Last night, the Discovery Channel began airing edited, disclaimed episodes of Man vs. Wild that feature new voice overs by host Bear Grylls explaining what he faked during production of the series.
“A disclaimer was added to four episodes from the first season that ran consecutively from 7-11 p.m. [Monday night], and other clarifications came in the form of new voice-overs from ‘Wild’ star Bear Grylls and excisions of dubious footage,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “An internal team at Discovery has been working around the clock in recent weeks scrutinizing the veracity of every second of the series.” The disclaimer, according to the paper, reads,
“Bear Grylls is trained in extreme survival techniques. He and the crew receive support when they are in potentially life-threatening situations, as required by health and safety regulations. Professional advice should be always be sought before entering any dangerous environment.”
The edits during these four episodes include a voice-over during a scene where Bear Grylls eats a rabbit he caught in a trap; now, he says, “My trap didn’t catch anything overnight, but I’ve been brought a rabbit to tell you what to do if you’re luckier than me.” During “an episode in which Grylls travels to Mexico’s Copper Canyon, a new voice-over clarifies that he is wearing a safety harness to descend a chasm,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. And in another episode, “a scene was removed that depicts Grylls going off to sleep in the forest because he in fact slept indoors that night.”
After a newspaper revealed that the show contained staged scenes, Discovery said “the program will be 100% transparent and all elements of the filming will be explained upfront to our viewers.” The network also said that “Bear Grylls is a world-class adventurer and a terrific talent.” That may be true, but the edits make the show’s existence pointless, since the series itself now points out that its premise is a lie.