My name is Alan Gerson and I am the President and CEO of Sullivan Compliance Company, a third party independent consulting company which has regularly worked with every major Television and Cable network, Streaming services and most leading producers of game and reality competition programs since 1992. The focus of our Company’s services is to help producers of these programs insure that Today’s Game and Competition programs are conducted fairly and honestly and according to their rules and in a manner that does not mislead the public.
I feel compelled to write to counter what I consider to be a false implication, published by a recent VOX print and video article headlined: Why cheating is allowed on game shows! This headline, in my opinion, does a disservice to the vast majority of producers and distributors of Televised and Streamed game and competition programs and to their viewers. In my personal experience it is simply not true that “Cheating is allowed” on these programs. I believe that the vast majority of today’s producers and distributors of game and competition programs understand that there are federal laws that prohibit quiz rigging in broadcast and cable television shows and that they place equal importance to their professional and economic success to protecting public confidence in the integrity of such programs. streaming This has led major services like Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon and others, in addition to all the major broadcast and cable distribution networks to hire Sullivan to review their rules and security procedures in advance and often employ us to be present at the recording of these programs to ensure that the rules and security procedures are consistently and fairly applied during production. Of course, many of these entities also have internal legal and Standards and Practices staff who also review the rules and procedures put in place on game and competition programs. Of course, mistakes can be made but it is not generally true that cheating is “allowed.”
My company Sullivan Compliance Company has in fact been providing Compliance consulting services to producers and distributors of Game and Competition programs since 1992. We have worked on literally thousands of different game and competition programs to help insure that these programs and their rules and related security procedures regarding the selection of contestants, the selection and confidentiality of questions and answers and the integrity of Competition show challenges protect against misleading the audiences or disadvantaging any competitors. While we cannot speak to every program since there are many we do not have as clients, Producers of these shows are absolutely aware of these issues and protective of their contestants and their audiences. We work with our clients to ensure that there are randomization processes in place to that it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for anyone to know for certain exactly which questions were being asked of which contestants. We also work with our clients to fully disclose all the rules and procedures in place to protect the integrity of the programs to the contestants.
I did find the historical summaries in the article to be generally fair and accurate. However, the Headline created an impression that the full article did not really support. In my opinion, the industry does take the responsibly to protect contestants and to not mislead their audiences very seriously and it is incorrect to imply that cheating is “allowed.”
Alan H. Gerson