For a show that never mentions condoms, Fox TV’s Studs is seeking an awful lot of protection. The show — a raunchier version of Love Connection — requires its contestants to sign an unusual release form. The waiver exonerates the show from any mishaps that might befall them, such as rape, AIDS, murder, or lawsuits.
In signing the form, contestants agree ”that it is my responsibility to minimize the risk of the types of harm that may occur in the course of social encounters of this nature.” Those ”types of harm” include ”non-consensual physical contact; communicable sexual disease; personal injury or property damage; permanent disability or death resulting therefrom; emotional distress; (and) invasion of privacy, slander or libel.”
In other words, if things don’t go swimmingly, don’t go complaining to Studs’ producer Howard Schultz, who recently declined Charlton Heston’s suggestion that the show screen contestants for HIV. Like murder and rape, Schultz, said the responsibility for HIV testing ”rests with the individual.”
Since Studs debuted last March, all of its contestants have signed the waiver, and Fox says no one has suffered harm. All Beth Grossbard, director of publicity for Fox Television Stations Productions, will say is that she thinks the release form is ”well written.”