you sign ANYTHING.
To End My Reality TV Offer / Experience
I politely declined the "offer" to be made to look like a total moron for "ratings". Ironically, a very good business associate of mine had also listed some of his items on Craigslist (which consisted of very rare pieces of history, per say). By accident, through conversation, I discovered that he too was also contacted by the same show and had the exact same conversations (minus the desire to donate to charity). Both of us agreed that there was absolutely NO BENEFIT for either of us to appear on the show without any guarantee of...anything; in addition, neither of us are interested in participating in drama, physical or verbal fighting nor being portrayed in an incorrect lighting to get the show "ratings". We have both worked very hard to be assets to our communities and build our businesses and, please keep in mind, we never "contacted" this show looking for help of any kind.
MAKING THE FINAL DECISION
I guess it all comes down to; "What is your reputation worth?" - If you feel that being portrayed as (potentially anything) from a racist to a fool to a psycho; then you may want to consider taking your shot at your "15 seconds of fame" and hope it doesn't backfire. Just keep in mind that WHATEVER you do publicly will be with you FOREVER. Here's another fantastic article / Hub to read about another ladies experience with The Springer Show Fraud.