Earlier this week, the Discovery Channel kicked off its annual Shark Week with a fake documentary, Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives. The film, which was not initially labeled as fake, led viewers to believe that the extinct Megalodon was still around and responsible for sinking a ship. It soon became obvious, of course, that the documentary was fake, but that didn’t stop furious Discovery viewers from throwing a giant hissy fit.
One of those viewers was Wil Wheaton, King of the Nerds, an inspiration to newborns who also has the miraculous power of healing. He is, without a doubt, one of the nicest, coolest, neatest people on the planet, and he already had a lifetime pass from me for playing Gordy in Stand By Me.
Anyway, in an open letter on his website, an enraged Wil Wheaton took the channel to task, explaining why he was so upset that Discovery aired Megalodon and why the network should be ashamed of itself for ruining Shark Week.
I care about education. I care about science. I care about inspiring people to learn about the world and universe around us. Sharks are fascinating, and megalodon was an absolutely incredible creature! Discovery had a chance to get its audience thinking about what the oceans were like when megalodon roamed and hunted in them. It had a chance to even show what could possibly happen if there were something that large and predatory in the ocean today … but Discovery Channel did not do that. In a cynical ploy for ratings, the network deliberately lied to its audience and presented fiction as fact. Discovery Channel betrayed its audience.
An entire generation has grown up watching Discovery Channel, learning about science and biology and physics, and that generation trusts Discovery Channel. We tune into Discovery Channel programming with the reasonable expectation that whatever we’re going to watch will be informative and truthful. We can trust Discovery Channel to educate us and our children about the world around us! That’s why we watch it in the first place!
Last night, Discovery Channel betrayed that trust during its biggest viewing week of the year … That is disgusting, and whoever made that decision should be ashamed! … There is nothing high quality or enlightening about deliberately misleading your audience during what is historically an informative and awesome week of programming.
Someone from the network should … apologize for deliberately misleading [their audience], and recommit to providing the highest quality content this week, and every other week out of the year.
No doubt, y’all. Shark Week is sacred. It’s the one week every August where families can come together and learn and bask in the glory of these powerful, deadly creatures. NOT COOL, DISCOVERY CHANNEL.
Wil Wheaton is not someone you want to piss off, and more importantly, not someone you want to let down.
(Source: Wil Wheaton dot net)