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Channel 4 viewers disgusted ‘painful and upsetting’ reality series was ever made-Ruth Lawes-Entertainment – Metro

The programme aired 20 years ago on British TV.

Channel 4 viewers disgusted ‘painful and upsetting’ reality series was ever made-Ruth Lawes-Entertainment – Metro

Viewers were horrified over the premise for There’s Something About Miriam (Picture: Sky)

Channel 4 viewers are disturbed that ‘truly shocking’ 00s reality series There’s Something About Miriam was allowed to air.

The 2004 Sky show followed a group of British men competing to win the affection of the late Mexican model Miriam Rivera, then 21, and a £10,000 cash prize.

Rivera, who was a trans woman, was told to keep her gender identity secret throughout the series until the final stage.

As the British Medical Journal explained: ‘The premise was not a celebration of transgender people’s lives. It was designed to elicit horror from the winning contestant, discovering that his dream date had a penis.’

Rivera’s experience on There’s Something About Miriam is being explored on Channel 4 documentary Miriam: Death of a Reality Star.

The three-part series also examines the budding starlet’s life after the TV show until her death in 2019.

Rivera was found dead in her mother’s apartment with her death officially recorded as suicide.

In the show, men competed to win Rivera’s affection but she was not allowed to tell them her gender identity (Picture: AAP Image/David Brown)

After watching the first episode of the docuseries tonight, viewers on social media found it hard to believe that a show like Something Like Miriam was made.

On X, Julia Raeside wrote: ‘Watching #MiriamDeathOfARealityStar on @channel4 It’s hard to believe it was made, even back then. The way they treated her was without empathy, as the big joke they’d pull at the end. Truly shocking television.’

Broadcaster India Willoughby added: ‘I’m in #Miriam, but not sure I can watch all of this. Too painful and upsetting. Good on @Channel4 thoughfor telling a trans story using actual trans people – so exceptionally rare in Terf Britain. Representation is the key.’

Echoing their sentiment, Ben Murray remarked: ‘Just 20 years ago. Jesus wept. Didn’t realise #miriam had passed on. Reality Tv was really on its backside back then.’

In a statement shared with Channel 4, Banijay, which acquired There’s Something About Miriam producer Endemol in 2020, said: ‘Banijay does not in any way support the editorial concept or production processes of the show. We champion inclusivity and prioritise welfare. The management responsible for this show no longer work with the company.’

A spokesperson for Sky said: ‘The show was removed from all Sky platforms many years ago. The series has not been reflective of Sky’s attitudes towards gender identity for a long time and we apologise for the hurt caused by it.’

The producer Remy Blumenfeld said in statement: ‘We acknowledge the shock and surprise of Miriam’s disclosure and we understand the ripple effect the series has had. We stand by the apology, issued in 2004, for any upset caused to the contestants.

Rivera died in 2019 and her death was recorded by officials as a suicide(Picture: AAPIMAGE)

‘Miriam’s input in the making of the series was very important to us and we workied closely with her to support her throughout. She was a kind, brave, sensitive and intelligent woman. Thankfully there’s more understanding of trans people today than when the show aired.’

The initial airing of There’s Something about Miriam was delayed by a year after all six men who featured launched a joint lawsuit for conspiracy to commit sexual assault, defamation, breach of contract and personal injury for the psychological and emotional damage.

Eventually the case was settled for an undisclosed sum, but each is believed to have received around £500,000 each.

In the years before her death, she did not work in showbiz or modelling (Picture: AAP Image/David Brown)

Three years after There’s Something About Miriam aired, Rivera suffered a shocking assault, being pushed out of a fourth-storey window of her New York apartment.

She later disappeared for six months, claiming she had been kidnapped at gunpoint.

In the years after, Rivera spent most of her time in Europe and never again engaged in showbiz, modelling or music.

In 2019, she was found dead aged 39 although her death was not revealed publicly until six months later.

Miriam: Death of a Reality Star continues on Channel 4 tomorrow at 9pm.

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