LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – The Kenya Moore Walter Jackson purportedly faked love is now prompting demands for more vetting by reality show producers. Walter Jackson claims that he and Kenya Moore faked their relationship for Bravo viewers, and kept the secret from producers. But now viewers are urging producers to vet their reality TV cast members more thoroughly.
For years, fans have understood that reality shows may be scripted, staged, and sometimes faked. Three years ago, however, viewers were far more gullible. In 2010, one of the biggest TV stories was whether the Hills (MTV) was fake or real. On the Hills, Kristin Cavallari detailed her relationship with “boyfriend” Brody Jenner. But after the series concluded, Cavallari admitted to news that she faked it all for reality TV cameras.
Three years later, as Housewives have spread from Orange County to Miami, fans have grown reluctant about money, real estate, and plastic surgery issues. In fact, for Bravo’s Andy Cohen, one of the most frequent questions asked in reunion telecasts is whether the women’s faces are real or “faked” with cosmetic surgery. Similarly, faked money claims have been left to fester and lead to dramatic, and sometimes hilarious, showdowns. NeNe Leakes had her moment in 2012, claiming Kim Zolciak wasn’t keep it real, asserting “You buy your dream house not rent it”.
But along the way, fans have still contended one aspect of reality TV should be honest: relationships. If you appear on TV and ask to be engaged, as Kenya Moore does on Atlanta Housewives, fans believe that to be real. And if you appear on TV and seek you son’s permission to marry the love of your life for the first time, as Adriana de Moura does on Miami Housewives, fans believe that to be real too.
But in less than four weeks, fans have watched as Walter Jackson has told news that he was never planning to get engaged to Kenya Moore. He claims they weren’t even dating. Jackson asserts that Moore and him weren’t dating in real life when Bravo’s cameras were rolling. He also claims that he and Kenya kept the secret the Bravo. What would vetting have done? Jackson has told news that it was well perceived around Atlanta that he wasn’t dating Moore during RHOA filming.
For Adriana de Moura, she told Miami Housewives viewers that she had never sought to marry “boyfriend” Frederic until this season. That was also untrue. In 2008, Adriana de Moura and Frederic went and got a marriage license. De Moura claims the license is invalid. But when Bravo this weekend was asked about the marriage scandal, the network said “We were not aware that they were married”. Vetting on the Miami Dade court website would have revealed the marriage license within minutes.
Plastic surgery, fake jewelry, and dreams homes are often ripe for laughter on reality TV. But for now, allegedly faked relationships are prompting stronger demands for vetting by producers.