By Dawn Cranfield
Reality Show “Storage Wars” not Reality After all According to Lawsuit Filed by Star David Hester
The popular television show “Storage Wars” on A&E, where teams of bidders attempt to outbid each other in storage auctions, is at the center of a lawsuit filed by one of the show’s stars, David Hester. Hester is alleging the purported non-fiction show is, in fact, steeped in deceptive behavior by the network and the producers.
According to hollywoodgossip.com, some of the claims include, “Producers staged entire units and enlists cooperation of owners of storage facilities; the show pays for lockers for ‘weaker’ cast members as part of the manipulation; the show plants items in lockers after having them appraised weeks in advance; and the show obtains items to be placed in the units from a business regularly on air”.
Hester’s lawsuit also claims interviews are scripted and not impromptu as they appear, and he and other cast mates were allegedly dismissed from the show when they approached producers with the allegations. A&E is not commenting on the pending lawsuit or the accusations; if you
go to the website advertising the show, David Hester is still listed as one of the bidders.
So, is it truly a surprise to anybody who watches these types of “authentic” Americana that they are not based on true life; but are in reality (pun intended) made to be more entertaining, sexier, and volatile than they would be? If you were to go to an auction at a storage facility, I cannot imagine it would be worthy of watching it on television; however, I could be wrong.
I am flabbergasted to see our entertainment choices boiled down to watching people who are irritated over parking tickets, an overweight toddler competing in beauty pageants, housewives who are neither wives nor work in the home, and do not even get me started on the Kardashian franchise. What is surprising is David Hester’s naiveté at participating in a non-fiction show, in the words of A&E, and believing the show would not eventually morph into a cartoon version of his passion for turning thrift store pieces into big profit.
While I have never been a fan of frivolous lawsuits, I am not litigious by nature; I do hope these proceedings will pave the way for network executives to evaluate entertainment as a whole. I used to enjoy watching channels such as A&E and The Discovery Channel because I could either be entertained by my favorite old black and white movie, or I could be cerebrally challenged; neither of those is true today.
Another deeply disturbing shift in our view of a “star” is the people we are elevating to a dramatic rise in their popularity for their fifteen minutes of fame. The creation of these faux heroes, stars, and divas is a reflection of a society in need of a true reality check.
A few months ago I was on a flight and I offered the gentleman next to me a section of the newspaper I had finished; he gruffly refused my offer. Being me, I did not notice the signs he did not want to be disturbed; he had a visor pulled down tightly over his eyes, his arms were crossed, and his head was down as he stared straight forward when our flight was taking off. I offered the paper again and talked to him about something I had read in the news; I can be a bit of a chatter bug.
Finally, the man turned to me and explained how he was trying to keep a low profile because he did not wish to be recognized; I had no idea who he was. He went on to explain how he was a star of a reality show; he named the show and explained the concept. I stared at him blankly. The more he talked about not wanting to be recognized, the more I explained how I had not had a subscription to television for several years and had never heard of the show, the more he longed for me to know him.
I found myself around a television some time later and decided to look up his program; he was foul-mouthed and somewhat flamboyantly rude and irritating. Reality indeed.