A British reality TV crew has been accused of spreading a virus (other than reality television) while meeting with isolated tribes in Peru. The crew visited native populations far upriver even though an American anthropologist and the government warned them not to. Now four are dead and others seriously ill in a flu epidemic Indian rights activists are blaming on the TV scouts. Reality TV company Cicada Films, responsible for documentaries like "Ancient Plastic Surgery" and "Fat Fiancées," insists it behaved responsibly and did not spread any disease. (The company is believed to have been scouting for "Mark And Olly," pictured.) The American anthropologist is not so sure:

The US anthropologist, Dr Glenn Shepard, who met the film team on location, said he urged them not to make the "risky and distant" trip to the Cumerjali settlements, where isolated people were vulnerable to western illnesses.

In a written statement he said the film-makers complained that reality TV demanded that the groups filmed were not westernised. "Reality TV has caused production companies and TV channels to seek ever more dangerous, remote, extreme and exotic locales and communities."

In other words, the industrialized world has become so thoroughly saturated with reality television than no one has a sufficiently "real," original personality anymore. Reality television is becoming a big meta clusterfuck.

So the reality TV companies are having to go deep into the wilderness in search of the last people not spoiled by the celebrity-industrial complex, and in the process turned themselves into not just a metaphorical but also a literal plague onto the world.

That actually would make for a wicked reality television show. Hopefully they got everything on tape!

Guardian: British reality TV crew accused as flu kills four in isolated Peruvian tribe