LAS VEGAS — Reality television has been a popular trend for years and Las Vegas is an attractive setting for gritty, sexy shows. But the relationship between the Metropolitan Police Department and reality television is coming under fire, with a lawsuit and questions about spicing action up for the cameras.
The biggest game in reality television is Langley Productions. They created Cops, Inside American Jail and other hard-octane, popular shows. Sheriff Douglas Gillespie says they act professionally but at least one woman’s life has been changed by what happened on camera.
Online, she’s called “Hot Blonde Tina” and now she’s suing. One day changed everything.
“I went to lunch, had a couple Long Islands, and the next thing I know, I woke up in the police station,” said Tina Vlijter who is suing Langley Productions.
She never expected that boozy lunch to end with an appearance on the television show Inside American Jail which caught her experience at the Clark County Detention Center. Created by Langley Productions, the show found Vlijter in CCDC for a DUI arrest in 2008, giggling and acting out. She’s on television because she signed a release form in a blurry haze.
Vlijter says since the show aired, she’s been harassed on the street and online. “I was just devastated. I felt very ashamed,” she said. Her lawyer, Easton Harris, says if the police thought she was too drunk to drive, why would Langley or police think she could sign the release?
Now they are suing Langley and TBS for damages because of what happened. “Are they really in there to document what’s going on? Or are they in there to make a buck?” Harris says it raises serious questions about the role of reality television in the police department.