Wednesday, April 27, 2011

RealWorld Stud Secret Revealed: The "Other Shoe" Drops

On tonight's episode of MTV's guilty (but predictable) pleasure The Real World, fresh-faced hottie Dustin Zito revealed his big secret:
He appeared on a gay porn site.

Earlier this month, blogs over the net were abuzz with chatter that MTV was waging a campaign to remove Dustin's pictures and videos from the sites he appeared on when he was 19 and 20 years old (FratMen and FratPad).  Some naievely thought censorship, others cynically alleged marketing, so what was it really?

Based on the (highly edited) episode of The Real World: Las Vegas that aired tonight, it is clear that Dustin (who performed his adult work under the name "Spencer" apparently) is now somewhat conflicted about his decision to join the boys over at FratMen/FratPad, at least in as far as it poses an obstacle to scoring with chicks.  He tries to distance himself from the work by mixing homophobic (or just plain "huh?") remarks with the basic "I was young and impressionable" defense in conversations with his room-mates.  Later on the "aftershow" MTV probes more deeply into Dustin's motives and his "closet porn-star" status.  MTV (through aftershow host Chet) attempts to further imply Dustin was somehow victimized or exploited by pointing out that the producer of Dustin's adult shenanigans has experienced an 11% increase in membership and is now "sporting a gold watch" as a result of the controversy.

Anybody who knows anything about The Real World, MTV or the general SOP for casting a reality show knows that MTV, through their show producers, did a thorough background check of Dustin, ESPECIALLY any entertainment work in his past, regardless of alias (in fact, Dustin and the rest of the cast members were probably all party to legal agreements putting them at significant financial liability for failing to disclose any such "secrets" from their past that could work their way onto the show).

So who, I ask, was exploited in all this? Maybe the reactions of the room-mates?  The viewers? (at least the ones who haven't yet heard of the world wide interwebs) Certainly not poor Dustin, who stands to benefit from his Real World: Las Vegas controversy (once a reality star, ALWAYS a reality star) via MTV programs, sex tapes, personal appearances, future adult work, etc.

Destructive personal scandal?  The nasty side-effect of intrusive reality shows?  How about deftly-crafted marketing strategy?  Well played Dustin/Spencer and company, well played.

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