Leif Garrett says Celebrity Rehab producers asked him to use when he was sober

Celebrity Rehab participant Leif Garrett said that before his time on the show with Dr. Drew Pinsky, he was sober but producers asked him to use on camera, so he did. And first-season participant Jeff Conway said producers asked him to lie and create drama.

Garrett reveals that in a Los Angeles Times feature story about the ethics of the show. He said that before going to the Pasadena Recovery Center, he sobered up, and after being clean for four days, producers “asked to get some footage of me using, and I said, ‘I haven’t been using.’ They said, ‘We really have to get footage of you using.’ Anyway, I was easily talked into showing them,” he told the paper.

A VH1 publicist said, “The show’s producers would never ask anyone to use…PERIOD.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Conway said that during his time on the show, “We all knew we were on TV. I think everybody, like myself, made choices. Sometimes we would go a little bit further than maybe we normally would. You can’t help it. There are cameras sitting in front of your face, and we’re paid to be dramatic. That’s what we do.”

But he also said that, when he wanted to leave, “I was in so much pain, I thought, ‘When I get out of here, I’m going back on pain pills.’ The producer said, ‘Can’t you just lie? Can’t you just not talk?’ I don’t think producers ever have actors’ best interest at heart. Their first allegiance is to the show.”

Garrett, like Janice Dickinson, praised Dr. Drew, however. He said Dr. Drew is “100% the real deal,” and Dickinson said “Dr. Drew saved my life.”

Rehab television shows: intervention or exploitation? [Los Angeles Times]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.