This last week has been a lot, no doubt. A lot has been said. Feelings have come to light. And I’ve taken it all in. I’ve read a lot of your responses, and I thank you for all of them. Some good, some bad, some awful, etc. It’s to be expected. What I wanted to do today was kinda put everything in one place. Because right now, I have an apology to Demi on Twitter (more on that in a bit), a one hour IG Live that’s saved on my IGTV (the last live I did with Ashley Spivey) apologizing for my past writings, and then the first 12 minutes of last week’s podcast, addressing Demi’s feelings. It’s all a bit confusing. Not everyone follows all three of those social media accounts of mine, so it’s best to put it all right here today and it won’t go anywhere. There’s a lot to cover and things I want to address. If I’m long winded, so be it. I feel it needs to be said because right now the narrative about me out there isn’t great, lets be real. I’m going to break it up into sections as well so I can try and stay on point with everything. Because there’s a few issues at play here and I want people to be able to easily find my response to each. Please take the time to read this and I hope you have a better understanding of me, and how I feel about all of this when you’re done. Let’s get started.
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 begin by directing people to my website today to read my statement regarding everything that’s happened the last week. (12:04) I share my experience at the “Float Spot” this week that needless to say was quite an interesting experience. (27:19) Then I end with giving my thoughts on the “Temptation Island” finale from this past Tuesday. Please go read my statement today on my website at www.RealitySteve.com.
Here is the IG Live with Ashley Spivey from last Tuesday night where I addressed my past writings:
I don’t want to repeat everything I said in it, but I did want to add a few things about the horrible things I wrote in the past on my blog, which have all since been deleted.
In the beginning when I would write that way, I never really felt connected to it. But it worked. People ate it up. Unfortunately back then, that’s what we were doing. I mentioned sites like Perez Hilton, The Dirty, D-Listed, The Superficial, etc. I was just an extension of those since they were much bigger than me. It was part of the culture that I absolutely was a part of and contributed to. But I honestly never felt great about it. For a good while now, I have been in the process of changing and moving away from that because I began to identify that wasn’t who I was. I didn’t have to do that, and write that way, and degrade women to keep numbers up on website. I made changes, stopped covering the show in that way, stopped focusing on people’s looks, and my readership didn’t change. On some seasons, it was increasing. So seeing it in real time, when I let go of those things, people still read and supported it. I didn’t have to write like a 25 year old frat boy to get people to read my stuff. Over the last few years, I completely moved away from that and you, the audience, were still there. That was my “ah ha” or proverbial light bulb moment where I realized I didn’t need to do that anymore. Then when I felt like time had moved on, society had changed, and I didn’t have to talk that way, then I could focus on other things. This is how people grow, and learn, and change as people- with feedback. I’ve been actively picking up on that for a while. Did I hurt people in the process? Absolutely. And as I notice these trends, I’m continuing to do more work on myself.
These contestants serve themselves up on a silver platter going on reality TV to be judged. If you wanna know where it comes from, that’s where. The fact people are talking about this now, I’m not denying the impact of it then, however, I’m not ignorant. I’m someone who’s in the continuous process of learning. And I take all of this very seriously. I am listening. I want to do better and I’m a guy that wants to do things right.
I can only stand to benefit from this teachable moment. It’s opened my eyes to another layer that I have to learn from, which is this power dynamic that Bekah and Demi both brought up last week. Call me ignorant, call me naïve, it was never something that I ever thought about with the people from this franchise that I was friends and/or acquaintances with. Because yes, some people I’m way closer to and talk to/text/Facetime more than others. This power dynamic was just never something that that I ever knowingly thought about or held over anyone’s head. That is the God’s honest truth.
This is a continual learning process for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my behavior over the last week. I’m not perfect. Nor will everything I say be perfect. And the beginning of last week’s podcast was a “perfect” example. When speaking about this power dynamic that Bekah and Demi had brought up, I needed to give myself more time to process what they were saying before speaking on it. And for that, I’m truly sorry. Everything happened so fast last week, I should’ve taken more time. I wish I could take that beginning part of the podcast back because, while I thought I knew what point I wanted to get across, the impact landed way differently than I thought based on the reaction. Should’ve thought that out more and I wish I could take that back. The only thought I had, was that this was important, and I wanted to address it immediately, instead of looking like I was ignoring it. But it’s out there and I own it. Just know I did NOT go down a laundry list of any of my friends/acquaintances from this franchise and “confront” them asking them if they were only friends with me out of fear of me writing something negative about them. I addressed my behavior with them and never made anything confrontational. I was never planning on being confrontational to begin with, but going back and listening to what I said last week, yeah, I could see where people thought that’s what I was going to do. My mistake and I own that.
