INSURANCE FOR REALITY SHOWS?
By Chuck Wells
It all started with “Survivor”
and “Cops” and has gone down hill ever since. Now we have “The
Bachelor,” “Fear Factor,” “Dog Eat Dog,” etc., etc. I refuse to
watch anything with “Monica” in it.
I’m sure that you have been wondering how these programs get
insurance. After all, anyone who watches all of these shows has
no life and stays up nights worrying about insurance.
A “stuntless” show like “The Bachelor” would pay about $20,000
per show for insurance to cover damaged cameras, sets, wardrobe,
and lawsuits from injuries. Insurance for “Fear Factor” could
run into the millions or some of these shows self-insure (they
don’t carry insurance and pay claims themselves). Some programs
can’t even get insurance because insurance companies think they
are too risky and some shows don’t even get off the ground
because they are too risky.
Of course, these programs have all their contestants sign
applications with waivers to prevent them from suing. Jill
Mouser is suing “Culture Shock” for back injuries she sustained
while being hung in a harness. Obviously she was unaware that
she could be injured in one of these stunts and was an innocent
victim forced to get into the harness. Her lawyer says the
application and all of the waivers she signed are
“unenforceable.” So much for taking responsibility for your own
Another lawyer is suing MTV on behalf of two teenaged girls who
stood by a stage during an MTV production at a ski resort and
were defecated on by a performer. I guess the girls were forced
to stand by the stage and it must have been an emotional trauma
for them. It is always a trauma for me to even watch MTV.
Another man is suing a production company for “misappropriation
of likeness and unfair business practice.” He was filmed
watching a young woman blow up a beach ball as she made lewd
sexual comments. He refused to sign a waiver and the production
company aired the film anyway.
So there you have it. The next time you watch one of these
reality shows, think about all the insurance they pay, how the
contestants are just after a quick buck, and how we need to get
WATER STATIONS FOR ILLEGALS?
You know from reading this column that people residing illegally
in this country have rights. They have the right in New York to
collect Workers Compensation benefits if they are hurt working
illegally since it is our fault they are here. They are entitled
to free health care and education for their children. They are
also entitled to the benefits of our legal system and can sue
you if you injure them even though they shouldn’t be here.
The families of 14 Mexicans who
were entering the U.S. illegally through the desert of Yuma,
Arizona are suing the U.S. Interior Department. The 14 died of
dehydration and the lawsuit says we should have installed water
stations in the desert for these people who are trying to get
into our country. Maybe Barbara Streisand or Ted Kennedy will
donate some money for these water stations.
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