Recently, more and more people are uncovering scandal after scandal about the shows on the Discovery Channel. Discovery Communications, the parent company of TLC, Animal Planet, and The Discovery Channel must be used to every controversy by now. While these things occasionally cause the cancellation of a show, we cannot help but wonder why the Discovery Channel attracts behavior like this. Let us look back at the most scandalous things that ever happened in all of Discovery Channel history!
Bear Grylls Got Fired
We do not think there is a whole lot of things that Bear Grylls would not do, although he nearly got fired for not putting in work apart from Man Vs. Wild. It turns out that he was not completely willing to work on two upcoming projects by the network. Instead of letting him stay on the show that shot him to stardom, they fired him after six seasons for unruliness.
The Alaskan Bush People Are Not Alaskan
This show has seen lots of controversy in the past. The truth is that the people on the show are not even Alaskan. On top of that, their old home was only 10 miles from the town center! The family members were given citations about false statements about the residency on their hunting and fishing licenses. They were actually living in Texas and Colorado before moving to Alaska in 2012.
Alaskan Bush People Were Guilty Of Fraud
The people from the show just cannot stop lying about their time in Alaska. In 2015, the Browns admitted that they lied about living there to get government checks. Both Billy and Bam Bam pleaded guilty to second-degree unsworn falsification. They claimed to be from southeastern Alaska, which gives full-time residents a lot of money to stay in the state from the Alaskan Permanent Fund Division. Billy said that he got $7,956, while Bam Bam got $1,174. The two men were sentenced to a month in jail.
American Guns Got Cancelled After Controversies
The network decided to cash in on the firearms obsession with this show. The show followed the Wyatt family, the owners of Gunsmoke Guns in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. The final episode went on air in 2012 despite the fact that the two seasons got good ratings. Many believe that the network gave it the ax because of gun-related incidents such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Gunsmoke Guns Was Robbed After Show Cancellation
After the cancelation of the show, the Gunsmoke Guns was robbed via a hole in the ceiling. The cops did not know if the person was operating alone or not, but they did get away with 3 rifles and 12 handguns. A lot of news sources say that it was such an unfortunate incident that no one could be prepared for what happened to the family after a few weeks.
Richard Wyatt Did Not Have A Gun License
We also learned that Richard Wyatt did not have a permit to sell guns. In 2012, he somehow lost his Federal Firearms License for violating federal laws and regulations. He kept selling firearm through a straw license that someone else owned. He got accused of changing the address of a different store to that of Gunsmoke. When a person got a gun at Gunsmoke, they were asked to go to Triggers and fill out the paperwork there. It might seem like a loophole, but he got indicted in 2016 for what he did.
Richard Wyatt Did Not Report $1.1 Million In Personal Income
Nine days after the robbery at Gunsmoke Guns, IRS agents conducted a raid as part of an investigation for tax evasion. It started in 2010 when an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives learned that Wyatt might be hiding six fully automatic weapons without permission. The agents learned that things did not add up. Wyatt failed to report $1.1 million in personal income from 2009 to 2012. He also got charged with filing a false tax return. He was found guilty of 10 felony counts.
American Guns Had Criminals For Clients
American Guns also contributed to the sale of a stolen firearm. During the finale of the premiere season, a man called Wylie Newton tried selling a $20,000 antique Colt Pistol. The gun was stolen from the New Mexico Museum! Newton nearly got away with it, although selling it on TV was not a good idea. When someone who knew about the robbery watched the show, they recognized it and alerted authorities.
Kim Ford And Stephanie Hayden Were Arrested Too
My, the Hayden family seems to be full of criminals! After the arrest of her father, Stephanie Hayden Ford and husband Kris Ford got arrested for cruelty to juveniles. What happened? Well, they allegedly hit their 9-year-old son with a belt and caused him bruises. Kris might have been the one to perform the act, but Stephanie was also brought into custody for being present at the time of the beating.
Cody Lundin Said His Dual Survival Co-Host Threatened Him
Survival reality TV show Duel Survival faced a controversy when Cody Lundin sued the network. Her suit said that co-host Joe Teti threatened to kill him while they shot the show. Lundin said that producers wanted him to act like he was going crazy during filming, but Teti was really waving an ice ax and threatening to bury him in a Norwegian mountain. It was the second time Lundin got threated by his colleague who threatened to use a spear to impale him when they were in Hawaii. According to him, Teti showed him photos of the people he allegedly killed while in the CIA.
Naked And Afraid Helps The Contestants
Naked and Afraid, the popular Discovery survival show, suffered when contestants claimed that it was more or less fake. In the show, a pair of survivalist team up to live off the land for 21 days. Getting help from the crew defeats the purpose, but the Daily Mail said that the show fed a female contestant rice, bread, and even baby food after getting sick from eating turtle. She got IV drips to avoid dehydration as well. This contestant needed help as her life was at risk, but the show should have owned up to it.
