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MTV’s exploitation of The Hills‘ Lauren Conrad is mind-blowing

It’s really hard to fathom, but it has been a decade since we first saw Lauren Conrad drive down the road in over-sized sunglasses and her black convertible to the sweet sounds of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.” Thankfully, this pivotal anniversary brings with it a brand-new episode titled, The Hills: That Was Then, This Is Now. Tonight we got some behind-the-scenes access into Lauren Conrad’s new amazing life post-reality television. While we didn’t see a whole lot of updates about anyone else, it was really cool to see the show from a completely different perspective.

More: Happy 10-year anniversary to The Hills! Here’s a look at the cast then and now

Rarely do viewers get to see what actually happens while a reality television series is filmed. We assume that people just go about their lives, unsolicited and uninterrupted while cameras just happen to be at the ready to capture any drama that organically unfolds before them. Well, that’s how we would like to think of our favorite reality shows, right? We want it to be real and gritty. The truth is apparently very different. During tonight’s tell-all episode, Lauren was keen to let fans know that while there were elements of truth scattered in The Hills, the main chunk and most of the story lines were manufactured in some way. We all kind of knew that (well, we definitely knew that) but denial is a powerful thing, friends. Even though we were all kind of wink-winking and nudge-nudging along, the reality behind the scenes was actually way more disturbing than the plots being written for us.

More: Kristin Cavallari: The Hills was so fake

Everyone remembers when Lauren finally got to go to Paris with Whitney for Teen Vogue, right? It was her redemption for declining the opportunity the year before, and who wasn’t psyched for her? Well, one of the best parts of that trip had to be the rock band dudes that she and Whitney “met” while out for drinks one night. One of the band members, Matthias, was clearly into Lauren from the jump. To be honest, his level of interest kind of creeped me out before I knew he was let loose on her by producers. Well, she was not exactly into him romantically (and apparently made that known to MTV) but the producers were not prepared to let her have an actual feeling because, reality TV. Lauren outright refused to kiss this man goodbye and MTV went as far as to agree to her face, and then behind her back, tell Matthias to kiss her goodbye. That’s so wrong on so many levels. They showed the clip during tonight’s special episode and it was pretty uncomfortable to watch. Lauren basically had to run away from Matthias while he attempted to grab at her. Once she was inside the hotel, he literally turned to the producers and said, “She ran like a thief. She knew everything, you know?” Um, yeah. She should probably have been informed so that she could give that pesky little notion of consent. Gross, MTV.

More: Finally, the story behind Lauren Conrad’s single tear on The Hills is here

I think it’s just a little tough to see how used and abused some of our favorite reality stars can be for the sake of entertainment. We know that it’s not all “reality” but to see how manipulative producers can be, is kind of disturbing. When it comes down to forcing a kiss on someone who stated that they didn’t want it, that’s when it crosses the line. Thankfully, Lauren seems to be brushing the whole experience off and looks at it as a learning experience. Now, she is an extremely successful designer and married to one of my teenage crushes, William Tell from the band, Something Corporate. I would say she came out on top here, and in the world of reality television stars, that’s really rare.

Did you think producers crossed a line by forcing Matthias on Lauren? Sound off in the comments!

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