Discovery's Naked and Afraid has earned a reputation similar to that of Deadliest Catch. Contestants have claimed there are myriad ways the show isn't real, stating that not only were they misrepresented but that Naked and Afraid producers aired outright lies. Many contestants have done interviews or Reddit AMAs to tell their stories, hoping to set the record straight about interactions with their partner, the crew, and locals.
If you've seen The Bachelor or any of the numerous Real Housewives franchises, you've probably guessed that reality TV is on some level scripted. But Naked and Afraid has faked not only dialogue but also causes of injuries, the sources of contestants' food, and the supposed remoteness of the show's filming locations.
They Have Access To Modern Conveniences
In one of several reported instances where contestants gained access to modern amenities, former participant Jeff Zausch said producers gave his partner a tampon while filming the show. Some stars claim to have stolen food and supplements like salt, chocolate, and Emergen-C from the locals and crew.
Honora Bowen, however, stated that producers withheld prescription medication from her. If tampons are okay but prescriptions aren't, the producers have puzzling priorities.
Speaking The Truth Is Not Encouraged
In an interview with former contestant Phaedra Brothers, Brothers says one of the crew members gave her a curry dish that caused food poisoning. The producers encouraged her to go on with the show even though she would begin the challenge in a bad place health-wise.
When her episode was released, producers made it look like she drank dirty water and caused the illness herself. Brothers said she posted comments online about the truth, but Discovery deleted them because they didn't line up with the show's chosen narrative.
Storylines Are Scripted
There are more writers than crew on reality TV shows, which tells you something about how real they truly are. Not only have participants said that producers instigated fights but that they also instructed participants to lie. Honora Bowen said that producers told her to say her magnifying glass was a gift from her father when in reality the crew gave it to Bowen before the show. Bowen also said that her storyline, which revolved around her father's death, was predetermined.
No Prize Money? Yeah Right!
Naked and Afraid claims that contestants brave the wild solely for a sense of personal pride and accomplishment, but former contestants have revealed that Discovery offers an "incentive" to contestants who make it through the full 21-day challenge. The monetary prize given to those who complete the show is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000.