Skip to Content
reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

49 stories about reality shows and cast members: the latest news round-up

49 stories about reality shows and cast members: the latest news round-up
Bachelor US' Lauren Griffin, Bachelor UK's Lauren Griffin, and Bachelor Sweden's Nastasia Yarmchuk on The Bachelor Winter Games, which has inspired Bachelor in Paradise to cast international cast members, too. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC)

It’s time for a round-up of notable news from the world of reality TV—and people connected to reality shows. I’ve been collecting these links for several months now, so some of these reach back into January.

Sexual misconduct news

  1. Two-time Top Chef competitor Mike Isabella was sued, along with his company and business partners, “by a former top manager who claims that Isabella and his partners repeatedly sexually harassed her in the workplace,” according to the Washington Post. Chloe Caras says that she was fired in December after Isbella told someone, “If you sleep with Chloe, you can.” She says, “I told him to stop, and he immediately got angry. I tried to walk away, and he followed me into the kitchen, calling me a ‘bitch.’” (Washington Post)
  2. Shark Tank star Mark Cuban’s basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks, has a workplace culture full of sexual misconduct, a Sports Illustrated investigation found. The team responded with a statement. As one journalist summarized on Twitter: “Mark Cuban’s organization let someone stay employed after the man 1) Got arrested at the team facility for domestic violence 2) Two years later was accused of hitting another team employee, who showed up to work with her face swollen and reported him.” Cuban told SI, “I don’t have any tolerance for what I’ve read… I feel sick to my stomach.” (Sports Illustrated)
  3. Portland police investigated Mark Cuban for sexual assault in 2011. A woman told police that she asked Cuban for a photo at a nightclub, and “While they smiled for the camera, she claimed, he thrust his hand down the back of her jeans and penetrated her vagina with his finger.” The case was suspended because of “a lack of physical or substantial circumstantial evidence.” Cuban’s lawyer said in a statement, “This incident never happened and her accusations are false.” (Willamette Week)
  4. Suzie Hardy, who says Ryan Seacrest sexually harassed her and threatened her job, wrote an essay in which she says “Everyone in Hollywood who stands by Ryan now is choosing not to believe me” and “Those who work with Ryan seem to hope I will just go away. Well, I’m not going away. I’m thriving in the truth and feel more inspired than ever. I recently contacted the LAPD and filed a police report so I’m guaranteed a real investigation this time.” (Hollywood Reporter)
  5. A New York judge rejected Donald Trump’s attempt to have Apprentice candidate Summer Zervos’ defamation lawsuit dismissed. The judge wrote “No one is above the law” and “Nothing in the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution even suggests that the President cannot be called to account before a state court for wrongful conduct that bears no relationship to any federal executive responsibility.” (Politico)
  6. A secretary who worked in Trump Tower in 2006 says Donald Trump restrained her and forcibly kissed her. Rachel Crooks was 22 at the time, and told her story during the election. She says now, “I know there are many worse forms of sexual harassment, but doesn’t this still speak to character? I don’t want money. I don’t need a lawsuit. I just want people to listen. How many women have to come forward? What will it take to get a response?” (Washington Post)
  7. Carter Oosterhouse, from Trading Spaces and The Great Christmas Light Fight, coerced his makeup artist into performing oral sex on him in 2008 on his HGTV show Carter Can, according to Kailey Kaminsky. She told the Hollywood Reporter, “I was so worn down from his advances, so I did: that day, on that occasion. It was the first time. Then thereafter it was most every time we would shoot—10 to 15 times he put me in this position.” In a response to the accusation, Oosterhouse said it was “an intimate relationship” and “was 100 percent mutual.” Amy Smart, Ooesterhouse’s wife, also responded on Instagram, prompting Kaminsky to respond. An excerpt of what she wrote:

    “….the fact that Carter is a handsome, well-liked, ‘good guy’ celebrity does not mean that he is not capable of harming others or making poor choices. He should never have propositioned me in the first place. His choice affected my livelihood, as well as my emotional and physical health. After I said no a number of times, he continued to badger me, disrespecting me as well as the boundary that I placed by saying no in the first place. Although I said ‘no’ repeatedly, Carter chose to ignore that. No person in a position of power should ever ask or suggest that an employee or subordinate perform any sexual acts or favors. At NO TIME were the sexual actions between Carter and myself enjoyable, mutual or consensual. I feared for my livelihood, plain and simple.”

