Saar Sheinfine, the runner up in the second season of the israeli version of the Big Brother hit TV series, and now a local celebrity thanks to the intense media coverage the program receives, issued proceedings in the Tel Aviv local court today against the producer of the program, Kuperman Productions and the programs psychiatrist, Dr. Ilan Rabinowitch. According to an article published in Israel’s leading news website, Ynet, Mr. Sheinfine is suing for damages to the sum of INS 2,500,000 (approx 500,000 euros) claiming that his participation in the program has rendered him 30% disabled. According to Sheinfine, at quite an early stage in the program he wanted to leave, but was convinced otherwise by the programs production team and the programs psychiatrist, who allegedly also persuaded Scheinfine to take psychiatric drugs.
Participants in such high profile programs usually sign very “tight” agreements which are meant to protect the programs production company, the broadcaster and key personel from exactly such scenarios. In this respect, it will be interesting to see how the agreement Mr. Sheinfine signed fares this storm. Mr. Sheinfine, has obviously taken into account that the pressure he is putting on the powers that be, may force them to reach an out of court settlement with him. But even there Keshet will be taking a huge risk given that any settlement, even out of court, may encourage other participants to take a similar path. There is much at stake here not only for the broadcaster of the program Keshet Broadcasting, but also for other production companies, all eagre to see this saga unravel.
Given the public nature of the proceedings, the Israeli public and broadcasting media professionals will receive an unprecedented insight into the behind the scenes workings of Israel’s most popular TV program.