Discovery’s baffling defense of its fake Shark Week documentary

Despite outrage over its fake Megalodon documentary that kicked off Shark Week, the Discovery Channel is defending its decision to betray its viewers trust in the network by acting as if science doesn’t really matter.

Michael Sorensen, Discovery’s senior director of development and the executive producer of Shark Week, said in an unbelievable statement:

“With a whole week of Shark Week programming ahead of us, we wanted to explore the possibilities of Megalodon. It’s one of the most debated shark discussions of all time, can Megalodon exist today? It’s Ultimate Shark Week fantasy. The stories have been out there for years and with 95 percent of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?”

Um, scientists really know, Michael. THE SHARK IS EXTINCT. It’s a prehistoric shark. This is called science. And your defense makes no sense: Why not just apologize, recut the special to frame it as fiction, and move on?

Also, let’s be clear: the special didn’t “explore the possibilities of Megalodon.” That would have been far more defensible, especially if it had explored that “fantasy.” Instead, the network–with only brief disclaimers that understated the fiction–presented a whole lot of bullshit as reality.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.