MTV Real World Contract: Rape and Assault Possible, Pregnancy Gets You Canned

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The Village Voice got its newsprint-stained hands on an unsigned copy of the 30-page contract MTV gives to Real World cast members. It pretty much absolves MTV of any responsibility, and lets cast know they may be treated in totally inhuman ways, but especially if they’re female.

All cast members regardless of gender are made aware they might be subjected to “non-consensual physical contact which could result in which could result in my contracting of any type of sexually transmitted disease, including without limitation, HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Chlamydia, scabies (crabs), hepatitis, genital warts, and other communicable and sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.”

So Real World peeps, you might get raped. Because as it says in the contract, MTV producers are not liable for conducting background checks on potential cast members, and even if they do, they don’t have to share the results with you. BUT, if you’re raped AND get pregnant (read: female), then you’re really in trouble. Section 38 of the contract stipulates that cast members not be pregnant when they start production, and not become pregnant while filming the show. If someone does get pregnant, regardless of how they got that way, they must tell the producer immediately because pregnancy is grounds for dismissal. Interestingly, if you get someone pregnant while on Real World, you are not on the chopping block.

The whole thing’s pretty vile, though, regardless of whether you can get pregnant or not. Here’s the full contract.




Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend