President Obama to Appear on NBC’s ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls’

Barack Obama Gay Marriage Supreme Court
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The campaign trails probably never got as rough as this.

President Barack Obama will trek through the Alaskan wilderness with survival expert Bear Grylls for a special edition of NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” it was announced Monday by NBC and producer Electus.

The episode, which will be taped and air later this year, is meant to call attention to the effects of climate change on that area.

Grylls recently shared a tweet from Obama that quoted from one of the Commander in Chief’s weekly addresses that said, “As long as I’m president, America will lead the world to meet the threat of climate change.”

The second season of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” is currently airing and has paired the survivalist with Kate Winslet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and other famous names determined to test their physical limits. The season finale, which airs Sept. 7, will feature New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Needless to say, Obama will become the first U.S. president to receive a crash course in survival techniques from Grylls.

This is the latest attempt by Obama to use the entertainment world to promote his missions. In July, he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit a federal prison — an event that was part of a Vice documentary scheduled to air in September. Other examples include an appearance on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast, where he famously used the “n-word” in a harsh conversation about race in this country, and an interview with naturalist David Attenborough that aired on BBC America. On the lighter side, he’s also sharing his musical tastes via Spotify.

This event was not meat with complete support. Hours after the announcement of the special, PETA released a statement that highlighted past criticism of Grylls’ programs.

“Bear Grylls’ shows are known as the bottom of the barrel in demeaning sexist, speciesist, and who knows what other “-ist” TV reality shows—and that’s certainly saying something,” said PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. “These internationally condemned programs, on which women have been bullied into slitting a baby pig’s throat and eating a mouse soaked in urine, are the last place for the 44th president to be seen. There are far better ways to get the message about global climate change out than by appearing on this disgusting show.”

Along with Grylls, Obama’s “Running Wild” journey will be produced by Delbert Shoopman and Dave Pearce of Bear Grylls Ventures, and Chris Grant, Viki Cacciatore and Liz Schulze of Electus.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 28

Leave a Reply

28 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Trump2016 says:

    Obama going on Grylls show is a slap in the face to all the homeless vets, families struggling to find work, people with disabilities who keep getting a budget cut, elderly who are still abused daily in their care homes.

  2. Hey there might be a bright spot here, Bigfoot might carry him off! Nah, Bigfoot has better taste.

  3. Did nobody else catch this? This is hilarious!

    “This event was not **meat** with complete support. Hours after the announcement of the special, PETA released a statement that highlighted past criticism of Grylls’ programs.”

    • Joy Nevin says:

      Young TV commentators (Alison and Adam in Roanoke, VA), policemen are being shot to death in Texas, Illinois, and elsewhere without any provocation, and our narcissistic USPresident is seeking the lime light yet again by starring on a TV show, shot in Alaska wilderness. Does he care at all about our American people? No, not by my standards….

      • A Democrat Pony says:

        Why do you think he doesn’t care? He is taking this opportunity to connect with American citizens. These days, the youth focus more on pop culture and follow trends that the Kardashians set or survival shows like The Walking Dead. Needless to say, the Bear Grylls survival show will show people that he is not a robot and only human. They get to know his personality better and start to see the good things he has done.

  4. Sila says:

    I really enjoy this show ! Good for Obama. I believe PETA is misrepresenting the Program. Bear Grylls never asks the women or men to either do or eat anything he doesn’t. I’ve never seen him ‘force’ anyone on the program to do anything. A ‘pig’ was never killed…it was a mouse. They eat what is at hand, but never domesticated animals. He shows a real respect for nature. The show IS about wilderness survival after all.

  5. RKM says:

    Yeah, this will be really awesome, just Bear and Obama.
    plus bears camera crew, about 1000 reporters, a couple of dozen secret service guys to check and be sure everything is safe, Obama’s personal entourage including cooks and people to set up a nice cozy tent, cot, sleeping bag (or a full sixed bed, blankets etc…).
    This is as phony as the 1 trillion dollar bill made of rubber with Obama picture someone got me off ebay.
    But then so are both Bear and Obama.

  6. Peta needs to get with the times..His show is meant to show what someone can do if the need to survive if they ever are in that type of situation..Ask any one of those people that have already done the show and see what they have to say..

    • daf says:

      Just a quick defence for bear here(not really bothered about the other fella), in regards to being fake.He is former SAS and certainly not fake. yes, SOME of the scenarios are set up for ‘entertainment puposes’ but the skills needed and adapted are defo real.

  7. Gerald says:

    I seriously doubt the show will be like the other episodes.
    This is not a vacation but work. A 21st century way of addressing the people.
    Yes, the presence of 7 billion people affects everything, including climate.

  8. Carlos says:

    I will never watch any program with Bear Grylls. The problem is that Bear is very good at what he does, but pairing with a president is just not right

  9. Al Swearengen says:

    That quote from PETA is so ridiculous. No wonder people don’t take that organization seriously.

    • RKM says:

      unfortunately what bear does is not survival. it is a group of camera guys running around casing after someone doing stunts in a pre arranged area. bear is no better than the crap survival stuff he endorses.
      tried them myself before making comments on them. don’t buy them as they are cheap and either break or don’t work.

  10. Surdy says:

    Obama keeps on proving how wrong it was to elect him as the first black president.

  11. NT says:

    There are a whole lot more important things this president should be doing for our nation than getting on a popular survival show… with how many body guards and at what cost to taxpayers? This is just a publicity stunt for Obama, but unfortunately an offer that Bear is not in the position to refuse.

  12. journeyman says:

    Maybe he’ll learn the health benefits of drinking camel piss. http://islamqa.info/en/83423

  13. C. Thrasher says:

    Who cares

  14. ogr8bearded1 says:

    I can’t wait to see him repelling down a cliff. First 15 Secret Service Agents go down, then the President followed by 15 more Secret Service Agents.

  15. Chris says:

    This is just stupid! I think Bear is awesome, but seriously, shouldn’t the president be actually doing his job? Instead of going on vacation and being onTV?

    • RKM says:

      what you wouldn’t see is that Obama would be fastened on with about 5 back up ropes and lowered down with a winch or the climber below him guiding him down. this is show that you show really by a book to read instead. Bear is a goof ball fake and the list for Obama and his issues just goes on forever.

    • k says:

      You need time off in every job.

      • Ine Martin says:

        If you have children you might want to think of the message the President is trying to get across: the deteriorating climate, especially in Alaska

  16. larry says:

    Hey, Bear….. Lose him out there! We’ll mount an heroic search and rescue operation in Washington DC. I tell you we’ll carpet the DC pavement with S&R golf carts.

  17. Lauren Young says:

    Hey Mr. President! You’ve got a dozen murdered policemen in the past month, racial tensions rising, a debt crisis and the DOW declining. Why don’t you take a break from being a celebripolitician and address the nation?

  18. Maybe he will get eaten by a grizzly, while he’s there.

  19. Hopefully Obama won’t wear his mom jeans when he’s “roughing it up” with Bear. As for “climate change”, it’s just a part of Earth’s cycle. Puny man can’t change climate for bad or good.

    • joe says:

      as for climate change denialists who time and time again resort to tired ass foxnews/fuel industry disinformation, it’s just a part of the inbred mentality of redneck confederate america.

      Bob, your kind will be of little consequence to our future, and for this I thank you.

  20. a1phab3t says:

    Regarding the Maron interview, perhaps the word “candid” would have been more appropriate than “harsh”.

More TV News from Variety

Loading