You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

VH1, 51 Minds Try to Weasel Out of Ryan Jenkins Story

Reports that Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured on the VH1 shows “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and the upcoming “I Love Money” — was found dead in Canada shouldn’t allow the producers or the network to weasel out of further explanation for their apparent failure in vetting their “talent.”

VH1 simply punted responsibility to the production company, 51 Minds, which as The Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes reported, put out a mealy-mouthed, “Golly-Gee-How-Did-This-Happen” statement that read as follows:

51 Minds was not aware of Ryan Jenkins’ record when it cast him
on “Megan Wants a Millionaire.” Obviously, if the company had been
given a full picture of his background, he would never have been
allowed on the show.

The company did have in place what it thought was a thorough
vetting process that involved complete background checks by an outside
company for all contestants on its shows. Clearly, the process did not
work properly in this case.

All well and good, except that’s asking us to simply trust that the company’s process has worked properly in the past, or that, indeed, it even employs rigorous vetting. That’s hard to believe here, since there were plenty of warning flags that Jenkins was a sleazebag. And VH1 can’t simply hide behind the “We didn’t produce it” defense, since the network is ultimately responsible for what it airs.

The bottom line is that while this story is going to cool now that the manhunt phase is over — as TMZ moves on to some fresh outrage — VH1 and 51 Minds need to be transparent about what went wrong if this case was indeed an anomaly and must demonstrate how the “problem” has been corrected.

As I said the first time I wrote about this, an old adage comes to mind in this world of seeking outlandish characters to feature in unscripted TV shows — namely, the warning that when you lie down with dogs, you run the risk of getting up with fleas.

More Voices

  • Scrips Discovery Partnership

    A Merger Between Scripps and Discovery Could Be a Smart Fit

    Reports that Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured on the VH1 shows “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and the upcoming “I Love Money” — was found dead in Canada shouldn’t allow the producers or the network to weasel out of further explanation for their apparent failure in vetting their “talent.” VH1 simply punted responsibility to […]

  • profiles theatre Sexual Harassment

    Sexual Harassment in the Theater: How Chicago Fought Back

    Reports that Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured on the VH1 shows “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and the upcoming “I Love Money” — was found dead in Canada shouldn’t allow the producers or the network to weasel out of further explanation for their apparent failure in vetting their “talent.” VH1 simply punted responsibility to […]

  • TV Television problems Expenses Placeholder

    Netflix Has Secret Weapon in Hollywood's Multibillion-Dollar Arms Race

    Reports that Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured on the VH1 shows “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and the upcoming “I Love Money” — was found dead in Canada shouldn’t allow the producers or the network to weasel out of further explanation for their apparent failure in vetting their “talent.” VH1 simply punted responsibility to […]

  • sweeney Todd Barrow Street Theatre

    Commercial Off Broadway Isn't Dead -- It's Turning Into Broadway

    Reports that Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured on the VH1 shows “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and the upcoming “I Love Money” — was found dead in Canada shouldn’t allow the producers or the network to weasel out of further explanation for their apparent failure in vetting their “talent.” VH1 simply punted responsibility to […]

  • Edie Windsor Appreciation

    GLAAD President Reflects on Edie Windsor's Impact on LGBTQ Community

    Reports that Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured on the VH1 shows “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and the upcoming “I Love Money” — was found dead in Canada shouldn’t allow the producers or the network to weasel out of further explanation for their apparent failure in vetting their “talent.” VH1 simply punted responsibility to […]

  • Game of Thrones

    Networks' Streaming Apps Make Minimal Revenue Impact (For Now)

    Reports that Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured on the VH1 shows “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and the upcoming “I Love Money” — was found dead in Canada shouldn’t allow the producers or the network to weasel out of further explanation for their apparent failure in vetting their “talent.” VH1 simply punted responsibility to […]

  • Avatar

    3D Shows Enduring Value, Delivering Entertainment Not Found at Home (Guest Column)

    Reports that Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured on the VH1 shows “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and the upcoming “I Love Money” — was found dead in Canada shouldn’t allow the producers or the network to weasel out of further explanation for their apparent failure in vetting their “talent.” VH1 simply punted responsibility to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content