Reality Shows Shouldn't Feature Criminal Activity



Reality Shows Shouldn't Feature Criminal Activity


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Do we really need reality TV shows that feature illegal activity?


I saw a show on the Discovery Channel about Moonshining that features a disclaimer telling you it's illegal. Most of the show centers around the ins and outs of hiding their operations from the police. One segment focused on looking for a new place to hide their still, and other segments were about delivering their product to customers without getting caught.

Because of the popularity of the show, the Moonshiners eventually built a "Legitimate" version of their product, but it bothers me that they focus so much of the show on hiding from the law.

They spend so much time on the show talking about how they hide from the police that I couldn't help but wonder if the camera crew would be just as guilty if they were caught.


I saw an interview with the Moonshiners that explains how they evade the law on national TV., but and it still boggles my mind how they manage to get away with it.

According to them: "They’ve got to actually catch you doing something wrong. By the time that hits the TV…And that’s physically catch you... We’re not sitting where we [were] at the time. You know, they watch me on TV Tuesday nights at 9, I’m still not sitting in the same spot at 10 o’clock when that show goes off."

I'm sure that by the time the show airs, the Moonshine has left their possession so they can easily claim the bottles in the show were just water, and the whole thing was staged.. and that brings me to an even bigger point. If they could use plain water in the show, why go through the hype of telling you the activity is illegal.

The bigger problem is that it sends a message to viewers that it's actually pretty easy to break the law.


To me, that's much more important than whatever crime they are committing on the show. I just don't like the idea that an entire film crew is showing people how they sneak around and dodge the police as if the police are the bad guys. If the film crew knows exactly what they're filming, they're just as guilty, and so is the network.

Most reality shows today gain popularity due to the personalities of the cast. If the cast of the Moonshiners show now operate a "legitimate" business, focus on that, and let them tell stories of their past run-ins with the law. If they cut out the illegal activity and removed the disclaimer, I'm sure it would be a better show.

Filming a crime in progress, then hyping it up sends the wrong message to viewers that it's easy (and entertaining) to break the law. We can do better than that.

, Founder

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