Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DUAL SURVIVAL: Cody Lundin accuses Discovery of doctoring footage, criticizes Matt Graham

In his latest statement, Cody says Discovery "purposefully" edited video clips to defame him.

It looks like the bad blood between jilted ex-Dual Survival star Cody Lundin and the Discovery Channel is reaching a fever pitch.

Ever since Lundin was fired from the hit reality show back in February, harsh words have been flying. In two previous posts on his Facebook page, Cody accused Dual Survival's producers of running an unsafe operation, and also threatened legal action over the final episode.

Things have gotten so heated that Mykel Hawke, former star of Discovery's Man Woman Wildweighed in on the controversy, accusing Dual Survival producers of dumping Cody in favor of newer Dual Survival co-star Joe Teti.

Cody's latest Facebook statement, posted June 5th, accused Dual Survival's producers of a "leadership vacuum," and intentionally defaming his character, which he says producers did in an attempt to explain his absence from the show. He claims they edited out pertinent parts of the video to make him look bad.

Dual Survivor's Executive Producer Brian Nashel:
Cody claims footage shown in Journey's End To A New Beginning, which Brian was in charge of, was intentionally doctored in order to discredit him.

Cody also took a shot at Dual Survival's producers over his infamous "rant," which was accidentally recorded during an off-camera moment while filming a Season 3 episode in Hawaii. Discovery aired the rant on "Journey's End To A New Beginning."

In the recording, Cody was speaking to an unknown production team member in what he thought was an off camera moment and said "I lost my cool. They're not gonna run that or I'll quit." 

Discovery claims the rant was captured by a camera that was "accidentally" left rolling.

Cody strongly rebutted Discovery's portrayal of the incident, saying that had viewers seen the entire scene, it would have revealed that he was in fact highly frustrated by a young, inexperienced producer who kept ordering him to throw fire-making supplies over a body of water in order to "make things easier for editors in New York City." 

Cody, apparently wanting to keep a certain level of integrity on the show regarding survival techniques, got into an argument with the young producer over the procedure. Cody says this part of the video was intentionally left out to make him look bad. He said the conversation was strictly between him and the problem producer, and had nothing to do with the show.

Cody Lundin/Matt Graham fallout

Dual Survivor's producers were not the only target of Cody's disdain. Primitive survival expert Matt Graham, who is Cody's replacement on Dual Survival, was also caught in the crosshairs.

Matt Graham:

Cody stated that three years ago, Matt tried to muscle in on one of his longtime sponsors by telling them he had been Cody's "teacher" at several survival courses. Apparently, Cody's sponsor thought something was odd about Matt's claim, and decided to contact Cody to verify if this were true or not. Upon hearing that Matt was being dishonest, Cody decided to end their friendship. Regarding Matt, Cody stated "I have a zero tolerance policy with people who knowingly compromise another’s credibility and experience to promote their own."

Final Thoughts

With all the drama swirling around Dual Survival, it is beginning to sound more like a daytime soap opera than a show based on two men surviving in the wild. The huge debacle last year over the firing of former Dual Survival co-star Dave Canterbury only adds to this perception.

All drama aside, I find it disturbing that Discovery intentionally aired an episode meant to portray one of its cast members in a negative light. Even if Discovery had a perfectly good reason to fire Cody, their decision to air the "Journey's End To A New Beginning" episode was ill conceived and in bad taste.

Another piece of fallout from this is that other survival experts might feel squeamish about signing up for future survival shows, fearing the same fate.

Whether or not Cody has a valid defamation case against the Discovery Channel is ultimately up to the courts. In the court of public opinion, however, Discovery has been found guilty. Thousands of comments disparaging the channel on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and news sites means the people have already spoken, and they've said "Discovery, you screwed up."

JULY 13th, 2015 UPDATE-  Dual Survival canceled by Discovery Channel!

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About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft, a blog that features articles, news stories, outdoor tips and product reviews written from a bushcraft and wilderness survival perspective. Schwartz is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America. He has also written for the The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ (without spaces)

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