Proof That Storage Wars Is Totally Fake


The Storage Wars myth of finding the coolest
and most valuable treasures simply by opening the right locker is about as realistic as
The Goonies. Here are the reasons why what you see on the
show is anything but reality. Dave Hester, one of the stars of A&E’s Storage
Wars, not only told the world the show was fake, he laid it all down in a lawsuit he
filed against the network in late 2012. According to ABC, Hester filed the lawsuit
because he said A&E fired him for complaining about all the fakery. Hester alleged wrongful termination, unfair
business practices and breach of contract, and made it very clear in his suit that the
show is staged: “[The] defendants…would like the public
to believe that the Series presents a genuine and accurate portrayal of the abandoned storage
locker auction process. The truth, however, is that nearly every aspect
of the series is faked.” There’s always been speculation that Storage
Wars and other reality TV programs are fake, but when a reality star actually comes forward
and says so on an actual legal document, it can get kind of hard to keep suspending that
disbelief. Hester’s lawsuit referred to a “contest” and
“contestants,” and seemed to allege that Storage Wars is a game show that’s been rigged. A&E, on the other hand, said the show is protected
by the First Amendment, which basically gives producers the right to run it however they
like. “Does it really matter if the games are rigged? No!” “The games are rigged?” “Yes!” It’s kind of a strange argument that, essentially,
lies are protected by the First Amendment. A&E seems to basically be admitting that it’s
all just a ruse. But it does make a certain weird kind of sense
if you also consider that scripted dramas don’t have an obligation to tell the truth. Really the only thing that separates reality
television from scripted television is perception. You might suppose that reality TV is supposed
to be real, but there aren’t any laws that say it has to be. Hester did not initially emerge triumphant
in the suit, but it wasn’t because the judge decided the show was on the up-and-up. The judge actually decided that all the fakery
was fine, because it was, quote, “expressive free speech.” According to Screener, the judge ultimately
decided that Hester wasn’t specific enough with his accusations of wrongful termination
and threw out the case, but he also said Hester could refile, with a more specific accusation. That’s what Hester did, and in July 2014,
the case was finally settled for an undisclosed amount. The settlement really only addressed the accusations
of wrongful termination, not the fakery accusations, so reality TV can just go on doing what it’s
always done. Because if fake reality television is simply
“expressive free speech,” then there really isn’t any expectation of honesty between reality
TV producers and their audiences, at least legally. Here’s the punchline: According to International
Business Times, after the lawsuit was over, A&E welcomed Hester back to the show. Hester was a popular character, and before
his return, the show’s ratings were on the decline. Plus, on-screen conflict is great for reality
television, and you can’t really sue your employer and come back to the office without
some residual tension lingering around. “This is America. I can say whatever I want.” Beyond that, there are some more sinister
reasons why keeping Hester close is probably a good thing for the network. We’ve already seen what happens when he’s
not working for A&E. Under contract, he’s probably more likely
to refrain from ratting out all the fakery at his first opportunity. What better way to make sure a former employee
stays loyal than to make him an employee again? The show’s producers are used to the accusations. The summer before Hester filed his lawsuit,
executive producer Thom Beers defended the show during a panel discussion sponsored by
the National Geographic Channel. When one of the panelists said something about
the rumors that the containers on Storage Wars were, quote, “salted,” Beers said, “Nope. I can honestly tell you that the stuff found
in those containers are found in storage containers.” His statement left a lot of wiggle room. If the stuff was bought at antique stores,
then transported to storage containers, then technically that statement would still be
accurate. Beers also went on to say that they might
have 20 or 30 auctions, and occasionally just combine their finds into one locker so they
don’t have to film all the lockers individually. That’s not exactly “salting,” but it isn’t
reality, either. In that same National Geographic panel, Beers
also admitted to scripting interviews with cast members. It was excused as a substitute for narration,
because no one likes to listen to those deadpan off-camera narrators. Beers said: “I have to admit: There’s some writing involved. We do it in Storage Wars, we do it in America’s
Lost Treasures…I’m so tired of narration driving story.” Stars are given about half their lines, according
to Beers, so they can tell their own stories. That seems like a minor offense compared to
some of the other things Storage Wars has been accused of. And anyway, it’s not like anyone was actually
fooled by the stellar acting chops of the Storage Wars stars. “Are you guys gonna be able to rummage through
stuff in dresses like that?” “We can rummage through anything with anything
on.” On the other hand, is it reality if it’s scripted? And more importantly, is reality more important
than the quality of the entertainment? According to Business Insider, Hester lobbed
a whole lot of accusations at the show, and one of those was that instead of just letting
the drama unfold, the network would sometimes pay for the lockers bid on by less experienced
members of the cast so the playing field would be even. So while the bigger, more established storage
locker moguls were using their own money to invest in lockers, the smaller businesses
