Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Laugh, I nearly did

May 21 2009
Tasteless reality TV show participants were exploited, says Denver Rescue Mission In front of a pile of rubbish and newspapers, five American rough sleepers use an advertiser's deodorant and are instantly surrounded by a group of beautiful young girls. This is just one scene from the trailer of Homeless Real World, a new web TV show expected to be aired sometime this year. Producers from ManiaTV, an online entertainment group founded in Denver, USA, paid a number of rough sleepers $10 (¬£5) a day to appear in the internet spoof of MTV's reality show The Real World. During the filming, the cast had to carry out a series of tasks, including playing golf on a public course, competing in the building of the best cardboard house and doing grocery shopping in a posh neighbourhood. Unsurprisingly, the project was met with exasperation by the local homeless advocates. "The homeless were exploited and used in order to create a sensationalised situation,"Denver Rescue Mission spokeswoman Greta Walker said. "This is a horrible attempt to tell the story of the homeless population in metro Denver." The company defended the show, adding that after its completion several cast members were driven off the streets to rehab centres with the help of the producers. On its site, ManiaTV says: "Instead of following the normal reality formula of exploitation in the name of entertainment, we decided to help these folks along the way. "The result is an expos?© that will make you laugh, cry and, hopefully, think."