HIV+ Project Runway contestant calls rumor about his time on the show “fictitious”

An HIV positive contestant on Project Runway 4 is denying a rumor about his time on the show–one that, if true or false, may constitute a spoiler (stop reading if you don’t want to know).

An anonymous source told the New York Daily News’ Ben Widdicombe that Jack Mackenroth “is saying he got kicked off not because he lost a challenge, but because he got a ‘staph’ infection and said his face blew up like the kid from ‘Mask.’ He says he was the fifth designer voted off. He is claiming that this was at least part of the reason he was booted.”

Widdicombe notes that “Staphylococcal skin infections can be especially serious for HIV-positive people. Some are also potentially infectious to others.”

However, Mackenroth, who appears briefly in the new Sex and City movie, denied that was the case. But he did that through a statement released by Bravo’s public relations people, not directly. “People will say things about me whether they know me or not. Those were not my words and are fictitious,” he said in the statement.

HIV bias charge hits ‘Runway’ [New York Daily News]
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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, 37, 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.