Reality TV is a way for people to get their 15 minutes of fame, but what happens after? There is a dark side to reality TV of what happens after the cameras turn off. Here are 6 people who died during or after their reality shows.
Buckwild was an MTV show that was a lot like Jersey Shore except set in an extremely rural area. On one of their nights off from shooting, one of the show's stars Shain Gandee was found dead in his truck with two others. They had died of carbon monoxide poisoning after his car got stuck in the mud. They appeared to have gone "mudding," an activity featured on the show in which they would drive recklessly through the muddy forest area around their town.
Phil Harris was the captain on the TV show Deadliest Catch, and his death was actually in one of the episodes. It was an episode to honor him after he had a stroke offloading crab in Alaska and eventually died. The cameras were seemingly always rolling though; we even saw his son break the news to his brother. It was hard to watch him share such an intimate moment on television.
Joseph Cerniglia's restaurant was featured on Kitchen Nightmares, a reality TV show where chef Gordon Ramsey comes in and berates the owner and staff in hopes of turning the restaurant's failure to success. Unfortunately, three years later Joseph committed suicide in the very river that Gordon implied his restaurant was going down. Surely this isn't Gordon Ramsey's fault, but we wonder if this would have happened without the exposure.
On France's version of Survivor, Gerald Babin suffered a fatal heart attack during a challenge on the first day. The season was cancelled and everyone was flown home. While we're thankful they didn't tastelessly air the season, what about the concept of the game at all? Is it worth risking these contestants' lives for our entertainment?
Steve Irwin was filming for a show for his daughter in between filming his own show when a stingray turned around and pierced his chest. He died from this injury and it was allegedly the only sting ray death ever caught on camera. There was controversy that he was too comfortable with dangerous animals and provoked them, all in the name of entertaining the masses. Hopefully people will learn from this and exercise caution.
Hopefully these reality stars' fates will be a warning that nobody is invincible and that reality TV can have some destructive effects.