When I was in high school, I remember watching MTV’s “The Real World”, and wondering how long MTV had the cast under contract. Since they all seemed to appear with regularity on various MTV reality shows, I assumed it was because it was a requirement, and not because they truly loved being on MTV. As it turns out, the Village Voice managed to get an actual “Real World” contract, and the terms are, to say the least, eyebrow-raising.
A few choice excerpts [note that the BOLD is from the Village Voice, and the italics are my interpretation]:
- Producers are under no obligation to conduct background checks on your fellow cast members. (7)
- If you contract AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases while filming [“gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Chlamydia, scabies (crabs),’hepatitis, genital warts, and other communicable and sexually transmitted diseases or Pregnancy; etc”], MTV is not responsible. (7)
- You authorize the Producer to have total access to your school records, government forms, your credit history. (19)
- You’re obligated to participate in a Reunion Special for up to five years after the show ends, you’ll be paid $2500 for your involvement, and the Producer only has to give you 14 days notice. (50c)
- Interacting with other cast members carries the risk of “non-consensual physical contact” and should you contract AIDS, etc. during such an interaction, MTV is not responsible. (7)