The (un)Real World: “You might get raped, pregnant and fired.”

This is appalling.

As would be expected, if you go on the Real World there is a contract with a long list of stipulations that you have to sign. As someone who used to watch the show, I’m sure you have to sign away any possibility of how you may be portrayed. But apparently, a closer look at the contract tell us that you may also get raped.

via Feminists for Choice and Jessica.

The Real World just got mad unreal. The Village Voice has more stipulations.

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9 Comments

  1. Posted August 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Hang on. Am I reading this wrong? To me, it looks like it says that if a cast member is sexually assaulted by another cast member, the victim can’t sue the producers- not that they don’t have any legal defense at all.

    (Not that that doesn’t come with its own issues, since it would mean the camera crew/producers didn’t intervene while presumably filming an assault happening…).

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems as though the producers are saying, “Don’t blame us,” not “Don’t blame anyone.” That’s not the same thing as “signing away your defense if you are raped.” No?

  2. Posted August 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Seriously? This is downright criminal. The US Dept of Justice needs to investigate this contract and prosecute the producers if anything bad really happens.

  3. Posted August 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see the part that waives the signer’s right to a legal defense, merely an acknowledgement of risk. If I sign a document saying I am aware I may be hit by a car when walking down a particular street, if it happens I still have the right to take the driver to civil court and they still may face criminal charges.

    I mean, we acknowledge the risk of sexual assault in our messed-up society all the time around here, right?

    • Posted August 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      I agree.

      My guess is that the Producer is covering himself. The alternative is that if something does happen, he will be sued by the victim/claimant on the grounds that the contract did not state that ‘you might get an STD if you have unprotected sex with another participant.’

      This is what happens when you live in a litigious society.

  4. Posted August 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I think the point is that you can’t hold the studio liable if something like that happens, thus making sure that you can only press criminal charges, civil suits, etc. against the perpetrator/those directly involved and not the network or it’s employees.

    Having said that, I don’t see where it actually says you won’t get raped, pregnant or fired. It mentions non-consensual physical contact, which could be rape, I agree, but where did you get the pregnant or fired part?

  5. Posted August 12, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Whats wrong with not being able to sue the producers? If you get raped in a Starbucks, Starbucks didnt rape you. You can still file against the person who raped you. Same for the show, if somebody rapes you, why should the producers or the studio be the target of a lawsuit? Because they can shed out more money? You still get to charge the person who did the actual raping, as it should be.

  6. Posted August 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    There are a lot of problematic things in the contract, but what was highlighted on this post is, in my opinion, not one of them. All this part is saying, as others have mentioned, is that MTV is not responsible for the actions of the other participants. And like any legal document, have to list in great detail, specific risks. This is just a function of the way our legal system is.

    From the Village Voice article, the most worry some entries are the invasion of privacy terms. Though, I would guess that most of those are scare tactics and could be challenged by a good lawyer. I highly doubt its legal to walk into a participants home and take whatever they want (as long as its returned after production) even if the participant signed a contract agreeing to it.

    Also, guaranteed, if a participant died on the show through MTV’s negligence, no matter what the contract said, the family would be able to sue for a lot of money. MTV is trying to cover their ass, and all of those contracts would be drawn up by their lawyers. Under our current legal system, contracts like this will always exist, and have to, unfortunately.

  7. Posted August 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I find it intriguing that you can get fired for BECOMING pregnant, but not GETTING someone else pregnant. The only one who could get fired is the one with the uterus. Typical.

    • Posted August 13, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      The document doesn’t say that. You’re treating the headline as a direct quote. It wasn’t.

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