I learned a new legal term today. I don't say "wow" because my legal vocabulary is so extraordinary that it would be unusual for me to learn a new legal term. I say "wow" because it blows my mind that you can sue someone for this.
Case in point:
So lemme get this straight...
You agreed to go on this reality TV show, correct?
You knew you were going to be filmed and put on national TV, right?
You drank a hefty amount of alcohol?
You made a fool of yourself in front of the cameras?
Aaaaaand now you think MTV should pay you $5 million fooooooor... what exactly?
Invasion of privacy under the "false light" tort.
Wait, but you agreed to be on the show, correct?
You knew they were going to film you and put you on national TV, correct?
So somehow it's MTV's fault that you drank too much and behaved poorly in front of the camera???
I was pretty darn sure the high-paid lawyers who work for the networks would have put some sort of silly legal disclaimer in the contract about, "If I act like a dumbass in front of the camera, it's my own darned fault and I can't sue the network because it's not their fault that I'm a dumbass."
Then I looked up "false light" on wikipedia. This part blows my mind:
False light differs from defamation primarily in being intended "to protect the plaintiff's mental or emotional well-being" rather than protect a plaintiff's reputation as is the case with the tort of defamation and in being about the impression created rather than being about true or false.
So you can't sue them for defamation because (a) it's TRUE that you drank too much and acted like an idiot in front of the camera on national TV, and (b) you're not trying to protect your reputation. However, you CAN sue them for showing the world that you ARE an idiot and because it adversely impacted your emotional well-being???
I can imagine some circumstances in which I've done something dumb, but figured nobody needed to know, and if someone published or broadcast it then I would be upset that everyone knew I was an idiot. In this case though, you AGREED to go on TELEVISION. You VOLUNTEERED for them to broadcast your behavior to the world - good or bad, so if you behaved badly, then it's your own darn fault!!!
I suppose I should just feel glad that if I ever do make a fool of myself in public, I can sue people for publicizing my stupidity and affecting my emotional well being. Ahhh, the American legal system! :-)