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What You Didn't Know About The Camera Crew On My 600-Lb Life

Since its debut in 2012, "My 600-lb Life" remains one of TLC's most enduring programs. The reality series sees extremely overweight people take the steps needed to qualify for weight-loss surgery through the strict lifestyle changes given to them by Dr. Nowzaradan, also known as Dr. Now. Their journeys often see these brave individuals go through immense challenges and hurdles, between fighting ingrained habits and working through the emotional and mental issues that are inextricably linked with their dietary behaviors.

Filming any reality series is full of challenges for both those in front of and behind the camera. Given the premise of the TLC series, it's not hard to imagine that the difficulties of filming "My 600-lb Life" are increased tenfold given many of the challenges faced by the participants. So, what is filming like on such a show as "My 600-lb Life?" And, more importantly, how are the show's participants treated during filming? Well, some of the show's past participants have voiced their strong opinions on what such an experience was like for them. 

Filming takes a toll on participants

Over the years, participants from throughout the "My 600-lb Life" run have opened up about their treatment on the show. While participants are compensated and have their medical expenses taken care of (via Starcasam), the work involved is nevertheless grueling. Season 3's Amber Rachdi called out the show in a 2017 Facebook comment. When asked if she'd be featured in the show's spin-off series "My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?" she replied, "With all due respect to the folks who make this show their livelihood, it was a crummy experience." She went on to say, "They assumed we would be difficult and were rather forceful with their demands? It didn't feel good, respectful, or mutually beneficial working with the production." Rachdi concluded she was not interested in returning to that kind of dynamic.

One of the series' most memorable participants, Steven Assanti of the Assanti brothers, recorded a now-deleted Facebook video (via Starcasm) where he answers a fan's question regarding the show's legitimacy. Assanti answers, "Is this show real? Yes. Is it acting? No. Is it exhausting? Yes. Very. So exhausting to the point that there are days that I don't even want to film." He continues on about the difficulties of filming, saying, "I try to avoid being filmed, but the camera crew — especially one of them in particular — is so persistent that he will continue to knock on the door, and knock on the door, and knock on the door until you can't stand it anymore ... It's just a lot of work."