Paris Hilton’s Oxygen show tanks; Paris walks out on interview, says she plays a “character”

Paris Hilton’s latest reality series, The World According to Paris, has lost almost half its viewers since debuting June 1. Coupled with the news that VH1’s Famous Food has had dismal ratings, this should stand as evidence that viewers don’t want to watch reality shows starring repulsive people and/or no longer care about people who were popular years ago. Surprise.

The show’s “penultimate episode averaged just 260,000 total viewers, down from 409,000 for last month’s premiere,” Media Life reports.

Besides Oxygen executives, apparently the only person who doesn’t know Paris isn’t popular any more is Paris herself. ABC News says Paris “walked out of ABC News interview that took place at her newly renovated Los Angeles home this week when she was asked if she thinks she may be past her prime.” “storming off, Hilton eventually returned to the interview after some cajoling to discuss her ideas about her own reinvention.

After returning She told ABC News that who we see on TV is fake: “It’s the character that I developed for ‘The Simple Life.’ They wanted a character that was an airhead with a baby voice, and so that’s a character that I do, and I had to do it for five seasons. And so sometimes when I’m on camera I’ll revert back to it, just because I’m so used to it because I did it for so long.”

Update: The ABC story now includes video of the segment, including Paris walking off. After one-word answers to tough questions, Paris looks off-camera, the publicist says something, and Paris gets up, saying, “I don’t want all this being used.” Newsflash: You don’t get to control what journalists include in their stories, unless they’re bad journalists. ABC’s Dan Harris explains that there was “a long, heated conversation with Hilton and her publicist” (tragic ABC didn’t film and/or air this!) and then Paris reappears and says something about reinventing herself that sounds like her publicist wrote it.

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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.