Woman sues E! over her Reality Hell experience

A contestant on E!’s satirical reality show Reality Hell, which borrows The Joe Schmo Show‘s idea and basically pranks a contestant by creating a fake show, is suing E!.

Malena Brush’s lawsuit over her appearance in a Making the Band spoof says she suffered “mental and emotional anguish, fright, horror, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, shock, humiliation, shame, embarrassment and fear” because she was “instructed … to engage in humiliating activities” and actors “proceeded to harass, embarrass, heckle, insult and offend.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that she “is seeking unspecified financial damages from the network, a casting agency and others on a dozen grounds, including intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and false imprisonment,” and that “[a] spokeswoman for E! declined to comment, citing a network policy not to comment on litigation. Representatives from Sam Rhima Casting, a casting agency named in the suit, did not return messages.”

E!’s description of the show basically admits that it exists to humiliate famewhores, saying the show “is turning the tables on all those reality-star wannabes by staging a show where the whole cast is in on an act to set up one unknowing reality-show contestant.”

Contestant sues reality show, claims she was shocked and humiliated [Los Angeles Times]

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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.