A $100 million lawsuit has been filed against NBC by a former contestant who appeared last season on its hit reality competition, “The Biggest Loser,” and cut off his leg in a desperate attempt to win that episode’s weekly weigh-in. According to Marshall Gladstone, the attorney representing former reality star turned amputee, Joe Furlong, he believes a jury will side with his client after he proves in court that NBC’s exploitive practices on “The Biggest Loser” pushes obese people too far.
“My client joined the show at 438 pounds and hadn’t worked out since they made him run the mile in middle school gym class,” Gladstone told Hollywood & Swine. “The producers of ‘The Biggest Loser’ starved my client and made him work out to the point of exhaustion on a weekly basis. Of course he was bound to snap. It also didn’t help that Mr. Furlong’s trainer, Jillian Michaels, constantly yelled at him to do whatever it took to lose weight.”
Furlong’s dismemberment on live television turned out to be the second most shocking moment on Season 15 of “The Biggest Loser,” coming a close second to the show’s winner Rachel Frederickson who stunned viewers when she took home the $250,000 grand prize after losing a remarkable 155 pounds.
Gladstone revealed his client decided to sue NBC after watching a recent episode of the show’s serial killer drama, “Hannibal,” in which the lead character Hannibal Lecter cut off a man’s leg and fed it to him. Furlong believed NBC was purposely taunting him with the episode and decided it was time he got justice.
“Mr. Furlong needs to drop this lawsuit and turn his ordeal into a hilarious sitcom idea so he can enter into the NBC Comedy Playground contest,” said NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke. “Besides, if he never went on ‘The Biggest Loser,’ he probably would have lost that leg to diabetes anyway.”