  8. Mario Batali, who was fired from ABC’s The Chew over sexual harassment and assault allegations he said “match up with ways I have acted,” apologized in a e-mail newsletter, saying, “My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.” He added a PS: a recipe for “Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls.” (Vulture)
  9. Documentary director and reality TV producer and star Morgan Spurlock tweeted an essay titled “I Am Part of the Problem” in which he admitted that “he had in the past been accused of rape, had settled a sexual harassment lawsuit, been unfaithful to wives and girlfriends and made sexist remarks in his workplace,” according to Reuters. He stepped down from his production company, Warrior Poets. (Reuters)
  10. Spurlock’s new film, Super Size Me 2, was dropped from YouTube Red, and its studio pulled it out of Sundance. (Deadline)

News about people on reality TV

  1. Project Runway star Chris March is recovering from an accident that left him in a medically induced coma last summer. Bravo’s Andy Cohen pointed people to a GoFundMe campaign to help Chris; it says he has “skyrocketing medical bills” and “he’s in desperate need of continuous physical therapy in order to get back on track.”  (EW)
  2. Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor died Jan. 23 while on a cruise ship. He was 38. (People) He appears to have died of a drug overdose of GHB. (Quartz) His co-star and fellow storm chaser Reed Timmer tweeted, “I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend. We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase. I’ll miss you forever, Joel.”
  3. My 600-lb Life star Robert Buchel died in November from a heart attack during production of the show; his death was announced after the Feb. 28 episode. (USA TODAY)
  4. Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui’s trial, following a 2016 arrest for assaulting his then-girlfriend, starts May 1. It’s left food writers in Texas struggling with how to write about his food and his behavior. (Texas Monthly)
  5. The Wall Street Journal reported that Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen “aggressively blocked one piece of gossip from hitting newsstands in 2013: the alleged affair between Donald Trump Jr. and Aubrey O’Day,” according to The Cut’s summary. (The Cut)
  6. Donald Trump had an affair with a Playmate he met at the Playboy mansion during the taping of an Apprentice episode, and “Trump and his allies used clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs—sometimes multiple affairs he carried out simultaneously—out of the press,” according to a detailed story by Ronan Farrow, the reporter who wrote one o the first two stories about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment. (The New Yorker)
  7. Bobby Flay quit Iron Chef by announcing his last battle on his t-shirt, and said “I wanted everyone to know that this is my last Iron Chef battle and my objective, though it was probably not the best idea, was that that’s what would be filmed. … The network was not thrilled. I thought it would be good TV. They didn’t think of it that way, and that’s obviously their prerogative.” (E! News)
  8. Kyle Richards’ house was robbed and over $1 million in jewelry and other things were taken. Kyle said, “Everything was taken. Everything my mother, who passed away, had ever collected and saved to give to me—that I had always envisioned of passing on to my four daughters—was gone. Even my children’s baby bracelets. Obviously those are the things that hurt the most, things that I can’t replace. They’re completely invaluable.” (People)
  9. Farrah Abraham sued Viacom for firing her from Teen Mom: OG; she’s now settled her $5 million lawsuit, which said the show’s executive producer “disrespected, ridiculed, degraded, and sex shamed” her. (Variety)
  10. Luann de Lesseps announced on Twitter that she was going to rehab following her arrest in Palm Beach. She wrote, “I am truly embarrassed,” the statement said. “I have decided to seek professional guidance and will be voluntarily checking into an alcohol treatment center. I intend to turn this unfortunate incident into a positive life changing event.” CNN reported that LuAnn “was arrested by police in Florida on the morning of December 24, charged with battery of an officer and disorderly intoxication.” (CNN)
  11. Robert Durst, who’s on trial for murder, watched The Jinx and realized he “definitely had a problem” and regretted doing the show. I wonder why! (LA Times)
  12. Former Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller has non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. (People)
  13. Top Chef Colorado contestant Fatima Ali “was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, and has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy this fall,” after production concluded, according to Bravo. Fatima said, “All of the contestants have reached out in many ways; we are a tight group. I’ve had an outpouring of lovely messages and care packages from the production team and the producers. And Padma has been wonderful.” (Bravo)
  14. NeNe Leakes’ husband Gregg’s “health is so much more better” now after he was hospitalized during production of RHOA for heart issues. (People)
  15. Sheree Whitfield was fired from The Real Housewives of Atlanta after filming the reunion. (Us Weekly)
  16. Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell “both actively watch every [Real] Housewives franchise and we talk about it,” he said in an interview. (Bravo)
  17. The Kardashians are closing their DASH stores. (Kim Kardashian)
  18. Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary held a fundraiser to pay off $529,184 in campaign debt from his failed bid to become Canada’s prime minister. Canadian law prevents candidates from spending more than $25,000 on their own campaigns. (CTVNews)
  19. O’Leary talked about his political ambitions and the show in an interview and said, “The greatest thing about Canada is that it has allowed anybody to come from anywhere and be accepted in that society. That’s the biggest difference in policy when people say I am like Trump. How can I be Trump? I’m half Lebanese, half Irish. I wouldn’t exist if there were a wall around Canada!” (New York Times Magazine)
  20. On RuPaul’s Drag Race, Aquaria’s reaction to The Vixen led The Vixen to point out how the show’s fans respond differently to queens of difference races. Billboard gathered reactions from other queens, including Bob the Drag Queen, who said, “The Vixen was right about everything.” (Billboard)
  21. Some Drag Race fans and viewers direct hatred toward the show’s contestants, but as Mikelle Street reports, using interviews with several contestants, “race-based hate is a specified, generally heightened brand of hate, reserved for a subset of competitors on the show.” (Billboard)

