Contracts for actors are always funny things, since they have to account for any foreseeable circumstance that might arise while filming. As it turns out, the contract for MTV's reality show The Real World, which the Village Voice obtained a copy of, is spectacularly and hilariously all-encompassing in terms of what it covers. Granted, it probably has to be, considering that they're usually putting seven horny assholes in the same house for a few months, but still, the lengths that MTV goes to control the lives of the cast members is...impressive. Here are some of the juicier tidbits, as culled by the Voice:
- You may die, lose limbs, and suffer nervous breakdowns.
- You may be humiliated and explicitly portrayed "in a false light."
- If you contract AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases while filming ["gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Chlamydia, scabies (crabs),'hepatitis, genital warts, and other communicable and sexually transmitted diseases or Pregnancy; etc"], MTV is not responsible.
- Interacting with other cast members carries the risk of "non-consensual physical contact" and should you contract AIDS, etc. during such an interaction, MTV is not responsible.
- You can't change your physical appearance during filming, without the Producer's express permission.
- You grant the Producer blanket rights to your life story.
- The Producer can do pretty much anything they want with your life story, including misrepresent it.
- The production crew can show up at your personal house at any time to film and/or to take anything they want, as long as they return the objects once production has ended.
I cannot imagine what goes through the heads of anyone who actually signs this contract. You're basically telling MTV that they have carte blanche to not only edit the show to portray you in a false light, but actually fabricate material to make you out to be a terrible person, as well as enter your personal residence at any time they wish to take anything they want. Also, if you get raped, then whoops! MTV's gonna let you guys figure that situation out for yourselves.