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Thread: BEWARE: Diary of an Affair

  1. #1

    BEWARE: Diary of an Affair

    Based on our experience doing Episode #8 for Diary of an Affair, I
    am trying to get the word out to others what can happen and exactly
    what their rights are once they've told their story. I am posting
    this on every infidelity board/group I can find in hopes of
    educating other couples which may be recruited for future episodes
    (they're recruiting for season #2 now).

    I was pleased overall with the finished product (we feared it could
    be so much worse after seeing some other episodes), and I suppose
    with only 30 minutes to work with, they did a decent job of telling
    our story. However, they did do exactly what we feared in one
    instance. During the interviews, they kept trying to get Brian to
    say how "exciting" the sex was with Jennifer (not her real name),
    and he kept stopping them and adamantly saying "But it wasn't! It
    was the worse sex I've ever experienced. I only kept going back
    because I thought there was something wrong with me because I
    thought I should be enjoying something that was so wrong." Almost
    immediately afterward, the producer said, "Describe what the sex was
    like with Ginger when you guys first got together." His answer was
    inserted to describe his affair. Thank goodness I was here to
    witness that whole exchange. The producer/interviewer even
    commented on how careful Brian was to not say anything racy, despite
    his continual efforts to do so. The closest Brian got was to
    say "It was exciting because I was doing something I wasn't supposed
    to be doing. But the sex was just strictly business, almost
    animalistic." In fact, during the taping, he went on to say
    something to the effect of "It makes me sound like a horrible
    person, but "she" was just a disposable human being. She could have
    been killed in an accident leaving the hotel, and I wouldn't have
    felt anything." I guess they didn't want to hear a description that
    doesn't glamorize an affair.

    The "spin" makes me angry. It just proves their intent was never
    really to tell an accurate variety of stories in hopes of helping
    others in this situation. I would hate to think what might have
    happened had I not been in the room during that conversation and
    first heard it on TV along with everyone else. I would have never
    have taken his word for it if I hadn't witnessed it myself. They
    don't seem to get how fragile marriages are that have survived
    something like this. Or, if they do get it, the ratings and dollar
    signs far outweigh the detrimental effects to the participants. The
    disclaimers pretty much protect them and give them the right to do
    anything they choose for "artistic and creative emphasis", and we
    have zero rights...not even the right to see it prior to the general
    public (probably for exactly this reason). I understand rearranging
    the chronological order of comments to get the story told and
    compress it into a time restraint, but to take something that was
    said about one person and apply it to another (essentially, THE
    ENEMY) is sort of like reporting that one candidate for president
    did something and giving his adversary the credit for it. It's just
    flat wrong.

    The first episode was awful. After seeing that, I immediately
    started freaking out and I specifically worried that they would do
    exactly what they did. I exchanged several e-mails with them in the
    weeks following that first episode communicating our fears and they
    continually reassured us that they would not do that and that we
    would be pleased with the outcome. I have at least a half dozen
    e-mails stating that our story would not be changed and that is
    exactly what has happened. Even the producer/interviewer
    commented that he couldn't "get" Brian to say anything racy
    and called Jane Shayne the evening of the first filming with us to
    ask if the "hot lines" were actually said by Brian in his phone
    interview. At least she was honest enough to tell him "no, but
    she just assumed that it must have been that way". Still, they felt
    the need to insert something that was said about SOMEONE ELSE
    in to describe his affair.

    If you are entertaining the idea of doing this, please be aware that
    this kind of thing can happen and be sure that your marriage is
    strong enough to withstand it should it happen.

    [personal info removed]
    Last edited by John; 12-04-2004 at 07:45 PM.

  2. #2
    I never even heard of this show - what day, time, channel is it on?

  3. #3
    Premium Member speedbump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Charm City
    It's on the Style Network.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  4. #4
    I've never heard of it either. Probably not a lot to worry about since about three people will see it. Those pesky editors , but then that's what "reality" TV is all about.

  5. #5
    Premium Member speedbump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Charm City
    On my way to the IFC channel, I just happened flip by a "Diary of an Affair" marathon today. Coincidence?
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  6. #6
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    in a good place
    Frankly, I'd never heard of the Style network, much less this show. What is this show doing on a network about "style"? Strange.

    Thanks for sharing. FORT members are well aware of the editing angle, and most of us take these shows with a grain of salt.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  7. #7
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    The mitten state
    I've heard of the network.

    The show has been on but I've never been even tempted to see it. (I just notice it on the online TV guide.) I can't imigine why anyone would want to be on or even watch.

    But hey, I've never figured out the allure of NASCAR so what do I know?
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

  8. #8
    Boom Bazooka Joe! Amy Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Not at a Popeyes institution
    The give this show on E! as well. It airs on teusdays at 10:30pm and during the weekend.
    Blow a kiss, fire a gun, we need someone to lean on

  9. #9
    everyone's a critic... holly71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    The Lone Star State
    I watched about 20 minutes of this show on E! last night out of curiosity. I couldn't take it. It just felt wrong.

  10. #10


    We just received an amended copy of our episode of Diary of an Affair. As promised, they removed Brian's comment that was misused and replaced with what he actually said, both on the show and on the Style website. All future airings on both Style and E! should be the new version.

    They had previously edited the show using the comment "When we got hooked up, our sex was like a wildfire, it was hot, it was passionate" to describe his affair (in reality, he made that comment about ME and HIM, not his affair). It has been re-edited to use the comment he actually made in response to their question, which was "It wasn't exciting, there was no passion in it, it was a really empty feeling". Now doesn't THAT change the story?

    When we decided to do this, it was in hopes that our story would help others who were feeling hopeless about rebuilding after infidelity. Because of the distortion, we instead regretted participating in it at all. We are very pleased that they have finally taken responsibility for intentionally distorting our story to sensationalize the affair and taken steps to correct it. The steps they have taken...apologizing for causing us further harm, taking full responsibility and admitting that they did misuse the comment we alleged, and re-editing both the audio and video to retell the story correctly was what we had asked of them since the beginning; although many have told us that the "machine" is simply too big and there are far too many players to ever expect anything of that magnitude. Instead, that is exactly what has taken place...and I have to give a lot of credit to everyone working together to make this happen. I hope our ongoing speaking out has had the desired effect...which is to make the media think twice about sensationalizing infidelity while under the guise of a documentary aimed at helping others. I have been assured that a lesson was learned by all and that nothing like this would happen in the future of Ellman Productions by the producers and Linda Ellman herself.

    I spent a good deal of time posting warnings on the web, some in reality TV chatrooms but mostly in infidelity support sites, where they recruit for future episodes. I have agreed to post updates now that they have made good on their promise to correct their error, and I plan to do just that. I want to thank all of my friends who have helped us with this crusade and should you find my warning posted somewhere that I have failed to also post the update, please let me know so that I can retrace all my steps. Thanks to you all for being there for us!

    Ginger Davis

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