Sorry, you don’t know these people in the picture. They’re the cast of The Real World XXV: Vegas and, as is the case with all humans, they may or may not have STDs! Starring in a fancy show with Roman numerals in the title is an honor, so you’re going to need to waive some basic personal, sexual, and reproductive rights. Just go with it; you’ll get to be on TV. Producers can twist your story any which way they want, but eyes on the prize: You! TV!
The Village Voice obtained a reputed copy of the standard contract for The Real World, and while it’s everything you might expect for reality TV, that doesn’t make it any less skeezy. (MTV has not yet responded to requests from EW for comment.) You can read the full document here, but here’s a quick list of my….
Five Most Worrisome Stipulations of an MTV Reality TV Contract
I represent and warrant that, to the best of my knowledge, I do not currently have any sexually transmitted disease. However, I acknowledge and agree that other participants in the Program may have one or more sexually transmitted diseases and other diseases.
Honey we all agree. (Emphasis mine.)
Participant further understands and acknowledges that neither Producer nor any other party has represented to Participant that any other participant is or will be free of HIV, herpes, hepatitis or any other sexual transmitted disease.
WHY DON’T YOU JUST TEST THEM? It’s like they want disease.
In the event I do become pregnant during the Program, Producer shall have the right, in its sole and absolute discreation, to terminate me from further participation in the Program.
Unless you are 16 and pregnant, MTV will be unable to market you.
I waive the exercise of any ‘moral rights’ and ‘droit moral’ and any analogous rights however denominated in any jurisdiction of the world.
Too many big words in there, but the gist is: No rights!
Okay, this is my favorite chunk of text, which basically says, “We’re gonna make up stuff about you,” or more succinctly, “F— you.”
Producer may depict, portray me and my Life Story either accurately or with such liberties and modifications as Producer determines necessary or desirable in its sole discretion for the purposes of fictionalization, dramatization or any other purposes, including without limitation to achieve a humorous or satirical effect, and by means of actors who may or may not resemble me.
Imagine how any of this would go down in the actual Real World. What’s more horrifying — watching an MTV reality show or reading its participant contract?