4 Times Reality Cast Members Were Monsters Outside Of The Show
Everyone knows that the producers of reality TV shows are generally amoral sacks of shit. If a reality TV producer were presented with the trolley problem, i.e., given a button to push where she alone could save five lives at the expense of killing another, her first question would be, "Can we get a closeup of their dying faces on track two?"
In fact, the unseen forces behind these shows can be so awful that it might leave you feeling bad for the contestants and on-screen personalities foolish and desperate enough to get trapped in the web. But these reality stars are not always saints either. Sometimes when you've created a breeding ground for shitty behavior, you end up getting exactly what you'd expect. And sometimes you get even worse ...
Real Housewives Cast Members Keep Getting Arrested
The Real Housewives of (insert here the name of whichever city has the misfortune of hosting these ladies) is a show which, year after year, sets out to prove that rich people can be just as trashy as anyone else. The cast is always comprised of the pettiest, cattiest, and most entitled women that production can scrounge together, and Bravo is happy to provide them a battleground in which to fling wine into each others' faces for their viewers' enjoyment.
But the qualities that might make for a good character on reality television don't necessarily translate to a good person in real life, so maybe it should come as no surprise then that many of these women, once the cameras stop rolling, find themselves on the wrong side of a tiny, glass window.
Take Teresa Giudice of the New Jersey cast, who, along with her husband, was charged with "a 39-count indictment that included conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, and bankruptcy fraud." Then there's Kelly Bensimon of New York City, who was arrested "on suspicion of punching her then-boyfriend Nick Stefanov in the face." Kim Richards from Beverly Hills was, in April 2015, "charged with public intoxication, trespassing, resisting an officer, and battery." And just last month, Jen Shah of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City was arrested with "conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering."
These are but just a few examples. Look through the cast of any Housewives season, and you'll find so many misdemeanors listed next to their name that you'll think they're credits on IMDB. Is DUI, Public Intoxication, and Shoplifting the name of a movie we haven't heard of? Nope, that's just more of Kim Richard's rap sheet.
It's hard to say why this keeps happening. Perhaps, it's all part of the "realness." This is how real housewives act around the house, right?
More likely, it's because the show is comprised of entitled people and entitled people are prone to believe the rules don't apply to them. It could also be that these cast members, already inclined towards awful behavior, see said behavior reinforced and applauded by the show and then take that added boost of awfulness into the real world. It's no secret that cast members who incur the most drama get the most screen time with production, even stepping in sometimes to stoke the flames themselves. Or maybe repeated botox injections have unintended side effects on the consequence centers of the brain. The science is still unclear, but whatever the answer, we know it's all awful.
Chumlee's Private “Chum Chum” Room Was Raided By The Police
The History Channel would be nothing without Pawn Stars, and Pawn Stars would be nothing without Chumlee. Chumlee is the overwhelming fan favorite of all the cast members on the show, and it's not a mystery as to why. The dude is downright fluffy. He's a big ball of cuteness and "aww shucks" charm that you can't help but sell your collection of vintage Care Bears to at a discount.
It's what makes the details of his May 2016 arrest so disheartening -- like going to Seaworld to see all the cute dolphins when all they do is sodomize other dolphins. Chumlee's home was raided by police in relation to sexual assault allegations. Specifically, the police searched his self-described "Chum Chum" room, which was a creepy enough name for a room with a stripper pole even before having allegations of sexual assault attached to it. They ended up finding unlicensed firearms, crystal meth, Xanax, marijuana, and traces of cocaine, all of which were presumably "unlicensed" as well. The sexual assault allegations were eventually dropped, but Chumlee ended up pleading guilty to a felony firearms count and a misdemeanor for having drugs.
The result was three years probation and mandatory counseling because apparently, the only people better at negotiating than the Pawn Stars are the lawyers of the pawn stars. "Okay, we know bail is set for $3,000, but the best we can do is $1,500 and this collection of old Beanie Babies."
Still, it's a bad look for Chumlee and an especially bad look for the show. Reports indicate that the woman who made the initial charges was someone who worked with Chumlee at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. (Her identity has not been made public, and it's unclear if she's ever appeared on the show) The point is, whatever happened probably happened at work. Chumlee's probation has since finished, and he's expected to return for next season, but you can't help, but we're willing to bet that if an incident like this occurred in 2021 rather than 2016, Pawn Stars would be a relic of the past, as they say.
