It is rare for a contest winner to refuse a prize – especially when it amounts to £10,000 and involves an exotic journey with attractions. But that was the final of the British reality show “There’s something about Miriam”.
The action of the programme takes place in Ibiza, its protagonists are six young men who fight for the heart of a Latin goddess-like woman named Miriam. Miriam, a dark-eyed Mexican model, was chosen by men and considered to be the most attractive of all the beautiful women brought to the program. Adorers, in order to impress their chosen one, turn from males dripping with testosterone into affectionate lovers writing romantic poems to the lady of their hearts or private masseurs rubbing Miriam’s curves. In one of the episodes, slightly drunken men undress hoping perhaps that the sight of their manhood will overwhelm their rivals and immediately win Miriam’s favour. Miriam is not indifferent to the gentlemen’s courtesies, with some of them she has more intimate contacts…
Eventually, after a series of tests examining the bravery, manners and intelligence of her suitors, Miriam chooses the winner. And although the program promises to be like a typical soapy reality show, it is not. From the very first episode the viewers, producers of the show know about it, , so does Miriam. And even the title suggests it (“There’s Something about Miriam…”). The only people who don’t suspect anything are the program’s participants trying to get the heroine’s favour. The point is that the heroine is really…a man. Miriam, as her admirers find out after three weeks of competitions, is a transsexual who, having undergone hormone treatment, is awaiting a sex change.
When the truth comes to light in the last episode, that is to say when men find out that their muse has a penis, the men’s reaction is unambiguous – until recently, the hot love for Miriam, which the gentlemen so rightly claimed, turns into fury, humiliation and shame. As the “Reality World” service quotes, after revealing the secret of the programme, one of the participants, a Royal Navy sailor, starts crying in front of the camera. All this happens with thousands of viewers watching.
But this is not the end of the story. The deceived men decided to vent their anger and accused the creators of the programme, Endemol, of defamation, sexual exploitation (in the programme the characters do not avoid physical contact with Miriam), breach of contract, concealment and moral damage. ,”We feel mentally raped,” says one of the program participants in the “Mirror” magazine. The men chose the famous law firm Skillings as their representative, whose clientele is made up of many showbiz stars. The men’s demands include not only a total ban on broadcasting the program, but also compensation ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 for each participant, says the service “Reality World.” Additionally, Sky One television, which aired the reality show in the UK, had to publicly apologize to its participants of the programme. Despite the efforts of Miriam’s admirers, the program is still on air in other countries. Since the beginning of January, it can be watched by viewers of Polish TVN. Although the programme was very popular in the UK, in an online survey most viewers asked (60.2%) said that the producers had gone too far.