European Reality Show Goes Wrong
June 25, 2004 -- ENDEMOL, the European studio behind "Big Brother," has been sued for accidentally slaughtering 16 hens and ducks on the set of a French TV reality show inspired by "The Simple Life."
The birds, which ran loose on the set of "La Ferme Celebrites" ("The Celebrity Farm") — a show in which a group of ex-models, TV hosts and a former beauty queen are forced to live together on a farm for two months — dropped dead after they were exposed to toxic glue used on the studio floor, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Endemol France, a division of the studio producing the show, was slapped with the lawsuit by the animal's provider, Arts France, after the birds died.
Arts France managing director Alain Jaillard, who regularly provides animals to the sets of TV shows and movies, says that since his company began working with the show, he has been prevented from protecting his animals from accidents.
The fowl play ending came after a string of mishaps on the show, in which other animals were injured during the filming.
Last May, the show's mascot, a crested gray cockerel (a fancy chicken) was crushed under a bale of hay, and a pony injured its leg when it fell down a flight of stairs, according to Jaillard.
Although "La Ferme Celebrites" is based on the popular Fox show, "The Simple Life," the two shows couldn't be more different. About the only thing the two shows have in common are rich celebrities doing things they would never do if it wasn't made for TV.