The Story Behind The
Animal Cruelty Planet Debacle
Eight episodes of Ned Bruha, The Skunk Whisperer, repeatedly aired worldwide, but it was not the "American wildlife-saving Okie-Irwin" that producers promised, rather, reality TV trash. Because of the way The Skunk Whisperer®'s ethics and morals were edited and destroyed in Animal Planet's editing room, Bruha could not wait for the show to stop airing. Sadly, each year, and again as early as 2015, it has aired.
According to Animal Planet's Keith Hoffman, Executive Producer and Jason Carey, VP of Production Bruha's show, titled "Ned Bruha, Skunk Whisperer", was unique in several ways. They stated that Bruha's show skipping the pilot phase and going straight to series was "unheard of" for any show and that Bruha "had a tighter contract and more pay than Steve Irwin and was more difficult to work with than Mike Tyson".
Bruha put his foot down and said "If you want fake, illegal, set-up scenes and dramatic trash, get out of Oklahoma and go film Billy the Exterminator because I will not allow it here." Keith Hoffman said, "We are storytellers and we have the right to tell these stories", whereas Bruha believes that their stories indirectly instill fear of animals and trade animal lives for Animal Planet Executives' salaries. With three years of on again and off again filming and 3 different production companies that Bruha refused to work with due to their unethical and illegal demands, Discovery finally stopped filming and left town. That fall, "Animal Cruelty Planet" started airing "Ned's show" world-wide.
As a company, The Skunk Whisperer®, Inc. spent more business and personal money on trying to stay afloat, attorneys, trying to shut down production and stop airing the TV series as they ever made on the show.
During the last telephone conference call with Bruha; Keith Hoffman, along with Jason Carey and Patricia Kollappallil, Senior VP of communications and talent relations of Animal Cruelty Planet, all chuckled when Hoffman said, "We did exactly what you told us to do, Ned, and we have a show about it coming out at the same time your show airs. You said we should go and find some wild man who had fewer teeth, a lower overhead and IQ and would take money to stage scenes with animals and do things you do not consider to be right. It will likely be a huge hit and take yours off the air." Bruha replied, "Thank you, we don't want our show to air; and if you finally got to film what we refused to do, rest assured, it will be your network's downfall".
Enter "Turtle Man, Call of the Wild Man" TV series on Animal Planet - please note all of the articles exposing animal cruelty featured below, which illustrate laws being broken and other infractions against wildlife under Animal Planet's watch and obvious encouragement.
Please read further regarding the producers deceptive editing tactics and how you can help discourage such practices in the future.
Also, please read the section below about other stars' experiences with the network regarding their own shows in our Articles Speaking Out Against Animal Planet Practices section to learn more about what others have also been through with the network. The letter posted by Skunk Whisperer®, Inc., President Betsey Bruha is also a must read regarding how we feel about the show and the actions of it's producers.
The Impact And False Impressions Created By Deceptive Editing
What was supposed to be an educational show for the family to enjoy fell victim to deceptive editing techniques by the show's post production team. This deceptive editing was done without The Skunk Whisperer®'s knowledge or approval. The impact of this editing was devastating, creating false impressions, putting words in Ned Bruha's mouth that were never uttered, and even endangering the lives of both animals and people. On October 4, 2013, Ned Bruha posted a detailed look at just how and why these episodes were so deceptive, as well as a look at the negative impact had by each. It is a must read for anyone who saw the show, cares about wildlife or is considering getting into the world of reality TV.
January 2015 Animal Planet Press Conference
In a press conference on Jan 15, Rich Ross, the new President of Discovery said "fake programming has run its course, and is not right for us". Sadly, the network still airs fake, overly scripted shows with strict adherence to storyboards and is nothing like the pre-2008 home of Steve Irwin, education and family fun. Because of this, we will continue to update and post stories about the Discovery network's fake programming. A few of the production companies that Hoffman and Carey "hand picked" to create "The next Steve Irwin" include a producer of a show advocating felony animal cruelty; Superfine Films, and Goodbye Pictures.
How You Can Be A True Voice For The Animals
You can get involved and be a true voice for the animals by writing or calling the Discovery network's Ethics Hotline to complain.