Man, The Discovery Channel may very well be experiencing network rock bottom right now. Anyone reading this site regularly can tell you, we did a pretty thorough dissection of Amish Mafia yesterday (with an Amish man responding to me on Twitter and pretty much proving everything I said) and we are still quite up-in-arms about the fake megalodon documentary Discovery made and tried to pass off as real. But all that is quite minor in comparison to the lawsuit being brought against The Discovery Channel for taking part in the accidental death of three men while working on a show for the channel. Why this is not bigger news right now, we have no idea.
The full story is over at Deadline Hollywood, but the gist is that, while filming an episode for a as-of-now-unknown show about the military for Discovery, an accident occurred where a helicopter crashed into an open field, killing three crew members that were inside. While that alone is quite serious, the real problems for The Discovery Channel come from the fact that survivors of the people who passed are claiming that Discovery knew they could have done more, and the accident resulted in safety measures that are avoided by the network to cut costs and maximize profits.
In simple terms, they are claiming in this lawsuit that the helicopter was unsafe due to negligence on The Discovery Channel’s part.
That is a very heady claim, and with it, whether it is proven true or not, comes a stigma that, right now, the network truly cannot afford. Lying about a giant shark is fairly harmless, as is making a fake show about Amish Mafia that you claim is real is pretty harmless, too. Those are all minor offenses in the big picture. But once accusations are made and people are claiming the network may be responsible for three deaths, that is about as serious as it can get.
The lawsuit was only filed this past Thursday, so we will fill in gaps in this story as more of it leaks. For now, our sympathies go out to the families of those killed in this horrible accident, as well as the lingering question we are all asking ourselves:
What happened to The Discovery Channel?