The History Channel competition series Forged in Fire has given artisans a big platform to show off their work. In eight seasons, the show has created all kinds of very cool things like katanas, battle axes, machetes, swords, and more. With so much cool work, not only do the contestants become recognized, so too do the judges.
One judge to come and go from Forged in Fire is Jason Knight. He joined the show in Season 3 when judge James Neilson needed to take a leave of absence to have surgery. He then returned in Season 4, but he hasn't been seen on the show since. Why did he leave?
Why did Jason Knight leave 'Forged in Fire'?
Jason Knight is an ABS Master Smith who grew up with a love of his craft and developed it over time. Throughout his career, he's won numerous awards for his work, and that's what he wants to be known for, not a TV show. Even on his Instagram, there's no mention of his time on Forged In Fire. He instead talks about his own YouTube show.
In an interview with Fans of the Forge, Jason seems to say he didn't have the best experience on Forged in Fire. "The trade-off is that you have to pass this along to a production company that's only going to produce it for entertainment," he said. Later on, he says watching Forged in Fire to learn how to make blades "is not a good idea." It's a great way to get inspired, but viewers miss out on necessary info.
Jason also makes a point to say that people should support craftsmen instead of "big box stores." He advises viewers to "be a maker, not a taker" and that we need to get out of a "Walmart mentality."
When he says this, Jason seems to compare TV companies making these competition shows to those "big box stores," and in comparison, craftsmen to mom and pop shops.
Jason didn't agree with everything on the show.
Jason also said that the contestants were given challenges that he didn't like. "Sometimes they would say, 'we want you to cut this piece of tile or this barbed wire, whatever,' and I'm like 'that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.'"
Even if he didn't like something, Jason says he would do it anyway, but he made sure everything he made on the show was functional.
In that Fans of the Forge interview, he did say he appreciates how Forged In Fire got knife making good exposure, but he also called producers "snakes" for how they would use his ideas on the show. He said he's been called by TV show producers who would ask him about different ideas. Because he's a craftsman, he likes to share his ideas and was open to speaking about how to make different things.
Little did Jason know that those producers were taking notes on what he said to use his ideas for the show. Yes, Jason's craft gets the exposure he wants, but at the end of the day, the show is all about entertainment.
Forged in Fire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on History.