25 Controversial Reality TV Shows

Reality TV is as popular as ever. The premise of these shows is to present to the audience an unscripted situation with real people or celebrity contestants. However, misconceptions can occur to where the show may be compared to actual life situations or present scripted or reenacted moments as live, spontaneous events. The truth is, these shows are far from reality and some are even fake! Here are 25 Controversial Reality TV Shows.


Ghost Hunters


An American paranormal reality television series, Ghost Hunters first aired on October 6, 2004 and ran until 2016. In it, paranormal investigators, including Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, explored reportedly-haunted buildings. In 2008, it was criticized by several critics when in one of its episodes, the collar of the lead investigator, Grant Wilson, was claimed to have been pulled down by an “unforeseen” force three times. Because one of his hands was strangely positioned at his side during the video, critics were led to believe that it was only him who was pulling a string to make his collar move. This moment called into question the events of the entire show and the presence of the paranormal activity captured on camera.


The Bachelor


The Bachelor is an American dating game show that started in 2002, hosted by veteran television personality and news anchor, Chris Harrison. The other two famous dating game shows related to The Bachelor are The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad. It was revealed that The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are all scripted shows, characterized by the producers’ editing of footage to create a fictional story line and bullying to make contestants say things to the camera that will heighten the drama of the show.


The Pick-Up Artist


Another American dating-themed show, The Pick-Up Artist featured male contestants described to be “unsuccessful” when it comes to love and relationships, thus they are taught how to “pick-up” women in different situations. The level of difficulty changes as the show progresses, causing other men to be eliminated from the dating game. However, the show was put into controversy after the discovery of fake profiles released by the show regarding its contestants. Needless to say, it didn’t last long.


Cake Boss


Cake Boss was an American reality television series that followed the family-owned Carlo’s Bakery, where they make cakes and handle interpersonal relationships between family members and the workers in the shop. It premiered in 2009 on TLC and extended up to six seasons with the last season’s debut on May 27, 2013. In 2010, Masters Software, Inc. of cakeboss.com and CakeBoss bakery management program, and Discovery Communications of Valastro’s Cake Boss, reached an agreement after an issue arose causing confusion over identical trademarks. Cake Boss also suffered from criticisms after its producers breached an agreement with a special guest from the LGBT community. These legal troubles far surpass those of the typical small business bakery.


Joe Millionaire


Said to be a wildly successful and the most-watched reality television series after its first season finale, Joe Millionaire became a cultural phenomenon in 2003. The show presented a man who claimed to have won millions of dollars and was looking for a woman to marry him. He dates a group of women and eliminates one for each episode, until only one of them remains. The secret about the real identity of the man, Evan Mariott (Season 1), is that he was actually a construction worker. This was revealed to the woman at the end of the show who then had to decide if she still wanted to marry Mariott. Rich or not, these scenarios do not represent real life. Audiences must have agreed because the show ended after the second season. 

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