Friday, June 6, 2014

Dual Survival Clarification (again) by Cody Lundin

So, Cody has been away for some time now because he was presenting at the 2014 Bushcraft Show in the UK. He’s back now, and seems to have more to say about Dual Survival and why he was fired. In short, he explains that he had a big problem with a producer who he found to be incompetent and was asking him to do things he considered unreasonable for the sake of ease of filming and editing. Cody also brings up an issue he has had with his replacement Matt Graham. It goes to show, the wilderness survival world is a shallow pull. Anyway, here is Cody’s latest statement:


Dear Campers,

I’ve recently returned from teaching survival skills in Europe. While I wish to move on from the Dual Survival debacle, ethically and professionally I need to set the record straight.

As I wrote earlier, the episode where Discovery and Original Media purposefully defamed my character in an attempt to explain my absence from the show was not their “Plan A.” Weeks after terminating me, they wanted to hire me again for the “original” behind the scenes episode. For this “Plan A” episode, a Discovery Channel executive suggested several times that I tell fans that I quit the show in order to pursue my survival school. As this was a lie, I refused to participate. I would state this under oath in a court of law.

My refusal to lie to my fan base resulted in the hodge-podge of out-of-context footage used to explain my absence. Legions of people saw through this “explanation”. Others…did not.

The real behind the scenes in Hawaii is more telling about the leadership vacuum that plagued the show. As an example, seconds earlier, the Hawaii footage would have revealed to the viewer an inexperienced, twenty-something producer repeatedly telling me to throw fire-lighting supplies over water to make things easier for editors in New York City. When I left this scene my mic was still on. The audio they used was a confidential conversation I had with another producer about repeated frustrations with this producer. This scene and the off-screen audio were between me and the problem producer, and had nothing to do with the show.

This season three producer had mismanaged previous episodes and would go on to mismanage several more. Regardless of numerous complaints from cast and crew, the executive producer at Original Media kept his friend employed. Also, stating that I was responsible for losing shoot time due to this is not true. We did lose shoot time, but this was caused by the actions of another which the entire crew witnessed.

After four seasons, 38 episodes and hundreds of hours of unaired footage, their top picks to make me look bad involve the non-show related footage of an incompetent producer, a backdoor product endorsement, laughing, and a dead Norwegian rabbit held by a crew member…..before the rabbit appears in the show? I could expose much more serious and toxic actions further cataloging a profound and chronic failure of leadership. Hopefully, this will not need to happen. This chapter needs to end.

The survival skills community is very small. Many people have suggested that Matt Graham should have been paired with me. Unfortunately, I needed to end my friendship with Matt three years ago. He chose to claim that he was my “teacher” for several courses to a company in the hopes of getting a product endorsement from them. As this company had never heard of Matt, but had known me for years, they approached me to ask if this was true. It was not. I have a zero tolerance policy with people who knowingly compromise another’s credibility and experience to promote their own. I’m sorry it turned out this way.

On a positive, many of you have expressed your support and asked if I would involve myself with more TV. I have turned down four TV shows to date. Nowadays, as all the experience one needs to get on a survival show is the ability to take off ones clothes, quality programming that integrates self-respect and professionalism is rare. If I find a network that is interested in teaching survival skills I would consider participating. I hope this statement clears a few things up.

Thank you for your continued support!

Stay true, Cody

To be honest, I really don’t get why Discovery did what they did with this situation. If they had simply kept quiet, and introduced the host as a regular replacement to offer yet another perspective on survival, no one would have given it a second thought. Those who followed Cody would have seen his explanation about being fired, but the rest would have known nothing about it. They did exactly that when Dave Canterbury got fired. One episode he was there, the next he wasn’t.

By airing that ridiculous episode, trying to explain why Cody was fired, not only did they lose credibility with a large part of the viewers, but revealed exactly how scripted and unrealistic the show actually is.

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