Report: Discovery's 'Man vs. Wild' reality show faked scenes
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/25/2007
If a reality show is centered around an adventurer braving the elements on his own without the aid of modern amenities, one would assume he wouldn't be shacking up in a motel.
But that's apparently the case with 33-year-old survival expert Bear Grylls, the star of Discovery Channel's Man vs. Wild, which also airs under the title Born Survivor: Bear Grylls on the U.K'.s Channel 4.
Discovery Channel is deciding what to do with the series since it came to light through a Channel 4 investigation that Grylls had indoor accommodations on at least two occasions when the show led viewers to believe he was actually spending the night outdoors, The Hollywood Reporterreported Tuesday.
"Discovery Communications has learned that isolated elements of the Man vs. Wild show in some episodes were not natural to the environment, and that for health and safety concerns the crew and host received some survival assistance while in the field," the network said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Man vs. Wild premiered on Discovery Channel last October and on Channel 4 in the spring, and each episode of the docu-reality series follows Grylls -- a former British special forces soldier who has scaled Mount Everest and braved the Arctic -- as he's airlifted into remote, wild locations armed with only a piece of flint and water bottle for his survival.
However Channel 4's investigation found the "wild" was actually a Hawaiian motel on one occasion and a lake resort in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range on another. Additional allegations, according to The Hollywood Reporter, also include that a raft Grylls is shown to have built himself was actually constructed and then disassembled by consultants to show him how to do it, and supposed "wild horses" he encountered were actually brought in for filming from a trekking station.
Man vs. Wild's production company Diverse Television is "cooperating" with Channel 4's investigation into the authenticity of the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which added Discovery Channel apparently has no intentions of dropping the series altogether and will instead make "certain unspecified alterations."
"Moving forward, the program will be 100% transparent and all elements of the filming will be explained upfront to our viewers," Discovery Channel said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "In addition, shows that are to be repeated will be edited appropriately. Bear Grylls is a world-class adventurer and a terrific talent."