Naked And Afraid Contestant Claimed It Was Scripted
In Season 3, Honora Bowen and Matt Struzel competed in Brazil. Matt finished the challenge, but Honora had to tap out because of heat exhaustion. She went on her blog and revealed many interesting things. According to her, she was coerced into starting a fight with Struzel to make things more interesting. She said that producers even coached her about statements on her background and father. Apparently, she had a bladder issue and not heat exhaustion. She just faked a medical issue to quit.
Visitors At Count’s Kustoms Were Not Impressed
In 2012, Counting Cars premiered. The Pawn Stars spin-off revolves around the selling, buying, and customizing of unique cars at an auto shop called Count’s Kustoms. Danny Koker was a car expert on Pawn Stars, which is how he got the show. People who dropped by the shop might seem happy on TV, but a lot of visitors do not feel the same way. They find the location sketchy and merch overpriced!
Not The Whole Picture
American Pickers is a show that follows Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe as they look for discarded but valuable treasures. The pair also gets help from Danielle, the store manager, as they look for good collections in piles of junk. In reality, many things they find do not make it to the screen. In reality, the producers go through the collections and pick the best items out of the lot.
Items Are Pre-Selected In These Shows
American Pickers and Pawn Stars are from just one network, so a similar protocol makes a lot of sense. Rick Harrison appeared to be a friend of everyone, but he did not actually find the items on the show. The truth is that the producers already buy the valuable things in time and then plant them on the set.
Restorations Are Not Up To Par
American Restorations is yet another spin-off of Pawn Stars. It follows a team that tries to restore life in old objects. If you watch it, you will see the results of their hard work. Fans, however, have noticed a number of slipups. An example would be the episode called “Secret Fan,” in which a viewer noticed the wheels on the restored go-kart. They were added crookedly, which made the kart wobble! Oops. Considering how much they charge for their services, it is a better idea to go someplace else.
Pawn Stars Rarely Go To The Store
The show is famous for its stars Chumlee, Corey, Rick, and The Old Man. Before the cameras got there, they worked at the shop on a regular basis. This is no longer true. These days, they rarely go to the shop since the camera crew gets in the way of sales and customers. They only go there to shoot now.
The Show Is Staged
A lot of the collections have been planted in American Pickers, so it is worthwhile to see if there is anything else that they were up to. They basically find collections and then sell the focal points off it. When they do sell, they stage the negotiations. This comes as no surprise as there is no way the seller would always bicker with Mike and Frank. The target price is agreed upon before the pickers get there.
Man Did Not Get Eaten Alive
Misleading advertising isn’t really all that uncommon. Still, this is a serious offense that the Federal Trade Commission has guidelines for. When the Discovery Channel special Eaten Alive came out, fans were enraged when Paul Rosolie faced off with a 20-foot anaconda. For months, the network said that he would get eaten alive, but he was rescued by a team after several hours. The snake did swallow his head, and he nearly got his arm broken, however. Discovery Channel faced a lot of backlash for this.
PETA Spoke Out Against Eaten Alive
There were many angry people online who claimed that the Discovery Channel had misleading advertising. PETA voiced its concern about the way Rosolie was allowed to put on an oxygen-supplying helmet and a special carbon fiber suit to torment the anaconda. It also said that they would likely have killed the snake if he did actually get swallowed alive. PETA said, “Shame on this pseudo ‘wildlife expert’ for tormenting this animal and shame on the Discovery Channel for giving him the incentive to do so.”
Mama June Went Out With A Child Molester
TLC, also owned by Discovery, faced a lot of controversy with Honey Boo Boo. The show got canceled all of a sudden when Mama June started going out with a convicted sex offender. Her boy-toy Mark McDaniel spent a decade in jail for molesting her daughter, Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell. He was accused of repeated sexual abuse when they were in the same bed. An apology only came after they broke up.
Chickadee Sued Mama June For Withholding Money
Though the show was taken off the air, they still found a way to get into headlines. Chickadee sued Mama June and TLC for withholding a profit of $201,000 from the show! She said that her 2-year-old child Kaitlyn was owed almost $100,000 too. TMZ said that the family got $22,500 for each episode, which would then be split among the children. Mama June claimed the money got directly deposited.
Swamp People Legal Woes
The show is about the daily lives of alligator hunters in Louisiana. It might seem like a wild ride but wait until you hear just what their lives are like off the screen. Chase Landry, Nick Payne, and Jay Paul all have their own legal battles. However, Trapper Joe Lafont has the most serious one. He has a history of domestic abuse that started in 2012 and happened again in 2013 and 2015.
