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March 12, 2013  | by: Meaghan "Chas" Kerin
Flickr (jingdianmeinv1)

Flickr (jingdianmeinv1)

Most of us remember the crazy antics of MTV star Kristin Cavallari on both Laguna Beach and The Hills. She was amazingly unpredictable, ready to engage in a cat fight or pursue a new boy at a moment’s notice. This kind of behavior made her all the more entertaining, and in a new E! News interview, Cavallari claims that an MTV producer realized this fact and did anything possible to exaggerate her problems for rating purposes. 

Apparently, in an upcoming E! special Cavallari reveals to Juliana Rancic that her costars on The Hills were bribed with money and Birkin bags in order to spread rumors about Cavallari’s drug problems. It’s hard to know what is true and what is false when it comes to reality TV, but given the extent to which Cavallari was portrayed as the “bad girl” on both Laguna and its spin-off, I’m inclined to believe that not everything we hear about her is true.

There was simply too much weight placed on the picture of Lauren Conrad as the nice girl who was constantly battling Cavallari, particularly in the romantic parts of her life (both girls were involved with Stephen Colletti and Brody Jenner – on air, at least). It doesn’t seem realistic that Cavallari’s problems were as bad as her costars revealed, nor does it seem plausible that everyone else is entirely innocent of bad behavior throughout their reality TV stardom. When Audrina Patridge and Lo Bosworth confront Cavallari about her partying on one season premier of The Hillsthe girls don’t seem to be taking it very seriously. In my opinion, if you are truly worried about a friend’s drug abuse, you would not approach her about it on television or in such a flippant manner. 

What bothers me so much about this is not that what we saw on reality TV was not necessarily the truth–we all are aware that those shows are scripted. What seems to be a bigger problem for me is that Cavallari’s public persona was permanently tainted by a producer trying to increase ratings on a short-lived TV series. Of course, she signed up for the show voluntarily and being involved with it certainly had its benefits (she’s still maintains her fame and is now engaged to hockey star Jay Cutler), but Cavallari makes a good point when she notes that, at 16, she was still a “baby” when she agreed to participate in Laguna Beach.

Ultimately, it’s hard to know who to blame with these kinds of issues; does Cavallari really have the right to complain about the drug abuse rumors, since it is a small price to pay given the fame that ensued from the show? Or is there something that needs to be done on the part of MTV to repay Cavallari for her ugly reputation? I’m not sure where I fall, but I think it’s an ethical question that needs to be raised when discussing the popularity of reality TV shows.

What do you think about Cavallari’s new interview? Do you feel badly for her, or do you think it’s just another publicity stunt? Let us know!

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