Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 8th, 2005
Be forewarned that currently a certain cable program is looking for a cryptozoologist to hold up to ridicule on their show. They are stepping up their attempts to find someone for a cryptozoology attack episode.
I was approached by them before the Bates Symposium. They wanted to supposedly interview me about the history of cryptozoology. However, I knew their technique is one in which they use clips of experts on the subjects they wish to ridicule, then with vigor and in nasty interjects, brutally make fun of the individual and the subject.
They wanted me to sign a long release written to protect them. I merely required that they include a short paragraph in their multiple page release, for my protection too.
I wrote the producer:
"…considering the nature of the xxxx & xxxxxx program…I will need your taping release to contain language that specifically notes that the primary production contractor and all subcontractors, as well as the network(s) where any broadcast and repeat broadcasts of this program will screen my ‘appearance’ must ensure that all of these individuals, companies and their agents will not portray talent (Loren Coleman) in any fashion that could be construed as derogatory, malicious, base, defaming, cutting, malevolent, maligning, minimizing, opprobrious, reproachful, sarcastic, or otherwise in a negative light."
"I don’t think this will be a problem if your intent, as noted during our phone conversation, is to employ me for historical, background, and balance, in terms of cryptozoology."
They refused to change their release, instead noting that the show could not "guarantee there won’t be some ribbing – this is afterall, a documentary with a strong emphasis on humor and a strong dose of xxxx & xxxxxx program’s opinions."
Well, the show is hardly a documentary, but more a highly editorialized program that appears to be built purely on sarcastic and skeptical views of various subjects they self-define as "fringe." They tried to get other people at the Bates College Cryptozoology Symposium to be interviewed. They attempted to get the university to agree to interviews. None of this worked.
After noting that some people "receive some comedic treatment from xxxx & xxxxxx based upon what they say," the producer then attempted to tell me I was more or less a fool for not appearing because it was "a national, 4-time Emmy award-nominated series and [guests] get a great plug for their books, services or whatever their line of business may be."
My response was a "no thank you," and I added: "I am not interested in publicity for publicity’s stake, and this offer does not meet my needs for allowing a valid and credible public understanding of cryptozoology. I believe you may be under a misconception that I am open to appearing on any kind of program, national or local, because I want, as you note, a "great plug for [my] books, services or whatever [your] line of business may be." Such a misunderstanding may be at the foundation of why this would not work."
If you are cryptozoologist, be careful of television program producers bearing no flexibility in their guest releases or not able to give you any assurances they will present you the way you may wish to be presented. Don’t forget, your words may be used against you and the subject, especially in this and similar biting treatments of the subject.
Now I am hearing they are approaching others.