For nearly five years, the weekly web series To Catch a Cheater has supposedly been doing exactly what its title suggests: catching people in the act of cheating on their significant others.
Despite its popularity — the show’s YouTube channel has over three million subscribers — many viewers have questioned whether the episodes are scripted for dramatic effect. If you’re a die-hard fan, you may not like the answer.
Is 'To Catch a Cheater' scripted?
The series’ hosts, Sameer Bhavnani and Luis Mercado, have defended their content many times and always claim that the interactions shown on camera are real. But a 2018 segment on Inside Edition featured past participants who alleged they were paid actors.
"[It's] all completely fake. It was all a scene we were doing," Micah Potts, one of many unfaithful boyfriends highlighted over the years, told correspondent Lisa Guerrero. His "girlfriend," Tameika Dawkins, backed up her bogus beau’s statements.
"If we didn't sell it, it wouldn't be believable," she said at the time, adding that the phony couple was directed on what to do throughout the entire shoot after meeting for the first time that morning.
Another aspiring actress, who’s simply referred to as "Jessica," told Inside Edition that she appeared in two episodes, both of which required her to play the part of the heartbroken girlfriend.
"No, there is nothing real — my name wasn't real, my age, my boyfriend, I didn't have a boyfriend," she claimed. "I didn't meet the kid who cheated on me. None of it was real."
Her second scumbag SO, "Marquis," reiterated what Jessica said. "I would like for people to know that it was fake and just an acting job and it wasn't real and we're not actually together," he shared.
When confronted with the interviews, Bhavnani simply stated that the individuals were lying. "These are couples who regret being on the show or change their mind and feel that they will take less backlash if they say they were acting instead of saying it's real," he alleged.
Naysayers point to the "Jehovah's Witness episode" as proof that 'To Catch a Cheater' is fake.
A 2017 installment featuring a man who was reportedly a Jehovah’s Witness received immediate criticism from viewers over its apparent inconsistencies.
Those familiar with the denomination noted that the man’s outfit did not adhere to the traditional Jehovah’s Witness dress code. "There has never been a Jehovah’s Witness that has knocked [on] my door dressed in jeans and with a backpack or alone," one commenter allegedly wrote under the video.
Another reasoned, "This is obviously fake because Jehovah’s Witnesses always travel with one partner at the very least. And their field ministry doesn't include jeans for apparel."
Under an article about the controversial episode, one self-proclaimed Jehovah’s Witness argued, "We also carry our Bible with us either in printed form or on our tablets or smart phones, this guy doesn't even have one!"
That particular video was initially deleted, but has since been reposted on To Catch a Cheater's channel. It currently has more than one million views.