Reality show news

  1. Video of the fatal shooting of a COPS sound supervisor in 2014 was played in court as part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the Omaha Police Department. (NBC News)
  2. The Dancing with the Stars Live tour bus was involved in a 19-vehicle accident. One person in another vehicle died. The show said on Instagram that some of their cast and crew only had “minor injuries.” (Billboard)
  3. Bachelor in Paradise will probably include international Bachelor show cast members, as the summer series takes cues from Bachelor Winter Games. ABC’s reality TV executive, Rob Mills, said, “There were a lot of learnings from Winter Games, where it wasn’t a show where you were bringing in people every week. There will certainly be the hallmarks of Bachelor in Paradise, but I think we will definitely take into account the stuff from Winter Games, where it definitely seemed to form some really strong couples and at the end of the day that’s the goal.” (E! News)
  4. Were The Bachelor‘s low ratings because Arie was boring or for other reasons? Kate Aurthur asks, “Are we, as a nation, not in the mood to watch The Bachelor during the #MeToo era? Or did last summer’s Bachelor in Paradise disaster sour viewers on the show?” (BuzzFeed News)
  5. The lack of body diversity among women on The Bachelor was blamed on the bachelors themselves. (Refinery29)
  6. The Real Housewives of New York City went on cruise in Colombia, and a Page Six report that the cast members “were ‘hysterical’ and convinced they were going to die at sea after the ‘old, decrepit vessel’ that had been rented to take them on a pleasure cruise started taking on water and the engine caught on fire while they were filming.” Andy Cohen told ET, “Much of what has been reported of the boat trip is completely wrong. They did have a squirrelly boat trip, but there was no fire. The boat didn’t sink. I mean, it’s been grossly misrepresented.” Bethenny tweeted, “One thing abt the housewives…we never let the truth get in the way of a good story. There was a boating incident. That said, the details being reported are false.”
  7. The Whale Wars-like documentary series Ocean Warriors, which followed activists working to save the oceans, was condensed into a 96-minute documentary focusing only on “Sea Shepherd’s epic 110-day, 10,000-mile chase of the Thunder,” the poaching vessel that eventually sank, according to a press release. Chasing the Thunder, which, like the series, was produced by Vulcan Productions and Brick City TV’s Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin, debuted Feb. 3 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. (Brick City TV)
  8. The Real Housewives of New York City were “on a boat in South America and encountered turbulent water” during one of their trips. That’s what Bravo says. But Bravo says it’s “doing a full investigation” about turbulent water because of how Page Six describes the experience: a “pleasure cruise ended with the cast awash in vomit and fearing for their lives as their boat caught fire and started sinking” without life vests for the cast or crew. (New York Post)
  9. Survivor looks to be staying in Fiji for 2018 and 2019, which would make four years in a row, and go through season 30. (Fiji Times)
  10. Details about Mary Berry’s new show, Britain’s Best Home Cook. (Food & Wine)
  11. Robot battle reality shows have come to China. (QZ)
  12. The upcoming reboot of the boxing competition of The Contender announced its host, Andre “Son of God” Ward, and its trainers, Freddie Roach and Naazim Richardson. It’s being filmed this spring.
  13. An analysis of the American Chopper meme. (Slate)

Industry news

  1. Multiple seasons of 20 reality series are now on Amazon Prime, including Whale Wars, Miami Ink, River Monsters, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Man. vs. Wild, and Survivorman. (Variety)
  2. The 49th NAACP Image Award for outstanding variety or game show went to Lip Sync Battle, and its host, LL Cool J, won as reality show host. The award for outstanding reality program went to TV One’s The Manns.
  3. HBO’s four-part series The Defiant Ones, which is about Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, won the International Documentary Assocation’s award for best limited series.
  4. Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XIV was the highest-rated Puppy Bowl yet, increasing 32 percent from last year. During its two hours, it was the second most-popular show on TV and the top-rated cable program among all viewers and in many demographics. It now stands as “Animal Planet’s third highest rated telecast among Adults 25-54,” according to the network.
  5. HBO’s president of documentary films, Sheila Nevins, left the company after 38 years, a time span during which she supervised production on more than 1,000 documentaries and earned 32 Emmys, 35 news and documentary Emmys, and 42 Peabody awards.  In a press release, HBO chair and CEO Richard Plepler summarized it well: “Her impact, not only in the documentary field, but throughout popular culture is nothing short of remarkable, and she has built an extraordinary team that is second to none in our industry.” She discussed her exit in a New York Times profile, in which she also said,

    “I do have a philosophy about documentaries, which is that I really do believe that almost everybody has a story. I love ordinary people. And they’re often very heroic. And very interesting. I don’t like fame. I’m not interested in famous people. I don’t trust the sameness of the story you get from celebrity. The few times I’ve had to deal with celebrity, I’ve read the same thing they say somewhere else.”

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More from reality blurred

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how itโ€™s made and what it means.

Discussion: your turn

I think of writing about television as the start of a conversation, and I value your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!