When I say everything happened so fast last week, I want to explain. By no means is this an excuse. I’m NOT excusing what I said to Demi. I’m just telling you how/when everything came down and why I should’ve taken longer to process what happened before opening my mouth without thinking:
-Ashley and I did our live from 7-8pm CT last Wednesday. We started a second one right at 8pm CT and that’s when people in the comments told me to look at Demi’s tweet calling me out for a phone call where I told her about a sex dream I had about her 8 months prior.
-We signed off that second live at around 8:15-8:20pm CT. I don’t remember the exact time, but I felt we’d gone around 10-15 minutes. It was then that I tweeted this not even 30 minutes later at Demi:
I had no idea at the time that conversation made you feel that way. I am apologizing now knowing how uncomfortable I made you feel. I crossed boundaries I didn’t think at the time I was crossing. I did not know this until today. So for that, I hope you can accept my apology.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) April 22, 2021
Wrong. Just wrong. And I realize that now. And then I didn’t record the beginning of last week’s podcast (or the interview with Kaci for that matter) til after 10:30pm CT Wednesday night, as it went up the next morning. I definitely needed more than 2 hours to inhale all this before speaking and I should’ve taken that.
When it happened during our IG Live, I was totally caught off guard, and I wanted to respond quickly so I didn’t look like I was trying to duck responsibility or not care about her feelings. I don’t want to make somebody feel that way. I had no idea I did that. I’m not that type of person. I don’t revel in someone’s discomfort, despite what some may think. When I saw that reflection, I didn’t say, “Please tell me that’s not who they think I am,” I said, “That’s not me.” And unfortunately the latter is the place I responded from. Had I taken a moment, I could’ve said I need to respond simply to her feelings, put mine to the side, this is not about me, this about her. I totally get that.
Demi was an acquaintance. We hadn’t been talking for even a month. I don’t know her deeply, she doesn’t know me deeply. Which makes the conversation I had with her all the more cringey. 100%. But, I’m not someone who wants to make a girl, or anyone, feel uncomfortable. When that mirror was held up to my face (Demi releasing this), I saw something I hadn’t seen before.
I can sit here and rack my brain to give a reason why I thought it was appropriate to share that story with Demi, but it doesn’t matter. It’s an ongoing process for me right now. At the time the Demi situation happened, I was in a relationship. I also don’t have a track record of cheating on partners, going behind peoples back, etc. Not something I can prove to you without rolling out interviews with every ex-girlfriend I’ve ever had. I’m just being as honest as I can be here. The conversation with Demi, however cringey, was not an attempt to get her in bed. It was not an attempt to sexually manipulate her. It was me having a “hey that’s crazy” conversation with someone who a couple weeks earlier said on her podcast she thought I hated her. I immediately DM’ed Demi when I heard that podcast (first ever contact we’d had), and told her that while I didn’t agree with everything she said and did on Colton’s season and on Paradise, I didn’t hate her at all, and, invited her to come on my podcast to talk about it. She responded by thanking me for clarifying and reaching out and that she’d follow up with me on that offer. Clearly that never happened, nor did I go on hers, but we now know why and she had every right to not engage.
I really have to admit, I’m very glad she finally confronted me with how I made her feel. Because now I can use that to learn from it, not only about individual interactions with females, but also this power dynamic that she brought to light. I don’t want to operate that way. I’ve never wanted to operate that way. I never thought I was operating that way. These contestants already know they’re in a fishbowl by going on this show. To feel like I’m holding some power over them, I do not want to be seen that way. I don’t want to make anybody feel that way. And to my knowledge, I have never tried to wield any power over someone to manipulate them.
Kristina did an IG live last week to say this:
One of the things that I’ve learned from this situation is that going forward, I’m not gonna have any sort of personal relationship with these contestants. Because even the times I’ve tried to speak to them in a “looking out for you” way, helping them maybe avoid disaster, etc, it backfires more often than not. I need to draw clearer lines that these are people I’m reporting on not people I have relationships/friendships with.