Changes Out Of Nowhere
TV shows, particularly reality shows, always have the risk of changes. It is very rare for a show to keep going with no changes along the way. After its sixth season, Swamp People got a massive change. The shift began when a dozen cast members got replaced very quickly. The History Channel did not reveal the reason behind this choice either. Fans only found out about it during the 7th season premiere!
Not That Off The Grid
Mountain men viewers got to watch a group of individuals looking for a simpler way of living. However, viewers could not help but feel a little deceived by the cast. After all, Jason Hawk runs an online store, while Nancy and Tom Oar have a cable subscription. These issues make it clear it is not that authentic.
Even Encounters Are Staged
We have learned about more staged events from the History Channel, but even the encounters are not as real as they want you to think. The producers set them up too! Most sellers are found and then schedule a time to appear in front of the camera. Rick gets enough time to learn more about the item, which makes it considerably easier to go into talks with an expert to step in.
Fritz Is Not That Invested
Many American Pickers viewers might think that Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are both devoted to what they do. It turns out that they are not exactly treasure hunters passionate about antiques prior to the show. Mike might be, but Fritz is another story. He is more interested in business and collecting.
His Questionable Views
This is Danny Koker from Counting Cars. He is not afraid to share his political views out of the shop. When he spoke to The Morning Show, he talked about hybrid and low-emission vehicles. According to him, they were basically useless. Aside from this, Koker openly supported Donald Trump during the presidential race. The network does not want him to use the show for politics, but he doesn’t care.
Hunting Is Misrepresented
It can be frustrating when a reality show fails to live up to its name. A lot of people have called out the fact that a show about alligator-hunting should be more honest. Those who also do this think that the alligators hunted on the show are dead beforehand. They also believe that it is common for alligators to be that big all the time. As you can see, only experienced hunters can tell the authenticity of such shows.
Poor Buying Decisions
Something enjoyable about the show would be the price negotiations. Many have no idea that they are staged, but they are all still amused by the staff-customer interactions. Most of the time, the staff comes out on top in deals. There are also times when the members of the cast make poor purchases. The cast has been open about these bad decisions. These errors can set them back by $10,000 at a time!
Chumlee And His Legal Problems
If you are like most Pawn Stars fans, you might think that Chumlee is an important cast member. He has a personable, perhaps dim-witted approach to his job. Even though he is a laidback guy, he got into trouble in 2016. The police raided his house, where they found illegal firearms and drugs. He only got probation for these things, which means that he was still able to continue appearing on the show.
Not Much Faith In Street Outlaws
Justin “Big Chief” Shearer revealed a huge secret. He said that no one was optimistic about how successful the show would be! He mentioned that it began with smaller media companies, which only grew from there. The producers themselves had no idea how the show would live past its first season. However, this mindset also let them go all out when they were filming – enough to get 10 seasons!
Stopped By The Police
Moonshiners focuses on the cast that illegally makes moonshine. Lots of viewers touched in for the docudrama show. Every now and then, someone from the show would get stopped by the police with the cameras rolling. They can often walk or drive away, although it does make for TV drama. Tim Smith once said that law enforcement asked him about the show before. He invited the cop for dinners!
Losing The License
If you are a racer, you should know that going on Street Outlaws will help your stock a lot. Many new fans are guaranteed. However, you run the risk of losing the license if you do so. The National Hot Rod Association threated drivers in 2015 to take racing licenses if they do this. This decision has seen a lot of backlash, but the agency remains the same as ever.
An Undercover Sting
It is just too good to be true sometimes. This is a TV show about the illegal high-end car street races. Joe Woods did not think the show would go on to be successful and even thought it was a secret spy operation. Clearly, he did not trust the producers of the show. We cannot blame him, however.
Virginia Revealed The Truth About The Moonshiners
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said that they were misled about the show, but they did not stop there. It also came out and reported Discovery for airing what they call a false show. Viewers asked why the state let such a crime happen, so there was no choice but to admit that it was not illegal moonshine no matter how much the cast members like to say otherwise.
Fake Shark Week Documentary
In 2013, The Discovery Channel got a lot of flak for airing a fake documentary called “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” to kick off Shark Week. It was about a 70-foot ancient shark that was still alive. Megalodons likely existed between a million or two years ago. People complained about the hoax online, however. An unbelievable 4.8 million users still tuned into this show to watch the episode.
Vetting Reality TV Stars
With a lot of reality stars caught in scandals, we are sure that you are curious to hear how they pick the cast. Each reality star is expected to come with drama, but it is too much to hire a convicted rapist. What makes it even worse is when you think about how much money these people make through the show. Business Insider said that reality stars have varying salaries, but popular ones can make as much as $10 million for a season!