Last year when I started this podcast on December 5th, the first few I did were all just me talking. Didn’t really know the direction the podcast was going in. Once I started doing interviews, as you know, that’s been what it’s become. Taking it back “old school” today by having no guests and it’s just me talking. I will tell you the Final Four Breakdown in today’s podcast, but first wanted to explain to everyone what is going on and why I’ve pretty much been radio silent for the past week. Does it suck? Sure. This is no fun for me. But when the big bad wolf comes around and starts bullying me again and infringing on my freedom of speech, I have to defend myself. My podcast will explain everything that’s going on, and for people that don’t feel like listening for 30 minutes, these next few paragraphs are a condensed version of what I said, followed by your spoilers on Page 2. They’re trying to silence me, again, and I’m not going to be intimidated. This is my job. This is my livelihood. And they are trying to take that away from me. We’ll see what happens from this point forward, but please either listen to today’s podcast or read below, and hopefully you’ll get a better understanding without a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo.
You can listen to today’s podcast on a number of platforms, but you can also tune in by clicking the player below:
(SPOILERS) I talk for a bit about why you’ve heard basically radio silence from me for the last week and do a timeline of the events that have transpired since I tweeted last Tuesday, I give you your Final Four Breakdown (18:03), recap my tweet from Thanksgiving regarding the “Bachelor: Canada” spoiler (29:00), and then wrap it up with thoughts on “Bachelor: Winter Games” (32:00).
For years I have stood behind the fact that all I really do is spoil and make fun of a silly reality show which itself is very easy to make fun of. Been doing it a while now. Almost 15 years I’ve been at this. In 2009, I got my first spoiler and have been spoiling ever since. And I’ve repeated this over and over through the years: I’m not selling nuclear codes. This isn’t CIA level shit. This isn’t insider trading. What I do is on such a small scale in even just the TV world, it’s not really a blip on the radar. If this were the only show on television, yes, it’d probably be a big deal. But it’s not. Never has been. I get information about the show from various sources and I report it. Seems pretty simple. And we’ve seen over the years that people love spoilers. With the growth of social media, I can’t tell you how many people have either commented through their accounts or emailed me directly saying how much they enjoy the spoilers because it gives them a different perspective on how to watch the show. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but it’s been happening long enough now that people have gotten used to them. I contended for years that I don’t spoil so that you won’t watch the show. Quite the opposite. I spoil so that you just watch the show differently. As far as I can tell, in 9 years that I’ve been spoiling, the show keeps on growing. They added “Bachelor Pad” since my first spoiler. They added “Bachelor in Paradise” after that. And come next February, they’re adding “Winter Games,” yet another show for the franchise. Certainly doesn’t look like they’re struggling to me, or losing money, or suffering in any way. 15 years and 34 seasons of this franchise, yet, they’ll have you believe that what I do somehow damages their show. Please.
I say all this because NZK Productions, the production company behind the “Bachelor” franchise, is trying to silence me again. Let me explain what happened. Last Tuesday night November 21st, I tweeted this out:
Making a list and checkin it twice. Just making sure I have the ending correct before posting it. It’s coming…
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) November 22, 2017
Why did I tweet that out? Because I was planning on posting the Final 4 Breakdown and who Arie chose either the next day or on Thanksgiving Day. Hadn’t decided yet. However, my lawyer received a Cease and Desist letter the very next day on Wednesday the 22nd from the law firm that represents the “Bachelor,” in so many words saying that if I released spoilers about Arie’s season based on any improper communications, I could expect legal action to take place. Just that in and of itself was laughable to me because their letter did not have any evidence supporting their claim. But whatever, for the sake of being threatened with legal action, I obliged and held off until I understood more. Their letter stated that if I didn’t respond by this past Monday at 5:00pm PST, they’d have no choice but to move forward with legal action. They sent this the day before Thanksgiving, essentially giving us ONE business day to respond. Appreciate that. My lawyer spoke to their lawyer on Monday morning, and then we sent a formal response later that day. They did not respond further.
In our response, along with calling out numerous errors and omissions in their Cease and Desist letter to us, and because I’m so certain that the information I obtained was done through proper channels and did not violate anything whatsoever, I even specifically told them I would be willing to provide, under protective order, proof that my information this season did not involve any wrongdoing or improper communications. They didn’t respond to that either.
For those that don’t remember, I entered into a Settlement Agreement with them after the last lawsuit in May of 2012. The terms of the settlement were confidential, so all I was allowed to say about it was that “the case was amicably resolved.” Now they are firing off threats and possible lawsuits off baseless claims yet again.
So here we are. They are trying to silence me again with threats of a lawsuit if I post spoilers from this point forward about the upcoming “Bachelor” season. We’ve tried working out an agreement, and we’ve tried telling them, along with offering proof, that my information did not come from any improper communications or improper inducements to get people to breach any contracts, but they don’t seem to care. They are being completely unreasonable, bullying me essentially into giving up my sources, and are trying to prevent me from continuing my livelihood. I guess they’re still seriously bothered by the fact I’ve been able to share spoilers for the last 9 years. I’m really not sure. Why else would they threaten me?
They are infringing on my First Amendment Rights as a reporter and trying to squash my freedom of speech because they don’t like that I’m spoiling their show. This is my job. This is my livelihood. But because anyone can basically sue anyone for anything, I guess they feel that’s the route they want to go. The line in the sand has been drawn. I’d say there’s probably a good chance they are going to file suit against me now after today’s post. I don’t know what to say, other than I’m just not going to be intimidated by what I think are baseless claims. You know, I know, and yes, THEY know, that what I do only helps their show and draws attention to it. I’m free advertising for them basically. And if they sue me now for a third time, media outlets will pick up on it, and it’ll gain even more attention heading into their season, which my guess is exactly what they’re looking for. Well, I’m calling out all major media outlets now to cover this just like they’re feverishly covering all other stories where people are trying to silence reporters, because that’s exactly what’s happening here. The big bad corporation is trying to silence me with threats of a lawsuit because I spoil their silly show. I believe it’s wrong, unfair, and not to mention that other little thing – illegal. I will stand behind those beliefs as long as I have to.
Sure it sucks knowing I might be sued from this point forward. Certainly not something you want to wake up to every day thinking what might be coming. The only other option is to not spoil this season like they asked and just write recaps pretending I don’t know what the outcomes are of particular episodes. That just seems crazy to me and would be bizarre to cover the season that way. The information I have this season did not in any way involve any wrongdoing or improper communications, hence the reason I’m spoiling what I am. I refuse to be intimidated by their tactics in this situation, and I will proceed with this season as planned. So now that there’s been back and forth for the last week and I know more about the situation than I did last Wednesday when the Cease and Desist letter arrived, I feel comfortable moving forward with the Final 4 Breakdown. Let the chips fall where they may from this point forward.
Your Final 4 Spoilers begin on Page 2…