Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Monday, February 17, 2003

scare tactics

Zap2it | TV: NEWS: Sci Fi's 'Scare Tactics' Faces Lawsuit: A hidden-camera show called "Scare Tactics," scheduled to premiere in the spring on the Sci Fi Channel, is facing a lawsuit. [...] A Los Angeles woman named Kara Blanc is suing the cable channel, "Scare Tactics" creators Scott Hallock and Kevin Healey and two actors who took part in the stunt in which Blanc was unwittingly involved, the Los Angeles Times reports. Blanc claims she suffered physical and psychological trauma as the result of witnessing a violent encounter with a "space alien" -- one of the performers on the show -- that she believed to be real.

On the one hand ... this lawsuit looks vaguely bogus, based on the admittedly quite limited information in the Zap2It article.

On the other hand .... I kind of hope that SciFi loses.

See, thing is, I've never entirely gotten the concept of this sort of entertainment. Not beyond a very stringent limit, anyway. The Jamie Kennedy Experiment? Not funny. Mind, it's not very good, but mostly, it's just not funny. Candid Camera, in its various incarnations? Eh. Whatever.

It's just never seemed exceptionally amusing to me to put people into odd situations so that we can laugh at the fact that we know something that they don't, so that we can feel terribly superior.

But you know ... if this type of show is going to go down -- and it really should -- you kind of hope it would be on something more meaningful than a lawsuit essentially alleging, "I was taumatized by faux aliens!"

Posted by iain at 10:00 PM in category



Seems to me like Ms. Blanc's situation is a little different from Candid Camera and the feeling of superiority we get while laughing at a cute prank. The sense of superiority enjoyed by the producers of "Scare Tactic" was gained because someone thought she was in immediate danger. Laughing at a pretty woman who thinks she may die...that's just sick.

Posted by Fran Stardust at February 19, 2003 12:41 AM

From what i've read, the aforementioned violent encounter involved her two companions, the actors she's also suing, being "murdered" right in front of her. That's going far beyond a prank. Events like that can easily cause psychological damage such as PTSD, and Kara Blanc is completely justified in suing for that.

Posted by Torwyn at February 22, 2003 11:24 PM

I actually hope that one of the people they pull their stunts on carries a weapon & they (Scott Hallock and Kevin Healey) end up w/ some real deaths on their hands. Then these reality shows will hopefully all go bye bye.

Posted by Arthur McHenry at March 2, 2003 08:33 PM

Terrifying a person on this level goes beyond bad taste. It's sick and disturbing. I bothers me even more knowing it was done to entertain and amuse a TV audience. I hope she wins a huge settlement from these jerks. Maybe then the producers of these will open their eyes and realize that doing things like this to people is totally unacceptable.

Posted by Phil Fornabaio at March 5, 2003 04:11 PM

I am a great fan of scary things, we set up for halloween every year have things drop in front of people and scarey props that move and scare people and every one has a good time, yes even the people we scare. ms.Blanc needs to grow up,you have to be a total idiot to believe that it was a real alien attack. all the people who posted here i guess have never played a joke or trick , pulled a prank on anyone, Yea post what you feel is the popular thing instead of looking at the whole picture. the idea is to give everyone a laugh all be it at someone elses expence. but you would think she would have realized they weren't real and its a joke . Ms. Blanc was embarressed and is now using it to sue.if this bothered her mentally she must not have been too stable to begin with!!

Posted by irene at March 30, 2003 11:33 AM

I am addressing this to Mr. Mc Henry. this is a post board ment to post opinions, which you and i have both done and is not intented for you or any one else to send unwanted e-mails to the postee's. I have received and answered your e-mail i do not wish to receive any e-mails from you or any one from this post board, to do so will be considered HARRASSMENT ! thankyou!!

Posted by irene at March 30, 2003 01:27 PM

i've watched both shows laughed my butt.i do agree it does go a bit far.the one called flatliners really pushed it.i would of crapped my pants.the repo guy was pretty good too.i think it would screw you up for alittle while.all in all its a good show.

Posted by gene at April 15, 2003 09:46 PM

I hope and pray Kara Blanc LOSSES! People sue for the stupidest things now a days and this is no different. I can sue someone for just looking at me. This is a hilirious show and to sue for a prank like that, now THAT'S sick.

Posted by SSTrunks at April 17, 2003 08:40 PM

I'm suing my parents for the way I turned out. I'm suing my highschool coach for no putting me on the team. I'm suing my boss for not giving me my much deserved promotion. I'm suing you for offending me. And I'm suing you for offending me!!
Hey lets sue life for being unfair. Poor me, feel bad for me. Suing someone for somthing stupid doesn't accomplish anything. I agree that she feels stupid for actually believing that she was about to be killed by aliens. She's embarrassed because her friends probably chuckle at her and give her a hard time. Boo Hoo. Grow up.

Posted by JR at April 18, 2003 10:02 AM

like I stated before.I actually hope that one of the people they pull their stunts on carries a weapon & they (Scott Hallock and Kevin Healey) end up w/ some real deaths on their hands. Then these reality shows will hopefully all go bye bye.

Posted by Arthur McHenry at April 22, 2003 03:03 AM

If this is what passes for entertainment we have fallen to new lows of depravity. It is one thing to present fictionalized violence. It is another to put someone in a situation that may send them into cardiac arrest. Maybe "alien abduction" is farfetched, but the snippet I saw while awaiting a show I regularly watch--knife wielding axe murderer who stabs your friend-- is sick beyond belief. If someone perped something like that on me I'd kick their sorry butt. I hope this suit wins, because this is show is an affront to decency. If this is how you get your jollies watch Friday the 13th, but don't inflict this sick, sick joke on some poor innocent.

Posted by James MacT. at April 25, 2003 01:50 PM

This show is just messed up. It is cruel and way beyond the limits of what our society should accept. I am a very liberal person, however I think this crosses the line of humor in to cruelty. If you see someone dye, or get in an accident, or feel your life threatened, you can suffere severe psychological trauma, and anyone who disagrees should consult some psychology texts. Now, after it's all said and done and someone tells you it's fake, does that mean everything you've felt and experienced goes away too? No. You're still left with the very real feelings of terror, and although their impact may be lessened it still exits. Cancel this show! Let's have something with actual entertainment value, not something that a couple of high school kids with behavior problems would dream up and find amusing.

Posted by Aint Skeered at May 2, 2003 09:36 PM

OMG PEOPLE!!!!!! Reading these posts I get the feeling you are all over 40 with no sense of humor on a new generation level whatsoever. I am late 20's and have worked in the haunted house industry for over 11 years, every year thousands of people come out to huanted houses to get scared on a level thier friends cannot take it to, well this show lets thier friends take it too that upper level. You dont like the show DON'T WATCH, just like I don't watch your shows which I find boring, you don't hear me saying to take them off, I JUST CHANGE THE CHANNEL!!!!!!!!! As for a lawsuit on this show..PLEASE, you got scared and now your friends laugh at you. well booo hoo...grow up and think of a way to get your friends back. These are unsuspecting people yes, BUT THEY ARE ALL SET UP BY THIER FRIENDS who are in the scenes with them. These actors are doing thier job, and they should in no way be subject to such a STUPID lawsuit. If she wins this lawsuit it will only cause for more and more lawsuits of frivilous stature to re-appear, just like this lawsuit has because of people suing Mcdonalds because coffee is duh coffee hot??? no way when did that happen. STOP ALL THE UNNECCESARY LAWSUITS AND LEAVE OPEN COURTS FOR REAL CASES.

Posted by mr-scary at May 3, 2003 12:08 AM

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