Bunim/Murray says Island Challenge didn’t cut trees, cleaned up trash

Bunim/Murray, the production company that produced The Island for MTV, has been accused of trashing the Panamanian rainforest where the show was filmed, but a spokesperson says damning photos of the mess were taken before the show cleaned up.

The company’s spokesperson “said that no trees were cut down for the filming of The Island, and that the pictures were taken before crews had a chance to clean up the area,” Portfolio reports.

Portfolio also links to a letter from Bocas Breeze newspaper editor Allene Blaker that details the production’s other sins, which include disturbing life on the populated island and being generally obnoxious. She writes, in part:

“The ‘aliens’ [cast members] Jim speaks of, in his personal account of the month-long ‘Survivor’-type ordeal, were in many ways much more civilized than the filming, lighting and directing crews — and their entourage — who traversed the island in rented 4WD trucks every morning and evening, leaving a huge amount of garbage in their wake.

MTV’s recently inaugurated ‘Switch’ campaign, whose goal is to teach people all over the world how to clean up the environment, needs to take a close look at its own operations and employees.

MTV: Send someone to pick up all these discarded, empty plastic water bottles, please.

MTV’s Reality Show: Real Dirty? [Portfolio]
Note from the Editor [The Bocas Breeze]

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Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

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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.