VH1 canceled “Megan Wants a Millionaire,” a reality television show and put another under review after charges that a cast member had killed his ex-wife and fled to Canada. The New York Times said the case “cast an unsettling light on the casting practices of reality television, in particular the sometimes tawdry shows broadcast by VH1, a unit of Viacom.” Ryan Jenkins, called the “smooth operator” on “Megan,” was charged with the murder of Jasmine Fiore, his former wife. Her mutilated body was found last week in Orange County, Ca., two days after Jenkins was paid for appearing on a second VH1 show, “I Love Money 3.” Jenkins apparently committed suicide in a British Columbia motel.
The allegations against Jenkins, a 31-year-old womanizer, raised questions about the vetting of contestants after it emerged he had a criminal history, one that 51 Minds Entertainment, which produced the show, said it did not know about when he was cast. He was convicted two years ago for assaulting a woman in his native Calgary, and he was charged in June with misdemeanor battery after he was accused of hitting Fiore in the arm, the Associated Press reported. Andy Dehnart, the editor of realityblurred.com, a Web site about reality television, said that VH1's “abdication of responsibility is totally disingenuous.” He added, “The network has built a brand on unstable, crazy people interacting on these idiotic and mindless dating shows, and can't pretend to not have anything to do with it.