Producers of Fox’s MasterChef have apologized for the faked crowd shot. A statement from Reveille Productions sent to Entertainment Weekly said,
“We have reviewed the footage and it’s clear that the scene was enhanced in post-production. We sincerely apologize to our viewers and hope that they still enjoyed the show.”
“Enhanced” isn’t quite the accurate, because that’s a word I’d use to describe making slightly blurry footage sharper, or filtering audio so we can hear dialogue better. More accurate terms here would be “fabricated,” “created,” or “faked,” because the crowd in the image did not exist in real life as it did on the screen.
EW’s story–which cites the Reddit post as the origin of the screenshot, but fails to mention where on earth they might have stumbled across that link–throws in some bonus ass-kissing attributed to “insiders”: “Insiders point out the fakery didn’t impact anything crucial to the competition — like the judging or the eliminations. And it’s not like viewers have set their expectations really high for reality show authenticity anyway. Now if only Photoshop could somehow double MasterChef’s ratings…”
That paragraph is almost as disturbing as the faked image: Besides the completely obvious first sentence, which does not require an “insider” to explain, a publication that exists to cover the entertainment industry shouldn’t be excusing unethical behavior because some consumers have come to expect that kind of behavior.