Bachelor producer admits lying about fake airplane fight with “Diane”

Bachelor producer Elan Gale’s live-tweeted Thanksgiving day fight with a fellow airplane passenger who may or may not have had cancer was, after all, fiction, a hoax and/or a lie that persisted over several days.

After writing that there are “questions unanswered about Diane,” he promised “I will post the photo and hopefully we can resolve all this.” The photo he eventually posted was of an empty chair, and was captioned “Here is Diana sitting in a chair” (“Diana” was an ironic typo).

That seems to be pretty clear confirmation that the story was made up, though I suppose it’s possible this is some kind of ironic response to keep the story going and generate more attention. He fueled further speculation by insisting he “did not say it was ‘a big lie.’ (As Time’s James Poniewozik asked, maybe it was a “Small? Medium?” lie?)

That a producer of The Bachelor would manufacture drama–especially since he’s done the same in the past, fabricating a blind date last year (he admitted it was fake)–is perhaps not at all surprising.

As Jules Polonetsky observed, these were “the tweets of someone who makes a living provoking entertaining reactions from participants in a reality show.” Grantland’s Tess Lynch wrote, “Ideally, there is no Diane at all, and Gale is just producing his own social-media reality distraction with invented characters, points and counterpoints, and a lot of moral ambiguity.”

That turns out to be the case. However, for the past few days, he’s been relentlessly defending himself from criticism (1, 2, 3, 4), which happened as some publications have increasingly been calling his story “fake,”, in part because of “fatally implausible” details.

One thing’s for sure: There is no reason to ever again believe anything he claims to be true.

Update: Gale just made it clear that his intent was to entertain people and make them laugh: He wrote, “I conclude by saying hopefully a few people got a few laughs over a slow Thanksgiving weekend.”

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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.