Dirty Jobs Host Mike Rowe Is A Big Business Anti-Living Wage Dickhead
Like light beer or spitting in the middle of a conversation, Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs, has become a symbol of the American working man. It's his (dirty) job to go out and, episode by episode, scare the living shit out of everyone with a Master's degree by showcasing all of the most miserable professions that they'd be doing if not for the Ghost of Christmas Trust Fund. Mike Rowe has done everything from inspecting sewers to inseminating cows, and as such, he's established his working-class bonafides as much as any TV host making TV host $$$ possibly can.
It's why it might be so shocking to find out that before he started as the host of Dirty Jobs, Rowe had the least blue-collar, 'murican job you could possibly imagine. He was an opera singer:
In reality, singing opera shouldn't make you any less able to identify or be an advocate of the working class. What does, however, is being an anti-living wage dickhead. It so happens that Rowe is that dickhead and regularly sings the praises of Big Business, especially the Oil industry, with his patented vibrato.
Rowe's latest show, Six Degrees, is basically big-oil-funded propaganda, and he makes no effort to hide it. He finds a way to shill for the fossil fuel industry in every episode at one point even saying, "Six Degrees is sponsored by the oil and natural gas industry. Why? Because oil and natural gas connect everything."
Sure, it does. But what it especially connects to is frequently laying off employees while padding the wallets of everyone at the top. It also provides dangerous conditions to the workers (the companies suspiciously fail to report), which isn't necessarily Mike Rowe's fault, but he hasn't done much to show love to the common folk. Instead, he'll decry the need for unions while posing with a hard hat because that and bank from your TV show is really all you need to make it in the energy business, isn't it?
You'll now find Mike Rowe regularly appearing on Fox News further to further shill for Oil and Gas or working on his foundation that is funded by Koch industries. We guess it's just another classic tale of the everyman putting his socks on one foot at a time and having those socks paid for by multi-billion dollar corporations.
Bachelor and Bachelorette Contestants Keep Getting Arrested Too
The Bachelor/Bachelorette, at least as far as reality dating shows go, is meant to have an air of refinement and class. Think of it, if you will, as the shiny golden plunger on the toilet that is reality television. The contestants are meant to be the most suitable singles that this country has to offer. They're mostly doctors and lawyers, models and pageant queens (sometimes a few of these at the same time), and all of them possessing that "take them home to meet my parents" quality. Even when the show seeks to cast comic relief or a "villain," that person is, at least on paper, still supposed to be considered a catch. (Results may vary.)
Granted, you might not see every Bachelor or Bachelorette contestant as a catch personally (say what you will about Whaboom Guy, but he is a small business owner, and that's something), but the point of the show is that you're getting this fairy-tale narrative. So, naturally, the cast ends up becoming a who's who of mugshots and problematic figures.
We've had plenty from this past season alone. There's Rachel Kirkonnel, the "winner" of the 1st season of The Bachelor with a Black lead until it came to light that she had numerous incidents of racist behavior in her past, including attending an old south antebellum party in 2018. Then there's Victoria Larson, the villain of the season whose love for stealing the spotlight was apparently unmatched by her love of stealing groceries. Lincoln Adim was convicted of assault and battery, apparently without production's knowledge, and made it pretty far into season 14 of The Bachelorette.
Victoria Fuller was serving a 24-month probation sentence for a DWI before appearing on Peter Weber's season of The Bachelor, which we needn't remind you, is a show once notorious for plying its contestants with alcohol.
But the stories get even worse once you look at contestants post-Bachelor. Chris Soules, the lead of season 19, fled the scene of an accident that ultimately killed a 66 year-old-man. Colton Underwood, again, another lead, had to have a restraining order filed against him after allegedly stalking and his ex-girlfriend for an extended period of time. Amanda Stanton, a contestant on Ben Higgins season, was arrested for battery domestic violence outside of a Vegas hotel. There are, of course, more examples.
In a way, it's worse than the Housewives situation because while Housewives treats throwing glasses of champaign like it's the "B" button in a game of Super Smash Bros., The Bachelor is supposed to be different. It's technically supposed to be about love. The thing is, it's hard to find love when you're worried that production is setting you up with a cavalcade of domestic abusers. The cynic in us would say that it's being done on purpose -- another reprehensible attempt at cheap drama by a reality TV show -- but after watching these shows for a while now, we know it's just as possible that production is incompetent. It certainly explains making this guy the Bachelor:
Instead, the bitter truth is that shitty people are everywhere. They just happen to especially be everywhere on reality TV.
Top Image: Leftfield Pictures