General News

"Manhunt" manipulated?

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Aug 16, 2001 | 1:15pm EDT

The former co-producer of UPN's reality series Manhunt has charged that he was asked to manipulate situations on the series, contrive drama, protect a contestant from being eliminated, and change the rules of the contest after it had already begun. Bob Jaffe has told several publications that when he refused to agree to the demands from UPN and Paramount execs, he was told to resign (although he continues to receive a producers credit). "I would say that the show that's on the air cannot be classified a reality show," Jaffe told today's New York Times. UPN and Paramount execs issued a statement afterwards saying that they "have not supported and would not support persons or practices designed to manipulate the outcome of the show." According to Jaffe, the outcome was indeed not affected, inasmuch as the winner of the contest won legitimately. Jaffe's revelations were first made public by Peter A. Lance, who was the first to disclose the accusations by former Survivor contestant Stacey Stillman that producers influenced other contestants to eliminate her from that series. On his Web site, Lance claimed that after Jaffe was removed from the program, Paramount assembled the contestants in Griffith Park in Los Angeles and had them don the same costumes that they were wearing in Hawaii in order to do retakes of certain scenes with scripted dialogue.

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