Discovery re-edits fake 'Man vs. Wild' segments, adds disclaimer
By Christopher Rocchio, 09/25/2007
When Bear Grylls battles nature on Discovery Channel's Man vs. Wild, the 33-year-old survival expert doesn't always come out on top. But at least now viewers will know when that happens.
Following an investigation by the U.K.'s Channel 4 -- which also broadcasts the reality series under the title Born Survivor: Bear Grylls -- Discovery Channel has decided to air re-edited versions of Man vs. Wild to acknowledge that some scenes in the unscripted series are staged, The Hollywood Reporterreported Tuesday.
Discovery Channel aired four straight first-season episodes of Man vs. Wild on Monday night, all of which featured a disclaimer that ran at the beginning and in the middle of the show.
"Bear Grylls is trained in extreme survival techniques," reads the disclaimer, according to The Reporter. "He and the crew receive support when they are in potentially life-threatening situations, as required by health and safety regulations. Professional advice should be always be sought before entering any dangerous environment."
In addition, Discovery Channel is also implementing a voiceover during segments of the re-edited episodes in which viewers were originally led to believe Grylls didn't receive any off-camera assistance, according to The Reporter. For example, an episode set in the Scottish Highlands showed Grylls eating a rabbit he claimed to have caught in a trap.
"My trap didn't catch anything overnight, but I've been brought a rabbit to tell you what to do if you're luckier than me," Grylls said in the voiceover, according to The Reporter.
A Discovery Channel team has been "working around the clock" in recent weeks to verify the truthfulness behind each of Man vs. Wild segment, according to The Reporter, which added additional episodes were still being edited as of Monday.
"If we found anything that wasn't natural to the environment, we have edited it out," a Discovery spokeswoman told The Reporter.
Production has already begun on Man vs. Wild's second season, according to The Reporter, with the first of three new two-hour episodes scheduled to air November 16. However second-season episodes will be "edited from the get-go" to highlight the production crew's role in assisting Grylls, according to The Reporter.