were depending on A&E to keep them in the game. Admittedly, it wouldn’t be much of a war if
one of the armies had an overwhelming advantage. Plus, if you’re going to let your “weaker”
cast members go bankrupt on bad purchases or get constantly outbid because they lack
capital, you’re going to have an unsustainably high turnover in your cast. So from a pragmatic standpoint, this is probably
one A&E’s lesser accused crimes. According to Business Insider, Hester’s lawsuit
also weirdly called out another particular act of fakery, claiming: “Nearly every aspect of the Series is faked,
even down to the plastic surgery that one of the female cast members underwent in order
to create more ‘sex appeal’ for the show.” That particular accusation led fans to speculate
about who went under the knife. It does seem like kind of a low blow on Hester’s
part. The show might be fake, and one of the women
on it might have had plastic surgery, but it seems like there’s plenty of ammunition
against the network without having to drag other cast members into it. Before the stars of Storage Wars can find
treasure among the cardboard and Rubbermaid, there first must be an auction. And the auction has to be fun and exciting,
or viewers will say forget it and watch Better Call Saul instead. “Saul Goodman?” “Yeah, it’s like, ‘s’all good, man.'” “That guy has a lot of energy.” Hester’s complaint claimed A&E would often
fake the auctions themselves. The suit stated: “While on location filming an auction, Defendants
also film footage of the cast members and the public bidding when no actual auction
is taking place, in order to make it appear that any of the cast members is bidding at
any given auction, whether or not he or she is actually bidding on the unit.” There’s some other, lesser fakery related
to the auctions. For example, the cameras follow cast members
as they leave before the end of the auction, presumably to inspect the contents of the
locker they just bought, but the winning bidder usually isn’t allowed to see the inside of
the locker until the day after the auction. According to Radar Online, the accusations
of “salting” aren’t unfounded. There is a paper trail that shows stuff was
planted inside storage lockers. A source with behind-the-scenes knowledge
reportedly approached the outlet, claiming: “There are invoices, checks, and other documentation
where the production company actually compensated cast members for supplying items that were
planted in the lockers and then ‘discovered’ on camera.” The source explained that cast members would
charge A&E a rental fee if they would put their own valuable stuff in the storage lockers
to later be found. Because this was essentially a business transaction,
there are receipts and invoices and checks that provide evidence of fakery. Another anonymous source, speaking to NPR’s
On the Media in 2012, said he was acquainted with someone whose job was to purchase the
antiques that the producers would then plant in the storage lockers. Sometimes, producers would even have things
appraised weeks before the cast members actually “discovered” it on camera. The anonymous reality television employee
who spoke to On the Media also had some damning things to say about the appraisers themselves. He said the show would bring items found in
lockers “…to appraisers, which were not always,
or even often, actual appraisers…And knowing that ruins the excitement of the show.” So: the auctions aren’t always auctions, the
items found in the storage lockers aren’t always found in the storage lockers, and the
appraisers who decide the value of the items aren’t actually appraisers, and therefore
probably don’t know what they’re talking about. Also, the stars say lines fed to them by the
producers, and the whole thing is tainted by network cash. What channel is Better Call Saul on again? “And that includes the nine airings at 3:20
in the afternoon on channel KWBV. That is a prime slot!” Anyone who has ever owned a storage unit can
tell you what a normal storage unit actually looks like: It’s full of spiders, everything
is covered in dust, the boxes have all been haphazardly piled because it’s really just
junk that you don’t want to deal with right now, and the monthly storage fee seems worth
it compared to losing a weekend decluttering when you could be half asleep on your couch
watching Storage Wars. If you pay attention to the show, you know
that neatly arranged storage units tend to have elevated chances of containing valuable
items. And if it’s true that the storage units are
salted, it seems logical that they’re also staged to fit the narrative. Before there was Storage Wars, there was Antiques
Roadshow, the original television series for finding out the value of an attic knick-knack,
and the best way to watch people attempt to be gracious as a polite appraiser crushes
their dreams by telling them that the terrifying doll they found in Grandma’s basement isn’t
worth a wooden nickel. Antiques Roadshow has actual antiques and
collectibles cred, and guess what, they totally think Storage Wars is fake. Antiques Roadshow executive producer Marsha
Bemko [BEM-koh] said in an interview, “It’s an entertainment show.” She added that she thinks shows in the genre
help generate interest in antiques, which is ultimately good for her show, too. She also pointed out that the appraisers on
Antiques Roadshow are more likely to provide a fair assessment of the items that are featured
on the show, since they don’t have a financial stake in the buying or selling of those items. One of the show’s appraisers added, “I think it’s also important to remember that
those shows are totally staged…Is it really reasonable to think that someone on ‘Storage
Locker Wars’ is going to find a $100,000 item that somebody left in a storage locker?” The show isn’t called “Storage Locker Wars,”
but point taken. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
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33 Replies to “Proof That Storage Wars Is Totally Fake”

