Gordon Ramsay is not a faker. Or so he tells TelevisionWeek, regarding charges that he planted rotten meat and set up a wobbly chair to make Dillons restaurant look bad for an episode of his Kitchen Nightmares series. The real problem isn’t reality TV’s iffy relationship with reality, he says; the real problem is the United States’ outrageously litigious bent:
I would never-ever-ever dream of setting anything up. I want to sleep at night. We were issued a writ because, God bless America, if the toilet paper is not thick enough and you come out with a rash on your ass [you’ll get sued].
Trying to say I set up a wobbly chair. This is supposed to be the most powerful nation in the world, not the most pathetic.
The Dillons lawsuit was dismissed earlier this month and ordered into arbitration. Ramsay beat similar charges in 2006, when he won a libel suit against a British newspaper that reported on a restaurant manager’s charges that he’d planted fake evidence. Back then he also avowed, “We’ve never done anything in a cynical, fake way.”
Personally, while I’m not sure where I stand on U.S. litigiousness, and I don’t find Ramsay exactly credible, it’s hard for me to have much sympathy for the people filing suit in these cases. Whether or not Ramsay does plant false evidence, by signing up for the show, the restaurant owners are publicly admitting their businesses are failures, right? What did these general managers think was going to happen? Hugs all around?
Fox says it plans to air the Dillons episode. The new season of Kitchen Nightmares starts September 19.