The singing reality show 'American Idol' was recently accused of being racist. Nine contestants from the various seasons have accused the producers that they were disqualified from the show just because they are Black. The contestants have maintained that the Blacks are exploited on the show to boost ratings.
Reality show reached it ugliest controversy when a female contestant accused a co-contestant of raping her live on TV. In Brazilian version of Big Brother, a contestant was seen forcing himself upon a female contestant who had passed out after a booze party. The producers of the show did not come to rescue of the woman and did not stop filming the show.
Who can forget the Big Brother racism controversy where actress Shilpa Shetty accused co-inmate Jade Goody of being a racist. After the telecast of the episode, the incident created quite a stir and around 27,000 complaints were received by the channel.
The French reality show 'Koh Lanta' entered into controversy after one of the contestants Gerald Babin died of a heart attack during the filming of the show. And, later the doctor on the show Dr Thierry Costa committed suicide as he could not handle the accusations that he could not save Babin. He left behind a suicide note.
The reality show 'All My Babies' Mamas' did not see the light of the day as it was to highlight the life of a rapper who has 11 children from 10 different women. A petition was signed by many as the viewers were not ready to stereotype Black women.
Lebanon's first ever political show 'AlZaim' has found itself in the middle of a controversy. The show which pits contestants against each other to run for chance for the upcoming Parliamentary elections has been slammed by the people. Many feel that the show makes fun of the flawed government system and exploits public's frustration.
Tonya Cooley was allegedly sexually abused during the shooting of 'Real World: Ruins' in Phuket, Thailand in 2009. She later filed a lawsuit against MTV Productions, and cast members Kenneth Santucci and Evan Starkman.
Canadian reality show 'Lake Shore' died with a wimper after its first promo came out an year ago. The teaser featured eight contestants labelled by their ethnic background. The promo created a furore amongst the audiences and it was labelled 'racist'. The show never got picked up.
Malaysia's 'Youngest Imam' is the latest reality show that has raised eyebrows. From washing corpses to reciting verses to counseling promiscuous young couples, the contestants are made to fight each other in the challenges.
Reality TV might have become the new face of the television but with time the shows have taken an ugly turn. From racism to sexual assaults to deaths, the reality shows are no more about entertainment.
After the shocking death of reality TV star Shain Gandee, the second season of the reality show 'Buckwild' has been suspended by the makers.