"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cody Lundin "terminated" by Discovery Channel for being safe?

Cody Lundin of Dual Survival

Reality TV is Dangerous

  • Lundin says. "They asked me many, many times to do stupid shit that I refused to do. 'Fall into cold water so you can get hypothermic.' 'Scale that cliff.'

Editor:  Like many of you I enjoy the different survival programs out there.  These shows reach into our inner caveman core.   But in watching Dual Survival I noticed that Cody Lundin has suddenly vanished. Thank God for Google. Google knows all and sees all.  Enjoy the article.

(TV Guide)  -  On the wall of a tiny wood cabin outside Prescott, Arizona, hangs a large poster of Cody Lundin staring intensely with a thin half-smile. Below him is a quote: "Learn survival skills from an expert." Lundin was one of the stars of the Discovery Channel series Dual Survival for three and a half of the show's first four seasons, until he departed abruptly late last year. He has been a survival instructor, running his Aboriginal Living Skills School, since the early '90s. This cabin is ostensibly the school's store, though there's little for sale beyond some knives, a few magnesium fire-starters, and small tubes of AfterBite.
Outside, it's storming and surprisingly chilly for late August. "It's actually monsoon season," says Lundin over the din of rain and hail pelting the cabin's roof. The flesh-and-blood version of Lundin doesn't look much different from the poster. He's a big dude with broad shoulders, steely blue eyes, and — almost always — bare feet. He wears his sandy-brown hair in two long braids that are tied off with ribbons and held back by a red bandanna. Dressed in a green T-shirt and jean shorts, he looks like a cross between Willie Nelson, Sitting Bull, and Pippi Longstocking.
Dual Survival's premise is to drop two survival experts with opposing philosophies — one, like Lundin, trying to adapt to nature; the other, a military vet, trying to conquer it — into an inhospitable location and watch how they cope for three days while extricating themselves from the situation. When the show debuted in 2010, Lundin was paired with Dave Canterbury, who was billed as an "army-trained sniper." The show was a hit, but after Season 2, reports emerged that Canterbury had exaggerated his military credentials. He was replaced by Joe Teti, a former Special Forces operative. 
The ratings stayed strong, so it came as something of a shock when Lundin was replaced halfway through Season 4 by Matt Graham, another outdoor-skills expert, who had appeared on the Discovery survival show Dude, You're Screwed.
Cody Lundin's energy efficient home in Arizona.
No heating or air conditioning, and yet Cody’s house stays around
72 degrees Fahrenheit. Cody’s website and book explain how he built
his ferrocement house. You could build a house like this with
earthbags on the sides and ferrocement on the roof.


“It’s winter in the high desert as I write this, and last night the thermometer 
outside read 9 degrees F (minus 13 degrees C), a bit colder than typical 
and, ironically, part of the same storm system that left 500,000 people 
without power in the Midwest. Regardless of single-digit temperatures, 
my home remained a cozy 72 degrees F (22 degrees C), and it did so 
without using any conventional energy resources.

Discovery never made an official statement on Lundin's exit, but in an interview, Eileen O'Neill, global group president at Discovery Studios, said, "From time to time we've changed talent on a couple of different shows. It was a matter of freshening the show. Matt brings a different skill set to the more naturalistic approach to survival, so I think it worked out well for everybody in the end."
Well, maybe not everybody. Lundin says he was fired and that his termination was the culmination of several long-running arguments with the network, production company Original Media, and his costars regarding the show's credibility, its commitment to the health and safety of the cast, crew, and viewers, and what he calls an "appalling lack of leadership." (When asked to respond to these and other allegations, Original Media, through its parent company, Endemol, declined to comment on the record.)
"You're dealing with people who have no experience in my profession who are making a show on survival skills," Lundin says. "They asked me many, many times to do stupid s--t that I refused to do. 'Fall into cold water so you can get hypothermic.' 'Scale that cliff.' 'Can you climb that coconut tree?' I try not to put out dangerous s--t that's going to be replicated by someone to their detriment. They hated me for it."
O'Neill says that "Cody's entitled to his opinion," but "health and safety are first and foremost" on all Discovery shows.
What may seem to be simply an argument between an aggrieved ex-reality show star and his former employer is actually much more troubling. The issues at the heart of the Dual Survival dispute, it turns out, are hardly unique. Over the past few years, as the survival-TV genre has exploded, newer shows like Naked and AfraidSurvive the Tribe, and Ultimate Survival Alaska have joined already established franchises like Dual Survival and Survivorman, with many more in the pipeline.
"There's a pioneer spirit that exists in these types of shows, a sense of being the master of your own destiny when you're in a survival situation, that people really find appealing," says Brian Catalina, an executive producer of Ultimate Survival Alaska. "That's a part of our cultural DNA that we're not that far removed from."

Increased competition, though, has created an atmosphere in which each new series seems compelled to prove it's the roughest, toughest, most perilous one. This, in turn, tends to push the casts and crews toward taking more risks or at least appearing as if they're taking more risks. Either way, says Lundin, is a problem. "Reality TV is dangerous," he says, "when it involves professions that can kill people."

Lundin believes survival programming's influence on viewers shouldn't be underestimated. "In a real emergency situation, when people are scared for their lives," he says, "the stuff that starts coming back is what they see off television." Discovery Channel seems inclined to agree. Its 2010 special Discovery Saved My Life featured stories of real people who'd survived harrowing brushes with death thanks to tips they remembered from Man vs. Wild and other shows on the network. But if Discovery claims this kind of credit, shouldn't it also have to accept a measure of responsibility when things go bad? "The problem is dead people don't talk," Lundin says. "If this TV craze was about the medical profession, people would be in jail."

Read the full article . . . .

Dual Survival - Season 1 - Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury

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