Even some of the real parts of NBC’s heavily staged reality show Tommy Lee Goes to College are fiction. The English professor featured in Tuesday’s episode says her conversation about Tommy Lee’s biography, Tommyland, was edited to misrepresent what she said.
Frances Kaye says producers edited her comments about an unrelated subject to make it appear as though she was praising Tommy Lee’s massive penis. “I was saying something serious about Native American literature, and they made it into something trivial and stupid about Tommy Lee’s penis. I realized this was a stupid reality show, but I didn’t expect to be this grossly misrepresented,” Kaye tells the Lincoln Journal Star. And how does she feel about this? “Pissed off is the right word.”
According to the paper, Kaye “eventually agreed to let Lee attend class because she thought it may be a way to let the public know more about Native literature,” but later “the show’s producers asked her to discuss the rocker’s autobiography during class,” ” the Journal Star reports. “Kaye relented after the producers practically begged her, telling her they were running out of time and needed the book discussion scene for the show, she said.”
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said, “I think her concern about the representation of her class as not accurate is certainly legitimate. I don’t think the overall impression of the show is in any way an insult to her or the rest of the faculty.”
But the university’s PR department is thrilled because “30 million newspaper subscribers nationwide read about the university and ‘Tommy Lee Goes to College’ on the day of the first episode.”