I had a brief yet glorious career as part of A&E’s galaxy of stars. Me, dog the bounty hunter, and the guy with the disturbing hair that catches raccoons in peoples attics. The short version is that it sucked, the experience sucked, it took forever and nothing really happened, and now it’s over. A rant will ensue, make no mistake. Is it the anger of a disgruntled would be/ never was star? I guess there is an element of that but not really, I have other offers from other TV networks trying to get their share of the addiction/recovery pie. Is this right? Watching people and their dissent into the fray of addiction? Who knows, there are valid arguments for and against, maybe it’s two rights clashing? As with everything dealing with addictive disease, there are no easy answers.
I don’t hate A&E for the obvious oversight that had “One Man Rehab” continued they would have expanded their audience to include teen girls with a crush on me. Not to mention the publicity they would have received when I was named “the sexiest interventionist alive” by People magazine. I hate A&E because they pulled the plug on their support of the recovery rally in New York City. The recovery rally is/was a critical event. It was a celebration of people in recovery complete with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, speaker, music, etc. It put addiction on the same plane as other diseases, like HIV, breast cancer, etc. They all have walks in the city, our city, the metropolis of the American dream, New York, New York. The exec’s at A&E have been avoidant, non responsive and dodged the questions regarding the event entirely. They have said they will be “doing something” but are non-committal as to what that “something” is, also they won’t answer how much money they will commit to the event, Additionally, they have told me the “permits alone will cost between 20 and 35k”. The city says ‘a few hundred-dollar processing fee”. So what’s going on? I really don’t know but whatever it is, it’s not good. It’s not an expansion of the event, it’s an erosion of it. They killed it.
A&E is certainly under no obligation to underwrite an event for the recovering community. It needs to be said that not doing so is just not cool, ethical, or respectable. “Intervention” is their highest rated show, they make millions from it and yet they can no longer sponsor the event supporting the very community that made their show a hit. In my view that is like having a show called “final stages of AIDS”, making millions and then avoiding the people who organize the HIV bike ride events.
To add to their “dick” status, when it has been suggested that other sponsorship be sought they get angry and scold stating “this is exclusively an A&E event!” Is that right? The recovery rally is an event owned by A&E? I thought it was a community event sponsored by A&E. Again, what dicks.
I am on the hunt for someone else to step up to the plate and do what is right. Surprise! It’s not easy to find someone to cozy up to addiction. Even more of a reason that A&E sucks, now we have little time to put this together. So they pulled the plug and are holding us hostage, well they have tried to hold us hostage. Maybe they did, I don’t know.