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""America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
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chuckl88 4 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "American Cancer Society Spokesperson"

09-01-07, 06:29 PM (EST)
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""America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
Since any outside interference is considered cheating on Big Brother, I wonder if any of the houseguests evicted after being selected to be targeted by Eric by popular vote will have a legal case against the production company. To me, it seems like a clear-cut case of unfair influence on the outcome.
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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... Snidget 09-01-07 1
   RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... chuckl88 09-01-07 2
       RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... qwertypie 09-01-07 3
           RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... chuckl88 09-03-07 6
       RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... Snidget 09-01-07 4
           RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... chuckl88 09-03-07 7
               RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... Snidget 09-03-07 8
       RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... ohmyheck 09-01-07 5
 RE: "America's Houseguest" a potent... AshLanie 09-03-07 9

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Snidget 43860 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Playboy Centerfold"

09-01-07, 06:45 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
I'm sure the producers have some clause in the contract written by their legal people that will prevent exactly such a lawsuit.


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chuckl88 4 desperate attention whore postings
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09-01-07, 09:23 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
LAST EDITED ON 09-01-07 AT 09:23 PM (EST)

No clause can prevent a lawsuit. The only way you can give up such a right is under sworn oath, in front of a judge. You cannot sign-away your basic rights.

That being said, no matter how well-written such a clause might be, the producers, and anyone else who might be a party to the contract, has an obligation of basic fairness, regardless of the content of the contract.

Any contract that attempted to claim that "anything goes" would be tossed out of any reasonable court.

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qwertypie 9721 desperate attention whore postings
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09-01-07, 09:34 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
Hi chuckl88 and welcome to the boards!
But you are assuming that the world of TV entertainment has the same definition of fairness and reasonableness as the rest of us.

I don't know if this would have any bearing on any legal challenge but in the first season the viewers chose who would be evicted. Big Brother became extremely interfering when the house guest were getting along too well and there wasn't enough drama.
In previous seasons, viewers got to choose who got special rewards and this could bias the rest of the houseguests against the winners.

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chuckl88 4 desperate attention whore postings
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09-03-07, 02:44 AM (EST)
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6. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
>Hi chuckl88 and welcome to the
>boards!
>But you are assuming that
>the world of TV entertainment
>has the same definition of
>fairness and reasonableness as the
>rest of us.

The definition of fairness rests solely with the court. Whatever definition the entertainment industry uses has no bearing.

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Snidget 43860 desperate attention whore postings
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09-01-07, 09:35 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
what "rights" are violated. Where in the Constitution does it say that a reality TV show has to be conducted in a particular way? What case law says that the producers can't do whatever the heck they like?

The FCC already ruled the Big Brother is more like Professional Wrestling than a game show, the text of that was posted around here somewhere. Really the government doesn't care if it ain't completely fair.

You pretty much gotta sign your life away to be on a reality TV show.

If your basic rights are violated by the standard operating procedure of reality TV (and I don't think America's Player is any different from a lot of things on a lot of shows do) we'd have seen dozens of those lawsuits already, IMO.


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chuckl88 4 desperate attention whore postings
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09-03-07, 02:57 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
>what "rights" are violated. Where
>in the Constitution does it
>say that a reality TV
>show has to be conducted
>in a particular way?
>What case law says that
>the producers can't do whatever
>the heck they like?


And where in the Constitution does it say that you have the right to expect the hot dog you buy to not contain actual dog meat?

Many rights not specifically mentioned are implied. Basic fairness is one of them, especially in contracts.

My original question was intended to start a dialogue on the legality of a contract where one side (the contestant) reasonably expects that his or her survival on the show rests solely upon the votes of the other contestants, without outside influence. Since there's a very good chance those contracts contain clauses forbidding any such outside influence instigated by the contestants themselves, any such use of them by the production company increases the possible breach of the contract, if you get my drift. You can't make one side promise not to do something that you yourself secretly plan to do.

Anyway, ...we'll soon see.

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Snidget 43860 desperate attention whore postings
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09-03-07, 05:54 AM (EST)
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8. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
LAST EDITED ON 09-03-07 AT 05:59 AM (EST)

But this isn't outside influence instigated by the contestants.

It is instigated by the producers. The producers arrange some contact with the outside world every season for some players and you can't guarantee no one shouts something at them when they are on a set of a game show, etc.

I'm sure the legal team at See-BS was consulted as soon as the America's Player twist was looking like something they might do and the legal team there worked out how to do the twist without getting sued.

I'm pretty sure the producers are smart enough to run things past the legal team. While I suspect various assorted stupidities of the producers of reality TV, I do believe that they or the executives of the network always run things by the legal team, and they have enough money to hire a decent set of lawyers who will make the contracts legally binding and make sure twists and other aspect of the show are done legally as well.

It would be easier to speculate what is in or not in the contracts if we could see them, but they keep those tightly under wraps and most of what has slipped out about them sounds like you sign away a lot for the privilege of being filmed when you are looking and acting your absolute worst.

ETA: Most shows each season get someone thinking some lawsuit or another makes perfect sense, but since none of these lawsuits ever get filed I think we have very little understanding of exactly what the contestants sign off on.


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ohmyheck 1919 desperate attention whore postings
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09-01-07, 10:23 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
You must be new to the world of reality TV contracts. Two words for you: Stacey Stillman. Google it if you need to.
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AshLanie 895 desperate attention whore postings
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09-03-07, 06:45 AM (EST)
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9. "RE: "America's Houseguest" a potential legal problem?"
LAST EDITED ON 09-03-07 AT 06:52 AM (EST)

LAST EDITED ON 09-03-07 AT 06:50AM (EST)

LAST EDITED ON 09-03-07 AT 06:47AM (EST)

>Since any outside interference is considered
>cheating on Big Brother, I
>wonder if any of the
>houseguests evicted after being selected
>to be targeted by Eric
>by popular vote will have
>a legal case against the
>production company. To me, it
>seems like a clear-cut case
>of unfair influence on the
>outcome.


What outside interfereneces? The voting? The voting that is only there as a small moneymaker for BB and CBS. The votes do not count.

Also, since the FCC has declared that reality shows, including BB, are under the same category as pro wrestingling, where everything is PREDETERMINED, then again, what outside interferences?

BB and CBS knew exactly who they wanted in the house at the end...has that not been obvious?

Some have tried suing, forgot her name but one from Survivor tried suing under the guise that reality shows were considered game shows, wrong....she lost.

Reality shows are not reality.......they are what the show's producer's and tv station want them to be...always have been and always will be.


Edited it to add:

That last season and this season of BB (imho) definitely shows that the producer's etc predetermine who stays and who goes etc. (Look at Richard, in the real world his behavior would have been considred abusive but on a *reality( show his behavior is considered ratings worthy.).


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