Jerry Springer has defended his Jerry Springer Show over its duty of care, following the deaths of two former guests who had appeared on the talk show.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Springer compared blaming the show for the deaths to blaming a supermarket chain for people dying after they had visited the store, saying that the deaths had happened "months or weeks later.”
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"In both those cases, let's be clear – it was several weeks or months later," he said at the event (via iNews).
"The situation in that life hadn't changed, so it would be the same thing to say that some horrible thing happened because they shopped at Walmart. Two months ago they were at Walmart and you're suing Walmart because they got into an argument at Walmart."
The show has faced lawsuits after the deaths of two former guests.
In 2000, Nancy Campbell-Panitz was killed by her ex-husband just hours after their episode had aired and Nancy's son sued Springer, his producers and his distributor in 2002. Ultimately, the estate of Campbell-Panitz dropped the case, and the show agreed not to countersue for malicious prosecution in a settlement agreement.
Last year, guest Blake Alvey took his own life weeks after his own episode aired, and Alvey's family filed a lawsuit against the TV host and broadcaster NBC earlier this year. That case is still ongoing.
The TV host continued to add that participants on The Jerry Springer Show were fully briefed before they took part, explaining that applicants were asked to approve all 21 possible surprises that could happen on a show before they were accepted as guests.
"When you come on our show, if there is going to be a surprise – a lot of shows don't have surprises – but if there is going to be a surprise, you are given a list of 21 possible surprises ahead of time," he explained at the event, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
Interesting approach to preparing guests on Jerry Springer show, where if they were going to be surprised they were given a list of 21 possible surprises to approve beforehand. #EDTVFEST pic.twitter.com/amG0cCKx5X— EdinburghTVFestival (@EdinburghTVFest) August 23, 2019
"You have to okay all 21 possibilities before you are allowed on the show. You don't know which of the 21 it is going to be but you know it is going to be one of them. If one of them is something you can't accept you don't even get on the show. We don't run into that particular issue."
The Jerry Springer Show ran for nearly 30 years, beginning in September 1991 and ending with its final episode in July 2018.
The series inspired ITV's own The Jeremy Kyle Show, which was cancelled earlier this year after it was revealed that guest Steve Dymond had died following his appearance.
"Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show," ITV said in a statement at the time.
"Everyone at ITV's thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond. The previously announced review of the episode of the show is under way and will continue.
"ITV will continue to work with Jeremy Kyle on other projects."
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