A&E and Reality tv

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.


One Response to “A&E and Reality tv”

  1. About a year and half ago I attended a meeting at A&E to talk about our Recovery High School project that A&E was “interested” in. A member of our board, a celebrity, also attended the meeting. For A&E all their big guns were there, a marketing VP, an Exec Producer and an assortment of producers, PR specialists and various assistants were parked around the table. They all professed how “committed” they were to the cause of Recovery. How their corporate charter was all about supporting the dissemination of information related to Recovery from Addiction.

    Untrue. They were only interested in one thing; to curry favor with our celeb board member to do a PSA. At the time I was impressed with their conviction and their so-called, commitment . But, now the usual and predictable lack of any attention span whatsoever of many TV program employees who are largely only interested in preserving their jobs and moving to the next slot has finally come home to roost. Yes, I guess the American TV viewing public is now much more interested in the pathetic meanderings of people who hoard newspapers, doll and God knows what else in their homes. Now, that’s really compelling TV, isn’t it? I can really learn something from that! Those hoarders are much more interesting than those addicts, aren’t they?

    The Recovery Rally is something special, something A&E could have been really proud of. But, I guess one year is enough for A&E, we don’t really expect them to actually take a real stand and stick on it for more than year, do we? That’s way too much to ask, I guess.

    So, time for A&E to move over and allow an organization that is serious and steadfast to step up and carry the banner of the Recovery Rally. Something to be proud of, something to help tear down antiquated views about addiction and recovery. That addiction is indeed a disease, and that it can be cured. The Recovery Rally is a vehicle that can alter how people think about this disease and the people who are afflicted. Ultimately, the Recovery Rally is something that can have a direct effect on how we deal with addicts and help support their Recovery.

    Maybe A&E is gearing up for a Rally for Hoarders. Who wants to clean up after that event?

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