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“I was part of what was responsible for it,” he offers, before clarifying that, ultimately, “Fox was responsible. They used me and the girls to create all this hype.
“MTV knew they had something with The Real World, and [there was] Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, and a couple seasons of The Bachelor, but the social media wasn’t there, and you didn’t have podcasts,” Marriott adds.“They absolutely threw me under the bus,” Marriott says of how the network distanced itself from him once Millionaire’s controversial finale generated backlash. The last thing I remember [then–Fox TV Entertainment Group chairman] Sandy Grushow saying to me when I walked in the morning after the season finale [was], ‘Evan, you’re now part of the Fox family.We’re gonna have a great relationship in the coming years, and we’re glad you’re aboard,’ or whatever bullshit he spewed.Thinking back to that strange dichotomy of stringing Andrich and her competitors along for the cameras before making clandestine, moonlit calls, Marriott can only figure, “I should have won an Emmy for that dance and kiss with Zora at the end of that show, because all I wanted to do was get back to Amy.” Viewers — encouraged by tabloid media — made Marriott the fall guy for what was a salacious but unsavory experiment.He was, in essence, a primitive reality villain — a “babe in the woods,” as he tells it — molded and manipulated by opportunistic executives producers and cast out once he’d satisfied his purpose.