  1. Storage Wars is hyping the practice of digging through trash in hopes of finding a gem. If the owner couldn’t bother continue paying for the locker why would you think there would be anything good in there. Half these idiots own thrift stores so that’s all the proof you need.

  2. british make a show and use a real appraiser cast – does well

    USA sees it "we need to copy that, make it bigger, script it and get views."

    The british make top gear with 3 people who genuinely hate one another

    USA and autralia see it and copy it

    Dear America. Stop copying the UK.

  3. I knew storage war was a fake from the first airing. Here is how I knew, while it is not outside the realm of possibility that riches will be found in the storage locker. It usually involves favorable conditions to go your way 1 it usually happens in a transient town San Diego, Reno, or other military towns. 2 it usually means that the person that put the valuable item in storage and forgot about it which is rare (but does happen ). 3 Depending on the state, the storage company has to make a good faith effort to contact the next of kin, (if the owner dies ) 4. If the ower does die, and next of kin cannot be found then they must contact the police to make sure it is not evidence. It can happen but is rare

  4. ALL "reality shows" are fake. Impractical jokers, carbonaro effect, basketball/rock/racing wives, all the ghost shows, everything you see on tv is fake n staged.

  5. They’re all fake, the whole lot of them. The only reason they exist is because cheap networks found a way to have programming without paying over paid actors. So, now all that’s left is over paid bad actor wannabes.
    Cut the cable folks.

  6. Why is it that there was a scandal about 'Quiz Show' where they were rigging the quiz show. There were investigations into that on the basis that they were committing fraud against the public.

  7. we all know Tv is rigged.. But They probably shouldn't have some players playing with personal money.. other playing with show money for the bidding.

  8. Storage Wars Texas faked? Storage Wars New York faked? Storage Wars Canada faked? (Yep, there was a Storage Wars Canada, shown on Outdoor Life Network there. Lasted a couple seasons, similar format to the U.S. series, but no auction assistant with "Don't forget to paaaaaaay the lady!")

  9. They could turn my everyday life into a reality series..But I'm not fake so it would be pretty boring 90% of the time, with 10% crazyness..

  10. watched 1 episode when the locker was opened there was a monopoly game with tape blocking the name because copyrights so yeah all fake

  11. Here's a clue: ALL so-called "reality" shows are FAKE, SCRIPTED BULLSHIT! They are proof that gullible people will watch literally ANYTHING on TV, no matter how stupid, phony, and pointless.

  12. Hester being a dick wasn't fake. My parents tried to actually buy furniture from his store in Orange Co, but he was a total dick to them in real life and lost a sale…lol. I met Jared at his Now and Then store, he was a much better salesman. TV shows are industry advertisements, after all the 2008-2015 foreclosures, the storage industry had a lot of product to move. Therefore, make shows to dupe people into thinking they will strike it rich buying leftover storage junk….kinda like rebuilding and flipping homes is for real estate industry and local gov't taxes. Programming your brain!

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