You may already know Danny Roberts from his first stint on MTV‘s The Real World: New Orleans that aired in 2000. Back then, the show displayed his relationship with a man in the Army named Paul Dill who struggled with the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. For the LGBTQ community, it was refreshing to see some representation in pop culture.
Roberts recently returned for a Paramount+ revival The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans, which aired 8 episodes this year on the streaming platform. He recently spoke with the LA Times and explained how, while filming, he did speak about his HIV diagnosis and how it has affected his life. There was just one problem… Paramount+ left out any mention of his affliction.
While the show did speak about his relationship with Dill and even arranged an on-camera reunion, the platform cut any mention of his HIV status.
“I just kept waiting: ‘Are they going to shoehorn this into the end?’ And then I realized, ‘Wow, that’s the end of it.’ And they absolutely cut it,” he said. “It feels like a huge missed opportunity.”
“So much of what I went to New Orleans to talk about was the nightmare of our healthcare system, the nightmare of not having access, the nightmare of the cost,” he added, “and the amazing flip side of the power of these medications [that can prevent and treat HIV]. There was so much to unpack.”
Paramount+ issued a statement in response to Roberts’ comments:
“Although Danny did discuss his HIV status while filming ‘The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans,’ he also spoke extensively about the mental health challenges he struggled with after the filming of the original series and how he has coped with those challenges,” the statement continued. “The ‘Homecoming’ series ultimately focused on Danny’s mental health journey, which he shared publicly with all his former roommates for the first time.”
Roberts did not seem to accept this reasoning. He said he was told by a producer that the storyline was cut to avoid potential legal implications that could come from outing a former partner. “Their reasoning is so silly,” he said. “I don’t buy it for a second.”
He was diagnosed with HIV nearly a decade ago and had gone public with it in 2018 to encourage others to fight the stigma that it carries. He believes its association to death is what prevents most people from talking about it.
“This traumatized a generation. We lost a lot of people but now we’re in a period where medicine has advanced so much, there’s a huge forgetting,” he said. “So it’s probably easier to make an executive decision to leave out that dark story and just not touch on it, in service of the great forgetting.”
The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans wrapped its run on Paramount+ on June 8, 2022. You can currently stream all 8 episodes on the platform.
The post Paramount+ Hid ‘Real World Homecoming’ Cast Member’s HIV-Positive Status appeared first on Decider.