Laguna Beach editor says love triangle between LC, Kristin, and Stephen was faked

An editor for Laguna Beach says that the love triangle between LC, Kristin, and Stephen was manufactured in the editing room, according to a Time magazine expose on reality TV.

The hyperbolic Time story focuses on manipulated reality but mostly just rehashes what we’ve known about for a while (Jonathan’s Amazing Race complaints, Sarah Kozer’s insistance that her subtitled oral sex was constructed, “frankenbyting”). However, the Laguna Beach allegation is new, and it comes from an editor on the show. As Time reports, the allegations have to do with the LC/Stephen/Kristin love triangle:

The problem, says a story editor who asked not to be named, was that the triangle didn’t exist. LC and Stephen, he says, were platonic friends, so the producers played Cupid through montage. LC “would say things about [Stephen] as a friend,” says the editor. “[LC] said, ‘I just love this guy.’ All you have to do is cut to a shot of the girl, and suddenly she’s jealous and grimacing.”

The show’s executive producer, Tony DiSanto, called that footage “enhanced.” He told Time, “Anytime you take anything into the editing room, you are enhancing it and editorializing. But we never make up something that hasn’t happened.”

Do fans care? While truth may matter to Oprah, “a recent TIME poll [found that] only 30% of respondents believed that the shows largely reflect what really happened, and 25% of them believed that the programs are almost totally fabricated. More than half said accuracy was not a factor in their enjoyment of reality TV,” Time reports.

How Reality TV Fakes It [Time]

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Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.