Real World creator says intervention in fights “would destroy our show”

Following Wednesday night’s episode of The Real World Denver, during which two cast members got into an alcohol-soaked fight, the show’s co-creator talked to TV Week about producers’ involvement and responsibility, or lack thereof.

Jon Murray says, “It’s always a judgment call on the part of the producer or director that’s right there on the floor” about whether or not to step in. He adds that, “when something like this starts to get volatile, they’ll actually move out onto the floor so that they’re ready to step in if need be.”

However, he said that they don’t like to stand in and be ineffective, pretend bodyguards. Instead, he says, “our goal is to let these seven young people work out their own issues, to not be ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ and step in all the time, because the whole idea of the show is that this age group does make mistakes, and we have sort of a faith in them that they will learn from it and ultimately do the right thing.”

Murray candidly admits that such intervention “would destroy our show if we were always to step in and resolve things for them. Yet at the same time we have a responsibility to make sure no one gets hurt.”

Of Davis and Tyrie’s confrontation, he says that “never has there been a clearer example of how miscommunication happens when people are inebriated, because this did not have to happen. If the people hadn’t been so drunk, if they’d been listening to each other. If they’d been communicating better, it would’ve all been resolved very easily.”

Finally, Murray says that, after the events of this episode, “it was pretty exciting to see that they were able to try to put this behind them and try to move forward. It would be nice if the rest of the world could be so quick to try and forgive.”

It would, although to be fair, the whole world isn’t plastered during most confrontations.

Producer Shop Talk: “The Real World: Denver”: Episode 3 [TV Week]

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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.