VH1 on Monday yanked its new reality docu-soap, “Ev and Ocho,” starring two of its better-known reality stars, after one was arrested on a domestic violence charge.
Longtime NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson — aka the Former Chad Ochocinco — was picked up Saturday evening after allegedly head-butting his new wife (and star of “Basketball Wives”) Evelyn Lozada, who had a three-inch gash on her head, according to media accounts that cited the arrest report.
Ochocinco is a VH1 veteran, having starred in the network’s dating competition series, “The Ultimate Catch.” He played the “ultimate catch.” Ironic, huh?
The Miami Dolphins, for which Johnson was supposed to play this season, said Sunday that they’d terminated his contract. Before that announcement, Miami head coach Joe Philbin said at a Sunday news conference that he planned to “speak with Chad directly” about the situation, CNN reported.
VH1, which had been so looking forward to next month’s debut of “Ev & Ocho,” instead wound up scrubbing the show, even though the first season was already in the can. The show was to document “the journey of this charismatic and passionate couple’s every step, as they prepare to walk down the aisle and into each other’s hearts forever.”
“Due to the unfortunate events over the weekend and the seriousness of the allegations, VH1 is pulling the series ‘Ev and Ocho’ from its schedule and has no current plans of airing it,” the network said Monday on its Web site.
According to the arrest report, the couple began to argue Saturday evening over a receipt for a box of condoms, and things escalated.
The confluence of reality TV and “reality” comes for VH1 almost three years after the Viacom-owned network had to throw in the towel on two reality series — “Megan Wants a Millionaire” and “I Love Money 3” — when a competitor on both shows, Ryan Jenkins, was found dead of an apparent suicide after being accused of killing his ex-wife.
‘Stripes’ under fire
A group of Nobel Peace Prize winners has spoken out against NBC’s new reality series, “Stars Earn Stripes,” because, the laureates say, “war isn’t entertainment.”
“This program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence,” the laureates wrote to NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, producer Mark Burnett and Gen. Wesley Clark, who’s hosting the competition series.
The show is “a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent,” the Nobel laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said in a letter, which was sent to reporters Monday by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, a group created in 2006 by six female Nobel Peace Prize winners.
A rep for the Nobel Women’s Initiative told the Post that the organization is in regular contact with the male Nobel Prize winners, such as the ones listed on the letter.
“Trying to somehow sanitize war by likening it to an athletic competition further calls into question the morality and ethics of linking the military anywhere with the entertainment industry in barely veiled efforts to make war and its multitudinous costs more palatable to the public,” the letter continued.
“Stars Earn Stripes,” which is set to debut Monday and which NBC plugged relentlessly during the London Olympics, “pairs minor celebrities with U.S. military personnel and puts them through simulated military training, including some live fire drills and helicopter drops,” the letter noted.
An NBC spokesman responded Monday: “ ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ is about thanking the young Americans who are in harm’s way every day. This show is not a glorification of war, but a glorification of service.”
To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/tvblog.