According to an exclusive from Page Six, several television networks have reportedly hired famous private investigator Edward Myers to examine stars’ social media pages for racism. CBS, MTV, Showtime, and VH1 are among the networks listed in the article.
The decision comes on the heels of the worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism, which kicked off shortly after George Floyd’s highly publicized death. The protests have encouraged many people in the entertainment industry to come forward about racism they’ve experienced firsthand on various projects.
Many networks have also made promises to crack down on their respective television show casts. Most notably, Bravo recently fired Vanderpump Rules stars Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Brett Caprioni, and Max Boyens for alleged racist actions in the past. The CW also fired The Flash star Hartley Sawyer for a series of offensive tweets.
An additional incident took place on Tuesday with Peter Hunziker from Below Deck: Mediterranean being let go due to a reportedly racist Instagram post.
To try and prevent more scandals, networks are supposedly taking precautions by hiring “California-based firm Edward Myers & Associates” to investigate celebrity social media pages.
Page Six reported that several sources indicated networks wanted to be made aware of any potential “offensive posts” and have them removed before they could be leaked to the public and “embarrass their bosses.”
“Myers describes himself as an ‘investigation and risk assessment specialist’ and offers services such as ‘surveillance and counter-surveillance,’ as well as ‘intelligence gathering,’” the article detailed.
Myers has also previously “worked as an investigator for LA County’s ‘hardcore gang division,’” and “for Jeff Bezos’ private security chief, Gavin de Becker.”
Insiders have stated letters were mailed to several stars to let them know about the firm’s planned investigatory action.
Among the many shows that will have their casts’ social media scoped out are allegedly RuPaul’s Drag Race, Teen Mom, Love & Hip Hop, Jersey Shore, Dating Naked, and more.
That said, the article does not go into detail about how networks will deal with posts deemed harmful or inappropriate. It is not clear if the people in question will be fired or if their posts will simply be deleted without word of the incidents leaking to viewers.
On Twitter, some folks thought the news was a step in the direction for television networks. However, others felt the tactic would wind up making it easier for “racists” to get away with past bad behavior.
“This is how #McCarthyism started,” tweeted one concerned user.