Reality Shows That Led to Lawsuits in Real Life

Reality shows are becoming more and more popular, but given the stars aren’t actors, the lines can be blurred between entertainment and exploitation. Some shows say that they have the intention of improving people lives, but the people who actually go on their shows don’t end up feeling that way and sue.

Other times, crazy things happen or are shown on television that take people who participate by surprise, and so, they sue. A lot of shows beat lawsuits because of the releases they have people sign. But a few lawsuits actually ended up leading to the cancellations of TV shows completely.

So what dramatic episodes led to lawsuits in real life? Here are 15 reality shows that were taken to court in real life and what ended up happening.

1. Survivor sued and accused of fraud through manipulating results

Stacey Stillman smiling while at a red carpet event.

Stacey Stillman | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

  • She believes a producer convinced contestants to vote against her.

Stacey Stillman took the show to court accusing them of fraud, breach of contract, and unlawful business practices. She accused producer, Mark Burnett, of convincing two contestants to vote against her. CBS denied this, but one of the voters gave a deposition which somewhat supported Stillman’s case.

Dirk Been, who was one of the voters, filed a deposition for the case, claiming Burnett approached him and made a case for Rudy Boesch, who was also on the chopping block. According to Medium, the deposition read:

he just basically made the point to me that Rudy Boesch, another contestant in the show, the type of skills that he brings and his abilities 4 are going to be very important down the road and the different challenges and that will be important to you as a tribe. And so the best thing that could be done for you would to be to — to form an alliance against Stacey and vote Stacey off because Rudy is the — is the — is the guy that you will need in the future.

The network countersued for defamation and breach of contract. The two parties settled out of court.

Next: This dating reality show was sued for discrimination.

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