MTV's reality show Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet desecrated the nesting habitat of the endangered leatherback sea turtles when film crews set up a volleyball game for a recent taping of the show. Environmental group Sea Turtle Restoration Project stated, "Heavy equipment, the presence of about 90 film crews and the removal of sand blocked numerous turtles from nesting and destroyed an estimated eight nests containing approximately 400 eggs. Numerous other eggs are now buried beneath densely compacted sand without any hope for escape for the hatchlings."
"We are calling for MTV to contribute to efforts to repair the damage they caused to the beach, contribute to ongoing sea turtle conservation efforts and negotiate a code of conduct that can be a model for Hollywood," said Robert Ovetz of the STRP. Ovetz said that MTV refused requests to move the filming to other beaches in the area that were not sea turtle habitats.
For its part, MTV says its crew wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Save Our Sea Turtles."
The Real World is the progenitor of the reality television genre, telling the story of a group of narcissistic young people--made up of frat boys, goth chicks, and other assorted "types"--who are thrust into a house together and have the minutiae of their lives filmed, including arguments about who made out with whom, who binge drank with whom in what Jacuzzi, and who cut the cheese. Road Rules is similar to The Real World except it takes place on a bus. The Gauntlet is a Survivor-type contest between former casts of the two shows.
Hopefully, a solution can be found that respects nature, frat boys, and media corporations.