“The one thing I hated most about people coming up to me after the show was, ‘Are you OK?’
“Like, are you for real? Of course I’m not OK. There’s people trying to like kill me online… After losing your job, and having it impact your modelling, and your whole family watching it… then a publication saying ‘The most hated man in Australia.’
Yeah, I’m alright – not.”
These are the words of ex-Bachelorette contestant David Witko, who is far more commonly known as ‘David – The International Model’.
In Sam Frost’s season of The Bachelorette, David was portrayed as the superficial, conceited villain, who was eliminated in episode two after a few ‘tense’ exchanges with Frost.
He was shown essentially ‘storming out’ after not receiving a rose, while the other bachelor’s looked on in shock. In a new documentary, however, Witko and others expose the misrepresentations that coloured their experiences on reality television.
Witko, for example, claims he hugged and said goodbye to all the other contestants before leaving. Clever editing created an entirely different narrative.
Filmmaker Gena Lida Riess interviewed a number of ex-reality stars for her short documentary, Creating a Monster, as well as Dr Misha Kavka, an Associate Professor of Media, Film and Television, and an anonymous reality television psychologist. Their insights make an audience take a hard look at our obsession with reality TV, the judgments we form, and the impact it has on those it victimises.