I have reached out to contestants in the same manner that I reached out to Kristina where it HAS been beneficial. However, those times where I’ve tried to do something good and it’s backfired, I’ve come to realize I just need to let people do what they’re going to do. I don’t think I realized how the set-up, with them as contestants and me as reporting, actually prevents any REAL social relationship from happening. The power dynamic that I’m now aware of prevents genuine behavior, meaning, I can’t be sure if someone actually WANTS to talk to me or not. The good is not outweighing the bad in terms of the impact. I’ve learned that my intent doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how people felt in the aftermath and what they took away from it. I can’t operate out of good intent anymore and hope that’s gonna be what sticks.
The Kristina situation is a perfect example of that. Due the sensitive nature of what I spoke about with her, I will refrain from commenting any further on what she said. I reached out to her as well after seeing this and personally apologized for how I made her feel.
So what am I gonna do going forward? How am I gonna make sure this doesn’t happen again?
I’ve been working with a professional, for a long time, and I’ve been in an ongoing process of moving away from who I once was. I struggle with my process. Clearly. I’m a very private person when it comes to my personal life. You know me, I just don’t put it out there too much. Maybe I should’ve been more of an open book. Could’ve possibly helped people understand me more. But I’m not the person here that was victimized. I’m not the person that needs to be listened to. I’m not the person that’s been hurt. Do I like knowing I hurt somebody else? Absolutely not. So, if you were to ask me how I feel about this? Shitty. Horrible. Awful. Every bad adjective you can think of, I’ve felt that way for the last week. As I should. But this is for me to deal with on my own.
I want to say that although my first apology was rushed, not well written, and interpreted poorly, I have not been angry towards Demi or Bekah. I have not acted out of anger. I’ve let this whole process open me up to a deeper understanding of what’s happening. I’ve welcomed constructive comments, not the ones saying you’re piece of shit, a future rapist, sexual predator, and every other name you can think of. Because if you’re asking yourself that, I’m asking myself the same thing. It has kept me up at night. As much as one person saying this is the way they felt is upsetting, the thought that there could be others, unknown to me, is even more upsetting.
In everything that I’ve tried to do in responding to all of these things, I’ve tried to show an open mind, and a willingness to have this conversation to hear people’s sides and people I’ve interacted with. That’s the most that I can do, which is to try to say that I want to learn from my past mistakes.
In closing, I just wanna say this. I am a developing person. I’m a work in progress. Seeing that mirror being held up to me this last week has been eye opening. No other way to put it. I have a choice to turn away in anger and ignorance, or man up and face it. I feel like I’m facing it. I’ve eagerly opened up to this process. It’s not easy to sit back and hear people carving me up without offering me suggestions. I have no choice but to move forward and try to be better.
There’s gonna be a point where we stop talking about this. This is not what you come to this site or my podcast for, which is to hear from me working through my process. However, I want to let all of you know, that the process is continual and it is ongoing. Just because I’m not talking about it every episode, or addressing every tweet coming at me, or responding to every email sent to me – the process is ongoing.
I’ve personally reached out and attempted to make amends for the things I’ve said and done. If these women now are good with telling their truths that gives them a level of closure with this, I am open to and have been actively trying to offer them an additional level of closure by personally apologizing. Not in public, not on air, I’ve reached out to let them know I’ve heard them, their feelings are valid, and I’m actively trying to take their experiences and learn from them. And that’s my way of acknowledging these circumstances, their feelings, and taking responsibility for my actions. I’m trying to be better from this experience. Because the question is always “How do we move forward?”
We all should be asking ourselves, when we as a nation hear women come forward with their comments and feelings, how do we show we believe them? They should be given priority. But we also have to ask ourselves “What is that way forward?” Now, how do we learn from it? Simply talking about them is a level of healing. The question then comes becomes how do we as a society learn from them and integrate these stories. And that comes from the process of interacting with them, which is what I’m seeking.
I know that I will never please everyone. And some people that read this today will dismiss it, shit on it, not believe it, etc. I can’t concern myself with that. This is my truth right now. I’m going to have a better understanding now of the boundaries of not only women from this franchise, but in general. I want to use this as a learning experience and be better moving forward. There is no other choice.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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