The following is a letter I sent to Bunim-Murray Productions, the company behind The Real World and The Challenge. I found the company's contact information, and I sent this message to them. Feel free to write your own letter to their attention.
To Whom It May Concern,
I am not sure whom at Bunim-Murray Productions will be reading this. To be honest, I am hoping to get the attention of Jonathan Murray with this letter. As the title indicates, this is in regard to the late Diem Brown.
I know that Battle Of The Exes 2 will be broadcast no matter what. I know that Diem was cast for it, partnered with her on-again/off-again boyfriend, Chris "CT" Tamburello. And I understand that her cancer relapsed in the first competition of the show. What I'm asking is for the footage to be cut out of the finished product. I'm betting that there is a lot of speculation as to whether or not to show them. The way I see it, we're supposed to be thinking about how Diem lived, as opposed to when things started turning against her for the final time. To see her in pain would negate the vibe of the upcoming special -- "We [Heart] Diem" -- that is slated to air on December 9 on MTV.
If I'm speaking honestly, I have a suspicion that Diem's downfall would be broadcast. I feel that Bunim-Murray Productions will not be satisfied unless somebody passes away on camera. I know . . . it's a horrible thought, but it would explain so much. It would make sense to think about that when you cast a person with a compromised immune system on the same show as someone who looked to ooze twelve diseases at any given time (not to mention his ugly disposition), which is what happened twenty years ago on The Real World: San Francisco. It would explain why Frankie Abernathy (cystic fibrosis) was veered towards RW: San Diego and away from Starting Over, with the idea that she could be cast on The Challenge. Had Andrew died after getting knocked over by Ty in RW: D.C., would you have closed up shop for good? And why else would you have drama cases and Section 8s on the show along with a near-infinite supply of alcohol, if not to increase the likelihood of a fatality? Once again. . . I know it's horrible to contemplate, but I never think about stuff like that happening on, say, Survivor. And that's unusual, given that particular program's use of machetes and volatile cast members.
Do me a favor. Do the audience a favor. Do Diem's friends and family a favor. Do not show her and CT on their final Challenge. I know that ousted cast members have been whitewashed from at least one Challenge (Piggy in The Inferno), and I'm sure that even with a sudden mood change, you can make the "story" work. And while I'm at it: end The Real World and The Challenge for good. The Ex-Plosion and Skeletons seasons show a mawkish lurching towards relevancy, and I feel these "twists" do more harm than good. Also, I feel that "regular" cast members like Arielle would be rejected for future exposure to The Challenge. As far as that show is concerned, I feel that the debauchery you seem to love might be muted in future editions in the wake of Diem's passing, given how no repeat Challenger has ever died before (I know about Michelle Parma, but she just did Extreme Challenge). Also, I've come to regard some cast members (particularly the loathsome "Johnny Bananas") as human beings in the past week, and that might be a sign that it's time to pack it in.
Thanks for your time in reading this. I hope to get a response from BMP in the near future. and I hope that you agree with my options for your franchises.
PS: Full disclosure . . . I did send an audition tape for RW: Back to New York, but the preceding letter is not out of bitterness. As somebody who lived near Manhattan at the time and went to school there, I understand the odds of me joining the likes of Coral Smith and Mike Mizanin were very slim at best.