Kidney Donor Reality Show Was a Hoax

Broadcaster draws praise for raising awareness of transplant-organ shortage
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2007 10:48 AM CDT

A controversial Dutch reality show featuring a dying woman’s choice of a kidney recipient aired last night—and was revealed as a hoax. The "donor" was an actor; the contestants were real patients who were in on the prank. A producer said the goal was to call attention to the shortage of donor organs, adding, "We have succeeded in spades."

The "Big Donor Show" may just gain esteem now, the Guardian reports. The Dutch PM criticized the program, but the education minister told Reuters it was a “fantastic stunt.” Producer Endemol was seen as mending fences after it ran into trouble with "Big Brother," but the Dutch broadcaster had a personal stake—its founder died of kidney failure. (More reality TV stories.)

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