Man vs. Wild’s Bear Grylls has been fired by Discovery Channel after he reportedly refused to work on two upcoming channel’s projects.
A Discovery Channel spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter exclusively that they have ended their relationship with the wilderness guru.
“Due to a continuing contractual dispute with Bear Grylls, Discovery has terminated all current productions with him,” the spokesperson said.
Sources told the Hollywood Reporter website that Bear Grylls has been unwilling to participate in two upcoming projects, in violation of his contract.
British Bear Grylls, 37, has been starring in the series since 2006, and has travelled all over the globe, from Nambia to Zambia, and from the Arctic Circle to China.
The sixth season of the series wrapped up production last August.
The show documented the British adventurer’s travels as he made his way through some of the most inhospitable places on Earth.
While the news comes as something of a shock, Bear Grylls will hardly be scraping for his next project.
He has garnered something of a cult following for his blood-and-mud-covered adventures, and has several projects on the horizon.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Bear Grylls’ memoir, “Mud, Sweat, and Tears” is due out in the U.S. this May. In the UK, it is already a best-seller.
On top of celebrity endorsements for brands like Dockers and Degree deodorant, Bear Grylls’ clothing brand is sold at Wal Mart and outdoor adventure store REI.
Man vs. Wild show – aired as Born Survivor in the UK – ran into considerable controversy in 2007 when it was revealed that Bear Grylls and his camera crews would spend the night in hotels, rather than camping in the wild, as the show depicted.
The series was briefly taken off the air and returned with a disclaimer reading: “Bear Grylls and the crew receive support when they are in potentially life threatening situations, as required by health and safety regulations.
“On some occasions, situations are presented to Bear so he can demonstrate survival techniques. Professional advice should always be sought before entering any dangerous environment.”
Bear Grylls told the AP in 2008: “I think the new shows will reassure (fans). Everything is strong and double-checked. Discovery is so cautious of everything. If I so much as break wind on these shows, it’s acknowledged now.”
Bear Grylls said he slept in the hotel to spend time with his family.
The scandal wounded Bear Grylls’ public image as being a rugged survivalist, and he was publically lambasted by Les Stroud of Survivorman.
Les Stroud said before he ended his popular show that being in the wilderness was incredibly demanding on his mind and body.
“It takes a lot out of me as I really do what I do for real, with no camera crew, no nights in hotels like others do, and it takes a toll on my body,” Les Stroud told Reuters.
“I need to move on,” he added.
Bear Grylls has also come under fire for his surmounting wealth – the reality star owns and lives on a private island in Wales and owns properties in Malibu and has a house barge on the Thames.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that Bear Grylls was not part of the network’s upfronts – the all-important week when television executives pitch their upcoming season programming.