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How can a TV show like this legally mislead/lie?

New York, NY |

There's a show airing now called "Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta". It's about the lives of women with various associations with the entertainment industry. Their associations range from their own endeavors, to connections with an "Industry" spouse. This season there's a sketchy storyline. It's been speculated a cast member willingly produced a professional sex tape, got paid for it, and had it released. The show understood this, and approved of its coming. If so, it was a willed contractual deal. On air she's playing it off as a "leaking" of private footage. The show is creating a forced story line around it, and it's inauthentic.

If a show advertises itself as a reality show, how can they have skewed or entirely fabricated content? Wouldn't they be forced to categorize their show under something else? What legal loopholes can they use to air staged content?

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Attorney answers 4


Why do you care? Smell a flower, take a walk in the rain, paint a picture. Move on.

The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.


If you have no involvement and no damages, it's really not worth our time tio get involved. If you do, then explain your hypothetical better, please.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.


I find it hard to believe that you are just realizing that vast majority of "reality" TV is utterly scripted.

I am not sure where the line is, regards to your legal question. I suppose that it is quite possible that the producers may run afoul of FTC or perhaps FCC guidelines by mis-advertising a program, but I also agree with the others that it is not worth belly-aching about unless you are in some way financially injured as a result.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC

DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.


As one who represents clients in the reality show space, let me give you some truth: Reality shows are heavily scripted and there is nothing illegal or misleading about it. In any event, how does this cause you any harm? I hate to shatter your illusions, but there is not such thing as an unscripted reality TV show.

I am not your lawyer and this is not intended to be legal advice on which you rely. My answer is merely intended to assist you in understanding some of the issues that you face so that you can make an intelligent choice when you hire legal counsel.

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