‘American Ninja Warrior’ Will Edit Drew Dreschel Out of Its Upcoming Season

NBC’s upcoming season of American Ninja Warrior had a massive question mark surrounding it when the Coronavirus pandemic shut down much of Hollywood. Now, the team behind the famed competition show will need to go back and edit out one of the biggest names in its franchise. Drew Dreschel has been arrested on a variety of charges, and NBC has decided to scrub his image from the franchise before moving forward with the new season.

Drew Dreschel has been charged with sex crimes

Dreschel was arrested in Florida on Tuesday, Aug. 5, on a variety of sex crimes charges. The 31-year-old reality TV personality was booked for manufacturing child pornography, intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and a variety of other charges, according to The Hollywood Reporter. All charges stem from contact that Dreschel had with one woman. The victim, who has not been named, filed a police report in New Jersey last year.

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According to official court documents, Dreschel’s contact with the victim began in 2014, when she was just 14. For years, Dreschel maintained contact with the victim. He is currently being held in a Florida jail and has been judged a flight risk, according to The Ashley Reality Roundup Group. Dreschel is expected to be extradited to New Jersey. If convicted, he could face upwards of 20 years in prison. Dreschel was last in the news in December 2019 when he welcomed a son with his longtime girlfriend.

Drew Dreschel will be edited out of the upcoming season of American Ninja Warrior

Dreschel was set to appear in the All-Stars season of American Ninja Warrior, but NBCUniversal has chosen to sever all ties with the “Real Life Ninja.” The team behind the popular reality show issued a statement through American Ninja Nation, a fan blog,  on Aug. 5. In the statement, they denounced Dreschel’s actions and assured their fan base that they in no way stand behind him.

Joseph Hyndman, Brent Steffensen, Melanie Hunt, Drew Dreschel, Michelle Warnky, Matt Iseman, Dan Galiczynski, Noel Reyes, Kacy Catanzaro, Luciano Acuna, Joe Moravsky, and James McGrath appear on 'Today'
Joseph Hyndman, Brent Steffensen, Melanie Hunt, Drew Dreschel, Michelle Warnky, Matt Iseman, Dan Galiczynski, Noel Reyes, Kacy Catanzaro, Luciano Acuna, Joe Moravsky, and James McGrath appear on NBC News’ “Today” show on Monday, June 1, 2015 — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

NBCUniversal stated, “American Ninja Warrior is a family show that has inspired countless people, and we will not let the actions of one contestant tarnish the hard work and amazing stories of so many. Moving forward, the ‘American Ninja Warrior’ brand will sever all ties with Mr. Drechsel, including his appearance on future seasons of the show.” Drechsel became a breakout star on the series back in 2016 when he was named the “last ninja standing.” He went on to win the show’s top prize in 2019.

When will American Ninja Warrior air?

American Ninja Warrior’s 12th season does not yet have an official air date. The season has been filmed, though. The series began searching for new talent back in September 2019, with a submission deadline of December 2019.  The series was sidelined during the Coronavirus pandemic, but filming reportedly picked up in July.

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According to Ninja Guide, 150 would-be ninjas filmed the entire season during a two-week time frame in July. It was originally assumed the season would begin in mid-August. The editing out of Dreschel could push back the start date. NBCUniversal has not issued a statement about the airdate for the season. Either way, fans should anticipate a Fall 2020 premier. The season will be shortened, though.