Matt’s melorheostosis lie upsets advocates, CBS okay airing things “we do not condone”

On Big Brother this week, we saw houseguest Matt Hoffman gleefully discuss his strategy: pretending his wife has melorheostosis, which “is a rare and progressive disorder characterized by hyperostosis (thickening) of the cortical bone” that “can result in severe functional limitation, extensive pain, soft tissue contractures, and limb, hand an/or foot deformity,” according to the Melorheostosis Association.

Unsurprisingly, the group isn’t thrilled and wants to meet with CBS executives. “If Matt thinks melorheostosis is funny, he should look at the video on our Web site showing some of the beautiful little children afflicted with this catastrophic disease,” its chair, Kathleen Harper, told the New York Post.

CBS told the paper’s TV critic, who’s outraged that this aired, that “‘Big Brother’ is a reality show about watching a group of people who have no privacy 24/7 … At times, the houseguests make comments, reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone.”

I’m actually glad the network and producers aired it, because it’s good to expose Matt’s stupidity and callousness, and that’s far better than covering up and tacitly defending horrible behavior and bigotry, which is ironically what CBS has done in the past, defending their censorship by saying that racist comments “were offensive and did not meet the network’s standards.”

Sick joke backfires on ‘BB’ [New York Post]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.