Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is stirring up a sea of controversy. The week began on Sunday with a documentary that turned out to be fake, but if that shocked fans, it was nothing compared to Monday’s feature show.
Titled Great White Guilt, the show’s preview showed clips of former great white shark poachers now working to save the species, which is endangered. The most intriguing part of the preview? A clip of a “special guest star” being pushed into a pool full of great whites. As viewers were shocked to discover, the guest star was George Zimmerman.
“I chose George to be on our show because he has a lot in common with the poachers,” said the show’s director Michael Krowner. “Poachers tend to have a big ego and a hunger for power.”
Krowner said that he originally planned on only pushing the poachers into the pool of great whites before he thought of bringing in a celebrity guest to garner more views.
“When poachers kill sharks, it’s not, well, fair. They prey on the sharks unexpectedly, with weapons they didn’t even make themselves. I wanted the poachers to jump in with the sharks because I wanted them to experience a fair fight for once. Then I thought, well, is there someone else we could push in too? Maybe someone famous? Then it hit me – that Zimmerman guy! Poachers stalk and kill sharks from above water where the sharks can’t defend themselves, and Zimmerman sounds just like that – stalking and killing a defenseless kid at night. He could stand to be in a fight with a real threat for once.”
Yes, Zimmerman did get hurt, and badly at that – he sustained a deep bite near his ribcage and lost both of his hands, so, as some viewers have pointed out, he can no longer hold a gun. But the state of Florida is doing all they can to protect his right to “stand his ground” and is working on getting him new, robotic hands as soon as possible – he is now first in line to receive the new hands, ahead of a blind child who’s been on the list for four years after losing his hands from a rare cancer he developed not long after his parents died in a car accident.
Viewers have responded to this Shark Week episode with very little pity for Zimmerman. Krowner, on the other hand, claims he never wanted Zimmerman to get hurt, and that he had told him exactly what was going to happen on the show. He had planned on having Zimmerman and the poachers wear chainmail suits under their clothes, protecting their bodies from bites. According to Krowner, however, Zimmerman refused to wear the suit.
“When it came time for the guys to get pushed in, we tried to give Zimmerman the suit, but he refused it and started chanting, “I am God” over and over. We offered it to him again, but he just threw it on the ground, beat his fists against his chest and roared like an animal before running up to the platform above the water. Our crew member thought we had started filming and just pushed him in; she didn’t know he wasn’t wearing the suit. The guy is just insane. Delusional and insane.”
No word yet on whether Zimmerman is pressing charges against Krowner. But if he does, he’ll probably win because Krowner is black.